Special to TH
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — Boggs reservoir to get fish restoration
LOOGOOTEE — The West Boggs Creek reservoir in Loogootee will undergo a complete renovation in 2014 to improve fishing.
The state Department of Natural Resources said in a release that fishing at the reservoir has been declining since the illegal introduction of gizzard shad in the early 2000s. Bluegill and redear growth is stunted. Largemouth bass are not surviving in large enough numbers to sustain that species’ population or to keep other prey species in check.
In spring 2014, fishing regulations will be relaxed.
, allowing anglers to harvest more fish so that the remaining fish population is not wasted.
“It is a complicated process,” West Boggs Superintendent Mike Axsom said. “It takes a lot of coordination of a lot of resources.”
Spring will also entail the first of two fish salvage operations. The first consists of at least three bass tournaments. Bass caught during these events will be transported in a state fish hatchery truck to a holding pond until restocking in fall 2014. Axsom said about 700 largemouth bass will be saved during the renovation process.
After Labor Day 2014, the lake will be closed and a drawdown will begin. As the lake is being drawn down, electrofishing crews will conduct the second salvage attempt to save both adult bass and channel catfish.
About a month after the drawdown, the lake will be stocked with bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass and channel catfish. Black crappie will be stocked in coming years. Larger channel catfish will be stocked biennially after the fishery matures. There are currently fisheries working on the supply, Axsom said.
He said the process will return the fishing stock at the reservoir to healthy levels.
“(In 2015), the fishing will be very good again,” Axsom said.
Writer Nate Smith contributed to this story.