2008 Fisherman Letter - Lake Perry PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 January 2009 20:40
Every year Kirk Tjelmeland,Environmental Scientist I for Perry State Park, is thoughtful enough to send out a letter with a general lake status.  Below is the letter from Kirk for 2008.


Dear Fishermen,

 This is the 6th year I’ve written a short letter to let you know how the fishery at Perry is doing.  However feel free to make copies and pass this around if you would like.


The zebra mussels appear to be doing well, unfortunately.  The plankton samples I took throughout this summer mirror what we saw in the early years after the invasion at El Dorado Reservoir.  You’ve probably noticed them on the rocks around the Reservoir, especially since the water level has dropped back to pool.  I will request blue catfish at the rate of 1 fish/acre for several more years until we have a self-sustaining population.  We sampled 7 this fall, the largest being about .75 lbs.  The Corps of Engineers has been trying to hold extra water through the summer months so that if Perry is called on to provide water for navigation or water quality the draw-down isn’t as devastating to the Parks and Marinas.     


White crappie – Stock catch rates, fish over 5”, dropped a little from last year (see graph below) and is 11 fish above the 7 year mean.  Also Sub-Stock catch rates, fish less than 5”, are 57 fish over the 7-year average which means we have good numbers of young fish are coming up.  The last couple of years have been rebuilding years, kind of like the Chiefs!  Just like last year this years sample was dominated by young fish which means only 7.8% of the 1870 crappie sampled were over 10”.  The spawn was good this year with good numbers of fish between 3 and 4 inches when we sampled this fall.  As you have seen the gizzard shad had a great year, which is seen in body condition of these fish.  Wr’s, body condition, was up considerably from last year and even over the 7 year mean.  What does all this mean?  You’re going to catch a whole lot of little fish before you see those keepers.  

lake perry crappie


White bass – Stock catch rate, fish over 6”, has increased to almost 5 times that of the 2007 sample (see graph below) and is 35 fish above the 7-year mean.  We have a ton of young fish almost 90% of the fish sampled were below 12” however they were plump!  The body condition of the sampled fish was good, way above last year’s skinny fish.  Our August seine hauls showed another good spawn with 102 YOY sampled in 10 hauls, even more than last years sample.  Get out there and have some fun with these fish because as you know seldom will these fish live past age 3 in Perry.  Many of these plump fish will make it through the winter to provide some excellent spring fishing next year.

lake perry white bass


Channel catfish – Stock catch rates, fish over 11”, were better than the 2007 sample and 17 fish over the 7-year mean.  Once again the fishery is dominated by young fish, 52.5 % between 11 and 16 inches.  The largest fish we sampled was only 8.5 pounds, I know you’ve probably caught bigger ones.  With the help of the guys from Emporia we pulled some spines to determine age and growth of these fish.  They are coming back next year as well so we may see you at the fish cleaning station or on the lake.  The first years stocking of blue catfish is at or just above 15 inches, please help me out and throw them back.  These fish will eat a bunch of zebra mussels if left in the lake!


Sauger – We only sampled 2 large fish this fall, they couldn’t have all died.  Collection of Brood fish was also poor.  We struggled to collect the males, just enough to fill Statewide demands for saugeye.  We tried spawning the sauger locally due to the zebra mussels and it didn’t work.  I kept the girls in the lake and most of them never ripened up.  We’ll do something better next year!  I’ve requested fry and fingerling stockings for 2009.


Gizzard shad – The food source for all these predators did what they were supposed to this year, remain small into the fall.  I saw it when I sampled and I’m sure you notice it on the fish you’ve caught. 


See you on the water,


Kirk Tjelmeland

Fisheries Biologist


Last Updated on Sunday, 15 February 2009 16:02