Amelia Lake - Fishing Opportunities
The Amelia Lake largemouth bass population currently exists in a very unbalanced state dominated by high numbers of small fish. Densities of bass collected in our samples (measured in number of fish per hour of electrofishing) reach levels over 500 bass per hour. Normal densities in comparable lakes in the Southeast are much lower at around 100-150 bass per hour. With densities of fish this high, food and other resources become limiting in the system and growth of the fish suffer. The end result is a population of bass over-run with fish around eight to ten inches. To combat this overcrowded bass population, the size limit restriction that was in place at Amelia was lifted in 2001 to encourage harvest and reduce numbers of bass in the system. Currently there is no size limit in place at Amelia Lake.
The impact of largemouth bass overcrowding not only results in stunted largemouth, but also has an impact on the panfish species (bluegill and other sunfish) in Amelia Lake. Due to the high numbers of bass preying on the sunfish in the lake, numbers of panfish are greatly reduced. Fewer panfish in the system result in less competition for food for those that remain and thus better growth potential. Overall, numbers of sunfish in Amelia are down but the average size is on the rise. Good-sized sunfish are currently available to anglers and with the high numbers of bass in the system, should continue for a while. Black crappie are also present in Amelia Lake in limited numbers. Growth rates of crappie are about average for Piedmont systems.
There is a limited catfish fishery at Amelia Lake even though channel catfish are stocked each year.