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Canadarago Lake Netting (2010)

The 2010 biannual netting of the 1,900 acre Canadarago Lake was completed in September. The objective of this study is to monitor the abundance of walleye and yellow perch. Although the catch of 11.8 walleye per net indicates an abundant population, the 2010 netting effort represents the fourth straight year of a continuing decline from the record 21.6 fish per net recorded in 2003. Only 4.3% of the walleye collected this year were sublegal (< 15 in) compared to 18.7% in 2008. In the five nettings from 1999 through 2006, the catch of sublegal walleye ranged from 21.4% to 31.7%, averaging 28.5%. The recruitment problem noted in 2008 has profoundly worsened and it is unlikely to improve in the future due to the growing alewife population. The alewife catch in 1999, when alewife were first collected, averaged 0.3 fish/net compared to 56.4 fish per net in 2010 which was three times higher than the 16.9 fish/net recorded in 2008. It is expected that a walleye stocking program will need to be initiated to maintain the high quality walleye fishery in the lake. A decision will be made this winter to determine if stocking should begin in 2011. The catch of 56.1 yellow perch per net was down sharply from the 96.0 and 99.3 fish/net recorded in 2006 and 2008, respectively. The yellow perch decline is most likely due to the very poor 2008 year class when fall electrofishing averaged only 10 young-of-year (YOY) perch per hour compared to the 208 to 1,919 YOY perch per hour recorded for all other years since 2001. In 2009, the YOY perch catch averaged 544 fish per hour. Despite the poor net catch in 2010, the yellow perch fishery should remain good.


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