28, 2002 Evaluation of Walleye and striped bass in Brookville Reservoir
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.
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.
fry stockings have exceeded 10 million for 15 consecutive years.
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
Fish and Wildlife Research and
Shawn A. Sapp, Assistant Fisheries Biologist
Robert L. Ball, Fisheries Biologist
Date: December 7, 2001
Brookville Reservoir Creel Survey
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
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
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
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).
Angling Effort and Economic Value of
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
B.M. 2001. Fishing Pressure and Harvest at Lake Monroe, 2000. Division
of Fish and Wildlife, Indiana Department of Natural Resources,
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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