if I may run through a time line and see who agrees and disagrees.
1970s every summer you would see huge schools of young of the year perch and black clouds of bullhead babies all summer long moving along the shore lines. you also couldn't miss the 3-4-5 inch ribbon leaches that would swim by on a regular basis. hump back perch were common(jumbos)and eater size even more so .bullheads 12inches or more could be caught in mud bay by the reeds or even off the pier fishing the bottom at night. crappies were abundant walleye/ northern and Muskie also. largemouth and smallmouth not so much. those in the know could target the white bass and sunfish/rock bass/ bluegills were extremely abundant. weeds beds were present between virtually every dock.
1980s residents decided Bullheads were bad and destroyed the population. DNR was continuing to milk the native walleye population for there hatcheries and ice fishing and spearing were big time activities. Rusty crawfish population took off in the late 80s early 90s and weed beds took there first hits. leaches began to be a rare sight. perch schools seemed thinner than before no bullhead clouds to be seen. fishing in general seemed to start sliding down hill at this point emphasis seemed to change towards a bass and walleye /Muskie lake. Panfish were always taken for granted that they would be there in good numbers and exploited.
1990s more of the same downward slide except for panfish. smallmouth and largemouth began to take off. weed beds still suffered leach's seemed to disappear. I believe it was this point that the DNR actually had to start stocking walleye because they decimated the native reproducing stock along with the native reproducing Muskie population but I could be wrong id have to check again.
2000s seemed to have promise with the fish cribs and panfish stockings. smallmouth and largemouth were doing well and crappies also but Muskie/pike walleye and jumbo perch all seemed thinner in population .weed beds continued to shrink and I believe this was when the Chinese mystery snails started showing up in numbers.in hind sight the panfish stockings probably should have been a warning the lake was suffering an imbalance. fish cribs now seem to be an attempt to make up for lost natural habit but unfortunately just concentrate the fish and are to easy to mark with depth finders and GPS leading to mass declines .a lake this large should never have a panfish population problem unless its over exploited or imbalanced.
2010 to 2020 has just seen this downward slide continue but now seems to be all species in the lake. Young of the year perch schools are small to say the least and I'm surprised when I see them. some weeds seem to be coming back between the docks but you cannot catch a dinner off your dock unless you luck out. I see no where's near the amount of fisherman on the lake as compared to the past decades but now we have the addition of mosquito treatments along the lake which if they contain pyrethroids will/are leaching into the lake and are damaging to aquatic ecosystems. home owners should read up on this its an easy thing to research on the internet. this could very well be the next thing that severely impacts this lake so many of us love. catch and release minimize your impacts take only what you reasonably need and maybe this lake regains some of its former glory.