|The chubs are taken to the landfill after their removal from Joe's Valley.|
A four man team set a goal of removing 30,000 pounds of fish from Joe's Valley reservoir. The fish being targeted are chubs, a non-native, non-game fish species which was introduced into the lake as live bait. This introduction was unwanted and illegal.
Chubs are a prolific species and compete with game fish in the reservoir. Even though the larger trout feed on the chubs, the smaller trout are in a fierce competition with the chubs for food and space.
Justin Hart, Division of Wildlife Resources sport fish biologist said, "By removing the chubs, we are hoping to free up more space and food for the smaller trout. This will enable them to go into the winter fatter and healthier."
"This is our sixth day, and we hope to continue for another week and a half. We have removed about 13,000 pounds of chubs so far. At four to a pound, that is a lot of chubs. Our average per day is around 2,500 pounds. We are taking them to the landfill for burial, but a few sportsmen have come up and taken some dead ones to freeze and use for bait," stated Hart.
The crew is using five live trap nets which are 50 feet long. They are placed in the shallows around the lake and are checked daily. As the fish swim around the shoreline, a funnel like fence draws them into the trap. When the traps are checked, the trout are removed and placed back into the lake, and the chubs are removed.
"We know we will not be able to remove all of the chubs, but we intend to make a big dent in the chub population in this reservoir. This is a great fishery for splake and other types of trout. The fishing has been really good lately and we hope to give the smaller trout a greater chance for winter survival," concluded Hart.
The four man team consists of Hart, and summer technicians Mike Ault, Steve Regruto and Matthew Serfustini.