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Bait & Tackle

Parkside Marine & More Inc  
7191 Fox Run Road  
Brookville, IN  47012  
765-647-4619  

 

 

Brookville Reservoir

August 28, 2002 Evaluation of Walleye and striped bass in Brookville Reservoir

http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/publications/notes/brookville.pdf 

Brookville provides some of Indiana’s best walleye fishing.  Walleye harvest, documented through creel surveys conducted before the 14 inch minimum length limit was put in place, ranged from 4,500 per year to 15,100 and averaged nearly 8,100 per year.   Most harvested walleye were 14-15 inches long but some 24-29 inch walleye were occasionally caught.

In 2000, fewer walleye were caught but they were a little larger, averaging 16.2 inches.  The number of walleye harvested was 2,509 and 1,848 were caught and released.  The 14 inch size limit and weak year classes since 1996 are reasons for smaller catches in 2000.

Annual fry stockings have exceeded 10 million for 15 consecutive years.

Brookville is a 5,260-acre flood control reservoir located in Franklin and Union counties on Highway 101 approximately 30 miles south of Richmond and 50 miles northwest of Cincinnati.  A fee is charged to launch boats but there are no restrictions on outboard motor size.

Fish and Wildlife Research and Management Notes

 

Author:
Shawn A. Sapp, Assistant Fisheries Biologist
Robert L. Ball, Fisheries Biologist

 Date: December 7, 2001

 Title:
Brookville Reservoir Creel Survey

 INTRODUCTION

Brookville Reservoir is a 5,260 acre flood control impoundment on the East Fork of the Whitewater River in eastern Indiana. The reservoir was impounded in 1974. Brookville Reservoir reaches a maximum depth of about 125 feet near the dam with an average depth of around 30 feet at summer pool (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1980).

Walleye harvest prior to 1996 was regulated by a bag limit of six fish per angler, but no size limit was in effect. This changed in late summer of 1996, when a minimum size limit of 14 inches was placed on most inland waters of Indiana, including Brookville Reservoir. As part of an evaluation of this size limit on Brookville Reservoir, fall sampling for walleye incorporating electrofishing and gill netting, was conducted from 1995 to 2000, and an angler survey was conducted from April to October, 2000. This report is a summary of the 2000 angler survey and provides information regarding the economic benefits of the fishery at Brookville Reservoir. A separate report will compare fall sampling statistics and harvest results.

 

METHODS


A non-random probability creel survey was conducted between April 10 through October 31, 2000 at Brookville Reservoir. Ten boat ramps and the Fairfield Causeway were sampled (Figure 1). Anglers fishing from the shore were under-represented in the sample. However, this bias should not prove to be significant because in 1980, only 6% of the total fishing occurred from the shore (Flatt 1981). Much of the bank fishing was done near boat access points and is therefore documented in this survey. Sampling probabilities were based on relative use data generated from previous Brookville Reservoir creel surveys and from 1988 U.S. Army Corps of Engineer relative use data. The area from State Road 44 south to the Dunlapsville-Quakertown Causeway is a waterfowl resting area and is closed from October 1 to March 1. Due to this closure, the Treaty Line and Whitewater State Park ramps were inaccessible to anglers during October, therefore were not sampled during that month. Accordingly, sampling probabilities of these two ramps were reduced to zero for October, and other ramp probabilities raised proportionately.

Sampling was divided into three, 8 hour periods: 0600 to 1400, 1400 to 2200, and 2200 to 0600 hours. All three of these periods were sampled on the summer months of June, July, and August. In the months of April, May, September, and October, the third period was not sampled as night fishing appears to be limited in these months. Ramp sampling probabilities varied by month and were calculated using previous creel survey designs and Corps data. Day of the week sampling probabilities took into account two strata, weekdays and weekend/holidays. A day was considered a holiday only if it was a federally observed holiday.

A single creel clerk worked the entire sampling season from April 10 to October 31, 2000. The dates, sites, and time of sampling were assigned based on the appropriate probabilities. All angler interviews took place upon the completion of their fishing trips. Starting times and ending times, number of fisherman, and angler fish preference were recorded on the creel form. Fish were identified, counted, and measured to the nearest 0.5 inch in total length. Catch-and-release information for largemouth bass, walleye, and muskellunge was recorded on the creel form. Creel clerks examined walleye, striped bass, and muskellunge for fin clips and tags and documented them when found. Angler comments and any additional information were recorded when necessary.

The number of anglers, hours fished, number of each species harvested, and number of largemouth bass, walleye, and muskellunge released were expanded, by month, using methods described in Glander and Ball (1982). Monthly yield estimates were calculated by half-inch groups for each species. This was done using length frequency data with average weights from fish management surveys, and length-weight equations from Carlander (1969: 1977), Wege and Anderson (1978), and Brown et al. (1989).

RESULTS

Angling Effort and Economic Value of the Fishery

From April 10 to October 31, 2000 an estimated 47,572 anglers fished an estimated 228,413 hours (43.4 hours/acre) at Brookville Reservoir.  Fishing pressure was considerably lower in the 2000 creel than was observed in the 1991 creel survey (73.0 hours/acre) (Ball 1993). The 1991 creel survey found an estimated 73,969 anglers fished an estimated 384,429 hours. Comparison of the 2000 creel survey data to the 1991 creel survey data revealed a decrease of 36 percent in angler days and 41 percent in hours. Total angler effort in 2000 was considerably lower when compared to the previous survey and the average of the past twenty years. Fishing pressure at Brookville Reservoir was highest in July followed by June, May, and October.

Anglers fishing at Brookville Reservoir made an estimated 47,572 fishing trips during the creel period. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (1998), anglers in Indiana spent an average of $50 for each day of fishing during 1996. Expenditures included food, lodging, transportation, equipment, licenses, and other fishing related items. Using the estimated cost of $50 each day of fishing, the estimated economic value of the Brookville fishery from April 10 to October 31, 1999 was 2.4 million dollars ($452 per acre). Using the same estimated cost per trip and the same months, the estimated value of the 2000 Lake Monroe fishery was 4.1 million dollars ($377 per acre) (Schoenung 2001). A comparison of area between the two reservoirs reveals the relative value of Brookville Reservoir is slightly above the value per acre of Monroe Reservoir.

Harvest and Yield of Each Species

Crappie were the most abundant species harvested both by number (117,096) and by weight (40,136) in the 2000 creel survey . Ball (1993) reported both species of crappie, white and black, were harvested, but white crappie were predominate in the harvest. Crappie usually lead all other species in the harvest at this lake.

Channel catfish harvest was ranked second in abundance at 26,007 fish followed by bluegill at 20,529. Channel catfish yield was also second at 25,082 lbs., which is an increase over the 1991 survey. The walleye harvest of 2,509 fish was considerably lower than that of 1991 (6,563 fish). Black bass harvest increased slightly in the 2000 survey, with 2,612 fish being harvested compared to 2,594 fish in 1991. Striped bass harvest was very low with only 101 fish being harvested.

The total harvest in 2000 was estimated to be 172,559 fish or 32.8 fish per acre. Harvest during this creel survey was down somewhat compared to 1991 but was not as large of a decline (5 percent) as the decrease in total fishing effort (41 percent). The total yield of the harvest was 15.7 pounds per acre which was considerably greater than the Lake Monroe harvest of 6.7 pounds per acre (Schoenung 2001).

Harvest Rates

Harvest rates are calculated by two different methods. The "common harvest rate" (fish caught and removed per angler hour) is the total amount of fish harvested divided by the total amount of fishing hours for all anglers, regardless of what species they were targeting. Harvest rate may be calculated for just one species, or all the species in the lake combined. Conversely, the preference harvest rate compares the number of anglers fishing for a particular species. Using the preference harvest rate method provides a more useful statistic than common harvest rate for comparing harvests between different bodies of water.

The 2000 common harvest rate for Brookville Reservoir was 0.76 (fish/hour), compared to 0.45 fish/hour for 1991. This overall harvest rate was the greatest of any of the past surveys, indicating that anglers are catching more fish for their effort. The 2000 common harvest rate peaked in May at a rate of 1.46 fish per hour. The common harvest rate was lowest in April at 0.41 fish per hour. It is to be noted that the lowest harvest rate in 2000 was nearly equivalent to the average seasonal harvest rate in 1991.

Monthly preference harvest rates for bluegill and crappie ranged up to 3.47 (bluegill, August) and 2.09 (crappie in August.  Catfish also exhibited a high preference harvest rate in April, 2.27/hr. The highest walleye preference rate was 0.07 in May and August. Success for white bass was good, running up to 1.70 in July. White bass had a larger impact on the creel than before 1991, when this species was relatively insignificant in the harvest.

The seasonal preference harvest rates ranged from 0.00 for striped bass up to 1.6 for bluegill and crappie. Bluegill, walleye, and striped bass experienced declines in preference harvest rates by anglers. Preference harvest rates of black bass, crappie, white bass, catfish, and anything had increased since the 1990 and 1991 surveys. Species of concern due to declining preference harvest rates are walleye and striped bass

DISCUSSION

The total harvest decreased from 182,204 fish in 1991 to 172,559 fish in 2000, a 5 percent decline. Yield in 2000 was also down from the 1991 survey, declining by 7 percent, although the average weight increased from 0.29 lbs/fish in 1991 to 0.34 lbs/fish in 2000.

Total estimated number of crappie harvested in 2000 increased by 9 percent, and the average weight of individuals in the harvest was up 15 percent compared to 1991. Average length of crappie harvested in 2000 was 9.0 inches. This is the third largest average length in relation to numbers harvested in all of the surveys for crappie , indicating anglers are catching more, larger sized crappie than in previous years. Crappie are usually the most abundant fish in the harvest at Brookville, although it is a fish that is typically cyclical in abundance, reaching a peak in the harvest, followed by a decline for a few years. It is difficult to say, however, with only one year's harvest over a nine year period, if 2000 was a low abundance or high abundance year.

The overall estimated harvest rate for the 2000 season was 0.76 fish/hr, the highest harvest rate ever recorded at Brookville Reservoir . The highest monthly harvest rate occurred in May (1.46) when most anglers were harvesting crappie and bluegill. The lowest monthly harvest rate was in April (0.41).

Angler preferences for species in 2000 ranked similar to that for the 1991 survey . Angler preference data indicated most anglers were fishing for crappie, followed by black bass and walleye. The percentage of anglers pursuing crappie decreased since the last survey, however, anglers preference for black bass, walleye, and catfish all increased from the 1991 survey.

Anglers preference for stocked fish species (walleye, striped bass, and muskellunge) continued to be relatively low in 2000. Although walleye preference has increased from 1991, striped bass continues to decrease. No anglers were interviewed pursuing musky.

 

MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS

Based on results of this survey, Spy Run continues to support a poor quality, low-diversity fish community that offers little fishing opportunity or other benefits. Public access to the stream however is good within the Fort Wayne city park system.

Several steps could be taken to improve the habitat features and natural character of Spy Run. These steps could increase fish diversity, although the potential to significantly boost sport fishing is limited by small stream size. To improve Spy Run, it is recommended that low-head dams at Franke and Lawton parks be removed in an environmentally-sensitive manner. In-stream habitat could best be improved by placing large boulders within the river at strategic sites. Continued efforts are needed upstream in the watershed to reduce the sediment load and severe fluctuations in flow.

LITERATURE CITED

Ball, R.L. 1993. Brookville Reservoir Creel Survey, 1991 Research Report. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis.

Ball, R.L. 2000. Evaluation of a 14 inch minimum size limit on walleye at Brookville Reservoir. 1999 Interim research report. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis.

Ball, R.L. Ms.. Evaluation of a 14 inch minimum size limit on walleye at Brookville Reservoir. Research completion report for 2000. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis.

Brown, M.L., B.R. Murphy, and E.A. Latimer. 1989. Development of standard weights (Ws) for striped bass, white bass, and hybrid striped bass. Report to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Contact 122.

Carlander, K.D. 1969. Handbook of freshwater fishery biology, volume I. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.

Carlander, K.D. 1977. Handbook of freshwater fishery biology, volume II. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.

Flatt, T.M. 1981. Brookville Reservoir Creel Survey Report, 1980. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis.

Glander, P.A., and R.L. Ball. 1982. Brookville Reservoir Creel Survey Report, 1981. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis.

 Schoenung B.M. 2001. Fishing Pressure and Harvest at Lake Monroe, 2000. Division of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1980. Brookville Lake, Indiana. Map Leaflets, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1989. 1985 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation for Indiana. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.

Wege, G.J., and R.O. Anderson. 1978. Relative weight (Wr): a new index of condition for largemouth bass. Pages 79-91 in G.D. Novinger and J.G. Dillard, editors. New approaches to the management of small impoundments. North Central Division, American Fisheries society Special Publication Number 5.

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Bass lake
Big Turkey lake
Brookville
Cagles mill
Clear lake
Dewert lake
Eagle Creek Reservoir
Huntingburg lake
Huntington Reservoir
Kokomo Reservoir
Lake of the Woods
Maxinkuckee
Mississinewa
Monroe Reservoir
Pike Lake
Salamonie Reservoir
Lake Shafer
Waubee