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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Releasing young female fish during spawn!? #10644358 02/24/15 09:11 PM
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Ruffneck2000 Offline OP
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Hey everyone please give your input on why or why NOT you think we should release young female fish during the spawn? I say young females because on average fish live about 7 years before it is caught by anglers, eaten by predators, or succumbs to diseases or parasites. Fish live a bit longer up north because of the colder water slowing their growth and metabolism, and the shorter growing seasons. Up north, a crappie may live an average life-span of around 8-10 years. Down south, few crappie make it beyond 4-5 years. There are many diseases that can shorten a crappies life. So whould it be better for us to release egg full females that are young to help our sport?


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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10644380 02/24/15 09:17 PM
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Bissett Offline
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I don't throw them back but that's because I haven't really heard of it affecting the populations. I'm sure it does to some extent but nothing critical. If I'm wrong then I would gladly start returning them. I don't see what the difference in returning them during the spawn vs any other time of year because your still taking females. I guess it just wouldn't be as obvious without them bulging with eggs



Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Bissett] #10644407 02/24/15 09:24 PM
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Ruffneck2000 Offline OP
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Good point, I was just thinking the spieces as a whole has more pressure and are so much easier to catch during the spawn so i would think that the impact would be a great help but the other side of the coin would it cause over population meaning smaller fish?
Originally Posted By: Bissett
I don't throw them back but that's because I haven't really heard of it affecting the populations. I'm sure it does to some extent but nothing critical. If I'm wrong then I would gladly start returning them. I don't see what the difference in returning them during the spawn vs any other time of year because your still taking females. I guess it just wouldn't be as obvious without them bulging with eggs


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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10644424 02/24/15 09:29 PM
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SheCrappieKilla Offline
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I bet you can't catch them all, I have tried and am still trying. TPWD says anglers "catch" will actually help the crappie populations in most cases.

All those little lakes out west that don't get the fishing pressure needed and are overpopulated with stunted fish.

Grin.

Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10645052 02/25/15 01:06 AM
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Greg Z Offline
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We always release the really big fish. I think it helps to put those good genetics back in for the future.


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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: SheCrappieKilla] #10645079 02/25/15 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted By: SheCrappieKilla
I bet you can't catch them all, I have tried and am still trying. TPWD says anglers "catch" will actually help the crappie populations in most cases.

All those little lakes out west that don't get the fishing pressure needed and are overpopulated with stunted fish.

Grin.


Hey, there isn't any crappie out west... I think you should release them all.


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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10645966 02/25/15 04:20 AM
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Bud B Offline
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Crappie are such prolific spawners, with the females producing an average of 40,000 eggs, so I really don't think that keeping them during spawning would have much of an impact on a lake's crappie population.

That said, I release more crappie than I keep, anyway, spawning time or not.


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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Greg Z] #10646168 02/25/15 10:14 AM
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I 100% agree with Greg Z, throw those big ones back, the smaller ones are better eating anyway! &#128516;

Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10646304 02/25/15 01:00 PM
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Ketchn Offline
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i think anglers could impact a smaller water body
but on larger lakes its impossible for sure
i let most fish i ketch swim on
sometimes i give em up to others though
boy or girl i don't think it makes much difference what gets kept or tossed spawn or not

Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10646344 02/25/15 01:26 PM
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Bud B nailed it. Crappie are very prolific breeders, and our harvest won't have much affect. Bait forage and habitat are much more important factors.

With that being said, our company likes to throw back pregnant females over 15". We do this for two reasons: The first is that they have great genetics and produce a ton of eggs. The second, is that if we keep throwing back fish over two pounds, we should see more three pound fish for our customers to enjoy. The action of throwing back the big fish is completely voluntary and is up to the customer who caught it. Last year we threw back several 16" fish, which have got me really excited for this year.



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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Greg Z] #10646455 02/25/15 02:05 PM
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Release the bigguns for better genetics. Any crappie 14 inches or larger gits released. I keep 11 to 13 7/8 inch crappie fer some mighty fine eating. Anything less than 11 inches gits released too! smile

Last edited by BigDave1; 02/25/15 02:06 PM.
Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10646470 02/25/15 02:11 PM
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Yep..I release the bigger ones. I find the 10 to 12" taste and cook more uniformly than the larger crappie.

Gman

Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Greg Z] #10646592 02/25/15 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: Greg Z
We always release the really big fish. I think it helps to put those good genetics back in for the future.


^This. My grandpa always does it so I got in the habbit. Year round, not just during the spawn



Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10647238 02/25/15 05:38 PM
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Eat them. Each crappie has 10's of thousands of fry. It's the same with white bass. They have a zillion fry. The water is thick with them.

When PK fish populations were decimated by golden algae, they came back slowly until the fires burned the hills and massive amount of nutrient washed into the lake. Now, the water is full of huge schools of shad that were not there before the fires and fish populations have gone through the roof.

If you want more crappie, figure out a way for there to be more minnows for them to eat. You do that and you'll get more crappie, sandbass, etc.


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Re: Releasing young female fish during spawn!? [Re: Ruffneck2000] #10647259 02/25/15 05:46 PM
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I believe that if they can have sucessful fruitful spawns, then harvesting cannot reduce thier population, but if they have just a couple of bad spawns, things can go downhill quickly. Baitfish is a factor, but crappie will eat thier young if need be.

Last edited by leanin post; 02/25/15 05:48 PM.

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