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Indian Lake
Westmoreland County
 
June 2010
Survey Gear: Night Electrofishing

Indian Lake is a 5 acre lake located in North Huntington Township in Westmoreland County. The lake was purchased by the township in 1993 and opened to the public in 1995. In 1994, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) stocked 50 adult largemouth bass and 250 bluegills in the lake, followed by a stocking of 200 fingerling channel catfish in 1996. Stocking objectives were designed to create a self sustaining warmwater fishery for area anglers. In addition, since 2000 Indian Lake has been an Approved Trout Water and has been stocked with brown and rainbow trout up to 24 inches in spring and fall, offering seasonal coolwater angling opportunities. Although boats are not permitted on the lake, the entire shoreline is fishable and includes a handicapped accessible dock/pier. Other than opportunities for angling, Indian Lake also has a walking/jogging path and a picnic area.

Due to the small size and heavy use of the lake, Miscellaneous Special Regulations were applied to Indian Lake to protect the warmwater fish populations from being overharvested. This includes a 15 inch minimum and 2 fish per day limit for largemouth bass, and a daily limit of 10 combined species for panfish.

Largemouth bass
Fisheries Biologist Aide Joe Cocco with a nice sized Indian Lake largemouth bass

To assess the lake’s warmwater fish populations, as well as to evaluate and update management strategies for the lake, Fisheries Management personnel surveyed Indian Lake in June 2010 using Night Flat-bottom Boat Electrofishing. Due to its small size, trap nets were not used on Indian Lake, so all fish observed during electrofishing were collected. This was the first comprehensive survey the PFBC has performed on Indian Lake.

Night electrofishing for 30 minutes yielded 33 largemouth bass ranging in size from 4 to 19 inches. Of the bass collected, 64% were over 12 inches, and 19% were over the required length of 15 inches to make it a legal fish. Electrofishing produced a catch rate of 12 bass over 15 inches per hour.

Largemouth bass
Intern Ryan Fuller with a 19” largemouth bass

Figure 1

Although anglers were observed catching numerous panfish, particularly bluegill, prior to the start of the survey few were collected during the electrofishing runs. This was likely due to the extremely high conductivity of the lake which reduced our ability to adequately sample panfish. Of the panfish that were collected none reached any considerable size.

Species observed during the night electrofishing included largemouth bass, bluegills, black crappie, pumpkinseeds, green sunfish and common carp. No trout were observed as the water temperatures were too warm near the shoreline and our electrofishing gear has limited effectiveness in the deeper water in the center of the lake.

Table 1. Fish species captured from night electrofishing at Indian Lake,
Westmoreland County, during June 2010.
Fish Species Number
Collected
Size Range
(inches)
Additional Comments
Largemouth Bass 34 4-19 65% over 12 inches
21% over 15 inches
Black Crappie 6 6  
Bluegill 22 1-5  
Pumpkinseed 6 2-4  
Green Sunfish 2 2-3  
Overall, Indian Lake offers good opportunity for anglers to target a quality largemouth bass population in a nice, highly accessible, suburban park setting. Panfish are available in smaller numbers and sizes. Good fishing opportunities for stocked trout are also present seasonally at the lake.
 
— Ryan Fuller and Mike Depew, Fisheries Management Area 8

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