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Nockamixon Lake
Late Spring 2010 Trap Net Survey

On June 22nd and 23rd Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) biologists conducted a trap netting survey (3 nets) in the 1,450 acre Nockamixon Lake, Bucks County. The purpose of the survey was to collect five channel catfish, the fillets of which will later be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s laboratory for routine contaminant analysis. The following table displays all of the species, numbers of each, and the length ranges of selected sportfish species captured in the trap nets during the survey.

Table 1. Fish species collected from June 22 to 23 in trap nets at Nockamixon Lake.

Fish Species Number Caught Size Range (inches)
Alewife 1431* NM
Black Crappie 57 4 - 12
Bluegill 179 3 - 7
Brown Bullhead 4 7 - 12
Channel Catfish 8 16 - 25
Common Carp 2 NM
Gizzard Shad 380* NM
Golden Shiner 3 NM
Pumpkinseed 12 NM
Tiger Muskellunge 1 10
Walleye 2 15 - 22
White Catfish 8 8 - 16
White Perch 6 8 - 11
Yellow Perch 2 3 - 9
*Estimated number caught
NM = Not Measured

The trap nets were set in near shore zones (6.5 to 8 feet depth) for 18-21 hours in the eastern half of the lake. Alewife and gizzard shad represent primary forage fish species, which are abundant in Lake Nockamixon although infrequently caught by anglers. Apart from these species the length distribution of fish captured in Table 1 typifies what anglers would most frequently see in their summer catches when fishing the lake shoreline at this water depth.

As mentioned above, this survey was conducted to capture a small sample of fish for routine contaminant analysis and did not serve to precisely index gamefish and panfish population density. If the purpose of the survey had been to thoroughly examine the lake’s fish populations, it would have been done with more nets and a variety of other sampling gear earlier in spring or fall when fish enter the shallows in greater numbers and are more active. Furthermore, trap nets are not effective in capturing black bass and typically catch few or none, even in the best of bass lakes.

Nockamixon Lake is owned by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of State Parks as the centerpiece of Nockamixon State Park. The lake is located in Nockamixon State Park, which is along PA Rt. 563, just off of PA Rt. 313, five miles east of Quakertown and nine miles north of Doylestown in Bucks County.

Nockamixon Lake
View of Nockamixon Lake and marina

— Area 6

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