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Should Lake Michigan perch regs be changed?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So who saw that article in the Tribune today. Apparently the 2005 class is very healthy and whoever has been studying the perch says that the perch population could be twice what it has been. they went on to say the lake michigan states are considering a change in regs, but that was met with arguments of local fisherman. just thought this could be an interesting discusion topic. what do u think this means for the perch fishing industry and lake michigan fishery? should perch regs be lifted?
 

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I read that article and view the forecast as overly optimistic. The only spot this winter that yielded some decent numbers and size was Navy Pier(where I didn't go). Montrose pre-ice and during the ice season was crappy and Belmont was no better. If the population is way up, they certainly didn't make their way into these two spots. We'll find out for sure when the water warms up in May!
 

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Westwind said:
I read that article and view the forecast as overly optimistic. The only spot this winter that yielded some decent numbers and size was Navy Pier(where I didn't go). Montrose pre-ice and during the ice season was crappy and Belmont was no better. If the population is way up, they certainly didn't make their way into these two spots. We'll find out for sure when the water warms up in May!
The summer shore perch and winter shore perch are generally different schools with the bigger fish showing up in the spring/summer. The biologists' perch surveys are often skewed because sometimes they simply are searching for the perch in the wrong areas. You can't keep looking in the same exact locations that you did 20 years ago because the lake has changed so much. Lower lake levels, zebra mussels and gobies have changed where many of the perch hang out and spawn.

The report is good news, but overly optimistic. One successfull spawn 3 years ago doesn't make a "perch rebound." It was desperately needed to keep the perch population from dropping any further, but multiple years of successful spawns would be needed to start a true rebound. When was the last big successful spawn, '97 or '98? Those fish are basically gone with any remaining soon-to-be gone.
 

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I didn't get a chance to read the article, but is the suggestion that the limits are reduced? Eliminated? Personally, I certainly think that 15 per person, per day is more than generous. The only change that I could see making sense would be a size restriction (where baby perch must be released). Other than that, I think it's fine the way it is. There are other nearby states that, last I heard, the limit was 5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i agree that they are being a bit optomistic, probably unrealistic. However, the article also said that if the 2005 class may only regain lost ground for the nest year or two, due to the many specific needs of perch like food and water conditions. It isn't necessarily a "perch rebound" but it helps regain some lost ground in previous years. the question is, how long will it last? And if you think that 15 perch per day is more than generous then check out michigan, in some waters there is a 50 per day limit.
 

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gotfish? I definitely agree with you.

The 15 perch limit is very generous! But the size restrictions do need to be looked at. I've had plenty of great outings at Navy Pier this yr where I pulled in 25 to 35 perch, but only took 3-8 keepers. All the fish under 7 1/2 to 8" (depending on girth) went right back into the water.
We have to do our part to keep the perch population rebounding, which means to release the little guys so they can grow & spawn.

It really ticks me off when I see guys out there putting 3 to 4" dinks in their buckets. Theres no meat on those little guys.

It's fun to catch 35 fish on a productive morning, but the only way our kids will have that chance is if we put those baby fish back in the water so they can breed!
 
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