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Sherman Reservoir Summary 2012

Sherman Reservoir Summary 2012

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Published by NEGameandParks
Sherman Reservoir Summary 2012

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Sherman Reservoir Summary 2012

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Published by: NEGameandParks on Feb 25, 2013
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2012 Sherman Reservoir Fish Populaon Survey
Page 1
Sherman Reservoir
2012 Fall Survey Summary
Brad Eifert, Fisheries Biologist
The following text and graphs are the result of neng surveys completed during September 2012 at ShermanReservoir. For comparave purposes it also shows results from previous years. Fish populaons are sampled each fallat Sherman using gill and frame nets. Gill nets are used to sample sh species found primarily in open water, such aswalleye, while frame nets are used to sample shoreline oriented species, such as crappie. The nets are set each year atapproximately the same locaons and dates as previous years. This reduces variability and allows for trendcomparisons of species abundance and size distribuon. The following graphs show the total number of sh caughtper net and the relave abundance of sh within several length categories. The text provides a brief explanaon of theinformaon shown in the graphs.
Channel Caish
The catch of channel caish has been consistent the pastthree years, but remains lower than the ten year averageof 9.2 caish/net. Fish were sampled in all lengthcategories, with the majority of the catch ranging from 15to 20 inches. The abundance of sh greater than 24 incheswas slightly higher this year. The average length of caishwas 18.1 inches and the largest sh collected was 29inches.Anglers targeng channel caish should nd good anglingopportunies for intermediate size caish. Abundance of large sh is higher, which should allow for improvedchances to catch a trophy channel caish.
The statewide daily bag limit for channel caish on reservoirsis ve sh per day.
Low water levels during the fall of 2012 hindered samplingeorts for crappie, as many of the coves were too shallowto properly place sampling gear. Therefore, neng resultsfrom last fall probably do not accurately reect thecurrent crappie populaon and likely underesmate totalabundance. Neng resulted in only 12.7 crappie/net, thelowest sample since 2009. Most of the crappie collectedranged from 5 to 9.9 inches, with only a small percentagegreater than ten inches. The average length of whitecrappie caught in the survey was 8.5 inches.
According to 2012 angler survey results, crappie shermanhad a record year for crappie catch, but most of the shwere below the 10
inch minimum length limit. Many of these sh are currently 9 to 9.5 inches and shouldcontribute to the harvest during 2013.
Crappie regulaons for Sherman Reservoir include a 10
inchminimum length limit and a daily bag limit of 15 sh.
Channel catfish per gill net by length group
   N  u  m   b  e  r  o   f   f   i  s   h
Over 24 inches16-23.9 inches11-15.9 inchesUnder 11 inches
Crappie per frame net by length group
01020304050607080901002003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
   N  u  m   b  e  r  o   f   f   i  s   h
Over 10 inches8-9.9 inches5-7.9 inchesUnder 5 inches
2012 Sherman Reservoir Fish Populaon Survey
Page 2
Following two years of declining gill net catch for walleyeat Sherman, a modest rebound was observed in 2012results. With the excepon of sh less than 10 inches,walleye were caught in all size categories. Fish in the 10 to15 inch size category have been consistent the past fouryears, whichs indicates stable recruitment and helps toensure that enough sh will reach the harvest slot toprovide good shing opportunies. Most of the sh in thiscategory range from age
1 through age
3. Although themajority of angler harvest is directed at the sh in the 15to 20 inch length category, there was a slight increase inabundance of these sh. Fish in this size group comprisedapproximately 46% of the walleye collected in the 2012survey. While there was only a slight increase in shbetween 20 and 25 inches, the number of sh greaterthan 25 inches was a highest recorded in the past tenyears. Overall, the number of sh greater than 20 inches isthree mes higher than what was observed in 2010. Theaverage length of walleye collected in the survey was 17.7inches, an increase of over two inches from 2011 results.At this me, it appears that posive benets are beingseen from the new walleye regulaons. Anglers haveharvested more walleye the past four years than what washarvested in any of the previous ten years. In addion, anincrease in larger sh is becoming noceable. Anglersshould connue to nd ample harvest opportunies, aswell as improved chances for catching large walleye during2013.
The walleye regulaon for Sherman includes a daily bag limitthat may include two walleye greater than 15 inches but lessthan 20 inches and one walleye over 28 inches. There is a slotlimit protecng walleye 20 through 28 inches.
White Bass
Aer having two years of low white bass catch, 2012survey results indicate an improvement in abundance. Thecatch of 13.25 white bass/net was the highest since 2009.Fish in the 9 to 12 inch length category were mostabundant, due primarily to successful 2009 and 2010 year
classes. The 2011 year
class also appears strong andhelped contribute to an improvement in catch of sh inthe 6 to 9 inch length category. There was a slight increasein sh greater than twelve inches, but densies of thesesh remain lower than average. The average length of white bass collected in the survey was 10.3 inches, withthe largest sh approaching 14 inches.
Success has been marginal the past two years for anglerspursuing white bass at Sherman, but this should improvein 2013. There appears to be three relavely strong year
classes that should provide good opportunies for catch and harvest. Although abundance of sh greater than twelveinches remains lower than average, anglers should nd increased numbers of 10 to 12 inch sh this year.
Walleye per gill net by length group
051015202530352003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
   N  u  m   b  e  r  o   f   f   i  s   h
Over 25 inches20-24.9 inches15-19.9 inches10-14.9 inchesUnder 10 inches
White bass per gill net by length group
   N  u  m   b  e  r  o   f   f   i  s   h
Over 12 inches9-11.9 inches6-8.9 inchesUnder 6 inches
19.9 Inch Walleye per Gill Net
051015202003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
   N  u  m   b  e  r  o   f   f   i  s   h
012342003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
   N  u  m   b  e  r  o   f   f   i  s   h
Walleye >20 Inches per Gill Net
2012 Sherman Reservoir Fish Populaon Survey
Page 3
Sherman Reservoir — Addional Informaon
Fisheries Division will once again be conducng walleye spawn collecons atSherman during 2013. Depending on weather condions, spawn collecon willbegin the last week of March or the rst week of April and normally lasts forone to two weeks. Walleye are collected along the dam at night anddisturbance to anglers is minimal. During 2012, there were approximately 266quarts of eggs collected during the spawn collecon at Sherman Reservoir.This number represents about 28% of the total eggs collected Statewide. Eggswere also collected at McConaughy and Merri Reservoirs. Anglers shouldalso be aware that the water within 150 feet of the dam and the new walleye spawning reef near the westend of the dam is closed to all shing from sunset to sunrise beginning April 1 and ending April 20.
Current lake elevaons can be found on Farwell Irrigaon District’s website:
. Extreme drought condions and high temperatures during the summer of 2012 created greatdemand for irrigaon water in the Sherman Irrigaon District. This resulted in a summer drawdown of approximately 25 feet, the greatest since 2003.
Boaters at Sherman Reservoir are reminded to use cauon to avoid the rock structures placed in thereservoir, especially during high water when structures may be parally under water. White posts withreecve tape mark all structures, with buoys and lights added at some sites.
An angler survey will be completed at Sherman Reservoir from April throughOctober 2013. This survey is done in cooperaon with the University of Nebraska
Lincoln. The survey has been on
going since 1996 and has provided valuableinformaon on angling pressure, catch rates, harvest rates, and numbers andtypes of sh caught. Anglers are encouraged to take the me to answer thequesons from the creel clerk. Results from the 2012 creel survey can be foundhere:
Scheduled sh stockings for 2013 include 140,000 walleye ngerlings.A detailed bathymetric map of Sherman Reservoir can be found on Nebraska Game and Parks Commissionwebsite:
     J    a    n     F    e     b     M    a    r     A    p    r     i     l    m    a   y     j   u    n    e     j   u     l   y    a   u    g    s    e    p    t    o    c    t    n    o   v     d    e    c
Sherman ReservoirEnd of Month Elevation 2012
     J    a    n  -     0     1     N    o   v  -     0     1     S    e    p  -     0     2     J   u     l  -     0     3     M    a   y  -     0     4     M    a    r  -     0     5     J    a    n  -     0     6     N    o   v  -     0     6     S    e    p  -     0     7     J   u     l  -     0     8     M    a   y  -     0     9     M    a    r  -     1     0     J    a    n  -     1     1     N    o   v  -     1     1     S    e    p  -     1     2
Sherman ReservoirEnd of Month Elevation 2001-2012

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