walleye population on North branch susky - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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walleye population on North branch susky

Hello all, Im just curious if anyone that fishes the NB noticed a drop off in walleye population in last couple years. I know for me anyway, the last 5 years seemed to have really dropped off. Im wondering if its just me or if the affects of overharvest and the halt of PFBC stockings are having an effect on population. Ive been trying to find recent PFBC studies but I only come up with old info.... Any opinions?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:01 AM
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Hello all, Im just curious if anyone that fishes the NB noticed a drop off in walleye population in last couple years. I know for me anyway, the last 5 years seemed to have really dropped off. Im wondering if its just me or if the affects of overharvest and the halt of PFBC stockings are having an effect on population. Ive been trying to find recent PFBC studies but I only come up with old info.... Any opinions?

Nah, the walleyes are getin' smarter, just like all the deer stopped crossing at the "deer crossing signs" and the number of road kills are way down.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 11:47 AM
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I haven't caught a walleye on the N. branch in a long time. Looking back I've caught more musky in the past 10 years than walleye.

I should clarify that when I targeted walleye I fished certain holes at night. If I caught a walleye during the day it was incidental to fishing for bass.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 12:00 PM
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Im wondering if its just me or if the affects of overharvest and the halt of PFBC stockings are having an effect on population. Ive been trying to find recent PFBC studies but I only come up with old info.... Any opinions?

I don't know if overharvest is a problem. I read everything I can about the river. A lot about guys are catching small mouth but I see no mention about walleye even as incidental catches. It just seems like they are not there.

Maybe I should try a few crawler harnesses next time I get on the river...…..if it ever goes down.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 02:51 PM
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Lightbulb High Water??

I have a theory/hunch. Could the recruitment of the yearlings be hampered with all the recent high water flooding? It's been raining cat's and dog's for a few years in the N.Branch watershed and this "may" be a factor growing fingerlings. Make any sense? Dunno, henna!!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Scrat View Post
Hello all, Im just curious if anyone that fishes the NB noticed a drop off in walleye population in last couple years. I know for me anyway, the last 5 years seemed to have really dropped off. Im wondering if its just me or if the affects of overharvest and the halt of PFBC stockings are having an effect on population. Ive been trying to find recent PFBC studies but I only come up with old info.... Any opinions?

I believe you're right on every item. Bad spawns from floods - the PFBC halt on stockings - Every Tom Dick and Harry keep every walleye they catch. But there is one more factor and it is a mainstream predator - flatheads. So I think this combination is what is going on.


Flatheads by the way act more like walleyes than catfish - FACT. You will catch more flatheads in walleye areas than anywhere else. I have witnessed 2 - 30" flatheads fighting over a 16-17" walleye one had caught.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 01:13 PM
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How far north are the flatheads?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Flatheads are what i was waiting to hear about...i believe that will be another factor if its not already...they are big predator of walleye or any fish for that matter. I will kill everyone i catch...i hear they are better eating then channels..
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 08:15 AM
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We have them past Mt Union on the Juniata already so I'm positive they are very far north on the Susqy. I caught one of the first decent sized ones in 2014 around the Mifflintown area 30 incher and they have become established very quickly.

Example of what happens when they move in:
There is a very well known wintering hole that is one of the deepest on the Juniata. Used to go out and catch 20 to 40 bass in the winter everytime out. Flatheads moved in to this hole and now it's hard to catch 10 bass out of it. There were always musky in the hole but it never really bothered the bass. Flatheads though - top predator! This hole has always had a lot of walleye in it in the summer - not anymore. They are catching 38" flats out of there now. It is amazing how fast the flats have established themselves.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:10 PM
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The MD DNR caught a 57 lb flathead in Conowingo that puked up a 19" walleye. I do enjoy eating the flatheads a lot more than the channel cats. My wife fries chunks of the belly meat and it reminds me of scallops. Flatheads are the only fish I catch that I kill regardless if I'm going to eat them or not.
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