| Sayers Lake is a 1,730 acre reservoir located on Bald Eagle Creek in Centre County, Pennsylvania, near
the town of Howard. Most of the surrounding riparian area is part of Bald Eagle State Park. The dam and lake are
owned by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) while water levels are
controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for flood control - the primary purpose of the
lake. The lake is popular with anglers and there are 7 public boat launches located throughout the lake.
Sayers Lake is one of 16 lakes throughout the state that are currently managed under the Panfish Enhancement Special Regulations. These regulations are intended to increase the number, quality, and size of panfish through the use of minimum length limits on sunfish species (bluegills and pumpkinseeds) and crappies (black and white). Under these regulations, minimum length limits of 7 inches were established for sunfish and 9 inches for crappies. The combined creel limit is 20 for each species with the total number creeled not to exceed 50 panfish combined.
Commonwealth Inland Waters Regulations for seasons, sizes, and creel limits are currently in effect for all other species. Tiger muskellunge are stocked on alternate (odd) years at a rate of three fish per acre and channel catfish are stocked annually at a rate of ten fish per acre. The panfish catches will be used to assess the effect of the Panfish Enhancement Special Regulations and the final evaluation will be made after another trap net survey in 2006.
Fisheries management crews from Areas 1 and 3 conducted a joint survey of Sayers Lake using 40 trap net sets during the week of June 7 – 11, 2004. The 40 trap nets were fished for a total of 891 hours capturing a total of 3,388 fish. See Table 1 below for the numbers and sizes of fish captured.
Table 1. Length-frequency distribution of fish collected in 40 trap net sets in Sayers Lake during the week of June 7 – 11, 2004.
Also captured were 1 walleye, 1 smallmouth bass, 4 rock bass, 105 brown bullhead, 13 yellow bullhead, 34 golden shiners, 7 spotfin shiners, 15 white suckers, and 54 common carp. Note that black bass are abundant in Sayers Lake, but they are not effectively captured in trap nets. In addition, yellow perch are also abundant in Sayers Lake, but are not readily captured during June sampling.
The first documented fish kill occurred in Sayers Lake this spring and black crappie appeared to be the dominant species affected. The fish kill was likely due to a secondary bacterial infection initiated by spawning stress. Several of the dead crappie were collected and are currently being analyzed to determine their cause-of-death.
|-- Jason Detar, Area 3 Fisheries Techician|
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