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Arctic Lake Management Update 2014

Arctic Lake is a 60 acre recreation reservoir located in Oquaga Creek State Park, in the Town of Sanford, Broome County. Constructed in 1973, the reservoir has a maximum depth of 32 feet and an average depth of 14 feet. The sides are relatively steep, with cobble and gravel shorelines, except near the beach at the state park, which is sandy, and near the tributary mouths at the north end where there are plants growing on a small shallow delta. There are also several springs which contribute cool water to the lake at various sites around the perimeter. The outlet structure has been modified to release cool water from a depth below the surface. This cool water allows for trout survival in the stream below the reservoir.

The historic fishery community consisted of white sucker, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, golden shiner and bullhead. Rainbow trout stocking began in 1986. Additions to the fish community include alewife (unauthorized introduction after 1985) and yellow perch (unauthorized introduction in 1988). The department authorized walleye stocking in 1993, which commenced in 1994 and continued for 4 years. In all, nearly 3500 walleye pond fingerlings were stocked, with little survival detected. Walleye were recommended for stocking due to a large population of yellow perch and little apparent utilization by the largemouth bass. Subsequent evaluation surveys in 1998 and 2012 found no walleye and many largemouth bass. Walleye stocking was discontinued in 1998 due to a larger number of largemouth bass than were detected in the 1995 through 1998 surveys and failure of the walleye to recruit and provide a fishery. Rainbow trout stocking will continue as it provides a very popular year-round fishery on a put-and-take basis.

The largemouth bass population continues to do well, with 273 caught during 1.5 hours of nighttime electrofishing during the 2012 survey. Sizes ranged from 2.6 - 20.2 inches with age classes represented from young-of-year to age 9. Some of the smaller age classes seem to be slow growing, but the larger fish exhibited faster growth than the NYS average, indicating that there may be limited food supply for smaller fish, but larger fish have an abundant food supply.

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