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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Uncle owns a get away home in West/Central Illinois. It is way out in no man’s land nothing but corn fields in every direction. In fact there isn’t a decent sized town for about an hour in every direction.

It’s on a private set of lakes and the amount of people that live there is pretty limited. One thing thing that is for sure is that the fishing is superb there. The lakes are creek fed but are also old strip mines. Doubly good. The fishery is managed and regularly stocked. They adore their Bass, Bluegill and Crappie fishing there.
There is also Huge channel cats in there. There is regular catches of 15-20lbers. I say huge as a relative term. I know other places have bigger.

So the “Situation” is this. I guess the powers that be at this community Hate the Channel Cats. Because they Say the cats ruin the panfish fishery by gobbling them all up. By the way, the days we fished at these lakes we were easily catching over 100 panfish a day and they were all big. There was no shortage what so ever.

So they say the cats are hurting there panfish fishery. So what have they done? They put out a freaking Kill order on them. They said eat them, and if you don’t eat them, then just thrown them on the shore to die! 😳😳😳

Please give me some good input here guys. This does not seem like a healthy way to manage a lake. If anything I would assume the channel cats would bring, and probably already do bring a healthy balance to the lakes. There is so much cover on these lakes the panfish have tons of places to hide. Plus we had no problems catching them. I just don’t see the thought process behind this idea. This would also ruin a great angling opportunity for the catfish.I
 

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Winston, Indiana
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Ray,
Just ignorance at work.
That lake must have established a really good predator - prey balance if there’s big cats and you’re catching 100 big panfish in a day.
If those big cats are eliminated, the balance will be messed up and the place will be overrun with small panfish.
Someone definitely has their head in their butt.
J. M. H. O. ….. but you know I’m right 😉

…W
 

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Be interested to know which county this is in.
Just from my experience, I stocked both my larger ponds with blue gill, red ear, hybrid gills, bass and channel cats. An IL state biologist developed the stocking plan with the state providing the fry. I inquired about how often I should restock channels as I knew they didn't often reproduce in ponds. I was advised by the biologist they do indeed reproduce but the fry have a very low survival rate due to predation from the scale fish.
For years I had a very good balance of all species stocked, what got me out of balance was overfishing. I pretty much allowed anyone to fish that asked with the understanding that no channels or bass greater than 14" would be kept. I caught one man leaving with 36 channels in the 5 to 8 lb range, he tried to justify by saying they had been gut hooked and was going to die anyway. Gates went up shortly after.
I guess if it is privately owned the owner(s) can implement whatever management practices they wish but I doubt the channels are having much of an effect on the scale fish, if anything I would suggest it is the other way around.
If your Uncle is part of the decision making maybe he could get a state biologist to come to the next meeting where it is discussed and give his input. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ray,
Just ignorance at work.
That lake must have established a really good predator - prey balance if there’s big cats and you’re catching 100 big panfish in a day.
If those big cats are eliminated, the balance will be messed up and the place will be overrun with small panfish.
Someone definitely has their head in their butt.
J. M. H. O. ….. but you know I’m right 😉

…W
Lol, I do know your right Winston. Common sense tells us it all okay. Somehow they think the panfishing will be even better if they get rid of them. I don’t know if they are spoiled or what out there, because out of those 100 panfish, which were caught nearly on every cast, almost all where in the 10” range.
I mean what “Better” are they looking for!? Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Be interested to know which county this is in.
Just from my experience, I stocked both my larger ponds with blue gill, red ear, hybrid gills, bass and channel cats. An IL state biologist developed the stocking plan with the state providing the fry. I inquired about how often I should restock channels as I knew they didn't often reproduce in ponds. I was advised by the biologist they do indeed reproduce but the fry have a very low survival rate due to predation from the scale fish.
For years I had a very good balance of all species stocked, what got me out of balance was overfishing. I pretty much allowed anyone to fish that asked with the understanding that no channels or bass greater than 14" would be kept. I caught one man leaving with 36 channels in the 5 to 8 lb range, he tried to justify by saying they had been gut hooked and was going to die anyway. Gates went up shortly after.
I guess if it is privately owned the owner(s) can implement whatever management practices they wish but I doubt the channels are having much of an effect on the scale fish, if anything I would suggest it is the other way around.
If your Uncle is part of the decision making maybe he could get a state biologist to come to the next meeting where it is discussed and give his input. Good Luck.
JBuck, I will most certainly will talk to him about that. He as a homeowner there has a vote on decisions.

OMG that 36 channel story has me burning up! 😤
 

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Playing devil's advocate. The channel cats will compete with the bass for food. The prob is not that they will eat the adult panfish it is that they consume the little ones. The more the bass eat the bigger they can get, Perhaps this is their reasoning. Not pro or against just stating a possibility.

As jbuck said a fish biologist would be the best to weigh in.
 

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Ray,
Just out of interest, are there limits at those lakes, either state or location specific, on how many panfish per day can be kept?
You didn't mention if you kept or released any or all of those 100 ten inchers but if hauls like that were kept (whether by one guy or between several guys) on a regular basis it would do way more harm than those channels ever could.
Have they said what it is they are hoping to achieve, more panfish, bigger panfish or (ref. what Roundhouse said above) more bass, bigger bass? It's hard to fathom that they think the place could get better based on your description.

On a different tack, when I first started reading your opening post I was hoping you were going to say the place was full of monster carp that needed catching..... Oh well!!!

...W
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Playing devil's advocate. The channel cats will compete with the bass for food. The prob is not that they will eat the adult panfish it is that they consume the little ones. The more the bass eat the bigger they can get, Perhaps this is their reasoning. Not pro or against just stating a possibility.

As jbuck said a fish biologist would be the best to weigh in.
You know what there is a lake where the Bass are completely stunted. All about 1 pound and very skinny. Maybe that is the reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ray,
Just out of interest, are there limits at those lakes, either state or location specific, on how many panfish per day can be kept?
You didn't mention if you kept or released any or all of those 100 ten inchers but if hauls like that were kept (whether by one guy or between several guys) on a regular basis it would do way more harm than those channels ever could.
Have they said what it is they are hoping to achieve, more panfish, bigger panfish or (ref. what Roundhouse said above) more bass, bigger bass? It's hard to fathom that they think the place could get better based on your description.

On a different tack, when I first started reading your opening post I was hoping you were going to say the place was full of monster carp that needed catching..... Oh well!!!

...W
Winston there is a ton of Monster carp in there. But my uncle doesn’t like to fish for them when I’m there. I am foaming at the mouth to get some though. As for the limits I don’t know. I just know the community isn’t that big so not too many fisherman. But the community does highly favor their panfish population for eating. That’s one of the man reasons for the place I guess. We did not keep any where close to 100 of those fish. I believe my uncle filleted 25. That was out of 3 of us fishing. I’m sure we were in the limit.
 

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You know what there is a lake where the Bass are completely stunted. All about 1 pound and very skinny. Maybe that is the reason.
Could be. Many times it is just a non-favorable bass to forage ratio, of course an abundance of hungry cats could definitely contribute. I took a private waters management course in college in the 80s. To get the biggest bass, one does not want any other competition and two ki9nds of forage. Preferably bluegill and threadfin shad if my memory serves.
 

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I caught one man leaving with 36 channels in the 5 to 8 lb range, he tried to justify by saying they had been gut hooked and was going to die anyway. Gates went up shortly after.
JBuck,

You try to be a good guy and let them and their families have access to some place nice and they take advantage of you every **** time!:mad:
 
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