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Colver Reservoir
Cambria County
 
April 2008 and 2009
Survey Gear: Night Electrofishing and Pennsylvania Style Trap Nets

Colver Reservoir, also known as Vetera Dam, is a 73 acre impoundment in Cambria County just north of the town of Colver. Originally constructed in 1911 as a 30 acre water supply reservoir for the town of Colver, the lake was enlarged in 1993 to supply cooling water to the nearby Interpower Elk Creek cogeneration plant. The Cambria Township Water Authority owns the lake and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is responsible for managing the fishery. Statewide regulations are in effect for Colver Reservoir for all species. Boats with electric motors only are permitted on the lake and both ice and night fishing are not permitted.

Biologists from the PFBC surveyed the lake in April 2008 with 8 trap net sets to assess the panfish and walleye/saugeye populations. Biologists then returned in April 2009 to perform Night Flatbottom Boat Electrofishing to assess the largemouth bass population. The purpose of the survey was to update management strategies for the lake.

Eleven species were caught by trap netting. White suckers were the most abundant species found followed by bluegills. Walleye were the most abundant gamefish species present. Table 1 summarizes the trap net catch.

Table 1. Fish species captured from trap netting in Colver Reservoir, Cambria County in April 2008.
Fish Species Number Collected Size Range (inches) Additional Comments
Walleye 18 16-26 in. All legal length
Saugeye 7 18-23 in. All legal length
Largemouth bass 4 14-20 in.  
Black crappie 32 8-11 in. 81% over 9 in.
Bluegill 79 2-9 in. 85% over 7 in.
Pumpkinseed 2 5 in.  
Yellow perch 37 5-12 in. 51% over 9 in.
Brown bullhead 48 11-17 in. 92% over 12 in.
Yellow bullhead 27 8-13 in. 37% over 12 in.
White sucker 129 15-21 in. All quality fish
Golden shiner 1 Not measured  

The numbers of walleye and saugeye captured in trap nets indicate a quality fishery present at Colver Reservoir. Whereas the majority of the fish captured in 2000 were at or below 15 inches in length, walleye and saugeye well over 20 inches were captured regularly in 2008. Figure 1 shows the combined walleye and saugeye catch in both 2000 and 2009.

Figure 1

Walleye
Fisheries Biologist Bob Ventorini with a couple of 20” walleye

Similar numbers of bluegill were captured in trap nets in both 2000 and 2008. Total catch per hour was slightly down in 2008; however, many quality sized fish are still present. The majority of bluegill captured were over 7 inches in length, with some fish topping out at over 9 inches. Black crappies and yellow perch were also present in fishable numbers, with decent numbers of 9 to 12 inch fish present.

Figure 2

Black crappies
A pair of quality sized black crappies

Night electrofishing was performed in late April 2009 to assess the largemouth bass population. A total of 191 bass were captured ranging in size from 2 to 20 inches. Of the 191 bass, 26% were over 12 inches in length and 4% were over 15 inches in length. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission guidelines for Big Bass Regulations were exceeded at Colver Reservoir with bass over 12 inches collected at a rate of 41 per hour (state guideline 7 per hour) and bass over 15 inches collected at a rate of 7 per hour (state guideline 2 per hour.) Both of these numbers showed an improvement from the previous survey in 2000, particularly in the number of bass over 15 inches.

Figure 3

Largemouth bass
Fisheries Biologist Mike Depew with a pair of nice largemouth

Overall, Colver Reservoir would be an excellent place for anglers to try their luck for walleye, saugeye, largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch, and brown bullhead.

 
-- Prepared by Area 8 Fisheries Biologist Mike Depew

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