| The PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) conducted night electrofishing surveys in the tailwaters of two
Allegheny River Dams: Lock and Dam 3 at Harmarville and Lock and Dam 2 (Highland Park Dam) at
Sharpsburg. The Allegheny River was surveyed by the PFBC to target the bass, walleye, and sauger
populations and to document the overall number of fish species. The Allegheny River has quality
recreational fishing opportunities due to good water quality and productive habitat. The top three fish
species that anglers fish for in the Allegheny River are walleye, smallmouth bass, and sauger. To add to
the fishing opportunities, the PFBC stocks fingerling muskellunge on odd years and fingerling tiger
muskellunge on even years in the Harmarville pool. The PFBC stocks hybrid striped bass fingerlings
annually in the Sharpsburg pool. The Allegheny River during our survey was somewhat high and muddy.
These river conditions were not ideal for our electrofishing and may have negatively affected our total
Smallmouth bass dominated the catch over all other gamefish collected during the survey. A total of 58 smallmouth bass were collected in the two tailwater sections. Eighteen were processed at Harmarville with only one fish of legal size. The smallmouth bass catch at Harmarville was below average. Forty smallmouth bass were processed at Sharpsburg. Of the 40 fish, 13 (33%) were greater than 12 inches. Also from Sharpsburg, three fish were processed over 20 inches with the largest being 20.8 inches and weighing 4.2 pounds. The smallmouth bass catch at Sharpsburg was considered very good for fish over 15 inches.
Walleye and sauger were collected in good numbers but few large fish were processed. A total of 32 walleyes were collected with 22 of them coming from Sharpsburg. Of the 32 walleyes collected, only one (a 22 inch fish) was of the legal size of 15 inches or greater. The number of saugers captured was similar to the number of walleyes with a total of 30 saugers from both tailwaters. About 50% of the saugers were of legal size (12 inches or greater). The timing of our sample was late in the year for the ideal sampling time for smallmouth bass, walleye and sauger in rivers. This may have also lead to lower numbers and sizes of the three major target species.
The survey crew collected a total of 27 fish species. Other fish species that were seen during the survey include golden redhorse, silver redhorse, shorthead redhorse, river redhorse, smallmouth buffalo, quillback, river carpsucker, carp, freshwater drum, channel catfish, flathead catfish, mooneye, longnose gar, bluegill, white crappie, black crappie, white perch, gizzard shad, and Ohio lamprey. A large musky that was estimated at least 45 inches long was also seen during the survey at Harmarville, but it escaped the nets of our crew.
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