Biologist reports logo Shenango Lake

Mercer County
May/June 2005

Shenango Lake is a 3,560 acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impoundment located in western Mercer County. Fish populations were sampled using three Pennsylvania style trapnets from May 9, 2005 to May 18, 2005 for a total of 18 sets. The lake was sampled again from June 1 to June 6, 2005 by night electrofishing to monitor changes in the quantity and size structure of the black bass population.

Northern pike
Northern pike

Over 3,100 fish were caught in our trapnets representing 15 species of fish. Good numbers of black and white crappie were caught with most of the black crappie in the 8 to 11 inch size range and most of the white crappie slightly larger in the 9 to 13 inch size range. The 2005 crappie catch was about average over the last ten years for Shenango Lake. Thirty northern pike were caught ranging in size from 12 to 32 inches. This is about a four-fold increase from our catch in 2002. Hybrid striped bass up to an impressive 28 inches were found along with some nice walleye up to 26 inches. Large numbers (750) of channel catfish were also found with most of the “cats” in the 18 to 22 inch range but some fish running up to 28 inches long.

Crappie
Crappie

Crappie
Crappie

Trapnet Data

Species Number Caught Size Range (inches)
Black crappie 391 5-12.5
White crappie 352 6-15.5
Northern pike 30 12-32.5
Walleye 9 19.5-26
Striped bass hybrids 72 5.5-28
Channel catfish 750 6-28

Striped bass hybrid
Striped bass hybrid

Night electrofishing for black bass yielded a total of 184 largemouth bass and 77 smallmouth bass. Largemouth bass ranged in size from 95 mm (3.75in.) to 531 mm (21 in) with 17.4% of the fish being over 375 mm (14.8 in). Smallmouth bass ranged in size from 87 mm (3.5 in) to 428 mm (17 in) with 5.2% of the fish being over 375 mm (14.8 in). Largemouth numbers were up from the last electrofishing survey done in 2003, but smallmouth numbers were down. The total black bass catch for 2005 was only down by 8 fish from the numbers found in 2003. Bass in this lake are managed under the Big Bass Program with a 15-inch minimum size limit and a four fish per day creel limit (See page 23 in your Summary Book).

Measuring fish
Measuring fish

Night Electrofishing Data
Size Group Shenango Lake 2005
(in) (mm) Largemouth Bass Smallmouth Bass
2.0 50    
3.0 75 1 2
3.9 100 2 1
4.9 125 4  
5.9 150 1 9
6.9 175 5 14
7.9 200 16 6
8.9 225 41 17
9.8 250 23 7
10.8 275 5 5
11.8 300 19 7
12.8 325 23 5
13.8 350 12  
14.8 375 12 1
15.7 400 14 2
16.7 425 1 1
17.7 450 1  
18.7 475 2  
19.7 500 1  
20.7 525 1  
21.7 550    
Total 184 77
Effort 5.3 5.3
Catch/hr 34.7 14.5

Largemouth bass
Largemouth bass

 
-- Freeman Johns, Area 1 Fisheries Technician

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