Biologist reports logo Ford Lake Panfish

Lackawanna County
April 2006

Ford Lake is a 73 acre Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission impoundment located about 2.5 miles sest of Clarks Summit in Lackawanna County. The lake was completely dewatered in 1998 to repair the dam. Dam repairs were completed in 2000 and the lake was restocked with largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, and brown bullhead. Area 4 biologists sampled Ford Lake with trap nets during the week of April 24, 2006, to monitor the development of panfish populations following dewatering and restocking.

Ford Lake
View of Ford Lake from the boat launch

Black crappies were present in moderate densities and a fair number of larger individuals were present. Anglers were targeting this species during our work but without much luck. The water hadn’t warmed enough yet to bring the crappies close to shore. Bluegill and brown bullhead were abundant during the survey but their sizes were less than desired. The biggest bluegill we caught was 7 inches and the biggest brown bullhead was 13 inches.

The complete list of fish caught during this survey is in the table below. Two things are noteworthy in the table. First, no largemouth bass were caught. Bass aren’t easily captured with trap nets so we’ll return to check the bass population with electrofishing gear later this spring. Second, a number of species were present that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission did not stock. Most of these fish got into the lake when anglers transferred them from other waters. We remind anglers that this practice is illegal for some species and can harm a fishery. In particular, we caught gizzard shad at Ford Lake. Gizzard shad can be very detrimental to bluegill and crappie populations.

Fisheries Biologist Aide Ryan McGrady with a nice crappie from Ford Lake
Gizzard shad
Ford Lake Gizzard Shad

Table of fish caught during the 2006 Ford Lake panfish survey.

Species Number Caught Length Range (inches)
Black Crappie 261 5-11
Bluegill 709 4-7
Brown Bullhead 485 7-13
Gizzard Shad 100 Not Measured
Golden Shiner 7 7-9
Pumpkinseed 22 4-6
Rock Bass 1 7
Walleye 3 19-23
White Crappie 7 7-10
Yellow Bullhead 97 6-10
-- Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fisheries Technician

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