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Cowanesque Lake
Tioga County
 
June 2010

Cowanesque Lake is a 1,090 acre flood control impoundment located in Tioga County. The United States Army Corps of Engineers owns the lake and permits public fishing and boating. Unlimited horsepower boating is allowed but be sure to observe the “no wake” areas.

Cowanesque Lake has a reputation for producing tiger muskies and crappies, and these species were present in very good numbers during a biological survey that the Area 4 fisheries management office conducted during the week of June 1, 2010. Trap nets caught 4 tiger muskies ranging from 31 to 35 inches long and 953 black crappies ranging from 2 to 14 inches long (Table 1). There was a large number of crappie in the 6 inch range, indicating that crappie reproduction in 2008 was excellent. Based on this strong year class, fishing for 10+ inch crappies should be very good in another year or two when these fish grow into the size range that anglers prefer.

Two nights of electrofishing produced 36 largemouth bass and 24 smallmouth bass. Mean Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) values for black bass were as follows:

Total CPUE: 20.0/hour
CPUE > 12 inches: 15.7/hour
CPUE > 15 inches: 7.0/hour

Total bass density was lower than average for the region but was in the range of previous surveys. Although total bass density was low, the number of larger bass available to anglers was good.

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

Species Number Caught Length Range (inches)
Largemouth bass 37 5 - 18
Smallmouth bass 24 3 - 18
Tiger muskellunge 4 31 - 35
Black crappie 953 2 - 14
Yellow perch 43 3 - 9
Bluegill 158 2 - 6
Pumpkinseed 37 3 - 4
Brown bullhead 15 8 - 14
Yellow bullhead 16 7 - 14
Channel catfish 1 25
Quillback carpsucker 42 12 - 21
Common carp 7 18 - 25
White sucker 13 6 - 15
Golden shiner 5 6 - 8
Alewife 1,405 Not measured

Black crappie
Black crappie from Cowanesque Lake

Tiger muskellunge
A pair of tiger muskellunge from Cowanesque Lake

 
— Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fisheries Manager

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