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Lums Pond is the most heavily fished pond in Delaware based on a 2009 statewide survey of licensed anglers. The high number and variety of anglers require active management, such as stocking striped bass hybrids, to provide many types of angling opportunities.
The largemouth bass population increased dramatically between 2006 and 2010. Most bass were well over legal length as this pond has the highest proportion of big bass of any public pond. About one in 5 bass collected was over 18 inches. Average weights have stabilized in recent years and are good. There is always the potential for a true lunker here.
Bluegill numbers increased slightly but most are mid-size (6 inches). Overcrowded crappie have declined in recent years but size structure and weights remain low. This is one of the few Delaware ponds that have both black and white crappie (others are Becks and Noxontown). Some citation bluegill, largemouth bass, white perch and yellow perch are reported each year. Crappie citations have become more abundant despite the problem with stunted fish.
White perch are extremely abundant (nearly 1,400 per electorfishing hour) and generally small although occasional citations are taken. These are undoubtedly impacting other fish populations and should be thinned out. Yellow perch were much less abundant and have tended to hang out in the areas of the pond where inflow streams enter. Occasional large chain pickerel have been taken, primarily in the northeast portion of the pond. Carp numbers have declined somewhat recently.
Growth of most fish species in Lums Pond was average or slightly better. This is in marked contrast to growth documented in the early 1970s when bass in Lums Pond had the slowest growth rate of any state pond population due to a lack of food fish (forage).
Landlocked alewife were successfully stocked into the pond in 1979 and 1980 to provide additional forage. The landlocked population has a relatively short life span and reaches only a maximum length of about nine inches, making it an excellent prey species for bass. Despite two stocking events in recent years, the alewife population has not rebounded to historical levels.
In 1982, striped bass X white bass hybrids were stocked into Lums Pond due to the heavy angling pressure and the established alewife population (a preferred food item). The hybrids are sterile so have to be maintained by stocking. Some concerns about the ability of the alewife population to support the largemouth bass, crappie, and striper hybrid populations resulted in a temporary hold on stocking of hybrid stripers during the mid-1990s. However, stocking has resumed and the hybrid stripers continue to be a popular game species.
The current state record is a 13 lb 13 oz hybrid taken in March 1990. Although occasional individuals have been taken during summer months, most of the citation-size fish (minimum 5 lbs; or 22 inches for live release program) have been caught in April/May or October/November. These fish prefer cooler water temperatures, so they tend to congregate in the deeper areas of the pond during the warm months.
Many anglers find this pond difficult to fish because of its size and the heavy fishing pressure exerted here, possibly “educating” the fish. It is our largest public pond and requires some time and effort for anglers to achieve familiarity.
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