size of small mouth bass WAY DOWN

I have fished lake powell for about the last 5 years in a row. This year I noticed a distinct and severe decrease in size of the small mouth bass we caught. I also noticed the size of the handful of walleye we caught were also way down. but I think we only caught 5 or so between the 3 of us. We primarily fish from the rincon to hole in the rock in and around that general area. Last year the small mouth fishing was insane with times where every case would catch a fish or at least get a bite. But the fish were much larger size generally then. Its been said the small mouth population is too much and unhealthy, I think I agree with that. It has been suggested we take some small mouth and harvest them, I personally don't really like to eat fish. So this got me thinking. What if we took the live small mouth bass we caught and simply dumped them into the middle of the main channel? Wouldn't they stand a good change of being eaten the the stripers and thus help the striper population? plus we wouldn't be wasting these smaller fish.
 

BrianID

Active Member
I’m guessing very few smallmouth dumped in the main channel would get eaten by strippers. If it did work, that would be a great solution for both species.
 
I would imagine each fish would be lost wondering around in the main channel for quite some time till they could find refuge in the rocks and edges of the lake. stripers wondering around in the open water would be able to easily eat them I would think. however it would be interesting to pose this to someone that really knows fish behavior,
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
The real problem is low lake level which offered no protection to shad schools. Most of the small shad (smallmouth and striper food source) were eliminated last Fall and winter by predation from all species. Now we have to play a waiting game to see if the lake comes up enough to offer shelter and cover for newly hatched shad.

On our trip today I saw lots of new growth green tumbleweeds at the waters edge. The plants will be covered by rising water in the weeks to come. As we wait for the outcome it is wise to harvest some smallmouth, walleye and stripers who are the main consumers of shad. If we reduce predators then the new forage fish have a better chance.

In the past we established an elite group called SHAD (Shad Helpers and Defenders) who were committed to harvesting the predators so shad could survive and offer more food to the sport fish remaining. The over abundance of predators and lack of shad has been a historical problem. The odds are good this year that shad will find enough brush to have more adult forage fish by the end of the year. Lake Powell is a fantastic fishery which we manage by harvesting predators and protecting the forage fish source which is the key to long term success for the fishery.
 

mtnpull

Well-Known Member
I've found smallmouth in the lower lake averaging either about the same or a tad bit larger than last year. We'll see what happens as the season goes on, but I've been very happy with the size of smallmouth I've caught this spring. :)

Ed Gerdemann
I've been to the lake twice this year. 1st week was on the San Juan and the smb averaged 8-12" . The second trip I ran out of the south at antelope point and although the weather wasn't cooperating and slowed things down a bit the quality of the fish we were catching was much much better. I will be running out of Bullfrog next week and we will see how the norther lake is doing.
 

mtnpull

Well-Known Member
I really like that crestliner, can you tell me about the boat? how do you like it? how big is it? what size motor? how fast? would it handle a family of 5-6 kids ?
I love the boat. It is the 2150 sportfish SST. 300 verado and with the current prop will go 50-55 mph BUT burns a ton of fuel going that fast. I have 6 kids and the whole family can fit in the boat, but for fishing 4-5 is getting crowded throwing lines. It's usually just me and the boys fishing (me, a 14, 12 and 10 year old) and we work it pretty good. It is such a good powell boat. Can handle rough water well, and you can get up
lake or down lake pretty fast when needed. We've had it 3 years now and have a ton of great memories in it!
 

Dungee Fishing

Well-Known Member
I love the boat. It is the 2150 sportfish SST. 300 verado and with the current prop will go 50-55 mph BUT burns a ton of fuel going that fast. I have 6 kids and the whole family can fit in the boat, but for fishing 4-5 is getting crowded throwing lines. It's usually just me and the boys fishing (me, a 14, 12 and 10 year old) and we work it pretty good. It is such a good powell boat. Can handle rough water well, and you can get up
lake or down lake pretty fast when needed. We've had it 3 years now and have a ton of great memories in it!
Fishing 4-5 out of a boat is definitely a refined skill.
 

Moe Jones

Member
Just got home from LP (5-28) from a week of fishing, I have a thought that the larger SM we were catching a month ago are deeper in water, not leaving that habitat as the water was raising up to nine inches per day. We still caught a lot of fish with smaller size but it was not as great as April when the water temp was 65+ not 61 as last week. Water was a lot more clear earlier also which can have a lot of effect on the fish. As in april we left home in a snow storm and returned again in another storm. There was even snow in Dove Creek so winter is not over. temperature slows fish and their bite
 
I love the boat. It is the 2150 sportfish SST. 300 verado and with the current prop will go 50-55 mph BUT burns a ton of fuel going that fast. I have 6 kids and the whole family can fit in the boat, but for fishing 4-5 is getting crowded throwing lines. It's usually just me and the boys fishing (me, a 14, 12 and 10 year old) and we work it pretty good. It is such a good powell boat. Can handle rough water well, and you can get up
lake or down lake pretty fast when needed. We've had it 3 years now and have a ton of great memories in it!
I thought it might be a 2150, that is my freaking dream boat!!! They also make some models that are a bit smaller. I have also looked at the lund baron but I think the crestliner 2150 is the better boat. The problem with those is they really aren't any on the used market, they are a popular boat up north in the great lakes area, but not as much as they should be here. I have also looked at tracker too, much cheaper, your boat should do everything, ski tube, of course fish etc. I see these fancy wake boats and think to myself, so what do you do once you get tired of wake boarding.
 

mtnpull

Well-Known Member
but on the flip side all my fishing boats I have ever been a part of also pull tubes and skiers too.
Well I can tell you if I cared to board, ski or surf I'd definitely get a different boat. Yes you can do those things (maybe not surf) behind a fish boat but you can't do it well. Boats like so many other things are built specific to a certain need and do it extremely well. But when it comes down to it i hate to wake board. Everytime I do I hurt myself. So I'll just stick to fishing and save my adventure activity for my mountain bike, skis and snowbikes!
 

PBH

Well-Known Member
how long does it take for small mouth bass to grow from 6" to 12" in lake powell generally?

I mentioned this in another thread concerning smb on this site. If you are asking this question, it usually means that there is an overpopulation of smb and their growth rates are slow. You want your fishery to be in that zone of maximum growth rate so that you can produce big fish quickly. If big fish are the product of long periods of time (ie: slow growth rates) then there is a problem with the fishery. Harvesting smb (any smb, including big and small fish) will help the fishery at Lake Powell.

5103
 

PBH

Well-Known Member
I've found smallmouth in the lower lake averaging either about the same or a tad bit larger than last year. We'll see what happens as the season goes on, but I've been very happy with the size of smallmouth I've caught this spring. :)

Ed Gerdemann
My experience this year is similar to Ed's. I've been thoroughly impressed with the smb this spring.
 
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