Diascund Reservoir - Fishing Opportunities
This fishery continues to perform well for a number of species. DGIF fisheries biologists conducted an electrofishing survey of Diascund Reservoir on April 2, 2007. The results of the survey revealed increased catch rates for several game fish species. A total of 18 fish species were collected during the survey.
The largemouth bass population appears to be in good shape (as indicated by structural indices, relative weight and physical examination). A total of 173 largemouth bass were collected for a catch rate of 86.5 bass/hr. This catch rate is the highest rate recorded for Diascund Reservoir and well surpasses the 2006 rate of 56 bass/hr. The largest bass measured was 22.6 inches in length and weighed 6.3 pounds. The majority of the bass collected were within the 11 to 19 inch range. The relative weight values of bass showed improvement when compared to the 2006 sample. The bass were all in great shape and finding plenty of available forage. The survey collected a total of 71 preferred-size bass that were 15 inches or greater in length.
Bluegills were abundant (especially juveniles) and ranged up to 7 inches in length. Through our sampling efforts over the years, we have found that the large impoundments of the middle and lower peninsula rarely produce bluegills much bigger than this. The presence of gizzard shad and blueback herring produce increased competition for zooplankton and the decrease in bluegill growth potential. The overall status of the bluegill population was fair. The majority of bluegills collected during the electrofishing were within the 3 to 5 inch range. The electrofishing catch rate of 591 bluegills/hr showed a major increase from the 2006 survey (145.3 bluegills/hr). Certain areas of the reservoir may hold some larger bluegills, but anglers should not expect to catch full limits of 8 inch bluegills.
The redear sunfish population, although not as abundant as the bluegills, can offer anglers some excitement. The general status of the population structure bodes well for future angling opportunities with a decent number of redear sunfish in the 6 to 9 inch range. The 2007 electrofishing survey yielded a catch rate of 94.5 redear sunfish/hr. This catch rate showed a major increase from the 2006 survey (45.3 redear sunfish/hr). The trap net survey collected some decent redear sunfish up to 11 inches in length.
Typical shoreline electrofishing conducted during April is usually not the best way to evaluate the strength of the black crappie population. Black crappies tend to school in waters deeper than largemouth bass and bluegills. The 2007 electrofishing survey collected 41 black crappies for a rate of 20.5/hr. These crappies ranged in size from 5 to 14 inches with the majority of the fish in the 8 to 12 inch range. The trap net survey produced a limited number of black crappies during the end of March. The majority of the crappies were within the 8 to 10 inch range.
Diascund Reservoir has a yellow perch population that appears to be dominated by the presence of juvenile yellow perch. The 2007 electrofishing survey collected yellow perch at a rate of 106.5/hr. This catch rate showed a major increase from the 2006 survey (38.7/hr). The majority of collected perch were in the 4 to 6 inch range. The reservoir has some potential to produce trophy-sized yellow perch. A total of 5 yellow perch citations were reported by anglers during 2007.
The chain pickerel population showed signs of improvement with a total of 52 chain pickerel collected. The catch rate of 26/hr showed an increase from the 2006 survey (10/hr). The 2007 size distribution ranged from 6 to 23 inches in length. A large percentage of the pickerel were in the 8 to 12 inch range. A total of 20 chain pickerel were greater than 16 inches in length.
Anglers should not overlook the exciting fishing opportunities that exist for bowfin. Although the numbers of bowfin are not as high as nearby Chickahominy Lake, there are some large fish that inhabit the reservoir. The 2007 sample collected 34 bowfins for a catch rate of 17/hr. This is the highest recorded catch rate for Diascund Reservoir and showed an increase from the 2006 survey (9.5/hr). The 2007 survey was comprised of 19 bowfins that were 21 inches or longer in length. The largest bowfin measured in at 30.3 inches and 11.8 pounds.