Monday, August 20, 2018

Prospect Park Lake Survey

Prospect Park Lake Centrarchid Survey

Bureau of Fisheries Technical Brief #2018001

Prospect Park Lake in the Long Island Sound watershed is the sole freshwater lake in Kings County (Brooklyn) open to the public. Its 55 acres are accessible to anglers only by shoreline and it was last stocked with bass and sunfish in 1999. As with other New York City (NYC) freshwater lakes and ponds, both New York State (NYS) and NYC angling regulations require catch and release of all fish. To monitor the status of Prospect Park Lake's fish populations, fall boat electrofishing surveys have been performed biennially since 2010; but, in 2017, a spring survey was conducted on the evenings of May 8th and 9th.
A total of 835 fish of eight species were captured, with four carp and two American eels observed but not captured. Largemouth bass were good sized and abundant. The catch rates for largemouth bass twelve inches and longer (39/hr) and 15 inches and longer (29/hr) were greater than catch rates in 85% and 98% of similarsized NYS lakes, respectively. Size structure indices (PSD = 54, RSD15 = 40) were indicative of a primarily balanced population, with a high proportion of large fish. These indices were also high for black crappie (PSD = 89) and yellow perch (PSD = 67) indicating Prospect Park Lake's fishery offers quality fishing for species other than largemouth bass. Average relative weights indicated largemouth bass to be in good condition, and the largest captured was 19.7 inches long and 4.8 lbs. Sunfish were abundant (Table 1) but none greater than eight inches were captured, similar to results of other NYC lake and pond electrofishing surveys. Relative weights for bluegill and pumpkinseed were above 100 suggesting the reason for this is not stunted growth but this should be confirmed through aging fish in future surveys. Survey results indicate that Prospect Park Lake should provide anglers with quality fishing opportunities for a variety of species, especially largemouth bass, black crappie and yellow perch.
Table 1. Number collected and length category catch rates for fish species captured during a boat electrofishing survey of Prospect Park Lake
Length category catch rate (number caught/hour)
SpeciesNumber Collected≥6in≥8in≥10in≥12in≥15in≥18in
Largemouth bass19779766139293
Brown bullhead3332100
Yellow bullhead1110000
Black crappie7470509100
Golden shiner1816100000
Yellow perch7167411000
i PSD (Proportional Stock Density) and RSD (Relative Stock Density) are indices that allow for standardized comparisons of size classes of fish and provide measures of fish population balance. PSD is the percent of the stock sized population that are quality size, and RSDp is the percent of the stock sized population that are preferred size. Populations of bass that are well-balanced (i.e., have good size distributions) have PSDs of 40-70 and RSDPs of 10-25.

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