Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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I own a 14 acre lake that we have managed for bluegill and largemouth bass for the past five years. We have added nesting benches covered with gravel, pallet structes and Christams trees. Does anyone know what else can be added or what kind of baitfish or other that can be added to help the bluegill?

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Comment by Bruce Condello on January 18, 2009 at 4:53pm
The best way to tell is to learn what a standard Wr or relative weight is for bluegill in the sizes you are catching. The bluegill will tell you about harvest potential by their condition.

Essentially, if bluegill are skinny you almost can't put too much pressure on them. Every fish you harvest means more groceries for the rest. When Wr's start to stabilize, then you can begin to be selective in your culling. With good to excellent Wr's I'd be harvesting primarily females. With this methodology you would never be able to remove more than 50% of the fish, and you'd be improving growth rates of the remaining males. I'd pose this question on Pond Boss forums. You'll get a lot smarter people than me to answer your questions. :-)
Comment by Pete Lindey on January 18, 2009 at 1:56pm
Thanks Bruce, The vegetation is mostly parrot feather and is at one end of the lake. About 1.5 acres of this vegetation. Also, there are several bench areas that we created that has vegatation around the lake. In spawning time, I have counted 300 to 400 bluegill nests in the different areas. The lake is a reclaimed strip mine from the 50's and is 32 feet deep and spring fed. The other aquatic weed I am not sure of there names. The weeds will grow from about 10-12 feet deep to the surface of the water or almost to the surface. The lake has about 14 acres of surface area and is long a narrow. The lake is not open to the public and we regulate how many fish are kept. Do you have any idea how many bluegills you could keep in one year without hurting the population? Any information about fish management is appreciated. Thanks a lot Pete.
Comment by Bruce Condello on January 17, 2009 at 7:58pm
Hi, Pete!

I'd like to know what type of vegetation is in the lake. To a bluegill, the best structure is healthy, rooted aquatic vegetation. Dense enough to allow the bluegill to hide during it's first few months, but not so dense as to completely prevent predation. Some of the best bluegill waters I've ever heard of had lots of vegetation early in the year and then were sprayed by associations for weed control. This allowed the YOY (young-of-the-year) bluegill to thrive early on, but once they hit 2 inches they were exposed! This allowed the numerous largemouth bass to hammer on them during July, August and September. The bluegill that remained were generally rapid growing individuals, because their competition was being wiped out.

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