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Upper Promised Land Lake

Pike County

April & June 2007


Upper Promised Land Lake is a 422 acre lake located within Promised Land State Park in Pike County. Panfish Enhancement Regulations were implemented for yellow perch, and sunfish (bluegill/pumpkinseed) on this lake in 2000. The goal of this regulation is to increase the number, quality, and size of panfish populations through the use of minimum length limits and reduced creel limits. All other species within the lake are managed under Commonwealth Inland Waters regulations. The lake was surveyed in 2007 as part of a statewide evaluation of the Panfish Enhancement Regulation. Previous post-regulation surveys were completed in 2003 and 2005. This is the last year of biological sampling for this study.

Biologists from Fisheries Management Areas 4 and 5 made 36 overnight trapnet sets, totaling 852 hours, from April 18-24, 2007. Twelve game species and three forage species were collected, and 2,574 fish were handled (2,110 game fish and 464 forage fish; Table 1). Yellow perch, bluegill and pumpkinseed were the most abundant game species and they provide a high quality fishery. This fishery should provide good fishing this summer (bluegill and pumpkinseed) as well as during the fall and winter (yellow perch).

8 inch pumpkinseed
8 inch pumpkinseed
11 inch yellow perch
11 inch yellow perch

Prior to this survey, a mid-April snowstorm deposited approximately 8-12 inches of snow. This storm resulted in surface water temperatures of only 38 F during the first three days of the survey and by the end of the survey temperatures increased to 55 F. The low temperatures may have reduced fish movement during the early phase of the survey, particularly for sunfishes, compared to previous years.

Trapnetting catch rates generally declined over the three survey years. The 2003 survey had the highest catches for yellow perch, bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish (Table 2). Subsequent surveys in 2005 and 2007 showed a continued decline for bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, while yellow perch catches began to increase from 2005 to 2007. In all three-survey years quality size individuals supported the majority of the catch.

Pulling a trapnet
Pulling a trapnet
Processing the catch
Processing the catch

Night boat electrofishing was conducted in early June to assess the predator species (largemouth bass and chain pickerel) of the lake. A total of 10 largemouth bass and 43 chain pickerel were caught in 3.23 hours of electrofishing (Table 1). Six of the ten bass were of legal size (>12 inches). Only one chain pickerel was of legal size (>18 in). The electrofishing catch of largemouth bass was substantially lower in 2007 than in 2003 (3.68 hours, N=96, with 31 being legal size). The electrofishing catch rate of chain pickerel in 2003 (3.68 hrs, 61 chain pickerel with one being of legal size (current limit > 18)) and 2007 were similar.

Species Size Range
(inches)
Number Caught Comments
Panfish Enhancement Regulation Species
Yellow Perch 4-13 891 With 82% greater than 9 inches
Bluegill 4-11 655 With 97% greater than 7 inches
Pumpkinseed 2-9 332 With 93% greater than 7 inches
 Commonwealth Inland Water Regulated Species
Rock bass 5-9 88 88% were 7-9 inches
Chain pickerel 9-23 78 7 were legal size (>18 in) & 51 were > 15 inches
Yellow bullhead 7-12 23  
Black crappie 6-12 14 8 were 10-12 inches
Largemouth bass 11-14 13 12 were legal size
Brown bullhead 10-14 13  
Redbreast sunfish 8 1  
Bluespotted sunfish 2 1 2 inches is adults size for this species
Smallmouth bass 14 1  
Forage Species
Golden shiner 3-11 454 87% were > 8 inches
Creek chubsucker 8-14 8  
Common shiner 4 2  
Grand Total   2574  
June Electrofishing
Largemouth bass 10-15 10 6 were of legal size, with one >15 in.
Chain pickerel 6-18 43 One was of legal size >18 in.

Tub of yellow perch
Tub of yellow perch

Species

Quality Size

Survey Year

2003

2005

2007

Yellow perch

> 9 inches

1,543

(73)

620

(94)

794

(82)

Bluegill

> 7 inches

1,395

(80)

1,447

(87)

635

(97)

Pumpkinseed

> 7 inches

580

(91)

413

(92)

309

(93)

 
-- Area 5

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