Harwood's Mill Reservoir - Fishing Opportunities
Harwood's Mill Reservoir gets limited fishing pressure. The 2007 electrofishing survey produced a total of 18 fish species. A summary of the main target species are as follows:
The 2007 electrofishing survey was one of the best bass sampled we have conducted on any of the Newport News Reservoirs. A total of 103 largemouth bass were collected. The catch rate of 77.3 bass/hr was very impressive when compared to past surveys of Harwood's Mill Reservoir. The overall size structure was even more impressive with many healthy bass in the 4 to 6 pound range. We were also able to collect a citation-sized bass that weighed 8 pounds. A total of 22 bass were greater than four pounds in weight. This shows a major increase when compared to the 2005 sample that only collected 9 bass greater than 4 pounds in weight. The 2007 survey collected a total of 59 preferred-sized bass (greater than 15 inches). The majority of the larger bass were collected from the lower region of the reservoir. The lower side has a far better selection of spawning areas for the bass to choose from. The upper area of the reservoir produced a fair number of bass and has plenty of cover in form of cypress trees that will hold bass during other times of the year.
The bluegill fishery is somewhat limited on Harwood's Mill Reservoir. Only 80 bluegills were collected during the survey for a catch rate of 60/hr. This catch rate was less than the 2005 survey that revealed a rate of 90.75/hr. The 2007 survey showed the majority of the fish to be in the 3 to 7 inch range. Anglers fishing for bluegills will most likely catch their fair share of yellow perch and white perch in the process. The low productivity of the system tends to limit the production of quality-sized bluegills.
Harwood's Mill Reservoir has an abundant population of yellow perch. The last two electrofishing surveys have shown good catch rates. The down side to the collections is that the yellow perch tend to be in the 4 to 6 inch range with a limited number of 7 and 8 inch fish. The majority of the small yellow perch will actually serve as a supplemental forage base for the largemouth bass and chain pickerel.
Chain Pickerel and Northern Pike
The chain pickerel fishery is limited in terms of overall abundance, but favors a decent size structure. The 2007 survey collected chain pickerel up to 22.5 inches in length with the average size coming in at 18.2 inches. A few citation-sized pickerel have been caught over the years. The chain pickerel's large cousin, the northern pike are still hanging around in Harwood's Mill Reservoir. A very limited number of northern pike are still present in the reservoir. The reservoir is no longer stocked with northern pike, but a few survivors have surprised anglers over the years. Anglers reported 3 citation-sized northern pike in 2006.
Additional Species Present
The 2007 electrofishing survey collected a total of 18 species. These species not covered above were: redear sunfish, warmouth, yellow bullhead, common carp, American eel, pirate perch, white perch, gizzard shad, banded sunfish, bluespotted sunfish, creek chubsuckers, eastern silvery minnows and brown bullheads. These species may provide some of the additional excitement to anglers that try their luck on Harwood's Mill Reservoir.