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Thread: Crappie size limit

  1. #1
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    Default Crappie size limit

    I am shure this has been discussed before. I would love to see a size limit put on crappie in Indiana. I cant believe that the dnr does so much for bass fisherman and nothing for us. I want to see a 10inch size limit on crappie............ You guys may not agree with me but the states with size limits have bigger crappie. I would almost bet that a 14 to 15 inch crappie is about as good as you can do on a public lake in Indiana. I would like to see that change. Not everybody fishing our public lakes care about the future of crappie. I do and I want to see a size limit.
    Happy Hooken.....
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  2. #2
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    I would think it would depend on your fisheries. Here in MS we have a size limit on The Big Four and it helps. But they are COE flood control lakes and we loose more fish to the spillway during winter draw down than we do fisherman. A lake that is fairly stable and doesn't loose a lot of fish to the spillway might over populate. We are on 12 or 11 inch minimum depending on which of these lakes you are on and it helps.
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  3. #3
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    In my opinion Indiana has a short growing season and a shad kill with winter freeze up were the southern states have a growing season alot longer if not year round and plenty of shad to eat due to no winter freeze up not sure it would work here in indiana i havent seen any increase of size on bass im still catching alot of 13 inch bass and have for years but i dont target bass much

  4. #4
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    Its all about selective harvest... Just because its caught doesn't mean it should be kept.
    I would rather see the CO's at each boat ramp checking limits in the months of April and May. I have fished here for 15 years now and have guided for 3 years and not one time have I ever been checked for how many fish are in the livewell.
    Over harvest is our biggest problem in this state during the peak spawning time.
    If we had CO's checking every now and then I would tend to think it would slow down the poachers.
    My 2 cents!
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  5. #5
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    Tom I agree but I have also seen a lot of bank fishermen keep every 7 inch fish they catch I would support more CO checks AND a size limit even if it is just 9 inches
    Kevin

  6. #6
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    I'm with T D H if the harvest was curtailed at spawn time would help. Like any fish that is a good food source for human use, as soon t hits the length limit it is gone. If the limit is 9in as soon as it is caught and is 9 inches it go to pan. if limit is 10 and hits 10 gone, 11 for 11 gone. People are taking more than the legal bag limit and then the fish are of decent size. In my opinion a 8-9, 10 inch fish is a lot more tasty than a 13-15+ fish. Granted the 15+ fish are more fun to catch but if we keep eating them when they are caught that fish's gene that produces big fish is gone forever. Let them spawn. A small 8-10 inch bass is a lot better eating than an 8pound largemouth and we all know someone who has caught an 8+ pounder and just ate it because they could. But that 8 pound Bass will never produce another 8 pounder ever.
    Indiana Crappie Federation Moderator
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  7. #7
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    Length limit is fine if it is enforced. I'd rather see a reduction in limit size. Right now you get a pontoon full if people taking their limits.

    I catch fish over 15" every year, but that us usually early in the year before the lake is filled with people taking 100 crappie a day.

  8. #8
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    I always see people with very small crappie. I only take what I need and never take anything under 9 inches. I would love to see a size limit.

  9. #9
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    Used to throw back every crappie we caught during the spawn. The past three years now we've harvested some. Granted there are people harvesting more than their legal amounts. Seeing the unnoticeable impact of these anglers season after season, led us to begin harvesting some spawn-time crappie. BTW, DNR CO actually caught one angler this spring with one too many crappie on his stringer (CO's are out there & we've been checked too). IMHO, IN DNR does have things pretty well figured out. The fishing is pretty consistent.

    Like others posting I'd like to see the average crappie size increase in IN, but... a couple of the things I remind myself are our growing season is shorter & the fish have to be more resilient & hardy than their southern cousins. The age of fish to reach >15" is longer than to the south & the mortality rates of each year are seldom discussed. Typically each year of a fish class their population decreases, so generally there are fewer six year class fish than five year and so on. Maybe what we're seeing is close to what would be natural for IN. It'd be nice to hear more about this from a wildlife biologist.

    Crappie are known to be excellent reproducers, so anglers keeping more than their limit during the spawn may have little impact on most impoundments ( maybe small impoundments could be impacted???) This meaning that there will be quality crappie remaining that aren't harvested during the spawn for future angling.

    Sure sounds simple enough- just impose a size limit and everyone catches bigger crappie. In theory this may hold some water; before being sold, need to see some real world results- not a study. Are there other neighboring states or some further north that impose crappie size limits? If so, what worked and what didn't, what are the results, and are all contributing factors the same too (like fishing pressure, lake size, seasonal, habitat, etc)?

    Being a "keep it simple" advocate, understandably it's hard to keep all things simple and consistent. In this forum we're a leading edge of crappie fishing. Where the majority of recreational fishers aren't as dedicated to the sport as we. What could size limits do to the future of our sport? What about the effects on others? What might happen if a parent takes their children crappie fishing and has to continuously throw all their catch back b/c size limits- could they find satisfaction or enjoyment in this??? Possibly- who knows. My kids understand the importance of conserving the resource (practicing "catch-n-release") and occasionally want to bring some back home to show their mother their catch. Most recreational anglers find enjoyment & pride in opening their livewell or hoisting a nice stringer/fish basket to show their expertise & skill. In short... if IN waters were full of stunted <8" fish, my drum would be beating for change.

    My two cents- no change required! (pun intended)

    Have a super Wednesday!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwerdal View Post
    Tom I agree but I have also seen a lot of bank fishermen keep every 7 inch fish they catch I would support more CO checks AND a size limit even if it is just 9 inches
    and I had a CO tell me and a fishing buddy to keep'em or throw them on the bank as there were too many in the lake. We were fishing Patoka near South Lick Fork 2 years ago.
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