Chandler's Mill Pond - Fishing Opportunities
Chandler's Millpond has good diversity with 9 species collected during the latest electrofishing survey. The majority of the angling opportunities come from the populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and black crappie.
The development of this fishery was hindered by an influx of black crappie and flier from the headwater streams. An overabundance of these species had a negative impact on bass recruitment. To remedy this situation, a catch and release regulation was placed on the largemouth bass fishery. Supplemental stockings of largemouth bass were carried out. Given several years to respond to the catch and release regulation, the bass population was able to achieve a favorable balance. The catch and release regulation on bass has been lifted and a 12-15 inch slot limit has been put in place. The slot limit will allow anglers to harvest bass less than 12 inches or over 15 inches in length. This regulation will hopefully prevent the fishery from becoming crowded with bass in the 9 to11 inch range and allow for good growth rates. Anglers are reminded that the creel limit for bass is 5 per day.
The 2008 electrofishing survey collected a total of 102 bass for a catch rate of 102/hr. This catch rate showed an improvement from the 2007 sample (76 bass/hr). The sample revealed a rather balanced bass fishery with numerous year classes presented. Bass ranged in size from 3 to 23 inches in length. The largest bass weighed 6.9 pounds. The survey collected 16 bass that measured 15 inches or greater. Weights of all bass collected showed decent relative weight values that were similar to the values found in 2007. Chandler's Millpond has a decent number of fallen trees that are attractive to fish as well as fishermen.
The bluegill population is primarily based upon fish in the 4 to 6 inch range. The electrofishing survey collected a total of 77 bluegills in 20 minutes of sampling time. The expanded catch rate of 231 bluegills/hr is well below the 2007 catch rate (367.5 bluegills/hr). The bluegill size distribution ranged from 1 to 7 inches. A total of 19 bluegills were greater than 6 inches in length. The presence of gizzard shad within the fishery has most likely resulted in the increased competition for zooplankton and the decreased growth rate of bluegills. Since bluegills were collected during just one of the sample runs, it is likely that the overall catch rate could have climbed higher if the second or third run was a complete community run.
The redear sunfish population appears to be in decent shape. A total of 23 redear sunfish were collected during the first sample run (20 minutes of effort). The expanded catch rate of 69 redear sunfish/hr showed a decline from the 2007 survey (112/hr). The redear sunfish ranged in size from 5 to 8 inches. These fish will provide added excitement to anglers that are fishing for bluegills. Additional redear sunfish were seen along the shallows during the second and third sample runs. These fish were in the middle of spawning. No attempts were made to remove these fish from the beds that they were on. Early May is usually the prime time to find a high percentage of the redear sunfish up tight to the bank with spawning on their minds.
The black crappie population appears to be in fair to decent shape. The overall abundance might not be that great, but the size structure is favorable. The 2008 electrofishing survey collected 21 black crappies (21 per hr), which was exactly the same total as the 2007 survey. The 2008 distribution ranged from 6 to 12.5 inches in size. The majority of the sample was in the 8 to 10 inch range. Anglers may be able to find small schools of black crappies while searching the pond for other species.
Chandler's Millpond provides some additional diversity in the form of chain pickerel, American eel, channel catfish, golden shiner and gizzard shad. Each of these species is present in limited abundance and may surprise an angler from time to time.