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Young of the Year Bass

Huntingdon, Fulton, Perry, and Cumberland Counties
September/October 2004
Gear: Daytime Jonboat Electrofishing

Area 7 Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Biologists recently completed their annual young-of-the-year (YOY) bass sampling in four southcentral Pennsylvania impoundments. As a result of the efforts of past and present sampling we gain some insight with regard to year class strength and survival of the spring spawn of largemouth and smallmouth bass (black bass) in impoundments. This annual sampling also provides insight into how biotic and abiotic factors affect the next generation of bass with regard to size and numbers of bass.

Graph showing number of bass per hour of electrofishing

The number of YOY black bass caught per hour of electrofishing in Holman Lake (Perry county) from 1999 to 2004 ranged from a high of 110 bass/hr to a low of 0 bass/hr with a 6 year average catch of 63 YOY black bass per hour of electrofishing. During the 2004 survey the catch per hour of YOY black bass was 40.

Largemouth bass

The number of YOY black bass caught per hour of electrofishing in Opossum Creek Lake (Cumberland county) from 1999 to 2004 ranged from a high of 84 bass/hr to a low of 7 bass/hr with a 6 year average catch of 30 YOY black bass per hour of electrofishing. During the 2004 survey the catch per hour of YOY black bass was 7.

The number of YOY black bass caught per hour of electrofishing in Raystown Lake (Huntingdon county) from 2000 to 2004 ranged from a high of 88 bass/hr to a low of 18 bass/hr with a 5 year average catch of 54 YOY black bass per hour of electrofishing. During the 2004 survey the catch per hour of YOY black bass was 18.

Young of year largemouth

The number of YOY black bass caught per hour of electrofishing in Meadow Grounds Lake (Fulton county) from 2000 to 2004 ranged from a high of 11 bass/hr to a low of 0 bass/hr with a 5 year average catch of 4 YOY black bass per hour of electrofishing. During the 2004 survey the catch per hour of YOY black bass was 3.

Anglers should keep in mind that one below average or above average year of YOY black bass recruitment may not be detectible in their catch of legal bass 4 to 6 years down the road. It typically requires successive years of below average or above average recruitment before an angler will be able to detect a change in their catch.

Young of year smallmouth

Table 1. The average growth rate of black bass in southcentral Pennsylvania.
Smallmouth Bass
Age
(Years)
Length
(Inches)
1 4
2 6
3 9
4 11
5 13
6 15
7 16
8 17
 
Largemouth Bass
Age
(Years)
Length
(Inches)
1 4
2 8
3 10
4 12
5 13
6 15
7 16
8 18
 
-- John R Frederick, Area 7 Fisheries Technician

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