I have just purchased a property in Pennsylvania that contains an 8 acre lake created by a flood control dam. It has been there for almost 50 years, without much, if any, attention paid to the fish. Understanding that there's a finite carrying capacity available, my goal is to establish the best trophy-size fishing lake that I can (quantity and quality). I've been reading much of the information posted here, and it's an amazing resource, but I was hoping to get some straight advice, specific to my property.
First, the backround on my body of water: As I said, it is about 8 acres in size. There is quite a bit of shallow water (2-4' deep), especially within the 2 to 3 acre area where the stream enters, with the deepest portions in the middle of the lake getting to about 14'. In the back of the pond the bottom is muddy, the type of mud that you sink into up to your knees. From the middle of the pond to the breast of the dam, the bottom is pretty rocky. There's not a whole lot of weeds/vegetation around the pond. There's a good supply of surface water (trout stream) entering and leaving the lake. Surface water temps are 69 F (mid-June). The lake is fished infrequently. We hit it a few times over the past few weeks and caught a lot of 8-10" LMB and 3-5" Bluegill. There are also native trout in the pond. We caught two of them 8-10", but there are reports of Natives up to 20"??? All around the banks of the pond, 1-2" minnows (LMB fry???) are visible, in very large numbers. There's also decent populations of crayfish and frogs.
I enjoy catching LMB, but just about every pond seems to have the LMB/BG combo. SMB and Walleye are other species I'm considering.
Now for my questions:
1) Could a lake like this support sufficient populations of SMB and Walleye (without yearly re-stocking) to provide exciting sportfishing?
2) Which species of fish would provide the best combinations of trophy fishing in a body of water such as this? If the answer is undoubtedtly LMB/BG, I'll settle for that.
3) What's the best way to achieve this outcome? (Draining the pond and starting over is not out of the question)