Originally posted by: Trace on 10/11/2007 9:43:17 AM
The lake we were on at the time is a local lake, only 77 acres, and there is only about 50 feet of shoreline that can be fished by anglers that do not have a boat. This particular lake is very rarely fished because most anglers do not own boats. This lake is the newest of 2 lakes within 2 miles of each other, it is 25 yrs old, the other north of it is 40 yrs old. The older lake can be fished easily from the shore and has a road most of the way around the lake. The new has a road that goes to the boat launch ramp and that is it. Most people fish the older lake because it is easier to fish. The new lake has very little fishing pressure. I have fished the new lake over 100 days this year and 99% of the time, my boat is the only one on it. The lake gets very little fishing pressure and the few people that do seem to fish it catch and release. Little if any fishing pressure along with very few people keeping the fish they catch has caused the small bass to take over. The biologist did mention that the old lake, which actually has the least desirable fish habitat, has a strong fish population and is perfectly balanced.
Not many fish die in the new lake because of a severe lack of fishing pressure. All these small bass are not enough to control the gizzard shad population and many of the shad have become quite large, to large for any fish to eat except the catfish. There are some very large catfish in the lake. My son and pull fish bigger than 20 lbs out of the lake every single night we catfish. The channel cats will go over 20 lbs and the flatheads go over 50 with the biologist verifying the rumor that there are 80+ lb flatheads swimming the lake. Even with these large catfish, the shad population is not being controlled but the predators. He mentioned that his next order for stocking in the spring would be for 25 saugeye per acre and possible some wipers.
He said it is a balancing act but the fist thing that needs to be done is to remove around 2000 small bass. He said once the small bass are gone, the bass that are left will help to control the shad along with the addition of more predators. He said if things work, within 3 years, the lake will again be producing large bass but the few people that do fish that lake need to start removing the small bass they catch.