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Hammond Lake

Tioga County
May 22, 2008

Hammond Lake is a 640 acre US Army Corps of Engineers’ impoundment in Tioga County. Area 4 biologists conducted a general inventory of Hammond Lake in May 2008. We captured panfish with trap nets and hybrid striped bass with gill nets during the week of May 5. We used night electrofishing on the evening of May 22 to capture largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Hammond Lake has a reputation for excellent crappie fishing, and our survey this year demonstrated that crappies remain abundant and continue to reach large sizes. We captured 470 crappies in 10 trap nets sets. Crappies ranged from 6 to 13 inches long, and fish exceeding 10 inches were very common (Figure 1). Both black and white crappies were present, with black crappie being the dominant species. Black crappies made up 67% of the total crappie catch.

The hybrid striped bass population was also impressive. We captured 50 hybrid stripers during the survey, and our gill net catch rate of these fish was extremely high. Hybrid striped bass ranged from 18 to 26 inches and were in excellent condition. The larger fish were too heavy to weigh with our 9 pound scale.

Hammond Lake has never been known as a hotspot for bass fishing, but our survey this year demonstrated that the bass population has increased dramatically. Total night electrofishing catch rate for black bass in 2008 was 44/hour. The catch rate for bass > 12 inches was 19/hour, and the catch rate for bass > 15 inches was 5/hour. By contrast, these values during the previous (1999) general inventory of Hammond Lake were as follows: total catch 13/hour, > 12 inches 2/hour, and > 15 inches 1/hour. The 2008 catch rates indicated a very healthy bass population. The bass we caught in 2008 ranged from 3 to 17 inches (Figure 2). Largemouth bass comprised 64% and smallmouth bass comprised 36% of the total bass catch.

The complete list of fish we captured during the survey is in Table 1.

Table 1. Fish species caught by trap nets, gill nets, and night electrofishing during the 2008 Hammond Lake survey.

Table 1

Figure 1. Length-frequency distribution of crappies caught during the 2008 trap net survey at Hammond Lake.

Figure 1

Figure 2. Length-frequency distributions of largemouth and smallmouth bass caught during the 2008 night electrofishing survey at Hammond Lake.

Figure 2

Fisheries Biologist Aaron Frey with a black crappie (right hand) and a white crappie (left hand) from Hammond Lake

Area Fisheries Manager Rob Wnuk with a pair of hybrid stripers from Hammond Lake

-- Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fisheries Manager

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