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Hemlock and Canadice Lake Angler Opinions

Abstract

During creel censuses to determine catch and harvest statistics (reported separately), anglers were asked for their opinions concerning fishing satisfaction, current fishing regulations, potential management actions, stocking, and general management of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes (April 2005 - March 2006) and Springwater Creek (April - May 2005). Census agents interviewed 1,286 people at Hemlock Lake, 804 people at Canadice Lake, and 131 people at Springwater Creek.

Most anglers preferred to fish Hemlock and Canadice Lakes for rainbow and brown trout and largemouth and smallmouth bass; there was no interest in landlocked salmon. Members of local fishing clubs expressed a preference for the development of a walleye fishery in Hemlock Lake; however, most anglers preferred that the current trout management strategy be continued.

The majority of Springwater Creek anglers were not members of fishing clubs and most rated their fishing trips excellent or good; however, those that were members of clubs generally rated their trips fair. Rainbow trout was the most preferred species, but there wasn't consensus among anglers about the status of the fishery. Opinions were evenly divided among those that thought it had increased, decreased, remained the same over the last ten years, or had no opinion. Most anglers interviewed on Springwater Creek preferred that the current Hemlock Lake coldwater management strategy be continued, rather than allowing the development of a walleye fishery. Slightly more than half of the national or state fishing club members support developing a brown trout fishery in Springwater Creek, but there was little support from non-club and local club members.

The results of the survey were used to develop fisheries management recommendations for these waters. Recommendations included discontinuing Atlantic salmon and walleye stocking, developing brown trout management objectives, re-evaluating salmonid stocking rates and proportions, and further examining fish community interactions. Current fishing regulations should remain in effect and periodic stock assessments should be conducted.

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