A trio of small lakes recovering from recent water drawdowns in central Pennsylvania received new fishing regulations from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in a virtual meeting Monday. For the 3 lakes, the new regulation will come into effect after its second publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The lakes are Opossum Lake near Carlisle in Cumberland County and Perez and Whipple Lakes in Huntingdon County.
Lake Opossum, a 47-acre state-owned impoundment about 6 miles northwest of Carlisle, was removed from various special regulations, which allowed the harvest of trout as part of the shed fishery. in the water for all other fish species.
With fish populations continuing to improve as the lake was filled after dam and spillway repairs, the lake was added to the commission’s Big Bass program and Panfish’s improvement program for poop. All other fish species will be managed under general statewide regulations.
Under Big Bass regulations, Lake Opossum anglers will be allowed to harvest up to 4 bars of a minimum size of 15 inches year-round, except during the annual no-harvest period from mid-April to mid-June. On lakes managed under general state regulations, up to 6 bars measuring 12 inches or more can be harvested daily from mid-June to late October and up to 4 bars measuring at least 15 inches each from early November to mid-April.
Under panfish enhancement regulations, they will be allowed to harvest 20 poops that are at least 9 inches in length. Under the statewide General Panfish Regulations, anglers can fish 50 combined species of fish – crappie, perch, white perch, crappie, catfish, rock bass, suckers, carp, white sea bass and red tuna.
Lake Opossum was drained in October 2008 to complete repairs and modifications to the dam and spillway to meet the dam safety standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. After the project was completed, the lake was filled in the spring of 2013 and the commission resumed the annual stocking of adult trout to provide immediate angling opportunities.
In addition, the commission stocked the lake from 2013 to 2015 with selected fish species to establish a high quality hot and cold water fishery. Bass and sunfish populations were assessed from 2015 to 20 to track progress towards this goal, and sport fish abundance and population size structure have steadily improved to levels where populations can now withstand a limited harvest.
Lake Perez, a 72-acre Penn State-owned lake in Barree Township, Huntingdon County, has been added to Panfish’s improvement program for sunfish and crappie. All other fish species will be managed under statewide regulations.
The reservoir was emptied in late spring 2009 to complete the repairs and modifications to the dam and spillway required by DEP dam safety standards. After the completion of the project, the lake was filled in 2014 and the commission resumed the annual stocking of adult trout in 2015 to provide immediate angling opportunities.
The commission also stocked the lake from 2014 to 2018 with selected fish species to establish a self-sustaining, high-quality, hot and cold water fishery.
Bass and crappie populations were assessed in 2019 and 2020 to track progress towards this goal and sport fish abundance and population size structure have improved to levels where populations can now support. a limited harvest.
Under the Panfish Improvement Regulations, Lake Perez anglers will be allowed to harvest sunfish at least 7 inches in length and poop at least 9 inches in length, each with a limit daily 20. All other fish species will be covered by general statewide regulations.
For the 17-acre Whipple Lake in Whipple Dam State Park, Jackson Township, Huntingdon County, about 6 miles south of State College, commissioners have imposed various special regulations that will allow harvesting. trout but will only allow catch and release fishing for all other fish species.
As the lake is repopulated with fish as part of a multi-year restocking plan, these regulations will allow for the fastest development of a balanced community of hot and cold water fish while providing recreational fishing opportunities. .
Whipple Lake was drained in October 2019 to remove sediment and complete structural improvements to the dam. The upgrades were completed last year and filling is expected to start this month. The commission plans to begin stocking the lake with fishing trout and fry of certain other species this spring.
Contact Marcus Schneck at [email protected].