Sandy Bottom Park Pond - Fishing Opportunities
This is essentially a bass and bluegill dominated fishery with a few other species of low abundance.
The 2007 electrofishing survey revealed a slight decrease in catch rate of largemouth bass when compared to the 2005 survey. A complete shoreline survey collected a total of 33 largemouth bass on April 9, 2007. The expanded catch rate of 79.2 bass per hour showed a decline from the 2005 survey (83.3 bass per hour). The majority of the bass were in the 14 - 18 inch range with a low abundance of bass less than 12 inches. Only 4 bass less than 12 inches were collected. The average-sized largemouth bass measured an impressive 15 inches in length. The largest bass measured at 18.5 inches and weighed 3.4 pounds. Anglers must remember that a catch and release regulation is in place for all largemouth bass greater than 14 inches in length. The current bass population would be assisted if anglers released all bass due to the low abundance of bass less than 12 inches in length. The relative weight values for bass showed great improvement from the 2005 survey. Bass are taking advantage of the abundance of small bluegills that have survived from the 2005 and 2006 spawning seasons.
The bluegill population is dominated by fish less than 5 inches in length. The 2007 catch rate of bluegills showed a major improvement from the 2005 survey. A total of 155 bluegills were collected for an expanded catch rate of 372 per hour. This catch rate is much higher than the 2005 survey (108 per hour). Only 5 quality-sized bluegills were collected during the 2007 survey. These fish measured in the 6 to 6.5 inch range. Anglers should not expect to catch too many trophy bluegills from Sandy Bottom Pond.
The sample showed some diversity in the collection of limited numbers of American eels, pumpkinseed sunfish, warmouth and eastern mudminnow. A total of 11 American eels were collected. The eels ranged in size from 8 to 24 inches with the average size at around 12 inches. Numerous other eels were seen on the outside edge of the electric field. One pumpkinseed sunfish of 6.25 inches in length was collected. The one warmouth measured a whopping 3.15 inches and the eastern mudminnow measured 2 inches in length. No black crappie or channel catfish were collected during the both the 2005 and 2007 samples.
The overall abundance of fish and their size structures have been limited by low productivity. The nature of the burrow pit pond has very little nutrients being washed into the system. These nutrients are needed at the base of the food chain for phytoplankton growth. The overall biomass of the fishery could be increased if more nutrients were present.