Part 4: Recent Years
In later years new species were introduced. Smelt were planted in the early 1950s, the subject of a separate article on this website. In 1960 the Pennsylvania Fish Commission released 2,000 Kokanee Salmon fingerlings in the Lake. In August 1966 the Commission released 25,000 Coho or silver salmon in the Lake. They are a Pacific-run species and, as a cold water fish, they were taken down to the Lake’s depths by a diver for release.
Landlocked salmon were released in the early 1980s to control the exploding smelt population but the illegal release of alewife in the Lake, which competed for the smelt’s food supply, likely were the smelt’s greatest enemy. Rainbow and Brook trout were also regularly stocked in the Lake, but Brown trout were largely substituted after 1983. Brown trout forage on alewife. Oddly, Brown trout are not native to Pennsylvania.
In earlier decades the shores of the Lake were lined with fishermen for the opening of trout season each April. With the increasing privatization of the Lake, public access points became increasingly limited. Even so, the policy of the Fish Commission to limit or cease stocking of adult trout into the Lake prior to the April season has been controversial. The Fish Commission reports that fingerling Lake Trout were last stocked in the Lake in 1991 and 1992, fingerling Brown trout in 1992; adult Rainbow trout in 1996; with fingerling walleye continuously from 1996 to 2006.
The Lake, however, continues to draw fishermen and periodic bass tournaments have been especially welcomed by the fishing fraternity.
Copyright 2006-2008 F. Charles Petrillo