April 14, 2011 in Sports

Take your limit, please

By The Spokesman-Review
Keep a bass

 Bass are the fish anglers love to catch and release, including the smallmouths fish managers wish they would harvest.

 A recent summer creel survey on Lake Coeur d’Alene found anglers keeping only 1,000 of the 14,000 smallies they caught. Very few anglers kept a six-fish limit.

Smallmouth bass are becoming one of the region’s most abundant fisheries, and fish managers say anglers should make a point to take home limits of smallmouths whenever they can from Lake Coeur d’Alene to Lake Roosevelt.

“We simply have too many smallmouths,” said Jim Fredericks, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager.

They’re booming in Priest Lake after somebody put them in there and they’ll eventually just be a bunch of small fish.”

Ironically, even bass anglers who understand the problems with overpopulating smallmouths can’t get themselves to keep many of the fish.

The limit is six bass, but very few anglers will keep more than two Lake Coeur d’Alene smallmouths, according to a Fish and Game creel survey.

“People like to keep 8-10 inch perch, but not smallmouths for some reason,” he said.

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