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Whitney Point Reservoir Fall Electrofishing Survey (2007)

Survey Number: 707022
Survey Dates: October 4, 2007

Fall night electrofishing was conducted at two standard sampling sites along the east shoreline of Whitney Point Reservoir to monitor year class strength of walleye. The two standard sites on the west shore were not sampled due to warm water temperatures and an earlier than normal lake drawdown.

A total of 292 young of year (YOY) walleye (2007 year class) were captured in just over 1.5 miles of shoreline shocked. Searns' (1982) formula for estimating population size gives an estimated 52,831 YOY walleye present in the reservoir. This is the fourth highest estimate of YOY walleye abundance in the 13 years of sampling that has occurred since 1994. However, this is likely a conservative estimate because the catch rates on the east shore are generally lower than those on the west shore. If sampling had been conducted on the west side the average catch rate likely would have been much higher and the 2007 year class abundance estimate could easily have rivaled the second largest we have seen (71,000 in 2003).

The average length of YOY walleye was approximately 7.9 inches. This average length is larger than YOY from recent years but comparable to young fish captured in the 1990's. The largest walleye captured measured 19.9 inches and weighed 2.6 pounds.

Good numbers of white crappie were also collected during this effort. Age determination has not yet been conducted, but these fish are almost certainly part of the strong 2005 year class. Sampling conducted in July 2007 indicated the average length of this cohort to be approximately 7.25 inches. Only three months later they are averaging approximately 8.9 inches and were about double the weight. This exceptional growth appeared to be the norm for most of the reservoir's fish, indicating that forage was abundant this summer. Young of year yellow perch, though not collected, were very abundant during this survey, and juvenile white crappie were also common.

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