Biologist reports logo Kahle Lake

Clarion and Venango Counties
October 12-13, 2004


Kahle Lake is a 251 acre impoundment located on the border of Clarion and Venango Counties 5 miles west of the town Knox. The lake has two boat launches and boating is restricted to electric motors only. The lake is managed with Big Bass Regulations for black bass and Commonwealth Inland Regulations for all other species. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission annually stocks the lake with tiger muskellunge fingerlings and walleye fingerlings.

Big Bass Regulations were implemented on January 1, 1991. The largemouth bass response to this change in regulation has been monitored annually by performing a population estimate every fall since 1990 (includes 1 year of pre-Big Bass Regs. data).

This annual event also provides a valuable opportunity to Clarion University students studying aquatic ecology and other fields within the environmental sciences. Each year 15-25 students assist with the fieldwork and receive experience in field operations, data collection and data recording in exchange for their volunteer efforts in collecting and processing fish. This long term monitoring could not be done without their assistance as well as that from the Warmwater Unit of the Fisheries Management Division. Thanks to Bob Lorantas and Dave Kristine of the Warmwater Unit for their help this fall.

Clarion University student Heather Zuraski measures bass, removes scales for aging, and marks tails
Clarion University student Heather Zuraski measures bass, removes scales for aging, and marks tails

On the evenings of October 12th and 13th, 2004 we electrofished the entire 6.7 km (4.2 mi.) shoreline of Kahle Lake in six runs totaling 235 minutes. We captured a total of 425 largemouth bass ranging from 2 to 22 inches (Table 1). All these bass were marked with a small clip to the tail fin and released back into the lake.

Table 1. Length/frequency distribution and catch per hour statistics for largemouth bass electrofished from Kahle Lake on the evenings of October 12th and 13th, 2004.


Length Group
(in.)
Largemouth
Bass
Catch
Per Hour

2 9 2.29
3 38 9.67
4 39 9.92
5 12 3.05
6 3 0.76
7 1 0.25
8 3 0.76
9 45 11.45
10 92 23.41
11 34 8.65
12 18 4.58
13 37 9.41
14 39 9.92
15 43 10.94
16 8 2.04
17 3 0.76
///    
22 1 0.25

Total 425 108.11

Total Effort = 3.92 Hours

After one week to allow the fish to redistribute themselves, we returned to Kahle Lake and again electrofished the entire shoreline in six runs. All the bass were measured and any with fin clip marks were noted. The ratio of marked to unmarked bass in this recapture effort provides us with an estimate of the bass population in Kahle Lake (Table 2).

Table 2. Estimated Abundance of largemouth bass from Kahle Lake using a Petersen estimator. Estimates are rounded to the nearest whole fish. Survey Date: 10/19/2004.


Size Group
(in.)
Total
Population
Estimate
Estimated Number
of Bass per Mile
of Shoreline

2 11 3
3 53 13
4 52 12
5 13 3
6 3 1
7 1 0
8 4 1
9 423 101
10 877 209
11 315 75
12 71 17
13 171 41
14 68 16
15 229 55
16 15 4
17 7 2
///    
19 1 0
///    
22 1 0

Total 2,315 553

During our survey there was a very heavy bloom of algae clouding the upper 2 feet of the water column that reduced our electrofishing efficiency. There was also a 10F drop in surface water temperature between the marking and recapture runs and this reduced the number of bass in our shallow water target zone during the recapture run.

Other fish of note during our efforts were a 26.5 inch tiger muskellunge and 2 walleyes at 26 and 28 inches. Also observed were large numbers of yellow perch, bluegills and black crappies.

Clarion University student Ryan Miller with a 19.9 inch 4.8 lb. Largemouth Bass
Clarion University student Ryan Miller with a 19.9 inch 4.8 lb. Largemouth Bass

Clarion University student Marty Heben with a 22 inch 6 lb. Largemouth Bass
Clarion University student Marty Heben with a 22 inch 6 lb. Largemouth Bass

Clarion University student Nicole Bossart with a 28 inch 5.5 lb. Walleye
Clarion University student Nicole Bossart with a 28 inch 5.5 lb. Walleye

Clarion University student Amy Myers with a 26 inch 6.2 lb. Walleye
Clarion University student Amy Myers with a 26 inch 6.2 lb. Walleye

 
-- Tim Wilson, Area 2 Fisheries Technician

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