|Kyle Lake is a 165 acre reservoir
located in Washington Township, Jefferson County. The lake is owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission for public fishing and boating. Motorized
boats are limited to electric motors only and there is one boat launch located off Kyle Run Road.
The lake is managed under the Big Bass Program with conventional
statewide regulations for all other
Personnel from the Area 2 Fisheries Management Office in Tionesta set trapnets during the week of May 1, 2006 to survey the panfish populations in Kyle Lake. We set three nets for three nights each. We returned to the lake on the evenings of May 17th and 23rd to assess largemouth bass density and size structure with electrofishing gear.
Abundance and size structure of panfish populations appear to be substantially improved over the previous survey in 1998. Good numbers of quality size black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead were netted. Yellow perch and channel catfish are at lower densities but provide some large individuals. We stock channel catfish fingerlings when they are available with the most recent stockings occurring in 1998, 2003 and 2005. The channel catfish we captured were probably from the 1998 stocking. Many more channel catfish similar in size to those caught in our trapnets were observed while night electrofishing for bass. Northern pike persist in Kyle Lake and anglers report catching a few on occasion.
We captured 4 walleyes, but surveys targeting walleye need to be conducted earlier in the spring, during the spawning period, to yield a valid assessment of population density. Walleye fingerling stocking was re-instituted in 2003 and we need to examine population density over a few more years before evaluating the success or failure of the program.
Table 1. Length frequency of panfish captured by trapnets during the week of May 1st, 2006 in Kyle Lake, Jefferson County.
Table 2. Length frequency of large gamefish, catfish and suckers captured by trapnets during the week of May 1st, 2006 in Kyle Lake, Jefferson County.
Big Bass Regulations are performing as intended in Kyle Lake. Excellent numbers of bass are being stockpiled in the protected size classes (up to 15 inches) and providing an improved catch rate for anglers. The success of catch and release fishing is seen in Kyle Lake by the number of bass observed with hooking scars. Approximately 25% of the bass we processed had been caught and returned to the lake for another angler to catch. This increased density of 12 to 15 inch bass and the predation they provide has a lot to do with the excellent size structure of panfish populations in the lake.
Table 3. Length frequency of largemouth bass captured by night electrofishing in Kyle Lake, Jefferson County on the evenings of May 17th and 23rd, 2006.
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