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Sunfish Pond
Bradford County
Spring 2009

Sunfish Pond is located on top of the Barclay Mountain Plateau in Leroy Township, Bradford County. Anglers can access the lake from Leroy Mountain Road off State Route 414. The lake is part of the Bradford County Park system, is surrounded by state game lands, and is open to the public. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission annually stocks Sunfish Pond with adult hatchery trout and manages the lake under statewide angling regulations.

Sunfish Pond is naturally acidic and is also affected by acid precipitation. Consequently, the Schrader Creek Watershed Association partnered with Bradford County Government to apply for a successfully use “Growing Greener” funds to construct a treatment system in the fall of 2002 (Figure 1). The system takes acidic water from an inlet spring and treats it with limestone to raise pH prior to discharge to the lake.

Area 4 biologists conducted a general inventory of Sunfish Pond in the spring of 2009. We found that the treatment system provided adequate water quality to sustain fish life. Hatchery trout were the principal fishery at the lake, and anglers were catching trout with a variety of gear types during the time we were at the Lake. Largemouth bass and chain pickerel were the primary predators, while yellow perch and pumpkinseeds were the primary panfish (Table 1).

Catch per unit effort (CPUE) values for largemouth bass during the night electrofishing effort were as follows: Total Catch-32/hour; Catch > 12 inches-25/hour; Catch > 15 inches-14/hour. While Total CPUE was somewhat low, CPUE for bass > 12 inches and > 15 inches were very good. Yellow perch densities were moderate (Table 1) but a good number of large individuals were present (Figure 2). Sunfish Pond also contained some unusually large pumpkinseeds (Figure 3).

Figure 1. Sunfish Pond Treatment System

Figure 1

Table 1. Number and size of fish caught during the 2009 Sunfish Pond survey.

Species Number Caught Length Range (inches)

Largemouth bass 27 2.0 – 17.9
Chain pickerel 16 6.0 – 24.9
Hatchery trout 116 Not Measured
Yellow perch 62 9.0 – 14.9
Pumpkinseed 26 2.0 – 10.9
Bluegill 11 2.0 – 9.9
Brown bullhead 10 10.0 – 12.9
Yellow bullhead 3 11.0 – 13.9
Golden shiner 90 3.0 – 8.9
Bluespotted sunfish 1 2.0

Figure 2. Large yellow perch from Sunfish Pond.

Figure 2

Figure 3. Large pumpkinseed from Sunfish Pond.

Figure 3

-- Rob Wnuk, Area 4 Fishereis Manager

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