Creating a Bass and Muskie Trophy Fishery in WV, Part 1

September 20th, 2013

Blog Series, Part 1: Resetting and Designing the Lake

By Industry Experts Aaron Cushing and David Beasley, Fisheries Biologists

We recently began working on another fun and exciting fisheries management project, this time in southern West Virginia, helping to design a trophy fishery from start to finish. To take advantage of this and other unique opportunities, we decided to share the progress, as it happens, through a series of blogs, emphasizing the importance of each step in creating a healthy pond with a trophy fishery. We welcome you to follow us in our journeys!

The West Virginia trophy fishery project began with an initial electrofishing study of a 5 acre pond. Electrofishing provides important data that will greatly influence fisheries management strategies and is key to determining current population dynamics. The results of the study revealed an unbalanced heavy predator-to-prey ratio with high numbers of stunted largemouth bass and very few forage fish. The lake itself was lacking proper dense habitat for forage fish and large structural habitat for predator fish.

Following our assessment, the owner of the property decided to drain all the ponds to ensure a complete reset. This reset sets the stage for rapid fish growth in the new pond; this strategy is the single most significant step taken towards trophy fish management. Resetting the lake will actually cost less and take less time than fixing an older fishery, and the result is a much younger population of quality fish.


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HM Pump Used To Lower Water Level b

HM One Of The Ponds Being Expanded 3 b

The goals of the new waterbody include creating a trophy largemouth bass fishery along with tiger muskie (a sterile cross between northern pike and muskellunge) and hybrid striped bass (a cross between a white bass and striped bass). The characteristics of the lake are certainly shaping up in favor of creating a great tiger muskie and largemouth bass fishery.

HM One Of The Ponds Being Expanded 2 b

Construction is underway and the earth is being moved. We welcome you to follow the progress with us in the coming weeks!

Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management’s fisheries biologists, David Beasley and Aaron Cushing, as they take us on incredible journeys of creating trophy fisheries for our clients throughout the Eastern United States.

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Contact the experts at 888-480-5253 for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs. 

Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at

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