Gardy's Millpond - News & Reports
DGIF fisheries biologists conducted an electrofishing survey of Gardy's Millpond on May 6, 2008. This sample was used to determine the status of the fishery as it continues to bounce back from the draw down of 2005/2006. The survey consisted of three sample runs along the shoreline. The first two runs were a complete community sample and took one hour of electrofishing time. The third run collected only largemouth bass, black crappies and chain pickerel. The catch rates of these species are adjusted to reflect the increased effort. The survey collected only 71 largemouth bass over the hour of sampling effort. This catch rate showed a major decline from the unbelievable 2007 survey that yielded 227 bass for a catch rate of 176/hr. In comparison to past years, the 2008 catch rate is still below the 2006 survey (129.4 bass/hr). Gardy's Millpond is a shallow water body and there are not that many places for the fish to hide. One can only hope that the majority of the bass were in a post-spawn pattern and holding on the outside edges of cover.
The 2008 survey revealed an increase in the catch rate of bluegills. A decent number of 6 to 8 inch bluegills were collected. The increased abundance of young bluegills in the 1 - 3 inch range will assist the bass in providing a forage base for the average sized bass. The survey revealed a decline in the black crappie catch rate when compared to the 2007 survey. The majority of the black crappies were in the 6 to 8 inch range with a few 10 to 11 inch crappies. The redear sunfish population is still producing some quality fish in the 8 - 10 inch range. The catch rate of chain pickerel (17/hr) was less than the 2007 survey (21.8/hr).
Past News and Reports of Interest
Gardy's Millpond was drawn down during the late summer of 2005 for repairs to the dam. The drawdown of roughly 4.5 to 5 feet converted the 75-acre pond to about 25 to 30 acres in size. The repairs were completed by the end of January 2006 and the pond reached full pool by the beginning of February 2006. Department fisheries biologists conducted an electrofishing survey of Gardy's Millpond on April 18, 2006 to evaluate the present fishery. A complete shoreline sample consisting of 3 sample runs was used to get a snap shot photo of what the fishery looks like. Based on this initial survey, the drawdown appeared to have influenced the population dynamics of the bluegill fishery. With any extended drawdown period, the small bluegills are susceptible to heavy predation by largemouth bass. The protective cover of the shoreline that small bluegills use for safety, as been left high and dry. This allows adult largemouth bass and other predators an easier chance to prey upon bluegills less than 4 inches in size. A total of 182 bluegills were collected during the two of the sample runs (40 minutes). This collection yielded a catch rate of 273 bluegills/hr. This catch rate is much lower than the previous sample (2002 = 759 bluegills/hr). Very few bluegills less than 3 inches in size were collected. The majority of the bluegills were in the 5 to 6 inch range with decent numbers of bluegills in the 6 to 8 inch range.
The sample revealed good news about the largemouth bass fishery. A total of 151 largemouth bass were collected. The 2006 catch rate was 129 bass per hour. This catch rate showed a major improvement from the 2002 sample (66 bass per hour). Various year classes were observed in the bass sample. The sample revealed strong recruitment from the 2004 and 2003-year classes with a good number of bass in the 8 to 12 inch range. The sample collected 33 bass that were greater than 15-inches in length. Of those larger bass, there were 8 bass that measured over 20 inches in length. The largest bass measured 22.7 inches and weighed 6.86 pounds. Some nice photos of a few of the larger bass can be seen in photo gallery section.
The electrofishing sample produced a total of 11 species. The additional species consisted of redear sunfish, black crappies, brown bullhead, American eels, creek chubsuckers, yellow perch, chain pickerel, golden shiners and warmouth. These species offer some diversity to the fishery. The redear sunfish offer the most potential action with a good number of 7 to 9 inch redear sunfish collected.