- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)49
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Hopper Road to close for months during construction of Veterans Drive (04/27/16)9
MDC looks for answers through crappie surveys
DeLaney Lake -- formerly Upper Big Lake -- and Lake Wapappello are popular fishing spots in Southeast Missouri, and because of the high angler use, Missouri Department of Conservation personnel conduct annual fish population surveys in both lakes.
According to survey results, it appears anglers are harvesting a high percentage of the white crappie population.
Crappie populations in several of Missouri's large reservoirs have been effectively managed with minimum length limits of nine or 10 inches, depending upon the reservoir. These regulations have been effective because the crappie populations in these reservoirs exhibited fast growth (over nine inches in three years) and high angler harvest (about 60 percent annually). In Lake Wapappello and DeLaney Lake, white crappie growth is very good.
This month, Missouri Department of Conservation personnel will tag crappie in both lakes to determine angler harvest. The crappie will be tagged just below the dorsal fin with a spaghetti tag. These tags get their name because they look like a one inch piece of spaghetti. The tags are worth $10 (95 percent), $25 (4 percent) or $100 (1 percent) if returned to the Department of Conservation. If you catch a tagged crappie, please send the tag, date you caught the fish, the length of the fish, your name and address and whether you kept or released the fish to the Department of Conservation.
Knowledge of angler harvest will enable us to evaluate if harvest regulation changes will improve the size structure of the crappie population and ultimately make crappie fishing better. Based on this, survey length limits and daily bag limits will be reviewed.
Paul Cieslewicz is a fisheries agent with the Missouri Department of Conservation.