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State of the Fox River: Summary of Fish Sampling Efforts


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Speaking of sampling efforts, I read this interesting nugget in Dale Bowman's blog:

That's just the kind of excuse that allows me to go over the history of big Illinois smallmouth. Streams biologist Steve Pescitelli came in early one morning before doing stream work on the Aux Sable and gave some perspective on NE Illinois strreams and the size of smallmouth.

 

Looked at our data and here's the biggest smallmouth for each of the following rivers and the number of fish collected in each

 

Aux Sable: for 141 fish collected, largest was 16.5 in. 2.3 lbs.

 

Kankakee River: for 4151 fish collected, largest was 18.9 in. 3.8 lbs.

 

Fox River for 4104 fish, largest was 19.3 in. 3.3 lbs.

BTW- you really need to see the :o HUGE smallmouth in that posting.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/bowman/2009/08/n...d_a_r.html#more

 

I'm amazed that the Kankakee only gave up an 18" fish out of thousands, and the Fox showed the largest as over 19"!

 

 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1:00 pm

Location: Oswego Village Hall

100 Parkers Mill, Oswego Driving Directions

Program:

State of the Fox River: Summary of Fish Sampling Efforts by Illinois Department of Natural Resources 1995-2009

Presented by:

Steve Pesctelli, Region II Streams Specialist

Since 1995, Illinois DNR has conducted 160 fish community samples at over 120 sites in the Fox River Watershed, as well as many targeted studies for sportfish species. Evaluation of fish assemblages allows us to gauge the general health of the Fox River and its tributaries using the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), and to track trends in stream quality throughout the system.

Detailed description of the program in pdf

 

 

 

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Don,

 

I was just thinking the same thing.....

 

There were some posts lately... " I catch a lot of three pounders" HA and double HA

 

If they really caught a three pounder they would say it's 5 to 6

 

You have a 19.3 which is a huge fish on a REAL scale weighing just a bit over three pounds.

 

 

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Anyone care to guess what this fish really measured? :rolleyes:

 

If I had a nickle for every time I've heard folks say that they're catching 3 to 4 pounders.... :P

 

If you look at the original post on another website the pictures do the fish justice at least lengthwise.

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The Kankakee isn't overrated, it's simply difficult to catch them, for whatever reasons.

I don't know who decided this is some kind of smallmouth factory just waiting for anglers to stick them all day long.

Granted, I don't fish it like I used to, but I can tell you plenty of places that don't hold fish- and I'm sure Norm has paid the heavy price of blanking in his 30 years on the river.

Ya know, all that sediment isn't doing our beloved smallies any favors.

Anyone that claims the populations are getting stronger ought to have his head examined.

Adverse effects mean just that.

 

For years, people have been saying "The Fox for numbers, the Kank for size."

Seems a pretty good indicator (the samplings) blew this notion out of the water.

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that picture looks doctored to me. look at the fish, you can see a black line around it. now look at the guys right arm compared to the arm holding the fish. that arm is twice as big..looks like a 15-16" fish to me..

anyone agree? the picture just looked different as soon as i seen it..

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I hate these discussions when people are called out for the fish pics they post. Who really cares other than the guy who supposedly caught it. All I can say is that it's a pic of a nice looking smallie! I couldn't care less if the guy's lying or not! :lol:

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Norm,

 

You're right... very, very few smallies in any of our streams. The one I fish, you catch one for every 7 or 8 hours of fishing. I am really suggesting if you want to catch smallies, you really need to go to Indiana, Wisconsin or for really big ones, Minnesota. Anyone have any other really good smallie states?

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Amen to that, Jim. It clearly appears at times a few ISA members get caught up in the "politics" of sharing their thoughts on fish population, fish size, and/or fish weights. Remember the adage when we fisherman discuss catches . . . "My fish was sooooooo big!" which generally results in good laughter.

 

That said, enjoy the moment . . . and consider yourself fortunate that you're not yet experiencing the Alzheimer condition of a close friend who is trying desperately to learn to cast with lessons I'm providing him. Unfortunately, his loss of short term memory precludes retention of even the simplest of processes like casting. Yet he desperately want to learn and fish.

 

There's much more to the sport of fishing than how many, how big, and how long are the catches . . . like the beauty of the day, the joy of the experience, and the camaraderie of spending the day with friends. Like I share with my tennis buddies . . . if I fail to win a set one evening, I'm still a winner. Beautiful evening, the thrill of competition, a good physical workout, and the joy of spending time with my friends. If I do win all sets (which I did last night), all the better! Same goes for fishing . . . at least in my seasoned mind (note I did not say "aging or old").

 

Now excuse me . . . I'm heading out the door to spend a few hours with another friend of mine . . . FISHING!

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Norm,

 

You're right... very, very few smallies in any of our streams. The one I fish, you catch one for every 7 or 8 hours of fishing. I am really suggesting if you want to catch smallies, you really need to go to Indiana, Wisconsin or for really big ones, Minnesota. Anyone have any other really good smallie states?

 

Washington sounds good.

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Careful assuming any shocking data is accurate to what's in the stream. Large fish seem to get easily undersampled. Definately the case here in Indiana. I've caught plenty of 18-20" fish out of waters where they supposedly didn't shock any up.

 

1) samples are often taken close to public bridges.

2) Big fish lay deeper and take more current to shock- walleyes are almost always undersampled. Big Smallies are too.

3) Fish spook away from boat/wading barge.

4) seasonal fish movements could mean under or oversampling.

 

What they do find is good info. In my opinion, they miss a lot of fish.

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Nice post, Steve.

I feel the same way when people argue/discuss some guy with a short bass in a bucket, but you never see them in a thread about 5,000 dead fish from an IL stream.

I'm speaking of every single so-called "fishing forum" site in not only NE IL, but everywhere people fish- which makes it every state, of course.

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Guest Don R

Or could it be that the 18"-20" smallies measured by fishermen are actually 16"-18" fish shocked up in samplings? :blink:

 

I hear Missouri has a few smallies in it.

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Or could it be that the 18"-20" smallies measured by fishermen are actually 16"-18" fish shocked up in samplings? :blink:

 

 

Aye, and those calling a 19.3" 3.3lbs fish a better fish than an 18.9" that weighs half a pound more. Debatable. I think more than a few trusted names here will tell you there are much bigger fish in the Kank than 18.9", which is my point. Some streams are harder to accurately survey.

 

From most I've talked to, big fish get underrepresented on shocking surveys. The USGS survey INSA helped with last year was 100 yards of churned water commonly fished by locals. Produced one sizeable (17") SMB. Had the survey gear moved up a half mile they would have been into some 18-22" bass.

 

Screw going to Mars, I want NASA to go see what's under a couple of gnarly log jams.

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Jim J

 

I've heard Madasgascar is the true smallie mecca.

 

As far as I'm concerned the best smallie water is the one that you are personally wired into.

 

I gave up long ago trying to judge the size of fish in pictures, too many variables. The way I figure if a guy stretches the size, he is only cheating himself in the long run. It's between him and the religious figure of his world view.

 

Surveys are supposed to be done in a scientific manner, for the data to be meaningful it must have repeatable conditions. Hence they are done for the same length of time in the same place from year to year for the most part. Would you take a survey boat/crew to your honey hole if it was you?

 

Who knows a river better, a guy who spends 200 days a year or so on it or a biologist who spends a few weeks to a month a year at best working on that river? Is it any surprise who tends to get bigger fish?

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Regarding "Near Record Ramblings"...

 

I'm really dissappointed with the Sun Times for advertising a huge fish caught out of a small stream.

Not only is it a small stream, but it's a small stream not 50 miles from a major metropolitan city with limited access and most of it's private property.

I used to canoe and fish this stream alot in the 90's. I stopped because I was paranoid about my car getting vandalized.

I took a ride there Thursday afternoon knowing nothing about this big fish and was shocked at the amount of garbage on the banks and pretty suprised to see three anglers on a thursday afternoon. talked to one guy fly fishing- he said on a weekend there will be seven cars parked there.

Mentioned to some freinds I went there. One pointed this article and a post on one of the big websites. It's shameless. A collassal level of irresponsibility. But you can excuse that because it's a fishing website...and some folks just don't know no better.

Actually it's inexcusable- but you can't expect any better.

 

Not bashing the author but he is a reporter for a major newspaper. He should know better.

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No debate there whatsoever! I, and many others just feel that some folks either don't know how to measure their fish or are plain dishonest when reporting the lengths.

 

 

Why measure bass if you can just call it a 5 lber? LOL. Conservation groups like ISA and INSA can educate. Perhaps an article in the bulletin about correctly measuring fish and estimating weight?

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Re measuring a fish what's to know?Just hold it vertically by the lower lip where you than put one end of the tape and the other end at the tip of its tail.

 

...and thus begins the debate of how to hold a large smallie.... :rolleyes:

 

lol

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