Good forecast for making ice!
I agree that the big bull gills need to be put back. I mean if someone gets a giant then I'm not against mounting fish. However, I agree with everything you stated.
The first point I was making is because there is no "eater" panfish like the 7-8 inch gills, and 10-12 inch crappies, people are keeping the tiny 4-5 inch gills or whatever they can catch. Becuase of this there's no room to grow at all whether or not there are good genes.
The second point I was trying to make is that I believe people should only keep what they would need/eat. Like I find that 10 pan fish is perfect for myself and my family. That's 20 fillets. I find often that people keep 25 because they can and don't consider conservation at all. Not to mention the stupid "possession limit" which I'm sure over 90% of us are guilty of violating. That's another rant I won't get into.
Overall I believe lakes like Little Green need a slot limit. This lake is for sure not what it used to be.
Sorry to chime in as I know this can end up a sensitive topic for panfisherman. I read an article by a biologist, I believe in Infisherman maybe 3 years ago, that stated that keeping the larger bulls hurts a fishery. The reasoning was that when spawning, the bulls become territorial and the larger ones will push the smaller ones away and the larger genetics get passed on. Also, bluegills apparently only grow to the size of their competition. This means that if the biggest male is 6" then to take over as alpha the next male needs to only by slightly larger and then he stops growing. Likewise, if the largest male is 10" then the rest continue to grow to ultimately become the alpha.
The point that he was driving home was that only taking larger fish allows the smaller fish to become the alphas and they stop growing and when spawning occurs it passes smaller premature genetics for future generations. He also reasoned that taking a couple for a meal each time out wouldn't be detrimental as well as long as there are still larger bulls that not only pass good genetics but also challenge younger males to grow to challenge them. He said taking smaller gills does not hurt the population at all.
Is this true. I have no idea. I am just sharing what I read a few years back. It kind of made sense to me.
I share your approach. I personally only keep the 7 1/2" and longer variety. And I rarely take a female with eggs (I have by accident or where death is imminent). I get more than enough fish for my freezer this way. The little ones offer very little filet for the cleaning involved.
However, I have read that an abundance of small panfish will retard the growth of the panfish in the lake because there is too much competition for the food supply. There are a lot of small panfish in this lake. You can pretty much limit out any day in any season. I don't have the answer, but there are two schools of thought.
Anyhow, how's the ice? Those 7 1/2 inchers are still fun!
46° - 50° F
Fished Friday and Saturday(today) and ended up with 10 keeper gills per day. Lots and Lots of sorting. I don't think I caught a gill over 7.5 inches. I kept from 7-7.5" I saw a lot of people today keeping tiny 4"-5" gills and crappie. I might get hate for this but it's because of people keeping tiny fish like that, that ruin fisheries. The fish can't grow if everyone is keeping the smallest ones they possibly can. This lake used to be great for quality and it's just gone down in the last five years. I encourage people to only keep what they NEED and not just 25 because they "can." Think about it, if even five people go out and get their limit of panfish then that's 125 fish taken out, and then multiply that by the people that do that on a daily basis that don't care about the "possession limit." Just something to think about. If you must hate, please PM me.
MOON PHASE (4%)
Fished off the landing Wednesday and today. Good ice (16"). The no water anywhere. Snow from yesterday was gone today so creepers not necessary but helpful. Have to pick through the gills to keep a dozen 7-8 inchers.
MOON PHASE (30%)
31° - 35° F
Was out the past two days, east side. Ice was solid at shore, and about 14-16 inches out 100 yards or so. The lake was Thundering big time. Took home a few bluegills, and the weather was picture perfect to be out. I must have seen 10-12 northern and muskies with the camera. All of the crappie were very small, and perch also. Had one keeper perch yesterday, which went back swimming. Thats it for this year for me.