Share This Page

Lake Arthur walleyes under scrutiny

| Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 10:20 p.m.

In the mid-1990s, Lake Arthur was known as a walleye fisherman's hot spot.

It doesn't necessarily have that same reputation now.

There's an effort afoot to change that, though. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has, in each of the past three years, stocked 96,800 walleye fingerlings in the lake. That's double what it got in past years.

The plan is to continue stocking at the higher rate to bring the fishery up to levels called for in the commission's statewide walleye management plan, said Tim Wilson, a fisheries biologist in the agency's Linesville office.

“I've either got to get it up to the standard or get it out of the program,” Wilson said.

None of the fish stocked in the past three years likely has reached the 15-inch minimum size to be legal keepers, he said. But some might hit that by fall, and most should be there by next spring, he added.

In the meantime, the walleye fishery at the lake is already perhaps better than expected.

Wilson and a commission crew surveyed the lake earlier this spring. They were looking primarily to assess Arthur's musky population.

Yet they handled 66 walleyes ranging from 10 to 28 inches. He called that their “best catch” in quite a while.

“We saw mostly larger, older fish. So it appears we've been undersampling it for years,” Wilson said.

Word of those fish didn't surprise Eugene Carlson. Owner of Carlson's Bait and Tackle in Harmony, he and others have been “catching them up there for years.” Some anglers drift and drag crawler harnesses to catch walleyes; others jig for them. Many do well by trolling, he said.

“They'll do good on walleyes all summer long, as long as they stay in deep water. I try to stay in 18 to 20 feet of water when I go out, two to three feet off the bottom. That's where they hang out,” Carlson said.

Ron Van of Van's Sporting Goods in Butler also said fishermen pick up walleyes “occasionally” at Lake Arthur, and they can be large. He said he's reeled in a 28-incher, and a friend caught a 29-incher.

“They're in there, if you can find them,” Van said.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.