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Spotted Bass Regulation Meeting


Quillback

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John Stein, AGFC biologist sent me the following information and asked me to post it here. I will put the meeting info at the end of this information:

I am a Fisheries Biologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and I wanted to let everyone on the Ozark Angler Forum know about a proposed spotted bass regulation change on Beaver Lake. We have been conducting research on the spotted bass population on Beaver Lake and have found some interesting results listed below.
AGFC fisheries regulation changes go through a series of steps before a regulation can be changed. We collect a large amount of scientific data and determine if regulation changes are needed based on fisheries science. We then meet with other fisheries biologists in Arkansas to get feedback on our proposed regulation. The third step is to discuss the proposed regulation with anglers and the public, and we do this by talking with anglers groups and obtaining input via our AGFC website. Public input is taken into consideration and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission votes on the proposed regulation in July. The proposed spotted bass regulation will then take effect on January 1, 2014.

Reasons for removing the 12 inch minimum length limit on Beaver Lake Spotted Bass.

1. Growth is slow—over 3 ½ years to get to 12” and 6-7 years to reach 15”.
2. Large portion of population is less than the 12” MLL---82% below 12” in 2012 electrofishing.
3. Removing 12” MLL will allow anglers to harvest some smaller spotted bass---hopefully increasing growth rates of spotted bass that are not harvested.
4. Removing smaller spotted bass may reduce competition on fish that grow bigger like smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.
5. We are beginning a stocking program for largemouth bass using the Beaver Lake Nursery Pond and hopefully, we can increase the number of largemouth bass in Beaver Lake with stocking. Harvesting of smaller spotted bass should reduce competition between spotted bass and largemouth bass in Beaver Lake.
6. Even if the regulation change does not improve the spotted bass population it will allow anglers the opportunity to catch and keep smaller spotted bass to eat.

If anyone has any questions, please call or email me at our Office in Rogers.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Rogers Fisheries Office
2805 West Oak Street
Rogers, AR 72758
877-631-6005
jestein@agfc.state.ar.us

Date: May 23, 2013

Time: 7 p.m.

Ozark Electric Cooperative Building

3641 West Weddington Drive

Fayetteville, AR


Jon Stein

Fish Management Biologist

E: jestein@agfc.state.ar.us P: (877)-631-6005 M: (479) 640-6422

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

2805 West Oak Street

Rogers, AR 72758

www.agfc.com

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Thanks for sharing. I personally think this is a good thing. I'm glad to see the AGFC actively engaging Beaver and giving it the attention it deserves. It's a very pressured lake with a lot of local tournaments, weekend anglers like myself and it's a great fishery. All the pros agree it's a great lake. Not many local anglers that I know of keep their catch but the ones that do, by all means...........

Fry the little suckers! :yaeh-am-not-durnk:

If it means bigger and better smallmouth/largemouth.......I'm all for it. I'm sure there are others here that will have reasons to object to this so I'm very interested in hearing their opinions. Maybe there is something I'm not considering or if others have had experience with things like this before on other lakes and seen bad results??

(let the debates ensue)

:blur:

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I guess these biologists know their stuff, but it is hard to believe this will really make a dent in the population? How many people keep < 12-in spotted bass or will now? I have a hunch that most of the people who keep < 12-Inch spotted bass currently also keep < 12-inch largemouth and either are not aware of these regulations or don't abide by them anyway. I could see changing the length limit on crappie or walleye or striper having an effect as fishermen usually keep these for the table when they can. Not the case with black bass. On another note, could this mean that the FLW could be won next year by an 8-in Kentucky since the tournament rules generally follow the creel limits for the tournament body of water.

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If people think they are helping the fishery by keeping these fish maybe they will, they are tasty!

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First, I will admit I am a food snob. Second, I will admit I grew up eating any bass, any size. Third, I will admit I flinch when I see a guide fillet a largemouth because his clients want meat. Fourth, I support any change real experts propose for the fishery.

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I think it would be a good regulation but I see several issues. First is getting people away from CR and to CRF its been almost bread into people to CR now. The other issue is identification most novice fishermen only know they caught a bass. I am concerned we will see people keeping all species and citations being handed out left and right.

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I think they need to know the LMB to SMB to spotted ratio first.

I would also question the true accuracy of the 82% below 12 inches. Electro shocking doesn't work very well in waters over 10 ft. And we all know larger lake fish will hang out in water much deeper than that. I don't think I would want to change regs on one years worth of shocking anyway. And just how much and where did they shock?

I think there are a ton of questions to ask before jumping on board.

Just my thoughts. Some of them anyway.

Chief Grey Bear

Living is dangerous to your health

Owner Ozark Fishing Expeditions

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Also, here they say Spots grow real slow. But for some reason in Missouri, we are told they grow real fast.

But I think when you really look at it, they are all about the same growth rates between the three.

Chief Grey Bear

Living is dangerous to your health

Owner Ozark Fishing Expeditions

Co-Owner, Chief Executive Product Development Team Jerm Werm

Executive Pro Staff Team Agnew

Executive Pro Staff Paul Dallas Productions

Executive Pro Staff Team Heddon, River Division

Chief Primary Consultant Missouri Smallmouth Alliance

Executive Vice President Ronnie Moore Outdoors

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