Kazyak, P.F. 1988. The impact of exploitation on
smallmouth bass populations in three Adirondack lakes. M.S.
Thesis, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, 115 pp.
Abstract: Smallmouth bass populations in three interconnected Adirondack lakes were examined to evaluate the impact of different exploitation rates on the quality of the fishery. A total of 1600 smallmouth were taken by electrofishing, angling, gill-netting, and creel census during the study, including multiple recaptures of 14 uniquely marked fish used for partial age validation. Catlin Lake was dominated by large, older smallmouth, while fewer large smallmouth were observed in Rich Lake and very few large smallmouth were observed in Lake Harris. Yearly growth increments of smallmouth bass were similar among lakes and independent of density. Growth increments were correlated with summer air temperatures in younger fish. Fishing pressure and annual exploitation varied from 1.3 h/ha and 0.05, respectively, in Catlin lake to 32.6 h/ha and 0.68 in Lake Harris. Angler catch rates of smallmouth bass > 305 mm ranged from 0.03/h in Lake Harris to 0.74/h in Catlin Lake. Exploitation is suggested as the dominant force shaping size and age composition of smallmouth bass in the study lakes. The results indicate that Lake Harris could sustain a quality smallmouth fishery if exploitation was restricted, but catch rates would not approach those observed in Catlin Lake since effort was 25 times greater in Lake Harris.