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 I fully agree on the 12 inch length limit, that would be awesome! Been on the water the last couple of days and will be headed out again tomorrow, the crappie fishing has been outstanding. Today alone we had over 60 keepers and would’ve easily had two limits of 12 inch plus fish. Here are some photos of a couple of 14 inch ones from today and a 15 inch one from yesterday, all of them are still swimming! Thumping Lines!

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7A1FA078-EE98-44AA-8899-9E05715A055E.jpeg

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1 hour ago, terryj1024 said:

I totally agree we need a higher length limit. Can somebody tell me why we have a 9 inch length limit on some of our lakes

Because if we had a 15" limit-- in 4-5 years Crappie would be the only fish in the lake !!!!!!!!

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Nobody's talking about a 15 inch length limit but if you look at Mississippi their length limit is 11 in. They are known for their crappie and there's more than just crappie in the Lake. Why would anyone want to take home a 9 inch crappie there's nothing there. If you ask me Table Rock would be a great place to raise the limit to 11 in. There's not as many crappie in the lake as other Lakes and it would give the crappie more time to spawn. In the lake is also a large enough to handle larger fish. If the conservation department never tries then we never know what could be.

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I think it has to do with size at 3 yrs of age and overall expected life expectancy.   Fish in those southern lakes have a lot longer growing season and get bigger faster.  Fish in mo have a shorter season and tend to be slower growing, around 9 inches in 3 years.  If I remember stockton and Table Rock were both 10 inch MLL and it really didn't make a difference in overall size of the population in general.  I don't think any of the big lakes have a shortage of shad, or cover.  Heck I remember when there were no MLL and you could take home 30 at a time, was no shortage of crappie.

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15 hours ago, terryj1024 said:

I totally agree we need a higher length limit. Can somebody tell me why we have a 9 inch length limit on some of our lakes

I always thought it was because those lakes had too many short fish, Pomme in particular, although this year has been way better when compared to the last couple. 

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Some good questions concerning the length limits. I think I could write a 5000 word essay on this subject (and still not adequately address the subject for all MO Reservoirs), but since I am a retired biologist I don't feel compelled to elaborate to that extent. So here goes the short version:       

First of all, let me assure you that there has been a lot of research went in to selecting the appropriate size limits for the each of the various MO lakes. Also, it is a very complicated with many social and biological considerations. These include: Growth Rates, fecundity (reproductive rates), harvest rates and fishing pressure,  fish densities, age and length of maturity, Natural mortality, weight/length relationships (overall condition), food availability at the utilizable sizes in relation to fish sizes, angler preferences and regulation simplicity and enforcement. Add to those the need to manage for optimal production over the long term due to changing water conditions and yearly forage fish density fluctuations.

Now to get down to a complicated simple explanation of why some lakes are 9" and others 10". Truman is a more turbid lake, therefore reproductive survival of crappie is better than clearer lakes like Stockton, most likely because other sight feeders cannot see them to feed on them. Additionally, Truman is more fertile and that increases zooplankton production, feeding the baby crappie, equaling better survival of the fry. Also, because of the turbidity, sight feeders like crappie cannot see their prey as easily, leading to slower growth rates. That means that if you would protect crappie in Truman to 10 inches (or greater) the crappie would likely over-populate and growth rates would slow even more.

So, take that same logic and apply to Stockton, if a 12 inch length limit were applied, the growth rate could slow due to increased densities and add a year or years of poor forage production, to a point that it would take longer for them to reach the legal size, possibly effecting overall condition (skinny fish) with less ability to reproduce. Stockton experienced poor shad production in the late 90's anyone remember that? And, what was the crappie fishing like at that time?

Note: Surveys have shown that most anglers would rather catch more medium sized crappie rather than a few larger ones. 

 I am convinced that the 10 inch crappie length limit is right for Stockton. 

Boy, I could go on and on but its late time to hit the sack!

 

 

 

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