Dinner fish....

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
I was fishing a Maple Valley lake this winter, fishing for whatever will bite, and there was one other guy on the lake. He said he was crappie fishing, it was his thing, and he mostly releases them and that they have an incredibly slow growth rate in these lakes, like those there fish might be 10 or 15 years old. I don’t know if that’s true. It’s what some rando guy on a lake in winter said. But, he did seem to know what he was doing.
 

Smalma

Active Member
Matt -
Black crappie are a relatively slow growing shorted lived fish. Most fish rarely live beyond age 5, occasionally the odd fish lives longer with a 9 year old fish being about the maximum. On the typical Washington water a 5 year old fish would be about 10 inches long.

In the typical western Washington lake (30 to 500 acres) it is not uncommon for a crappie populations to develop a dominate year class of fish and at times the population becomes stunted. On those smaller waters it is pretty easy to over-fish the population changing both the age/size structure of the population. Until about 30 years ago in my local area there were a number of lakes with nice crappies populations with abundant fish with a reasonable portion of the population being in that 10 to 12 inch range. Once I started to see anglers that measured their catch in the number of 5 gallon buckets they filled that fishery dropped off significantly. Today I do not know of a single local lake where I could reliably catch dozens of crappie on my flies in afternoon/evening and be able to keep a couple larger fish for dinner.

Curt
 

doublespey

Steelhead-a-holic
Matt -
Black crappie are a relatively slow growing shorted lived fish. Most fish rarely live beyond age 5, occasionally the odd fish lives longer with a 9 year old fish being about the maximum. On the typical Washington water a 5 year old fish would be about 10 inches long.

In the typical western Washington lake (30 to 500 acres) it is not uncommon for a crappie populations to develop a dominate year class of fish and at times the population becomes stunted. On those smaller waters it is pretty easy to over-fish the population changing both the age/size structure of the population. Until about 30 years ago in my local area there were a number of lakes with nice crappies populations with abundant fish with a reasonable portion of the population being in that 10 to 12 inch range. Once I started to see anglers that measured their catch in the number of 5 gallon buckets they filled that fishery dropped off significantly. Today I do not know of a single local lake where I could reliably catch dozens of crappie on my flies in afternoon/evening and be able to keep a couple larger fish for dinner.

Curt
Sad but true Curt - too many internet superstars getting off on posting their limits. I released an undersized fish (right at 9") on one of your local lakes a few years ago and one of those superstars pulled his kayak up next to me and stated in a shocked voice after I explained it was around the minimum size, "You're releasing it? I'd keep that fish for sure!" The idea of a renewable but limited resource doesn't just apply to salmon and steelhead.
 

skyriver

Active Member
My home water in W. Washington has nice crappie. This is the best one I've had. He was all of 15". I've had a few others in the 11-13" range. The lake gets really warm in the summer and rarely gets ice on it in the winter so they're growing nearly all year round. They're big and nasty enough I get them on a frog popper when trying for bass. Just wish they fought as hard and they hit. :D
20170812_202902_2.jpg
 

Steve Kokita

FISHON206
Sad but true Curt - too many internet superstars getting off on posting their limits. I released an undersized fish (right at 9") on one of your local lakes a few years ago and one of those superstars pulled his kayak up next to me and stated in a shocked voice after I explained it was around the minimum size, "You're releasing it? I'd keep that fish for sure!" The idea of a renewable but limited resource doesn't just apply to salmon and steelhead.
I hope you’re not calling me a internet superstar for eating two crappie.....at $70 for my combo license, just sayin.....
 

doublespey

Steelhead-a-holic
No Steve, definitely not you. I'd have done the same = edible bycatch. ;) I'm speaking of those that regularly post pics of limits of 12 (or more). These same people post the location of their conquests (which you did not do) to encourage others to try to match their exploits.
 

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