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Kahle Lake

Clarion/Venango Counties
October 2007


The Fisheries Management staff from Areas 1 and 2 along with students from Clarion University returned to Kahle Lake in early October of 2007 to perform our annual assessment of the lake’s largemouth bass population.

Students working
Clarion University students (right to left) Dustin Wyant, Jeff Devine, Lyndsey O’Polka, and Ali Usifol measure bass, take scale samples, mark the tails and record data

We followed our standard procedures for a mark-recapture population estimate by night electrofishing the entire shoreline and measuring and marking all bass captured on the evenings of October 9 and 10, 2007. All fish were released to redistribute themselves throughout the lake. The entire shoreline was night electrofished again on the evening of October 15, 2007 and all bass captured were again measured and any marked fish were recorded. See Table 1 for the numbers of fish marked and recaptured.

Table 1. Mark-Recapture numbers from Petersen Population Estimate of Largemouth Bass in Kahle Lake, October 2007.
M is the total number of fish captured and marked the first time around the lake (October 9 & 10).
C is the total number of fish captured the second time around the lake (October 15).
R is that portion of C that had marks (fish that were marked the first time around and then Recaptured the second time around).

Table 1

Putting the numbers from Table 1 into the Chapman modified Petersen population estimate formula yields the estimated population of largemouth bass in Kahle Lake presented in Table 2.

Table 2

Bass
Phil Thomas with the biggest bass of the survey, 22 inches and 6 pounds

Another useful method of comparing largemouth bass between different years at Kahle Lake and comparing Kahle Lake to other Area 2 reservoirs is Catch per Hour (CPH) of electrofishing. As you can see in Table 3, most of the fluctuations in total Catch per Hour can be attributed to variations in the number of smaller bass, 2 to 11 inches, while Catches per Hour for bass greater than 12 inches have remained fairly stable. Big Bass Regulations have done a good job protecting bass between 12 and 15 inches, which also allows some bass to survive beyond the 15 inch minimum size limit. The numbers of 2 to 5 inch bass show that Kahle Lake has had three consecutive years of good spawning success.

While the largemouth bass, through Big Bass Regulations, are providing an excellent fishery, they are also providing an even more valuable service to Kahle Lake panfish anglers. This high-density bass population is doing an excellent job of preying on small panfish, thereby reducing their density and reducing competition for food resources, which prevents slow panfish growth rates. Our trapnets this past spring showed that quality size black crappie and bluegill have never been better in Kahle Lake and that yellow perch are gradually improving back to historic levels.

Table 3. Size distribution and Catch Per Hour (CPH) statistics for largemouth bass captured by night-electrofishing in Kahle Lake.

Length Group (in.) 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
2 7 5 12 9   1 1 4 6 1 34 7
3 247 102 172 38 3 24 40 98 116 8 150 102
4 315 116 300 39 10 47 60 47 278 25 61 73
5 101 9 186 12 1 36 27 8 55 18 4 12
6 10 15 40 3 44 16 6 28 88 13 4
7 14 75 4 1 107 4 7 96 157 10 13 10
8 47 121 50 3 66 2 12 114 92 31 22 35
9 31 68 38 45 30 16 14 173 53 42 5 17
10 86 22 10 92 7 11 85 88 30 6 13 28
11 52 40 26 34 2 6 63 40 29 6 40 65
12 34 19 53 18 23 62 42 38 37 13 135 55
13 34 29 44 37 48 56 38 32 10 45 119 68
14 48 22 42 39 36 24 36 38 25 61 61 54
15 22 9 20 43 22 14 9 24 21 35 15 13
16 8 2 7 8 5 1 5 4 6 2 3 2
17 4 4 6 3 3   3 6   1 1 3
18 3   4         1   1   1
19 1   1                  
20   1             1      
21                        
22 1     1                
 

Total Catch
1065 659 1015 425 407 320 448 839 1004 318 680 545
Total CPH 225.2 263.6 205.1 108.1 115.0 109.6 137.4 192.0 219.7 73.8 170.4  

132.3
CPH of Bass ³ 12 inches 32.7 34.4 35.8 37.9 38.7 53.8 40.8 32.7 21.9 36.7 83.7 47.6
CPH of Bass ³ 15 inches 8.2 6.4 7.7 14.0 8.5 5.1 5.2 8.0 6.1 9.0 4.8 4.6
Total Effort (Hours) 4.73 2.5 4.95 3.93 3.54 2.92 3.26 4.37 4.57 4.31 3.99  

4.12

 
-- Tim Wilson, Area 2 Fisheries Biologist

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