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kingspade651

Crappie overharvest

11 posts in this topic

Anyone else notice the crazy number of 6-8" crappies coming through your holes this winter. I think the better early ice this year has caused a tremendous harvest of crappies, depleting the larger ones and leaving smaller ones. This year will be tough for nice crappies, but next years class is looking great. Keep less crappies!

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Not sure I am on the same page as you. I was fishing early ice and it wasn't great ice, and the fish weren't any bigger. In fact, I have to say as the winter has gone on, I have increased my average size fish.

Yes, people do need to be selective in their harvest of any species of fish, but to say people are keeping more this year than any year previous doesn't seem to have a solid foundation in my opinion. Keeping smaller fish and letting bigger ones go is the way to increase the population of quality fish and try to reduce the stunted population, but the next time the fish you let go is caught, unless the person has the same ideals as you, it will hit the fry pan at that point in time. Just because the limit is 10, doesn't mean you have to keep 10. For myself, I can easily get by with 3 or 4 7.5-9" crappies. If my whole family wants to eat fish, I try to bring them fishing, and we each keep our 3 or 4, and let the rest go. Share the experience with as many people as you can.

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Hmmmm even Dietz Dittrich had mentioned overharvest in one of his posts, especially up in the Chisago area. Not saying there's not big ones, but from past years, this IS my worst year on crappies, and i'm noticing A LOT of other people complaining about the size. I could be wrong, but i think overharvesting is to blame at some lakes, but not all.

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I suppose i shouldnt blame overharvest too much, but it has been a problem on some area lakes. This has also been a bad year class too. And when i keep crappies, i usually won't take a limit unless i plan on freezing some too. Cant wait for next year though, it will be better

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We can only hope the fishing gets better, and if we all chip in and do our part, as most here do, we might just see it get better. Leaving the resources better for our kids and their kids should be the main goal in my opinion.

And I can somewhat see your point on overharvest, but I don't know if I would call it that neccesarily. The way I see it, if you compare ice fishing 10 years ago to what it is today, there are a lot more people doing it, and doing it with a lot more success than in the past. Its more the shear numbers of participants in the sport. The more people know about selective harvest, the better off we will be. Especially as the sport continues to grow.

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I dont think it has anything to do with ice fishing and good ice.. i just think the lake is getting some pressure.. both winter and spring. It does seem like many of the keeper sized are gone. Oveharvest may have been a bit harsh on my part.. but, like I did state in my other post, there are a couple of very decent year classes coming up.

I thin kall lakes run a cycle of sorts.. it just so happens that S.Center is in one of the down cycles for size. Numbers seem good though.

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I agree with only needing 3 or 4 for a nice meal... Wouldnt mind seeing the limit dropped down to 5... With a closed season in the spring so they have a fighting chance to spawn.. I'm thinking primarily in the Chisago area... Its amazing watching the boats pile into North Center lake in the spring and hammer the Crappies... Cant imagine many nice fish survive that ordeal..

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The major drawback to closing the season on panfish in the spring would be the hit that local businesses would take...late march, april, early may is already the slow season. Now with nothing to fish for your taking away the money being spent on bait and panfish gear. Also has the potential for people to lose interest in fishing in the long term, meaning less license sales a year. It sure sounds nice to be able to save those spawning slabs, but is it really worth it to hurt the local economy or conservation funding? It's a no win situation. \:\(

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I never really thought of that, but thats a great point! It does end up being a no win situation...No I'd say its not really worth hurting the economy, Maybe it'd help if we as Sportsmen kept getting our baits, licenses, and fishing things from our local baitstores instead of the ever encroaching Wal-Marts... ;\)

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No football and now no fishing? What are you trying to do to us? What would I do before opener? Work?

Spring fishing is spectacular because all the "if it doesn't have teeth it isn't a fish" guys stay home. The days are getting longer, spring training on the radio, and the fish bite hard. Just keep a couple to eat and enjoy the rest time until the bait runs out. That is why I love Minnesota.

I just work one person at a time over to that mindset. Invite them out with you to fish and show what it is to enjoy fishing, and not just eating.

I can smell that spring air already.

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I agree with the crappie cycle theory for some lakes. A couple good year class dominate the lake for a few years in that 5 to 7 inch range, they thin out, and you have 8 to 11 inchers and the well runs dry again. However, some lakes do suffer from too much pressure.

In my book there are good panfish lakes (low density, good size) and there are lakes with consistently small panfish (high density, small size). Then there are in-between lakes. Lakes that put out acceptable fish for a couple years and then cycle back to small fish or very few fish. I kind of think most of our metro and fringe-metro lakes fall in to that category. Whether that is due to pressure or just the genetic makeup of the fish, I do not know.

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