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Cuba Lake (2003)

Fisheries Survey Summary

Cuba Lake was surveyed in June, 2003 to assess the growth rate and abundance of walleye and smallmouth bass as well as yellow perch and rock bass. Relative abundance was also determined for largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill and pumpkinseed. Zooplankton were collected and analyzed, and water chemistry measurements were taken.

Results indicate that walleye and smallmouth bass are the co-dominate predators in the lake. Walleye growth is slow, a characteristic that has gone unchanged for at least 50 years. Walleye fry stocking was discontinued in 1999 and natural reproduction is maintaining an abundant walleye population as indicated by the electrofishing catch rate of 39 walleye/hr. The electrofishing catch rate for smallmouth bass indicate a high population density as well (39 fish/hr). Growth rates are fast as 4 year old fish easily reach the minimum legal size limit of 12 inches. Data analysis suggest that the smallmouth bass population provides an outstanding recreational fishery. The largemouth bass population has declined in abundance the last 10 years. One possible explanation may be competition with northern pike. Northern pike, a recent introduction (illegal) in the early 1990's, has reproduced successfully for 9 years. As the northern pike population continues to grow, largemouth bass may continue to decline in abundance.

Rock bass and yellow perch are the two most abundant panfish in the lake followed by bluegill and pumpkinseed. Historically, rock bass were the fourth or fifth most abundant panfish through the 1980's. However by 1991, rock bass were more numerous than other panfish. Average to fast growth rates for rock bass and yellow perch as well as low catch rates for sunfish probably indicate moderate to low panfish populations.