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Beaverdam Run Reservoir
Cambria County
2008 Survey

Beaverdam Run Reservoir is a 360 acre impoundment located east of Beaverdale, PA on State Route 869. The impoundment is owned by Highland Sewer and Water Authority and in 2000 was opened to the public for fishing and other lake recreational activities. The lake has several habitat features including: vegetated, submerged stumps, large rocks and shoals. The lake is adjacent to State Game Lands, which provide a scenic setting. The reservoir has low turbidity and low productivity (alkalinity 8 parts per million in 2008). The Beaverdam Conservation Group (BCG) limed the Reservoir and surrounding streams in 2006 and 2007 in an attempt to boost productivity. In 2001 our productivity index was recorded as an alkalinity of 3 parts per million. The recorded increase this year suggests that the liming effort is incrementally improving productivity. The BCG has plans to continue this worthwhile effort in the near future should funding become available. Currently Beaverdam Run Reservoir is managed with Big Bass and Panfish Enhancement regulations. The Fish and Boat Commission stocked fingerling smallmouth bass in 2003 and 2004 to develop a reproducing population and increase angling opportunities, while local groups have been stocking adult rainbow and brook trout.

The primary purpose of our 2008 surveys was to measure the size structure and quality of the lake’s resident gamefish and panfish populations. The majority of the fish we collected during our trap net surveys were yellow perch and brown bullheads, although few yellow perch were of quality size (9 inches) the majority of brown bullheads were of quality size (10 inches). Table 1 below summarizes the catch data from our 2008 trap net and gill net surveys. Although abundance data for bass comes primarily from night electrofishing, we note that a high number of bass were collected with nets.

Table 1. 2008 Survey Gear: 12 Trap Net Sets & 12 Gill Net Sets
Fish Species Number Size Range (inches) Comments
Largemouth Bass 11 8-19  
Smallmouth Bass 29 12-18  
Bluegill 79 3-9 80% quality size fish
Pumpkinseed 29 4-8 28% quality size fish
Rock Bass 84 3-9  
Black Crappie 21 8-16 95% quality size fish
Yellow Perch 238 4-13  
Brown Bullhead 189 7-14 58% quality size fish
Yellow Bullhead 21 7-12  
White Suckers 15 Not measured  
Northern Pike 2 35-43  
Rainbow Trout 17 Not measured Stocked fish
Brook Trout 22 Not measured Stocked fish
Golden Shiner 1 Not measured  
Common Carp 3 Not measured All quality size fish

Northern pike
Area 8 Fisheries Manager Rick Lorson weighing this beautiful northern pike which measured 43 inches and 25 pounds

Sunfish catch per hour showed improvement from the 2001 survey in both total catch and catch of quality fish (over 7 inches). In Figure 1 (below) you can see that both total catch per hour and catch per hour of quality size fish have more than doubled since 2001.

Figure 1

Fisheries Biologist Aide Joseph Cocco holding a pumpkinseed (left) and a bluegill (right) collected from trap nets

Black crappie abundance as indexed by our net catch has remained about the same since 2001 with a small increase noted. All but 1 black crappie collected was over 9 inches. This May saw unseasonably cold temperatures during our survey and this may have caused the crappie to become inactive and decreased our net catches.

Figure 2

Black crappie
Area 8 Fisheries Manager Rick Lorson holding a whopper black crappie measuring 16 inches

The number of brown bullheads collected dropped since the last survey, however similar to black crappie low temperatures may have kept them inactive. The percentage of quality size fish to the total number fish collected is similar to what was collected in 2001.

Figure 3

Brown bullheads
Fisheries Biologist Aide Joseph Cocco holding 2 quality brown bullheads

During the nighttime electrofishing survey we found that the number and size of combined smallmouth bass and largemouth bass exceed the state guidelines for Big Bass Regulations. Table 2 summarizes catch data from our 2008 survey. Night electrofishing is our standard sampling method for bass abundance comparisons.

Table 2. 2008 Survey Gear: 6 Nighttime Boat Electrofishing Runs
Fish Species


Size Range (inches)

Largemouth Bass 14 9-19 92% over 12 inches
64% over 15 inches
Smallmouth Bass 43 3-18 19% over 12 inches
9% over 15 inches

Smallmouth bass abundance has increased dramatically since 2001, when only one 10 inch smallmouth bass was collected. The largemouth bass catch has remained about the same. Stocking of smallmouth bass in 2003 and 2004 has lead to an increased population, although density remains limited by low lake productivity. Fish and Boat Commission guidelines for Big Bass Regulations are exceeded at Beaverdam Run Reservoir with combined bass over 12 inches collected at a rate of 13 per hour (state guideline 7 per hour) and combined bass over 15 inches collected at a rate of 8 per hour (state guideline 2 per hour).

Figure 4

Largemouth bass
Fisheries Biologist Aide Joseph Cocco holding a 15 inch largemouth bass

Lake trout have been stocked at Beaverdam every year since 2002 to create a unique fishery. We did not collect lake trout in any of our sampling gears. Lake trout management will likely be discontinued at Beaverdam.

In conclusion we feel Beaverdam Run Reservoir provides excellent angling opportunities for bass, trout, bullheads, rock bass, and bluegills. Fishing should be fair for crappies, perch, suckers, and carp. The overall fishery has improved since our sampling in 2001. We applaud the efforts of the Beaverdam Conservation Group toward water quality improvement by liming and we hope these efforts can continue.

-- Joe Cocco, Fisheries Biologist Aide, and Rick Lorson, Area 8 Fisheries Manager

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