ive always been curious on how long the smallies and largemouth take to reach a certain weight at lake Powell. How old is a one pounder, two, three etc. Im assuming you use the otoliths to determine the age. Thanks
It is easier to read bass scales to determine age but otoliths give a more precise reading of age. We use both techniques but read more scales than otoliths.ive always been curious on how long the smallies and largemouth take to reach a certain weight at lake Powell. How old is a one pounder, two, three etc. Im assuming you use the otoliths to determine the age. Thanks
This is such a hard concept for many fishermen to understand. Whether it's bass or trout. Far too often anglers want to relate fish to other mammals with determinate growth. Fish follow indeterminate growth - which means they will grow to match their environments. Mammals are determinate, or genetically pre-determined to grow to certain sizes. An elephant is going to grow big. That is pre-determined. Fish, even with "good" genetics, may not grow big, even if they live for many years. Fish might stay the same size (small) for many years, then experience high growth rates for 1 year and grow "large" very fast. This is very typical of lake trout. They might live 20 years and only grow to 20". Then one day their diet changes, and they double their size in 1 year. On avergae, this would show a steady increase in growth rate to 40" over 21 years (2" / year) -- but in reality most of the growth came in 1 spurt in a short period of time. So, you have to take some of those averages with some understanding of what may have happened. So, on average, it might take 6 - 8 years to grow a 3lb smallie.If we reduce the total number of fish by harvest then forage is more readily available to the remaining smallmouth bass and growth rate increases. Hence, the 20 fish limit and advice to keep the smaller fish. No harvest allows the population to stunt, meaning growth really slows down. The smallmouth fishery has been very important to fishing success at Lake Powell but it is wise to keep a limit each trip to make bass size increase. Isolated places like the San Juan have a huge population that needs to be reduced. Keep the 9-12 inch fish and let the 2-4 pounders go.