Update: Panfish in Pass Lake

I fished Pass last night from 6:45 to 10:30 pm, and had the lake to myself. The water is 65 degrees and still relatively clear of algae. In addition to a handful of nice rainbows 16-19" and one 19" brown, I had the displeasure of bringing to hand three panfish, and had several other hits that felt the same.

I've never caught an actual bluegill, only pumpkinseed sunfish; but these fish were neither, being mostly green in color, more elongated and with blue markings on the gill plates. After surfing the web this morning, I found what I believe to be the culprit: Lepomis macrochirus x L. cyanellus, or in English, the Bluegill-Green Sunfish Hybrid. The link below will take you to the picture; I will also try to attach a photo of one of these little buggers and the identifying drawing to this thread. If it doen't go, check my photo gallery. www.fosc.org/FishList.htm

I don't know the significance of this development in Pass Lake. Last year I found one dead panfish of some sort up in the reeds, but this is the first time in over ten years that I have encountered anything other than rainbows or browns in Pass, and it is disturbing. Perhaps a biologist in our midst can shed some light on these circumstances.

Happiness is a tight line.
Just to be certain I checked the regs,what a novel idea, and for Pass all species are C&R and flyfishing only.

If I understand this correctly the intentional killing of ANY fish would be illegal.

Any thoughts about this?

Its only illegal if you get caught.

People back home chuck 10 lb whitefish on the banks because they like to fish for trout, the whitefish were there first but that doesnt seem to matter. I dont kill any fish I dont plan on eating but if killing a few sunfish makes you feel better then keep killing them but remember you cant kill them all.
If it is illegal to intentionally kill a fish it is always illegal whether you are caught or not!!! To advocate oherwise is totally irresponsible.

The pan fish fry are certainly a part of the larger trouts diet in any lake they occur. It is possible they were legally introduced specifically for a food supply for the big browns and bows. A person can check with the regional biologist and find out if that is the situation.


Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
flylikeIdo said:
People back home chuck 10 lb whitefish on the banks because they like to fish for trout
Dude...where are u catching 10lb whitefish? thats 4lbs 4oz over the current world record.

Those green sunfish need to be reported. They have far larger mouths than a normal bluegill and so compete with larger native fish to a much greater degree. They're a big problem back east in places they're not supposed to be, because they get in and compete with bass and crappie a lot more than the bluegill do.
Aaron and anyone else that fishes Pass Lake, I don't and have my own kettle of fish to sort out right now.

Call the biologist and find out if the gills were introduced legally and if the biologist feels it is a problem. If you want the right answer go to the source.

Public opinion is generally uninformed on many issues.

DO NOT go out and routinely kill every pan fish you catch. It is a C&R fishery and that means everything in the lake. Maybe you don't like the "gills' but I will tell you for certain that I am totally opposed to Browns and Trips!!! Because I am not in favor of these fish do I have the right to kill everyone I catch in a C&R water?

How they fight has nothing to do with anything! Sculpins are a primary food source in most lakes and they don't fight at all! If you catch a leach it feels like nothing but is invaluable to the fish.

A good fisherman learns what a system is composed of and sometimes there are species that seem totally against the grain but in turn they are extremely necessary for the well being of the species we target for our pleasure.

All ecosystems are extemely complex and that is why one goes to fisheries biologist and ask the right questions. There are some surprising answers!

Myself I figure that part of the money I pay out each year is also a pass to talk with the guys in the know.

actually wet line :ray1: for someone who is 1)curious & 2) has somewhat of a sense of humor, it is a perfectly good question and has everthing to do with anything... or something like that


Piscatorial predilection
WetLine... iagree with you as do most others on this board..but dude, chill-out....you are going to blow a gasket! :eek: This issue must be one real touchy-touchy for you?

Other than FlyLikeIDo, no one has advocated the wholesale slaughter of those little fishes, and I kinda' think his comment was a bit "tounge-in cheek" ?

If anyone should happen to call one of the states experts, you know the guys who have managed our fish resources so wonderfully so far, it may be interesting to hear what the "offical" response to the spiny-rays in Pass Lake would be. On the other hand I hope they won't need to "fix" the situation in the usual way, you know, POISON :mad:


Latest posts