Hillview R.A. Pond
2m W Hinton
Amenities at Hillview R.A. Pond include:
Fall 2009 Tandem Hoop Net Assessment -. Tandem hoop net sampling was conducted from September 26th – October 5th, 2006 in Hillview Pond to determine channel catfish population structure and densities. A total of 997 channel catfish were caught for a catch rate of 111 fish per series. The total estimate for the channel catfish population of Hillview Pond was 444 fish per acre. It appears that the cage catfish program had resulted in excellent survival and recruitment and may by competing with the panfish population of Hillview Pond, resulting in reduced growth rates, poor population structure, limited recruitment and poor body condition. A channel catfish removal program was conducted during the fall 2007 in Hillview Pond. A joint effort of Plymouth County Conservation Board employees and Fisheries Bureau staff commenced 10 September and concluded 13 September, 2007. A total of 767 channel catfish were removed from the pond (356 pounds, 219 fish/acre; 102 pounds/acre).
Tandem hoop nets were again set in the fall, 2009 as a follow up assessment to the channel catfish population reduction project. For the second consecutive year channel catfish were detected in low numbers during the tandem hoop net assessment. A total of 33 channel catfish (24 channel catfish; 2008 tanden hoop net assessment) were caught during the three day set resulting in a catch rate of 8 fish per series. This catch rate remained relatively unchanged from the 2008 tandem hoop net catch rate of 6.0 fish per series, suggesting a fairly stable channel catfish population in Hillview Pond. Lower catch rates also reflect a significant reduction of the channel catfish population in Hillview Pond.
Length frequency analysis, for the second consecutive year reflects two size groups dominating the total catfish catch. Stock (11.0 -15.9 inches) size fish decreased to 23 percent (57 percent; 2008 tandem hoop net assessment), with quality (16.0 – 23.9 inches) size fish comprising the remaining 77 percent (43 percent; 2008 tandem hoop net assessment) of the total channel catfish catch. Small fish (8.0 – 10.0 inches) were also detected during the 2009 tandem hoop net assessment and are no dought fish from the 2009 cage catfish stocking. With continued good growth, these fish will contribute to the fishery in the next few years.
Relative weight (Wr), an indice of body condition continued to improve during the 2009 tandem hoop net assessment. Overall relative wight of the Hillview channel catfish population improved to 100 (96 and 83, fall 2008 and 2007 tandem hoop net assessment respectively) which is within the target range of 95-105, indicating fish in excellent body condition. This improvement was no doubt due to the continued increase in relative weight of quality (16.0 – 23.9 inches) size fish. Relative weight of this size group increased to 102 (97; 2008 tandem hoop net assessment), indicting fish in excellent body condition. Relative weight of stock (11.0 – 14.9 inches) size fish delined slightly to 91 percent (96 percent; 2008 tanden hoop net assessment); however fish in this size geoup still reflect compartively good body condition.
Bluegills were sampled for the third consecutive year during the 2009 tandem hoop net assessment. A bluegill catch rate 33 fish per series remained relatively unchanged (38 fish per series 2008 tandem hoop net series) suggesting stable numbers of this species in Hillview Pond. Proportional stock density, an indice of size structure suggests a balanced fish population with good recruitment in Hillview Pond. Stock (3.0 – 5.9 inches) and quality (6.0 - 7.9 inches) size fish comprised 69 and 31 percent of the total bluegill catch (98 and 2 percent respectively; 2008 tandem hoop net assessment) reflecting a bluegill population that is currently recovering to optimal numbers in Hillview Pond.
Age and growth analysis from whole otoliths indicate three year classes with age III (22%), age IV (13 %) and age V (61%) year old fish dominated the bluegill catch. Growth rates of the Hillview Pond bluegill population is fair and reflects growth rates below indices for the Spirit Lake District. Relative weight remained considerably below the 95 – 105 target range indicating fish in relatively poor shape. Growth and body conditions will be montored in future surveys and is expected to improve within the next few years.
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