|Area 4 biologists conducted a fisheries assessment survey of Frances Slocum Lake in the spring of 2011. Our first task was to determine if the annual walleye stockings had been successful. Night electrofishing on the evening of April 11 produced high numbers of adult walleyes. The total electrofishing catch rate was 101.5 walleye/hour with most of the fish exceeding 20 inches (Table 1, Figure 1). The biggest walleye we caught was 27.2 inches long and weighed 9.5 pounds.
Later in spring, during the week of May 9, we again set trapnets to assess panfish populations. Trap net catch rates were high for black crappies, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and brown bullheads. There were plenty of large black crappies and brown bullheads for anglers to catch. In contrast, bluegills and pumpkinseeds were on the small side. That has traditionally been the case at Frances Slocum Lake, probably because of competition with the lake’s abundant alewife population.Finally, we assessed the largemouth bass population using night electrofishing gear on the evening of May 25. Largemouth bass catch rates were as follows: Total Catch 60/hour; Catch > 12 inches 38/hour; and Catch > 15 inches 16/hour. Catch rates for bass > 12 inches and > 15 inches were 2 to 3 times higher than average, indicating that Frances Slocum Lake is a great place to find big bass. Angler harvest of bass from Frances Slocum Lake is regulated by our “Big Bass” program: http://fishandboat.com/fishpub/summaryad/bigbass.html.
Table 1. Number and size of fish caught (all gear combined) during the 2011 Frances Slocum Lake survey.
Figure 1. Length-frequency distribution of walleye caught by night electrofishing at Frances Slocum Lake on April 11, 2011.
|— Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fisheries Manager|
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