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Briar Creek Lake
Columbia County
 
April 2010

Briar Creek Lake is a public impoundment located just outside of Berwick in Columbia County. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Columbia County own the lake and surrounding shoreline. Biologists from the Area 4 fisheries management office conducted a routine fisheries survey of Briar Creek Lake in the spring of 2010. Trap netting during the week of April 12 found both black and white crappies were present with good numbers of large crappies available. The biggest crappie we caught was 14 inches long and weighed 1.6 pounds (Table 1). Stocked trout were abundant in our nets and were distributed throughout the lake. Brown bullheads, white suckers, yellow perch, and bluegills were also abundant. The bullheads and suckers reached good sizes but most of the perch and bluegills were small.

Night electrofishing on the evening of May 6 showed that Briar Creek Lake continues to support an excellent population of largemouth bass. Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) values for largemouth bass were as follows:

Total CPUE: 53.2/hour
CPUE > 12 inches: 28.2/hour
CPUE > 15 inches: 21.2/hour

CPUE values for 12+ and 15+ inch largemouths were very high. The biggest largemouth we caught was 20.5 inches long and weighed 6.2 pounds.

Table 1. Number and size of fish caught during the 2010 Briar Creek Lake survey.

Species

Number Caught

Length Range (inches)

Largemouth bass 45 4 - 20
Smallmouth bass 1 14
Hatchery trout 153 Not Measured
White crappie 216 3 - 12
Black crappie 67 3 - 14
Yellow perch 645 3 - 11
Bluegill 121 2 - 7
Pumpkinseed 12 2 - 4
Hybrid sunfish 1 6
Channel catfish 1 12
Brown bullhead 322 3 - 16

Yellow bullhead

24 7 - 13
Common carp 2 23 - 25
White sucker 86 6 - 18
Golden shiner 319 3 - 9

Crappie
A black crappie (larger individual) and a white crappie (smaller individual) from Briar Creek Lake

Largemouth bass
Largemouth bass from Briar Creek Lake

 
— Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fisheries Manager

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