Efforts are being made by state wildlife officials to increase the size of the bluegill, crappie and largemouth bass at Douglas County State Lake.
It may be starting to work.
After all, a couple of big crappie were pulled out over the Memorial Day holiday. And two weeks ago, a boat fisherman caught an 11ipment operator. He retired June 2, 1973.
He was a former member of the Goff United Methodist Church.
He married Cloma E. Bryant on Sept. 3, 1927, at Goff. She died Sept. 23, 1982. A son, LeRoy Edwards, also preceded him in death.
Survivors include a son, Leon, Netawaka; a daughter, Helen Harrell, Lecompton; two brothers, Melvin, Netawaka, and Robert, Kansas City, Kan.; three sisters, Bessie Oden, Horton, Inez Spain, Wamego, and Edith Lynch, Bristow, Okla.; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grane size of crappie, bluegill and other panfish and also largemouth bass.
The theory is that the lack of cover for the smaller crappie and bluegill meant they would be eaten by the larger predator fish. That would mean the surviving fish would be larger and would not have as much competition for food in the spring, as the lake level returned to normal. The drawdown also helps improve the largemouth bass population by allowing vegetative cover to grow on the banks.
Haun, who has run the bait shop and marina for the past 10 years, said 14-inch and 15-inch crappies were caught over the Memorial Day weekend.
"They were the nicest ones I've seen in the 10 years I've been here," he said. "We've had some some exceptional crappie."
Meanwhile, Don Bailey, a creel clerk for the state, said he's noticed the size may be increasing on the panfish.
Bailey ran a survey of the crappie caught at the lake from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on June 2 and found some smaller ones were still being caught. However, he noted an 11t-gran one was also pulled out.
"I think it's improved it a little bit," Bailey said. He said the bass and the channel cat fishing also seemed to be better.
Richard Sanders, a state fisheries biologist, said he wants to get more of the bluegill up to at least 7 inches and the crappie up to least 8 inches. Anglers don't like to take fish that are smaller than that, he said.
Sanders said that in 1993, 9 percent of the lake's crappie population was 8 inches or larger, but he would like to see that brought up to 20 percent.
Even though Douglas County ranked ninth among small state lakes for crappie, "I would still rank it as a poor crappie fishery," Sanders said.
Sanders said the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the lake drawdown. He said he had hoped that the lake level would not have risen as rapidly as it did this spring.
The longer it takes to fill up, the more smartweed will grow on the banks, providing new cover for largemouth bass and improving their production and survival. More largemouth bass help hold down the numbers of panfish, he said.
Fishing for largemouth bass at the lake is rated as "moderate," he said. Anglers might note that largemouth bass must be 18 inches or longer to be taken from the lake, Sanders said.