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Indian Creek Reservoir
Fayette County
April 2010
Survey Gear: Night Electrofishing and Pennsylvania Style Trap Nets

Indian Creek Reservoir, formerly known as Mill Run Reservoir, is a 26 acre water supply reservoir owned by the Municipal Water Authority of Westmoreland County. The Authority accommodates public fishing from shore, boating is not permitted. The reservoir is located along Route 381 between Normalville and Mill Run in northeastern Fayette County. Constructed in 1905, it then had an average depth of 14 ft, but due to the age of the reservoir and a history of acidified mine drainage and accompanying siltation in the watershed, depths today are considerably less throughout much of the lake. The shoreline has good fishing access. Ice fishing is permitted at Indian Creek Reservoir.

Tiger trout
Area 8 Fisheries Manager Rick Lorson with a tiger trout caught in a trap net

Biologists from the Area 8 Fisheries Management Office in Somerset surveyed Indian Creek Reservoir in April 2010. The primary purpose of our 2010 survey 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 trap net surveys were white suckers and golden redhorse suckers; most of these fish were of quality size (larger than 12 inches). Table 1 below summarizes the catch data from our 2010 trap net survey.

Table 1. 2010 Survey Gear: 6 Trap Net Sets
Fish Species Number Size Range inches Comments
Black crappie 22 2-14 59% Quality Size
Tiger trout 1 Not Measured -
Sunfish 13 3-6 -
Yellow perch 52 3-12 58% Quality Size
Brown bullhead 73 6-17 79% Quality Size
Yellow bullhead 4 8-10 25% Quality Size
Golden redhorse 96 Not Measured Majority Quality Size
White sucker 737 Not Measured Majority Quality Size
Common carp 27 Not Measured All Quality Size
Bluntnose minnow 13 Not Measured -
Common shiner 3 Not Measured -
Striped shiner 1 Not Measured -

The panfish population at Indian Creek Reservoir was poor with low numbers of fish overall. However, a few quality size (9 inches or greater) black crappie and yellow perch are available to anglers. Nonetheless, species such as white suckers are thriving in the absence strong panfish populations. The lake also has a good population of brown bullheads. The majority of brown bullheads captured were 10 inches in length or larger.

Area 8 Fisheries Manager Rick Lorson with a very nice black crappie

Area 8 Fisheries Biologist Mike Depew with two quality black crappie

During nighttime electrofishing surveys we encountered very few largemouth bass. However, of the few encountered some good sized fish were available. Table 2 summarizes catch data from our 2010 survey.

Table 2. 2010 Survey Gear: 3 night electrofishing runs
Fish Species Number Size Range inches Comments
Largemouth Bass 18 4 - 18 44% over 12 inches
Yellow Perch 76 3 - 12 12% over 9 inches
Sunfish 47 2 - 6  -

As we expected with respect to panfish populations, sediment associated with acidified mine drainage likely also limits the largemouth bass population.

Largemouth bass
Area 8 Fisheries Manager Rick Lorson with an 18” largemouth bass

Despite limited panfish and gamefish populations, Indian Creek Reservoir sustains good fishing opportunities for adults and children seeking large fish like carp and suckers. Management decisions on ways to improve the fishery in this reservoir will be addressed this fall, after complete data analysis.

— Joseph Cocco and Mike Depew, Fisheries Management Area 8

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