Monday, May 11, 2009

Electro Fishing Pictures from the Pollywag and Shangra Lai Fishing Clubs

We got up this morning well before the sun and headed towards Champaign Illinois to do some electrofishing surveys for the Pollywag and Shangra Lai fishing clubs. About one hour into our trip we actually ran out of gas in the truck on the interstate! Luckily we had about 3/4 of a gallon left in our Boat Gas Tank!

Anyhow we made it to the Pollywag on time and got rolling on dialing up some nice fish!

Their main lake is BEAUTIFUL! It is about 200 acres with tons of islands and character! There are some real nice fish in the lake, but overall the gamefish and panfish relative weights were actually only 90% of what they should be! The problem they have is that the lake is completely overrun with large gizzard shad, common carp, and HUGE grass carp! The infestation of trash fish is so bad, that more than 80% of the fish biomass in the lake is gizzard shad and carp!
This lake will naturally support between 500-600 lbs of fish per acre, and 400-450 lbs of those fish per acre are WORTHLESS.
There really isnt many feasible options at this point? At 200 acres, it would cost a fortune to kill out and start over. Options they have would be to simply let nature take its course and keep things the way they are, or to implement Top Down management tactics. I suggested stocking Tiger Muskies at 3-5 fish per acre ASAP to start turning the 1000's of lbs of 12"+ gizzard shad into 1000's of pounds of Tiger Muskies. I would also continue to stock 1 tiger muskie per acre per year.
Most people fear that the tiger muskies will ruin their fishing for panfish and bass, but in reality, the gizzard shad and carp cause 100 times more damage to the panfish and bass populations than tiger muskies will! Tiger Muskies will hunt down gizzard shad to the point of extinction before they will go searching for a bluegill or bass to eat.
Another suggestion to go along with the tiger muskies would be to stock 10 hybrid striped bass per acre every year! They will do much better than largemouth bass in this situation. They also hunt down and feast on gizzard shad and baby carp.
Check out the size of these monster ecosystem destroying fish: I couldnt get anyone else to hold up these slimy, stinky fish so you will have to just endure my ugly mug for the following pics:

We finished up at the Pollywag and headed a few miles down the road to the Shangra Lai fishing lake. It is about 40 acres and also has a severe case of large gizzard shad and carp!
This lake however still has some AWESOME fish in it! All of the largemouth had relative weights of 105%, the crappie were 100%, bluegill and redear were plentiful and many were 8"+ in size.
These guys have been stocking Hybrid Striped Bass to help keep the gizzard shad populations in check, but they havent stocked any for a few years, and the shad population is exploding!
I recommended stocking 2 Tiger Muskie and 10 Hybrid Striped Bass per acre this year, and then we collectively decided to stop with the Tiger Muskie program and just keep on stocking 10 HSB per acre every year! This would allow the initial Tiger Muskie to take down the large gizzard shad for the next 8 years and then the HSB will take over by keeping the yoy shad numbers down. Also will allow for harvest of the HSB every year!
We tagged a handful of these fish for the fishing clubs to have some fun and potentially rewarding fishing contests for the members who catch a tagged fish!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Them suckers are huge. It's a shame you can't do anything with them.