Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 06:14:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Douglas Lake Fish Stocking
We have not been stocking crappie in Douglas the last couple of years because, like you are noticing, we have seen the population start to recover. Also, crappie stocking has a bigger impact in smaller reservoirs like Boone and South Holston than it does in larger reservoirs like Douglas. Therefore, we have been trying to concentrate our crappie stocking efforts in those reservoirs, especially since the Douglas crappie population has shown an increase in number and better spawning success. The 6 to 9-inch crappie you are seeing right now, are from the 2010 spawn and should grow into harvestable size fish this coming spring.
The Henderson Island pond was unsuccessful at rearing sauger, and after several attempts, was used to raise smallmouth bass. Also, we've only had marginal success with crappie at Henderson Island. The trend has become to concentrate our efforts and manpower at our hatchery facilities where we know we can have success. We have been able to raise 3 - 4 times as many fish at hatchery ponds when compared to the pond at Henderson Island. In addition, maintaining the water levels Henderson Island pond requires water to be pumped from Douglas reservoir into the pond, and fuel for the generator which runs the pump is expensive. As I'm sure you're aware, budget cuts have limited us on how many "extra" things like the Henderson Island pond we can continue. We are not going to totally abandon the pond, but at this point, it looks like rearing crappie and sauger is much more successful and cost efficient at our hatchery facilities.
If you have any more questions, let us know and I hope you have good luck this fall catching plenty of crappie.
TWRA Fisheries Biologist
3030 Wildlife Way
Morristown, TN 37814
Toll Free: 800-332-0900
>>> FRED SENSABAUGH 10/07/11 3:32 PM >>>
No fish were stocked in Douglas Lake in 2010 according to your web site. What happened to the Henderson Island pond hatchery? I remember one year the water got too hot and you lost your brood fish. Sauger seem to be almost gone from the lake. I thought the pond was also to hatch sauger early and then crappie on up in spring? The next 2 or 3 years should really be good on crappie. I troll most of the time and have been catching a lot of small crappie from 6 to 9 inches. I guess that would be the spawn from 2009-2010? I would think that they had a good spawn this year as the lake stayed about the same level during May and June.