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[DNR] Special rule helps bass fishing at two Noble County lakes
Start Date: 6/26/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 6/26/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
A temporary fishing regulation imposed by the DNR at two Noble County lakes has restored balance to largemouth bass populations – at least for now.

The rule allowed anglers during summer 2011 to catch and keep bass that were 10- to 14-inches long. At most northern Indiana lakes, all bass less than 14 inches must be released.

Dubbed a “harvest slot limit,” the rule was designed to reduce the number of small bass in hopes of producing larger ones.

Based on surveys by the DNR, anglers harvested 1,900 bass from Big Lake and reduced the number of 10- to 14-inch bass by 41 percent. They removed 611 from Crane Lake and reduced the number by 71 percent.

The special rule was in effect from June through August. The standard 14-inch minimum size was re-imposed in September 2011 and remains in effect.

The DNR will monitor bass populations at both lakes in coming years to assess whether the rule produces a long-term increase in bass size. The DNR’s goal in thinning out small bass is to enable those that remain to have more food and grow larger.

“We’re happy with the results of the slot limit so far,” said Jed Pearson, DNR fisheries biologist. “It showed us fishermen are willing to remove surplus bass and take advantage of opportunities to harvest them.”

Fishermen apparently liked the slot limit. Some even asked Pearson to apply the limit at other lakes where small bass are plentiful.

“That’s a possibility,” he said. “There are several lakes that have the same problem. The slot limit gives us an option and gets anglers involved in fish management.”

Pearson said sampling last month at Bear Lake, also in Noble County, showed it has a problem similar to Big and Crane lakes.

Pearson captured 246 adult bass in one hour at Bear Lake using an electroshock boat. Only five were larger than 14 inches and none was larger than 15 inches.

Meanwhile, the cause of the problem remains a mystery.

“We don’t know why some lakes develop over-populations of bass,” said Pearson. “More research is needed to answer that question.”
Contact Information:
Name: Jed Pearson
Phone: (260) 244-6805
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
Announcements
IN.gov Category:
Agriculture & Environment

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