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I live on a lake with a good fish poulation it's an older lake with the age about 35years. The lake used to be a straight bass/ blue gill /cats/ Giant red ears. But people who know better...yea right. Have added pike /walleye/wipers 3-4/small mouth and Crappie/pearch. Why they mess with someting thats not broke I do not know. The size of the pond is around 23 to 27 arces. There is about 13 to 15 people living on the lake. They have set a limit of gills.Most everbody is older so I am about the only one who REALLY fishes.Most of the folks are older and non fisherman. They watch the lake like it's there job.I know the crappie could be a problem so I have always kept any that I've caught. Now the average keeper size is around 13-14". The bass seem small and numberous all around the same size. I dare not keep them for fear of the neighbors wrath.With some larger ones. I have caught 16 walleye 22-24" long this year and some pike weighing 7lbs to 10.My problem is this THEY CRY"I dont see them like I use to" But I do! I tell them you cant catch them from your living room. You need to get in your boat to see them. Anyway the last night I was fishing near my neighbors place and he went nuts yelling I was gonna over fish the lake I caught 80 gills last week four of us. and 50 red ears last night {huge}three of us. I missed the early spawn. Lots of the beds are empty. I see beds on every shore line. He also stated that I should let the gills spawn. I feel he is ingorant and not the type of man to talk to. Yells. What book can you recomned that would tell you it's ok to harverst fish. The lake should be fished and the fish harvested correct? I just want to add I have been fishing this lake since the mid 80's except for a four year stint in the Army. Please help. I dont think I should be made to feel guilty about catching fish when I can. I dont alway find or catch them. I have NEVER caught this kind of fish throught the ice. NEVER . I can't find them in the winter . I live in northern Indiana. Thanks for reading my rant. Please help/respond.I do not fish everyday once or twice a week .So yes I like to eat fish I am sorry.I also like to have some for the winter as well {freezer}.
Andy


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M2A2,

I'm from the south (Texas to be more exact) but I can offer a couple of comments. First, by your description of large BG, your lake is probably in pretty good shape, relatively well balanced, and that means that someone is taking out a good number of LMB, otherwise they would tend to overpopulate, stunt, and the BG would be generally small. That's a big generalization, but probably close to describing your lake.

Second, and on this point you may not find what you are looking for, many of us on this forum have seen first hand the effects that fishing pressure has on the catchability of LMB and by extension possibly to other predator fish as well. We have even had reliable reports of private 50 acre lakes that have experienced significant declines in the catchability of LMB as the bass mature and are subject to fishing pressure. Some of us attribute some of that tendency to Florida strain LMB, which in all likelyhood you do not have.

Just about all small bodies of water that contain LMB will at some point or other need to have LMB, especially the small ones, harvested. You need to find the right balance between that need to harvest and fishing pressure that allows the LMB (and other predators) to be enjoyed by all lake owners.

My recommendation to you is to set up a slot limit on bass and get general agreement or baselining of that rule for all lake owners/fishers....bass below that slot must be harvested and karger fish must be released. Picking the slot or size limits is a little bit tricky and I'm sure you can get some expert advise on that, but I really recommend that you think about this as a long term management tool for your lake. A possible starting point is to remove any bass under 14 inches and release all others...it would be just as important to "remove" as it is to "release".

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M2A2 (Bradley?):

Neighbors - can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em. :rolleyes:

You can try to educate a majority re limits and the need for harvest (Bob Lusk's classic "Harvest the Garden" approach, and several related articles not all by him, can be found at BassResource.com), but IMHO most older people (like most people of any age) aren't all that interested in learning.

If there is a "Lake Board" or equivalent, you have a better chance at educating a majority of a smaller number of people who are hopefully more interested in the pond than the average Gladys Kravits with shore frontage and binoculars. If not, maybe you can organize one.

This is why I would rather be a big fish(erman) in a small pond than a small fish(erman) in a big pond.

Good Luck.


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Yes Bradley! And I do not keep the bass. The neighbor was talking {yelling}about the over fishing of the blue gills/red ears.Thanks for the posts! keep em comming.


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I would not attempt after reading just your one post to evaluate & offer advice on management of a 23ac lake esp. with that diversity even if I had the credentials.

It is unlikely your presentation of any material will convince a neighbor that already thinks you are wrong.

You need a third party.

With that large a lake it shouldn't be hard to find someone in the community your neighbors trust & respect & you can reason with that also would like to fish the lake.
Find that person/s & take them fishing. Then ask if they would be willing to help.

Use the common trusted friend to call a meeting to discuss the welfare of your pond.
Contact a lake management pro & have them give a sales pitch. He should show just for the potiential business.


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AGree with you proper harvest is a key to produce a good fishery. What is the proper species number and size needs to be determined. If gills/redear are really big may be predator dominant with bass, walleye and pike. If so you might need to lessen the cull of bluegill. Seems funny when you catch that many but they can be limited this is why they are big. Uphill battle convincing many. I deal with "old school" folks alot that think catch and release is only way to manage. If there is a reliable fishery biologist in the area even your game and fish you might get them involved to help your arguement. If not maybe get some ear plugs ;\) large m


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M2A2 - You are in a difficult situation, as you already know. Many fishers think that since they can catch fish they automatically know how to manage them. Not always true.

Several things should happen in your situation in addition to the good advise previously posted.

If the lake does not have a lake association (Lake Board) one should be started. Even if it only meets once or twice a year. Educational information about fish management can be made available at meetings. The association should come to some agreement as the goal or goals for the various fish species. An expert should attend one of the meetings or to help establish, guide, direct and lay out the methods to achieve the goals.

To defend your fishing harvest you need to become educated so you can defend your fish harvest with wisdom and literature. Your fish harvest may need to be refined and limited to better achieve fishery goals for the small lake. You as the main fisherman should keep good catch AND harvest records on every fishing trip. These records will help justify or defend your actions. Do some searching on this forum for 'relative weights' and or 'catch records'.

Be aware that your intensive fishing pressure on the lake may make the catching of some of the species a little more difficult not for you but for the more unskilled, casual anglers.

Be aware that new research of trophy class bluegill and redears indicates that they can be easily overfished by skilled anglers and thus overharvested. Proper harvest is very improtant to maintaing a trophy class bgill fishery.

I recommend that you subscribe to In-Fisherman magazine and make copies of the pertinent "harvest" articles as handouts to the "crying neighbors" and Lake Board menbers in efforts to better educate all involved about current philosophies of proper fish catch, release and harvest for the goals established by the local lake association. Since you are the primary fisherman on this lake you should not be the main JUDGE of what gets harvestred but you should be the main educator, manager and protector of the lake's fishery. Your knowledge, information, frequent sampling and familarity of the fishes in the lake will in the future provide the main indicators for the overall health and vitality of the lake's fishery.

Fish harvest is good, but wise fish harvest is better.


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 Quote:
Originally posted by Theo Gallus:
M2A2 (Bradley?):IMHO most older people aren't all that interested in learning.
So, my friend Theo, just what do you consider "older"? \:\)

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ML:

1) Recall the ENTIRE quote:
 Quote:
IMHO most older people (like most people of any age) aren't all that interested in learning
;)

2) What I consider "older" is a sliding definition - it goes up about a year roughly every twelve months. \:D

I apply Sturgeons Law ("95% of everything is crud") to almost everything. If you use it to predict Human Nature, you will seldom be disapointed.

When applied to the PB Forum and it's frequent contributors (both experts and the many genuinely appreciative questioners) - well, there must be another 19 pond/fish websites that are pretty cruddy. \:\)


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I would follow the above advice about thinning the pond and trying to enlighten everyone. I expect most of the residents around the lake care about its well being. Like you, they bought property around the lake because of it. Ask them to log on here and ask questions. You just might get most of the residents on the same page. However, there is usually one know-it-all who just wants to be a sorehead. I expect the other residents know about him. Like Marlon Brando said in The Godfather, "This man just can't be reasoned with". I would probably wave to him evertime he started ranting. However, not all of my fingers would be pointed skyward.

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Sounds like northern Indiana! I live in northern Indiana too. We have folks that live on the PUBLIC lakes (don't fish) that are attempting to keep the public off and harass them. Good luck. We've got some real morons up here.


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It's the region BABY! Thanks for the info .


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I read a publication from Iowa Fisheries last week about how many Bluegill to harvest in my own pond. It says to harvest 50 adult BG per acre per year. I didn't see any referance to say it would be more or less for larger or smaller fisheries but the Indiana Fisheries Dept may be able to help you with free information. If they can, do a mass mailing to the residents with lake property.

Just a thought,
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Invite them over for a fish fry and get to know them a little better if you haven't already. Sometimes that is all a person needs to do to solve almost any neighborly disputes.

or

Take up night fishing.....old folks go to bed early. What they don't see won't hurt them.

or

Thicken your skin and tell them to go to blazes. There is no way you yourself are damaging the fish population of that lake. But that's just my humble opinion.


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