Biologist reports logo Tionesta Lake

Forest County
Week of April 18, 2005

Tionesta Lake is a 560 acre reservoir, located in Forest County, that is owned and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for flood control and recreational purposes. There is no horsepower limit on the reservoir. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) maintains a launch at the upstream end of the lake near Nebraska bridge and the USACE maintains a launch near the dam. The PFBC annually stocks the reservoir with muskellunge fingerlings and Tionesta Lake maintains a reputation as a good musky fishing lake.

Personnel from the Fisheries Management Area 2 office in Tionesta performed a trapnet survey of Tionesta Lake during the week of April 18th. We set three trapnets for three nights each targeting muskellunge and panfish. Our trapnets performed well and we captured good numbers of fish that showed us that the fishery in Tionesta Lake continues to improve with time. Tables 1, 2 and 3 below show what we caught.

Musky in net
Fisheries Technician Tim Wilson and Fisheries Biologist’s Aide Jay Gerber remove
an egg-laden 39.8 in. female musky from a trapnet

We were impressed with the muskellunge we captured. Although some of the weights on the larger fish were inflated because they were females loaded with eggs, these fish were still impressive.

Musky swimming
The 47.8 inch, 39.25 lb. female musky (see Table 2 below) swims off after being measured, weighed and
having a small scale sample removed for age determination

Muskies in tubs
For comparison, 31 in., 8.5 lb. and 50 in., 44.5 lb. muskies in the same tub

Panfish density and size structure continues to improve. Years ago, 8 inch yellow perch or 9 inch crappies were very hard to find but they get more numerous with every survey and Tionesta Lake is becoming a more attractive fishing destination each year.

Typical panfish
Tim Wilson and Jay Gerber with typical Tionesta Lake panfish from a continually improving fishery

Channel catfish
Jay Gerber with a 26 inch channel catfish

Channel catfish fingerlings are also stocked in the lake, but not on an annual basis because of the limited availability of these fish. Several channel cats of varying sizes were caught in gillnets in 2003 and 1 very large individual was caught in 2005, which suggests there is a small but fishable population in the lake.

Hatchery brook trout have come down out of the tributaries in fishable numbers and anglers are doing quite well on them.

Table 1. Panfish and small forage fish captured by trapnets in Tionesta Lake during the week of April 18, 2005.

Size
(in.)
White
Crappie
Black
Crappie
Bluegill Pumpkin
-seed
Rock
Bass
Yellow
Perch
Golden
Shiner
Emerald
Shiner*
Hatchery
Brook Trout
3     2 1          
4     5   1 1 2    
5     4 17 6 8 6    
6   1 6 11 17 26 4    
7 39 12 13 3 20 75 6    
8 130 2     9 44 2    
9 26 4     4 7     1
10 6       1       3
11 4               21
12                 13
13                 2
Totals 205 19 30 32 58 161 20 4 40
* - Emerald shiners were counted but not measured.

Table 2. Muskellunge captured by trapnets in Tionesta Lake during the week of April 18, 2005.

Length (inches) Weight (pounds)
12.0 0.3
27.6 5.0
31.0 7.8
31.1 8.5
31.5 8.3
33.0 7.8
34.4 11.5
34.8 11.3
37.5 15.0
37.7 13.5
37.8 20.5
38.3 23.0
39.0 22.5
39.3 16.0
39.5 16.8
39.8 25.8
39.8 25.8
41.5 24.0
47.8 39.3
49.8 37.8
50.75 44.5

Table 3. Catfish and Suckers captured by trapnets in Tionesta Lake during the week of April 18, 2005.

Size
(in.)
Channel
Catfish
Brown
Bullhead
White
Sucker
Silver
Redhorse
Golden
Redhorse
Black
Redhorse
4         2  
5            
6   1 1   3 4
7         4 4
8         2  
9           1
10   1       1
11   1 2     4
12   5       2
13   9 2   1  
14   19   2 1  
15   4     2  
16   1 1 7 1  
17       10 1 1
18       7    
19       12    
20       9    
21       8    
22       3    
23            
24            
25            
26 1          
Totals 1 41 6 58 17 17
 
-- Tim Wilson, Area 2 Fisheries Technicain

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