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i was wondering if taking some bluegills to eat while they are spawning effects the population like it does to bass and other game fish. last year, i stumbled upon a few bluegill nest at Skokie Lagoons and had a blast catching large blugills(7-10 inches) most of the day. this year i want to take some home for a meal because it is one of the few times i am able to catch enough large blugills for a meal. however, i wont take them if it is goin to affect the future population.
Thak you to all who replie
 

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It matters what the bluegill population at Skokie Lagoons is. I dont fish there that often, so here is what I say:

If the Bluegill population at Skokie Lagoons is overpopulated by small gills, Then do take a few home for a nice tasty feast :)2 .

If they are underpopulated, then dont take them home and eat them. :)3
 

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It's a tough call, based on responses that will come back if I say take some fish for a meal.

I also don't fish the Lagoons, so I don't know the bluegill situation there. It sounds like it's pretty stable, to have that size range of fish spawning.

My feelings, and the feelings of In-Fisherman magazine: practice selective harvest. Take enough fish for your meal, but try not to take all of the largest fish.

Theory is large fish got that way by not being stupid and large fish spawn potentially large fish - a gene thing. Stunted fish spawn more stunted fish.

By keeping only the largest breeders you catch, you personally won't hurt the fishery.

But if 1000 anglers kept the largest breeders caught in one season, it's hard to say what the results would be. If this is done over time it could possibly hurt.

My bottom line - your license (assuming you have one) and fishing laws allow x amount of a particular fish to be taken. Take what you feel comfortable with for your meals.
 

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Theory is large fish got that way by not being stupid and large fish spawn potentially large fish - a gene thing. Stunted fish spawn more stunted fish.
Almost, but not quite. Bluegills are prolific breeders. Controlled breeding of larger fish (or animals in general) will result in larger stock animals. Stunted gills, on the other hand, are usually a result of too much competition for the limited food supply. By culling the herd of smaller panfish, you are allowing the remainder to grow to their true potential or beyond.
 

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There has been gill studies done and it seems it comes down to the maturation process. Once gills start spawning they grow at a much slower rate. Take a bunch of 8'' spawning gills and you give a chance for smaller ones to start spawning, catch them, and then even smaller ones can spawn(no large ones to chase them off) and soon you have 5'' gills spawning and not growing very fast. They aren't stunted, they just reached spawning size. Arrowhead is a good example. Years ago, there were loads of 7'' gills on the beds. Meat hogs took 'em by the bucketloads and now they run about 5'' on the beds. That's why some lakes have the 8'' min size on the gills. They are trying to increase the average gill size by forcing anglers to let them reach a respectable spawning size first!
 
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