Feb 15, 2012
Killer Carp and an All-Girl Bass Review
I’m glad to see more and more anglers attuned to conservation and management issues these days. As serious fishermen already know, improved water quality and aquatic habitat coupled with an enlightened selective harvest or catch-and-release ethic has improved fishing across the nation.
The Small Waters Fishing philosophy emphasizes such awareness. We all have a hand in the management of every body of water we fish, but our impact is significantly greater on small waters.
Two examples of challenging fisheries management efforts came to me this past week.
The first was an example of tightly controlled lake management, and it came while watching Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine television show.
Hank was fishing Lake Frederica in Sea Island, Georgia. The lake has been managed to produce giant bass, and the angle is simple but fascinating – an all-girl bass review! With an approach reminiscent of what the genetic engineers attempted in the fictional Jurassic Park experiment, the owners have stocked only female bass to 1) eliminate reproduction and 2) maintain a controlled and extremely well-fed bass population. With an aggressive supplemental feeding program added to the mix, fat bass should flourish at this young fishery.
By no means is this the first such experiment in single-sex bass stocking. Prominent hatcheries and lake designers have been experimenting with this approach for some time. You will see more on this and other efforts to produce super-bass in our “Small Waters Management” coverage in the weeks and months ahead.
Invasion of the killer carp
My second reminder came with a disappointing discovery that carp have undermined an ambitious Illinois wetland restoration project near the town of Hennepin, Illinois for the second time.
For several years, these restored waters and adjacent prairie and fen flourished, and H&H became magnet for waterfowl and wildlife of every sort. And, if you were a fisherman who had the opportunity to fish Hennepin & Hopper in what is today called the Sue & Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, you experienced some of the best fishing for bass in the entire Midwest – not to mention the lakes’ abundant bluegill, crappie and northern pike.
That’s why I was appalled to hear the other day that the carp are back — and tearing up the habitat once again.
Hennepin & Hopper will NOT open in 2012 as previously planned.
I’ll cover this story in a coming Small Waters Management feature and video.
– Mike Pehanich