Here's one from the poster session that compared DNR reported tourney catch data among lakes. Registered Black Bass Tournament Monitoring in Indiana: A Comparison of Ten Lakes/Reservoirs. This was presented by Michelle Cain from IDNR, Div. of Fish and Wildlife. There were 10 lakes utilized in the study from across the state and the data came from recent returns, 2006-2007.
Patoka and Monroe are Indiana's 2 largest impoundments at approximately 8800 acres and 10,000 acres respectively. These two bodies of water had:
- the highest number of reporting tournaments
- the highest average number of anglers per event
- the greatest average big bass weights
- the highest maximum big bass weights
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to speak with Michelle, but a couple things that come to mind include the relationship between water body size and big bass weights and, concerning the first two statistics, did they also compute angler pressure based on a #/acre basis? More boats and anglers means more pressure in an absolute sense, but smaller bodies of water may actually have greater pressure on a per acre basis, which then may ultimately affect growth and/or potential of big bass on a larger population scale.
The two lakes with the highest average weight per bass were Patoka and Raccoon. Not surprisingly, both have minimum size limits (15" and 16") larger than the state standard (14"). The highest catch of bass per angler (CPUE) came from Hardy Res. which I found interesting because from reviewing survey results from years ago, that lake tended to have a large population of stunted bass and very few keeper size bass as a percent of the population. Apparently the size structure of the population looks to be changing for the better at Hardy.
Finally, she compared lakes with 14" size limits as a group to lakes that had higher MLL's in place and found significant differences in CPUE (catch per unit effort) and average bass weight caught.