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FDR Park Lake

2002 Channel Catfish Survey

In an attempt to provide enhanced recreational fishing opportunities at FDR Park Lake, an 18 acre lake owned by the City of Philadelphia, a total of 6,800 channel catfish fingerlings have been stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission since 1992. Three Pennsylvania style trap nets were fished from June 13 to June 14, 2002 for the purpose of evaluating the stockings.

Not including the capture of 7 fingerling channel catfish resulting from a stocking which took place nine days prior to the survey, a total of eight channel catfish ranging from 15 inches – 24 inches total length (TL) were captured for a catch per unit of effort (CPUE) of 0.11 fish/hr. One of the channel catfish was noted as being in poor condition. The average CPUE of channel catfish collected at other impoundments surveyed in southeast Pennsylvania was 0.20 fish/hr. The CPUE of channel catfish collected from FDR Park Lake was not significantly less than the southeast Pennsylvania average.

Four Channel Catfish Collected from FDR Park Lake
Four Channel Catfish Collected from FDR Park Lake

During the 2002 survey brown bullheads were captured at a rate of 0.23 fish/hr. This was similar to the southeast Pennsylvania average of 0.30 fish/hr. Brown bullhead ranged in length from 7 inches to 13 inches TL with the majority being 11 inches to 13 inches TL. Black crappie were also collected during the survey at a rate of 4.07 fish/hr. This was similar to the southeast Pennsylvania average crappie CPUE of 3.35 fish/hr. Black crappie at FDR Park Lake ranged from 3 inches to 9 inches TL with the majority being 4 inches to 6 inches TL. Additionally, a total of 13 largemouth bass ranging in lengths from 7 to 14 inches TL were collected in one lap of daylight electrofishing during the 1991 survey. Visibility in the lake was described as very poor and most likely reduced the electrofishing efficiency during the survey.

The stocking of 6,800 fingerling channel catfish in FDR Park Lake since 1992 has produced, at best, a marginal recreational channel catfish fishery. As a result, future plantings of fingerling channel catfish into FDR Park Lake should be discontinued. The existing brown bullhead population is sufficient to provide recreational angling opportunities for catfish.

The failure of the channel catfish fingerling stockings to provide a quality recreational fishery was most likely the result of a combination of poor channel catfish habitat and predation by an above average black crappie population as well as other piscivorine fish species including, but not limited to, largemouth bass and brown bullhead. Stocking of channel catfish into this urban lake should be reconsidered if a reliable source of larger channel catfish capable of avoiding predation becomes available.

Additional fish species that were collected at FDR Park Lake included bluegill between three and eight inches long with the majority being five to six inches long and white perch between four and ten inches long with the majority being four and five inches long. White perch were abundant.

-- Area 6

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