Results Of An Opening Week Creel Census And Tagging Study On Three State·Owned Lakes

The greatest concentrations of fishermen on Kentucky's state-owned lakes have been observed to occur during the first week following the opening of these lakes to fishing. To measure the impact of this surge of fishermen on an unsuspecting fish population, an opening week creel census and tagging study was conducted on 3 dissimilar state-owned lakes. In each lake bass were caught by angling and tagged. Tag returns were remarkably similar: 27%, 30.9%, and 27.5%. Evidence seemed to indicate strap jaw tags adversely affected the growth of tagged bass. In the creel census 70% of the largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, caught in the first week from the 3 lakes were taken in the first 30 hours. The data indicates largemouth bass have a capacity for learning. The bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus, catch was small. A different opening date is recommended.

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