Saturday, February 04, 2006

Fish Study

I've been thinking about doing a study of the bass in Lake Evans.

After catching several fish you begin to wonder, " Is this the same one I caught before?".

Other reasons for doing a study are to measure the health and vitality of the lake and to make management recommendations to the owners.

I've read several papers written about farm pond management and from everything I have seen this pond is in great shape. The fish are healthy and fat and there seems to be plenty of them.....that is unless I'm just catching the same ones over and over again.

One way to identify and track fish is to tag the fish with small numbered metal or plastic tags.

I found a supplier of tags designed for fish, National Band & Tag Co. out of Kentucky.

I purchased 100 small tags and the applicator pliers.

These are referred to as "Conservation Tags" and are designed to be attached to the fins of the fish without causing harm or interfering with the fish's ability to swim.

The tags are made from Monel - an alloy that does not rust. Each bass caught will be tagged with a unique number and the tag ID will be recorded.

The study will also include recording the weight and length of each fish and other details like the time of day, weather conditions, location, bait, etc.

I purchased a digital scale to record the fish weight. I think an important part of this study is to determine if the fish in Lake Evans are growing. Length is not as important as total weight when you are talking about largemouth bass. Here is where the term "Chunky" has real meaning!

Clich here to read a review on the Berkley 20 lb digital scale.

I had a couple of hours to get started with the study before sunset this evening so I grabbed the UL and a big green worm and headed for the lake.

The day had turned out clear and sunny with temps in the high 60's. I had some trouble finding the fish and finally was able to pick up three small bass in the cove.

Tag ID 00 - AKA "Lippy" was caught at 5:35PM. W=0.9lb, L=12.5"

Tag ID 01 - AKA "Wormy" was caught 5 minutes later. W=0.7lb, L=12.0"

Tag ID 03 - AKA " JR" was caught at 5:55PM. W=0.9lb, L=12.5"

You only get one shot to attach the tag and I messed up Tag 02.

And so it begins.................

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