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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of November 7, 2018). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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Monday, January 28 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
(SYMPOSIA-01) Maintaining Quality Fisheries in Small Public Lakes Using Restrictive Harvest Regulations

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AUTHORS: Bryan Kinter, Mike Wilkerson – Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Overharvest is a common result of opening small lakes and reservoirs to unregulated public fishing. In lakes comprised primarily of largemouth bass and sunfish (Lepomis spp.), populations dominated by large, older sunfish and abundant largemouth bass quickly become dominated by abundant, small sunfish and few largemouth bass. This can occur after only one year of public fishing and results in a decline in angler use and satisfaction. Maintaining quality fisheries in small lakes requires restrictive harvest regulations of both sunfish and largemouth bass, and frequent evaluation of these regulations is required. Using a combination of trapnet and electrofishing surveys, harvest quotas, length limits, and bag limits, the ODNR-Division of Wildlife successfully maintained quality sunfish/largemouth bass fisheries on the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area from 1983-2011, after these lightly-fished, privately owned lakes were opened to public fishing. Each spring, trapnet and electrofishing surveys were conducted to evaluate bluegill and largemouth bass abundance and size structure. Bluegill harvest quotas were generated based on these estimates while restrictive length limits (minimum or slot) were set for largemouth bass. A complete creel census monitored harvest. Bluegill relative stock density (RSD) on Lake La Su An averaged 40.8 from 1987-2011 and largemouth bass electrofishing CPE averaged 371 fish/hour. Over 45% of bluegill harvested were greater than 200 mm in total length. The Lake La Su An fishery demonstrates that restrictive harvest regulations can be used to maintain quality fisheries in small lakes open to public fishing. However, extensive agency resources are required to collect the data needed to manage these types of fisheries.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm
HOPE BALLROOM A