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Martinsville Reservoir - Fishing Opportunities

The largemouth bass population has improved with the implementation of a 14-inch minimum size limit in 2002. Martinsville Reservoir had a limited number of adult size bass and was dominated by one and two year old fish, which was an indication of over harvest. The bass population is currently more balanced and the number of bass over 14 inches has more than doubled with the new size limit. Growth for these fish continues to be good but may be slowing down with the additional larger bass in the population. Most of the larger bass were historically congregated in the upper reaches of the reservoir where access was more difficult but are now more evenly distributed. The dominant structure for bass is the abundant fallen trees scattered along the shoreline but anglers may need to target deeper water beyond these trees when water temperatures rise in the summer months.

Largemouth bass collected during Martinsville Reservoir electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the additional rows are the number of fish collected per hour of sampling for each size group.
Size (Inches)891011121314151617181920212223
Number in 2010211010272743231212220
Number in 20054554974372414101

Crappie

The Crappie population is comprised primarily of black crappie but there are a few white crappie in the upper reaches of the reservoir. This reservoir typically produces good crappie fishing for a small reservoir but this fishery does fluctuates due to varying reproductive success. Most crappie are less than 10 inches due to heavy angler harvest. The highest densities of crappie are found in the headwaters around fallen trees and beaver lodges but deep water areas near the main channel are also seasonally productive.

Crappie collected during Martinsville Reservoir electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the additional rows are the number of fish collected per hour of sampling for each size group.
Size (Inches)678910111213
2010392741813201
2005911161002010


Sunfish

Bluegill are the most abundant species of sunfish in Martinsville Reservoir. Redbreast and redear sunfish are also present but do not constitute a significant portion of the sunfish population. The sunfish population is dominated by small bluegill with a few of the largest fish reaching 8 inches.


Catfish

This lake contains channel catfish and white catfish. There is a fair catfish fishery at Martinsville Reservoir which is maintained by a stocking program since channel catfish do not reproduce at this reservoir. Most channel catfish range in size from 14 to 20 inches while white catfish average only 7 inches.

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are abundant but most are very small (less than 6 inches) which is typical of a yellow perch population in a small reservoir. However, most recent sampling has produced perch up to 10 inches with fair numbers in the 7-8 inch range. Yellow perch can be found throughout the reservoir at a variety of structures and depths.