Biologist reports logo Laurel Hill Lake

Somerset County
May 11-13, 2005

Laurel Hill Lake is a 63-acre impoundment that is operated by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as part of Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County. The lake has two boat launches, and motorized boats are restricted to electric motors only. The PFBC stocks adult trout annually with a preseason plant and five inseason plants, which includes a fall stocking and a late winter stocking.

Bluegills were the most abundant species collected with the trap nets in 2005. A total of 96 bluegills were captured with 39% greater than 7 inches. Lower numbers of black crappie and yellow perch were found with almost 30% of those species 9 inches or greater. Brown bullheads were collected in good numbers and sizes. The panfish population at Laurel Hill Lake was satisfactory and would provide some good fishing opportunities.

Fisheries Biologist Aide Matt Somogyi with a 29 in. 6 lb. northern pike
Fisheries Biologist Aide Matt Somogyi with a 29 in. 6 lb. northern pike

Only two northern pike were captured in the trap nets in 2005. The larger of the two fish was 29 inches, 6 pounds. Saugeye (a walleye/sauger hybrid) fingerlings have been stocked twice since 1992 with the last stocking in 1998. We did not collect any saugeyes in 2005.

An interesting catch during our 2005 trap net survey was a large spiny softshell turtle. It had a shell length of 15 inches. Maximum shell length for spiny softshell turtle is 17 inches.

Fisheries Biologist Aide Matt Somogyi with a large spiny softshell turtle
Fisheries Biologist Aide Matt Somogyi with a large spiny softshell turtle

We conducted a night electrofishing survey at Laurel Hill Lake in 2002 (see the Laurel Hill Lake survey summary in 2002). Laurel Hill Lake contained a moderate density of largemouth bass with 31% of the bass greater than 12 inches. The largest bass collected in 2002 was 19 inches long and weighed 4.6 pounds.

Laurel Hill Lake provides angling opportunities for trout, bass, bluegills, crappies, yellow perch, bullhead catfish, and northern pike. It is most noted for its stocked trout fishing.

Fish Species Number Collected Size Range (inches) Additional Comments
Northern Pike 2 18 - 29 Largest fish: 29 in. 6 lbs.
Bluegill 96 1 - 9 39% greater than 7 in.
Pumpkinseed 8 4 - 8  
Black Crappie 24 6 - 12 28% greater than 9 in.
Yellow Perch 54 6 - 14 29% greater than 9 in.
Rock Bass 1 5  
Largemouth Bass 1 15  
Brown Bullhead 72 9 - 15  
Yellow Bullhead 1 10  
White Sucker 38 11 - 20  
Hatchery Rainbow Trout 3 Not measured  
Hatchery Brook Trout 2 Not measured  
Golden Rainbow Trout 1 Not measured  
Golden Shiner 58 Not measured  
Carp 4 Not measured  
 
-- Gary Smith, Area 8 Fisheries Technician

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