Lowering the bag limit or instituting a restrictive harvest size will only so far too. We both know that there isn't enough enforcement out there already. What its going to have to take is a complete culture shift from mostly harvest to mostly catch and release. It has caught on in the world of bass and muskie fishing for years now and their populations have responded with an abundance of thriving populations and trophy caliber fish.
As much as I would like to blame the catfish or other species of hurting the panfish population, the number one factor I believe is over harvest from fishing. There are people that fish 4 or more days a week and give fish away to others that don’t fish. Somehow they just can’t bring themselves to catch and release which I do not understand. I love fishing and I love the taste of fish but no way my I cleaning fish every time I go out. Hopefully we can continue to educate people on the benefits of catch and release instead of keeping so many. It sucks to go down to 10 or 5 for a limit, but if it helps us down the road I will live with it. The lake my in-laws have a cabin on has been 5 sunfish for many years now and it has helped. It just takes a while.
I don't fish that series of lakes but I have also heard that the introduction of the catfish years ago has played a significant role in reducing the population of panfish, especially bluegills. I know bass anglers that fish out there regularly using artificial moving lures that still catch catfish. That tells me they are aggressive and hungry.
I believe muskies were also introduced but muskies have not been proven to have a measurable impact on panfish populations, except for maybe perch. There's simply not enough of them and stomach content studies have shown they prefer a diet of suckers, ciscoes (when present), small pike, and perch. Would they eat a bluegill given the chance? Of course. But they do not seek them out as primary prey.
Another likely factor is angler over harvest. Panfish populations get hammered almost year round now.
looks like there will be a change in sunfish limits effective march 1. article in todays st cloud times said there looking to reduce the sunfish limit on 9 area lakes. those lakes happen to make up the horseshoe chain system. looks like the new limit will go from 20 to 10.
now this is just my opinion but i didnt hear any issues with the panfish population until a few years after they introduced the catfish to that system.
either way i'm ok with the change!
Whoa, bringing this one back from the dead.
I use Rockys. The specific model are Cornstalkers. They have 500 grams of insulation. I use mine as all-purpose boots, walking for pheasants/grouse and sitting for deer/turkeys. The first set I had lasted for about 10 years before they started to fall apart. I'm on my second pair now, year 3 coming up. I had a pair of Redhead Comfort Airs from Bass Pro for 2 seasons and they started to leak and my feet always got wet. Highly suggest avoiding the Redhead brand of boots.