Yellow perch, other panfish impressive at Colver Reservoir

Posted on: May 31, 2017 | Bob Frye | Comments

Quality-sized yellow perch abound at Colver Reservoir, according to a recent lake survey.
Bob Frye/Everybody Adventures

Who says you’ve got to go all the way to Lake Erie to catch quality yellow perch?

Colver Reservoir is another option.

Located in Cambria County, just north of the town of Colver, the 73-acre water is owned by the Cambria County Water Authority. It’s open to public fishing.

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission biologists sampled the lake in April and May to assess its fish populations. That works shows the lake’s panfish – and its yellow perch in particular – are impressive.

Using trap nets, crews caught 512 perch, or more than any other gamefish. It was also 14 times as many perch as showed up when the lake was last surveyed in 2008.

The fish ranged in size from 4 to 13 inches.

What’s impressive is that 94 percent were 9 inches or longer.

When it comes to bluegills, biologists handled 155 – almost two times as many as in 2008 — ranging from 3 to 9 inches. Ninety-five percent were 7 inches or longer.

Even those numbers don’t tell the whole story, though. Consider the averages.

“Yellow Perch averaged 10 to 11 inches and bluegill averaged 8 to 9 inches,” reads a commission report by biologist Mike Depew.

The lake’s crappies aren’t too shabby either.

Biologists only saw 50 of them, all blacks. But they measured 6 to 12 inches, with the majority between 11 and 12, the report said.

“Colver Reservoir contains high quality panfish populations,” Depew concluded.


Other species

So what else is swimming in Colver Reservoir?

Some decent largemouth bass, for starters.

Biologists did some nighttime electrofishing to look for bass; they found 147. That was fewer than in 2009, when the bass population was last examined.

There were some trophies. The largest hit the 20-inch mark.

The majority, though, were smaller if still respectable. Forty-one percent of the bass were at least 12 inches, and 2 percent were at least 15, Depew said.

Those numbers mean the lake is performing better than state guidelines for one managed under “big bass” regulations, he added.

Biologists also handled 11 walleyes when trap netting. The low total was likely a result of weather, Depew said.

“Water temperatures at the time of survey were near 60 degrees, which are well past optimal temperatures for sampling for walleye,” he said.

But the fish seen were nice. They ranged from 12 inches to just short of 30, with 82 percent hitting the legal minimum of 15.

Crews also got one sauger and 61 brown and yellow bullhead catfish, with the latter going from 7 to 16 inches.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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