Author Topic: are most of the large belly perch full of eggs during winter? if so, why kill?  (Read 2481 times)

Offline logicallycompromised

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i was offered this explanation from a trusted source as to why the perch get so fat in the winter.  a quick google search suggest this to be accurate as well.  has this been your experience?

the reason i am looking confirmation as it begs the question why do anglers seems to keep these desirable breeders? regardless of what their reason maybe it is their prerogative as a licensed fisherman to keep as many as they like in accordance with the laws.  but as someone who gets a lot out of fishing i would like to use this thread as a way to possible inform others who may not think much about all the tomorrows.  from what i understand these toads offer little extra meat in exchange for their added mass.  smaller males could offer similar fillets with the added benefit of aiding in a healthy population.

what say you?

Online DR.SPECKLER

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they breed like cockroaches..if you don't harvest they will become over populated and stunted.

Offline rlusk3030

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they breed like cockroaches..if you don't harvest they will become over populated and stunted.

Couldn't agree more.
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they breed like cockroaches..if you don't harvest they will become over populated and stunted.

Exactly. Plus they taste great and you cannot buy them at a market. And because of your post, you reminded me that tomorrow sounds like a great day to have perch for dinner!
Just add water.

Offline Kinkyline

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   G ;Dreat eating and abundant. Just keep your harvest to what you can use for a couple meals.

Offline panfishman13

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if i catch a perch over 10 inches, it's pretty likely to go back as long as it's releasable. it takes a long time for them to get that big, and i want those genetics in the system (around here, 11 inches is uncommon, 12 inches is rare). plus large perch will prey on smaller perch, and those big fish will put a significant dent in the young-of-the-year perch.

fish 10 inches and under go in the bucket. even down to 4 inches. any that are too small to fillet i freeze whole as bait for sturgeon and catfish come spring.

and of course, that depends on the lake. some lakes around here i keep every perch i catch because there's not enough predators in the system that are big enough to knock down the numbers of the little perch. other lakes don't have a large population of perch so i tend not to keep any.

Offline Figure ate

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Because some fishermen think that they breed like cockroaches and will take over if not removed. Which explains why low pressure lakes have the most big perch, because fewer are taken out every year. Ignorance is bliss

Offline crdroste

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It's my opinion that perch so breed like crazy and a population can be sustained with small size perch. So taking large perch filled with eggs doesn't affect the number of yearlingsg spring.  But perch are cannibals and what the large perch do is eat many many small perch keeping the population from becoming stunted in most waters large perch are important in making sure there are large perch in the future, without them perch easily become stunted in low productivity waters.
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Offline taxi1

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One perch can produce 200,000 eggs ( I hatch yellow perch on my farm). They are very prolific. You really can't extirpate them by overfishing, as if that was the case they wouldn't be an issue in waters they don't belong.

But like anything else the words "it depends" applies to fish population dynamics. On smaller bodies of water you can reduce the numbers of jumbo perch if anglers hammer the lake really hard during ice fishing season. There will still be enough eggs to take up the slack but the number of jumbo perch can be significantly reduced. I've heard of hundreds of anglers converging on a small lake if the word is out there are jumbos being caught.

Contrary to popular believe they usually won't overpopulate in smaller ponds where there is a good bass population and vegetation isn't to excessive. Won't be eliminated, but won't be very common either unless periodically planted. It seems the bass really hammer them due to their fusiform shape vs. bluegills. And their habit of traveling in schools does many of them in.
I live in the midwest now but have fond memories of fishing in New England as a kid.

Offline ice dawg

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I think perch populations can be overfished to the point where it takes a number of years to get the population of large perch back to where it was. I think Bitter Lake in  NESD is a shining example of this. All it takes is a look at the G,F&P test net surveys to see this lake has been pounded for years because it was populated with jumbo perch. Not the perch numbers there now that there used to be so another "hot lake or slough" will get pounded now.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline taxi1

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I think perch populations can be overfished to the point where it takes a number of years to get the population of large perch back to where it was. I think Bitter Lake in  NESD is a shining example of this. All it takes is a look at the G,F&P test net surveys to see this lake has been pounded for years because it was populated with jumbo perch. Not the perch numbers there now that there used to be so another "hot lake or slough" will get pounded now.

I agree, which is what I said in the second part of my post about reducing numbers of large perch in lakes small enough to be effected by heavy fishing pressure.

How big is Bitter Lake? Acre wise?
I live in the midwest now but have fond memories of fishing in New England as a kid.

Offline BN3HH58

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Bitter lake is roughly 19,000 acres or nearly 30 square miles in size.

Offline taxi1

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Bitter lake is roughly 19,000 acres or nearly 30 square miles in size.

And you think fishing pressure there has reduced the number of large perch? I'm not saying it's not possible, but that's awful lot of water to be effected by fishing pressure unless much less of the acreage is conducive to yellow perch.

Are you sure predator prey relationship dynamics may not play a bigger role? Or I could be all of the above?
I live in the midwest now but have fond memories of fishing in New England as a kid.

Offline ice dawg

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19,000 acres in 2013 and floods more land every year. It is growing every year like Devils Lake in ND.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline taxi1

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19,000 acres in 2013 and floods more land every year. It is growing every year like Devils Lake in ND.

Devil's Lake is still growing? Or does it wax and wane?

I organized an ice fishing trip there at least a decade ago and it was getting bigger then.
I live in the midwest now but have fond memories of fishing in New England as a kid.

Offline ice dawg

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I'm no fish biologist, but this lake used to have a thousand people ice fishing daily. Another larger lake in the area used to have an average of a thousand ice fishermen daily until Bitter Lake got hot.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline ice dawg

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Devil's Lake is still growing? Or does it wax and wane?

I organized an ice fishing trip there at least a decade ago and it was getting bigger then.
They say Devils Lake is still growing. I have never fished it. I have fished Bitter once in summer and it was such a zoo I never went back. I have not bothered to ice fish on Bitter for this reason.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline deerefishyfishy

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My take on the original post is mixed. I agree with a lot of it, but I disagree about bigger fish having negligible more meat. I would take a hand full of jumbos over a pail full of 8 in chers all day long. Much bigger and thicker filets and far less fish cleaning to get it!
The hardest part of ice fishing is casting!

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Online DR.SPECKLER

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Because some fishermen think that they breed like cockroaches and will take over if not removed. Which explains why low pressure lakes have the most big perch, because fewer are taken out every year. Ignorance is bliss
I really don't like you calling me ignorant either..if they don't breed like cockroaches why do all the lakes have 1000s upon thousands of dink perch in them.had to get there somehow..all lakes have big perch and small perch has nothing to do with low pressue from fisherman.has to due with food sources,water quality and good habitat really.

Online SHaRPS

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All I am saying is Perch tacos were great!
Just add water.

Online DR.SPECKLER

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All I am saying is Perch tacos were great!
got that right!!

Offline ejdelvo28

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Bitter lake from 2010 to about 2014 got absolutely destroyed, both on ice and open water.  Almost every day there were at least 1,000 people out there with close to 5,000 on weekends.  The lake used to be a perch factory with 14"+ fish being fairly common, and some really nice walleyes mixed in.  Now it's just a shell of its former glory.

Offline ice dawg

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Mina Lake has more perch per net than Bitter Lake according to the G,F&P surveys and locals call Mina Lake "the dead sea". People wonder why SD people are quiet about where the fish are biting? Not hard for me to understand.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline Doeslayer

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If you fish a species just eforegheir spawn they will absolutely be full of eggs... Perch spawn a last ice early springish so if you ice fish them they will have eggs in them.. same with walleye... And any other spring spawning species.... I'd be more worried about icing crappie as they seem to be slow breeders and don't flourish like a perch
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Offline taxi1

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My yellow perch don't spawn until the water gets into the upper 40's. They also start developing eggs the previous fall.
I live in the midwest now but have fond memories of fishing in New England as a kid.

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Well its been 2 weeks now. Fish taco time!!!!
Just add water.

Online 3300

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a friend eats the eggs (keeps them in the sack and lightly cooked) and gives the meat to his mom.

Offline Snitch#8

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I don't know about anywhere else but here in the Saginaw Bay area the perch come in and spawn twice a year, both spring and fall.  That tells me that they pretty much carry eggs except right after spawning.  Once they spawn they start making new egg sacks.  Given your concern about taking perch with eggs out of the system, if you don't want to take perch with eggs in them, when would you take em?  My concern isn't taking the fish, it is the number you can take when they are spawning.  The Michigan DNR implemented a rule on the Saginaw Bay that is just plain ignorant, if you ask me and many others I know.  They changed the "in possession limits", supposedly in order to create bigger perch numbers.  However, it would appear the new rules would contradict what they are trying to accomplish.  The new rules state that you can possess 25 perch on the Saginaw Bay but you can possess 50 in the rivers and canals, where they spawn.  Most of us think the rules should be just the opposite!  Why can I only catch 25 on the bay, where there is over a hundred miles of water where the perch are scattered and not spawning?  But, I can catch 50 where they are spawning and in a more concentrated area?  Just doesn't make much sense to me!  I will continue to take perch with eggs in them, but like most true sportsmen, I will limit my catch while they are spawning! 

Offline taxi1

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I don't know about anywhere else but here in the Saginaw Bay area the perch come in and spawn twice a year, both spring and fall.

Are you sure you're not confusing a movement into the shallows in the fall with spawning? The only perch I know that spawn at other times of the the year than spring, are those that are raised in indoor aquaculture systems where the photoperiod and temperatures are altered.

Fall perch can already seem like they are full of eggs but from my experience there is no fall spawning. The perch strain I raise is a Great Lakes strain and I've never experienced what you're talking about.
I live in the midwest now but have fond memories of fishing in New England as a kid.

Offline Snitch#8

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I'm not a fisheries biologist and I haven't been properly schooled on perch behavior, but when you catch perch in the fall that are so full of eggs they are literally busting out of the fish, I'd say they are spawning.  Again, I just go by what I've seen.

 



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