Griffy has been an all star bluegill fishing lake this year, but with hundreds
of good bluegill fishermen taking 60 to 100 fish or more a day out of the venerable
lake on Bloomington's north side, how long can the good fishing last?
long if recent research and new ideas about managing bluegill are correct.
fish managers are beginning to believe that overfishing -- not stunting -- is
the reason some lakes do not produce the big bluegill they once did. In such cases,
growth rates are normal and food is plentiful, but anglers simply catch and remove
all the good-sized fish, leaving behind the smaller bluegill, which multiply without
the controlling influence of the large fish," says the Minn. Dept. of Natural
"If this is true, the
solution seems to be more straightforward: more big sunfish must be left in the
lake if people are going to continue to enjoy catching them. Again, a diverse
approach seems most promising. A few "trophy bluegill" lakes could be
managed with a restricted harvest of big sunfish -- perhaps even a catch-and-release
requirement. Most lakes would continue to be managed with a liberal bag limit
to provide panfish for the pan."
thing the Minn. DNR does not mention is daily bag limits on bluegill. Many northern
states, including Minnesota, do have a daily bag limit on bluegill. In Wisconsin,
the limit is 25 bluegill a day with a possession limit of 50.
has no limit on bluegill, and as a result, there are an unfortunately large number
of anglers out there willing to take 100 nice 'gills a day out of a public lake
The saga of Lake Griffy goes
back to a lake "restoration" done by the DNR in the late 1980s. The
lake was drained, some fish saved and the rest poisoned in an attempt to rid the
lake of gizzard shad. It worked and Griffy became one of the hottest panfish lakes
in the state right up the the point where someone dumped Brazilian Elodea into
The weed covered the lake and
made fishing all but impossible, but after the weeds were finally poisoned in
2006 and anglers hit the lake again, it was bonanaza time.
fish had never left Griffy, but the weed cover did allow the population to recover
enough to begin producing 8 and 9-inch bluegill again. Now since the fish have
no place to hide, even fair fishermen can track them down and haul out 50 to 60
nice bluegill a day.
So, listen up bluegill
hogs. If you are out there catching and removing 50 or more bluegill a day from
Griffy, you are about to ruin it for yourself and all the rest of us.
to take what you need and eat all you take. I cannot imagine a scenario where
one guy needs 100 bluegill a day to feed himself and his wife and kids. Please
stop feeding your entire neighborhood and limit your catch to the 10 or 15 bluegill
you actually need for dinner tonight.
Griffy's days as a number one public bluegill fishing hole are numbered. Crappie
will begin to dominate an ever-smaller size population of bluegill and we'll end
up with yet another good bluegill hole that "used to be."