Each month, we strive to share new and informative articles. Sometimes, a subject is so crucial, we must rerun an old story as a reminder of its importance. One of those topics–HARVEST.
As we enter a new season, it’s critical to devise and complete a 2017 harvest plan. If you didn’t achieve last year’s goal, you risk losing two or more year’s bass growth. That lost development can’t be made-up even when forage is restored. Remain keenly aware that lakes are confined environments. Fish are reproducing continually. Populations are increasing. There’s a limited amount of food. There’s just so much space for biomass to thrive. If the ecosystem is not properly balanced, sooner or later, Mother Nature will make a correction. In some events, it devastates the fishery. A large monetary investment and many years growing quality fish can be lost. In small ponds, it can literally occur overnight with water quality issues.
About now, you’re thinking this guy sounds like a preacher. Somebody get him a pulpit. You frequently hear us emphasize key principles of successful lake management: habitat, food chain, genetics, and harvest. There’s a major reason harvest completes the list. When spending countless hours in an electrofishing boat and seeing consequences of poor harvest, you become an advocate for firm harvest policies.
Standard bass harvest rates are 25-pounds per surface acre–annually. In the past, folks removed all under 14-inches across the board. Some have adjusted the slot from eight to 16-inches, depending on management goals. Yearlings under eight-inches are perfect forage size for fast-growing bass 17-inches and over. It takes more time, but weigh and measure each cull candidate to determine relative weight before arbitrarily dropping it into the fryer. If a fish projects above-average potential, trust your judgment, toss it back.
Don’t delay harvest! Start now! Strive to achieve goals by June 30. Remaining fish will have less competition and able to feed at will through Fall. To meet quotas, hold harvest tournaments with family and friends. The winner gets a trophy and exempt from cleaning fish. If time at the property is limited, we offer special harvest rates for expediting the project with our electrofishing boat. If you fish until sundown and must rush home. Install a live-basket at the lake. Clean them next weekend or call a neighbor to pick them up.