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The fish population of the Lake of the Hills impoundment is that of a warm-water fishery.  The major predators are Northern Pike and large mouth bass.  The other larger species are channel catfish and common carp, both of which are scavengers.  The panfish population consist of bluegills, yellow perch, rock bass, black crappie, sunfish, and bullheads.  In addition, there have been isolated instances of white suckers and shiners.  Left over bait should NOT be released into the lake.  Previously planted fish include hybrid bluegills, crappie, walleye (which did not establish), and fathead minnows.  

Over the past decade, the game fish have been sampled (catch & release) to determine ages by using scale annuli.  Along with total length (in) measurements, the results are then compared with Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) state means for each species.  In most cases, the size of the pike (>30 in.) and bass (>15 in.) have been equal to and/or better than the state values.  As for the panfish, both the bluegills and perch are under sized while the crappie, sunfish and rock bass are within state means.  The planted hybrid bluegill have shown growth beyond the usual bluegill sizes.  

As for the stunted bluegill and perch, according to a MDNR article, a possible reason ford the smaller mature sizes of these fish is over population, especially the perch.  The planting of hybrid bluegill could resolve their spawning numbers.  An essential part of maintaining a balanced warm-water fish population is to promote predator survival by continued release of Northern pike and large mouth bass.

Richard B. Moreau, Trustee 

Freshly Caught Fish
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