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Our fragile panfish population


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I know this is an old post but I wish the DNR would work harder to protect our larger panfish. I mainly fish for sunnies and rarely bring home more then 10 fish. I often release any of the larger fish

I was out at a local lake last night and found the gills on beds with a few crappies mixed in.  I was learning the lake and planned on keeping moving and targeting bass but couldn’t resist pulling a f

I have several lakes that have the genetics to kick out 10+ inch gills one of those has really been pounded the past 4 years and it's a shadow of its former self.  I only fished it once this winter bu

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The biggest offenders on the lake we fish are the locals too. It's common in the fall to see the same boats, 3 or 4 times a week, for 2 or 3 weeks. The sign posted at the PA asks that people put anything > 10" back. Most of the people that I see practicing C & R shouldn't be as they are fishing so deep that they are dead anyway

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On 12/14/2013 at 5:42 PM, walleye18 said:

theharvester...that is so true.

 

I tell my kids all the time to never, ever tell anyone where we fish.

 

It's so true. Some of the biggest blabbermouths are people who don't even fish. They'll tell every actual angler they know about a good, credible tip.

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1 hour ago, BassThumb. said:

 

It's so true. Some of the biggest blabbermouths are people who don't even fish. They'll tell every actual angler they know about a good, credible tip.

 

Yeah, no sense in sharing. Just keep 'em all for yourself. ;)

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I'm mainly joking. But when I think back to when I was a kid, it seemed like my dad and I could always catch good sized crappies. Then it dawned on me that he had an old "spoon" type hand auger and I was a lot smaller, so those crappies undoubtedly looked a lot bigger coming out of a small hole compared to an 8 or 10 inch hole, and a lot bigger in my hand then they do now.

 

I agree panfish don't get the respect they should, and it would be nice if we could find a way to get them bigger. I was looking through some of the DNR lake surveys near the Aitkin area, and every report claimed the crappies and sunnies were in low numbers and sized compared to similar lake classes. If you only went by those survey's though you probably wouldn't bother wetting a line.

 

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Yup, that's why I don't tell anyone when I find a good panfish lake. My favorite was earlier this year, when me and my gf were fishing a tiny lake we pulled the otter through the woods to get to. The year before we pounded the big gills and we did alright the time this year. A local came out to us and asked us if we were catching anything? " A couple small gills" he said ya your wasting your time out here. The biggest panfish I've caught are out of lakes that I've never seen another hole on. I never keep fish on any of these little lakes.

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  • 3 years later...

I know this is an old post but I wish the DNR would work harder to protect our larger panfish. I mainly fish for sunnies and rarely bring home more then 10 fish. I often release any of the larger fish I catch and keep smaller ones. Would changing the limit to 10 sunfish help? Do we need slot limits? Close the season for a month in the spring? I am open to suggestions.  I would love to go fishing and release a bunch of 10+ sunnies. 

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9 hours ago, Borch said:

Give your input on the panfish limits    the MN DNR has a survey on their website as we speak.   I did it last week.


I took the same survey and posted a comment in the panfish pics thread.

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1 hour ago, Wanderer said:


I took the same survey and posted a comment in the panfish pics thread.

I just took it as well.

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Part of the survey asking about changing the limit to ten on some lakes and five on other lakes (that could benefit from a reduced limit) is kinda neat. 

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12 hours ago, Ref said:

How about lowering the limit AND putting a slot size on?

That's what I recommended.   I really don't see that lowering the limit alone protects the genetics 

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I wonder how long it will take for our lakes to respond after a lowering of limits? Borch, you advocate for a slot limit, any ideas on what that should look like? Would releasing all fish between 8 to 10 inches be a starting point? I enjoy my open water sunny fishing but think how fun it would be to hook into a 10+ sunny ice fishing! 

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16 hours ago, minky said:

I wonder how long it will take for our lakes to respond after a lowering of limits? Borch, you advocate for a slot limit, any ideas on what that should look like? Would releasing all fish between 8 to 10 inches be a starting point? I enjoy my open water sunny fishing but think how fun it would be to hook into a 10+ sunny ice fishing! 

Only keep 1 fish over 9" until a lake with potential is determined to have a self sustaining population over 10". Then only keep 1 over 10".

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