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Season on Crappies and Sunfish


huskiesplayer15

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Do people now in this day and age where we preach c&r, do we need to inact a season to protect the panfish when they are spawning? People say no but then why are the limits dropping? i know we dont need 15 crappies and abucketful of sunfish but whould having a season help a lake that much? How bad would the economic situation react? If you had a choice what would the season be? If my opinion means anythin i would say from ice-out to three weeks later or just open it all on the 15th. Just stirring the pot.
Best Fishes
Chris

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More than anything in the world, closed seasons during this part of the fishs' calendar would screw things up for a long time. Panfish are real prolific and can handle unbelieveable pressure...as long as they have habitat. If you want to secure the future of sunfish in a specific body of water, go after the entities who are destroying habitat. Any lake needing special regulation( season changes, slots, lower limits)has already undergone what it needs. To approach this from a statewide angle would harm more than what it was intended to fix.

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Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
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I don't know how you could set a closed season. They spawn at their best water temp, which can be at a different time every year.

Taking spawning bluegills off their beds is one of my big pet peeves. Our dock is centered right on a big spawning bed, so we left our shoreline natural and I run my boat out of the neighbor's dock when they are in. My boys fish them catch and release only during the spawn.

Problem is, there is one elderly couple who shoes up every May/June and anchors about twenty yards off my dock. In a few afternoons they wipe 'em out. After they leave all the boys can catch is 6" or less.

I've never confronted them, I have no reason to believe they exceed the daily limit, but I have said "Hi" and tried to talk to them, because they are sitting there within conversation distance, but they ignore me as if I wasn't there.

So I think changing limits or regulating harvest of spawning panfish will get you farther than closing season.

When I was a kid there was a lake near our home that had an area marked off by the DNR where you couldn't fish northerns for the first week or two of the season. It would be labor intensive, but marking off bluegill spawning areas when the water temp is between 68 and 73 degrees could be handled by lake association volunteers. I know I'd do it on ours.

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So would that be feasible? If the lake associations on each lake were to do that? I was just wondering, it seemed like the state goes to great stretches to protect the walleyes, muskies, etc, but they dont make steps to help the panfish, that was just my view, this opens another question I have, what is the latest you have seen crappies and sunfish spawn? I thought the crappies were always done third weekend in may and the sunfish usually spawn the first week in june, i know they don't spawn until68-73 degrees I think, but just trying to see what everyone thought.
Best Fishes
Chris

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huskie you are in the ball park as far as when they spawn. the only thing that can vary is what kind of spring we get. from my years (ok so i am gettng old!!) you can start checking any thing from three weeks before that time to three weeks after . mother nature just has a hard time being constant! del

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2dalake... Try anchoring a couple canoes parallel to the shore right over and just ahead of where those fish are nesting. The point is here that every year you have nice fish show up to spawn, and this couple takes them out. Next year, same thing. The fish are sustaining themselves, otherwise you'd not see those better fish in there spawning each year. You can't get in a fret because someone catches fish off the bed. This activity has gone on for over a hundred years and most of these waters remain very healthy. If it is a matter that your kids then don't have those nice fish to C&R, consider this....they should not intentionally be targeting those nesting fish either then. The reduction in limits was done to help prevent overharvest of those big boys and girls statewide....both panfish and crappies. Be happy with that. And if you feel that more need be done on "your" body of water, call the DNR and get an assessment done on it and follow their recomendations. Until then, park your boat over the spawning water in such a manner that those in boats cannot cast into the area mentioned.

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Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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Until they show up the next day with 20' cane poles and pull em up over the canoes!!

I hate to see big gills plucked too, even though I do admit I target them just for the catch and release factor, which is something I should not do either, BUT...no one can really keep people from doing it.

I've witnessed actual fights break out between land owners and fisherpeople, mainly started by land owners who believe they own the water under their docks, near their shores, etc.(One of my biggest pet peeves, especially during bass season)

So, until laws change, it's something everyone will have to live with.

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I'm not claiming ownership of these beds and my kids know that when they are bedding they fish catch and release only. I hope that they will get wary and not bite again, at least for awhile, but that never seems to work.

I also can't see myself trying to fence off a part of the lake. It's just frustrating to see two people empty an area of the best fish so quickly. They really are at their most vulnerable at that time.

I think it could be feasible to have lake association volunteers mark off areas during a spawn if they are coordinated and directed by state officials. Example: An association member reports to the state that the lake has reached the desired temp, the state varifies the temp and OKs the membership to place markers for a set period of time, maybe ten days? At the end of that period the membership is responsible for removing the markers.

Fishing would still be allowed in the marked area, but fish caught must be returned to the lake. It would protect the big spawners.

This idea will probably never catch on, but I'd like to see something done. It's getting hard to find a bluegill over 7" in this lake at any time other than the spawn.

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I agree that we need to promote protection of out big gills, but I don't think closing the seasons would do anything besides piss a lot of people off. Harvesting panfish can be a very good thing for a population, or a bad thing, but I don;t think closing would help much at all.

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To see what effects Minnesota and other states have seen from various panfish management approaches, check out the February 2004 issue of In-Fisherman. The article is called "Managing for Huge Panfish"

Suprising depth for a fishing magazine article.

This topic would have been as or more appropriate for the "Outdoor Political Power" forum.

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2dalake....Now you're talking! Management at a statewide level would be totally inappropriate because what may be beneficial to one lake may well be spelling disaster on another. If indeed you do have an association that you can go to, do it. You may find that other property owners have the same concerns and feel the need to get something done. But working with the DNR to tackle a problem like that will also mean that the homeowners on the lake concerned about fishing those bedded fish, may end up not being able to fish them either. As for the other homeowners that did not share your concerns?....well, you may have bitten off your nose to spite your face. I'dopt to get over it.

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Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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Yeah, well like I said, it probably will never happen anyway.

I wouldn't be asking anyone to stop fishing for them on the beds, just stop keeping them. I like fishing them on beds myself, so do thousands of others. If you tried to close it completely I doubt you'd get the acceptance you need to make it work. So let them fish for them, but restrict the harvest. It may not be ideal, but each spawner caught has a chance to live to next year.

I'm not sure what you'd do about hooking mortality though, I suppose the same thing you'd do with a protected slot walleye. Release anyway and hope for the best? Northerns gotta eat too? I hate that.

MT, I gave up the Political Forum page. You guys on that page get pretty intense, and I get enough of that in real life. This forum has become my escape when I'm not on the water.

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2dalake....I want to clarify for you here, that I know exactly where you are coming from and you have my full sympathies regarding your cause! I have well over 40 years of time on the water and have seen some things take place that have changed the scope of fishing, probably forever, and not necessarily good.Time has taught me not to get my knickers ripped over something that most likely will not change. Keep doing what you do.Fish, practice C&R, practice selective harvest....enjoy the sport to its fullest! But all the while keep in mind that your actions speak louder and clearer than words....you will set the example by deed, not force.

------------------
Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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2dalake,

Ain't nothin' wrong with that grin.gif Have fun and I hope I talk with you when I pop in on the other forums!

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Check this out guys. It turns out the DNR is already trying something like what I described above. I've never fished Lake Darling before, but I was curious about it and found this on the DNR's Lake Finder page. This is cut and pasted off the Lake Darling Survey:

Darling Lake is managed primarily for panfish and bass, and secondarily for northern pike and walleye. The DNR helps maintain panfish and bass recruitment by posting a spawning area along the southeast side of the lake. A posted spawning area prohibits fishing and boating traffic in the posted area between ice-out and June 30. However, persons with adjoining shoreline property are allowed ingress and egress rights through the posted area for purposes of gaining access to the main lake. Other management activities include routine surveys to monitor the health of fish populations, some limited walleye stocking to supplement naturally produced walleye populations, and habitat protection through review of proposed shoreline developments and permits regulating removal of emergent vegetation.

I wonder how long that has been in place? It restricts fishing altogether, so it must be kind of a bummer if your dock is there, even if you can come and go through it.

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Extend your dock out a little further into the lake, and build it in a "T" shape at the end, extending 15 feet in each direction...

Shake'em

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I think it is a proven fact that closing the season has no effect on the fish population. look at south dakota where ther season for even walleyes and northerns never close. I have heard that the reason that minnesota has a closed season has to do with money created by having an "OPENER"

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