One way that we’ve been able to maintain quality in our bluegill populations is through the use of
reduced bag limits. Starting in 2020 and 2021 people will be hearing about the quality bluegill initiative.
Traditionally we’ve had about 60 lakes in the state that have had reduced on fish limits, either five or ten fish limits.
It is basically a stakeholder driven program that’s looking to increase the use of these special regulation lakes to increase the average size of bluegills across the state.
Through the use of reduced bag limits we can definitely maintain our high quality bluegill fisheries and maybe even improve some of those that have slipped over the years and it’s going to benefit anglers, especially those that really value catching large sunfish
People might wonder why are we focusing on a reduced bag limit and the reason is because there’s a good track history that it works.
We’ve actually tried these regulations in about 60 of these lakes in Minnesota and what we found is that lakes with the 10 fish limit have generally maintained size quality when we go to a five fish limit we’ve actually seen an improvement in size quality.
In fact average length is increased by almost an inch and we see an increase in average age which means that our fish are staying in the lake longer and having the opportunity to grow larger.
With the proposal of the Quality Bluegill Initiative the size of bluegill will grow across the state for anglers to enjoy.