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Thrasher Lake - Fishing Opportunities

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass sampling conducted in 2003-2004 revealed the bass population was becoming unbalanced with high numbers of small bass. Electrofishing catch rates for small bass more than doubled with decreases in the number of bass over 12 inches. Since the bass were over populated and their growth was poor, few bass were exceeding 12 inches. This indicated a reduction in the population was needed to reestablish a more balanced population. Overcrowded bass populations lack adequate food sources to grow properly and most adult bass will remain 10-12 inches in size if the unbalanced population is not corrected.

A reduction in the bass population was initiated in 2004 to restore a more balanced fishery. Reducing bass numbers could be accomplished by a regulation change or by thinning the bass population with electrofishing gear. The population was reduced with electrofishing gear in 2004 to maintain the similar regulations as nearby Stonehouse Lake, keep regulations less confusing to anglers, and achieve results quicker than with a regulation change. The bass population has responded with better growth and a more balanced population and the production of additional larger fish.

Largemouth bass collected during electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the bottom row is the number of fish collected per hour of electrofishing in each size group.
Size (Inches)1011121314151617181920212223
2010181513114001251010
2009202040156412121000
20051824603716302110211
20031125440122420204200

Crappie

There are currently limited numbers of black crappie available to anglers. Poor reproduction in recent years is the primary cause for the low abundance but the previous overabundance of largemouth bass may have also been contributing to reduced survival of young crappie. The highlight to the crappie fishery is most of the fish are good size, averaging 10 inches.

Crappie collected during electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the bottom row is the number of fish collected per hour of electrofishing in each size group.
Size (Inches)678910111213
2009000291100
200806131220100
200546003000
200400820321

Sunfish

Thrasher Lake currently has the best sunfish fishing of the three Amherst County lakes for quality size sunfish. The sunfish population is primarily bluegill with only a few redear sunfish available. The bluegill population has benefited from the over abundant bass population. Heavy predation on small sunfish by bass reduced overall sunfish numbers and improved food availability and growth. As a result, there is abundant sunfish from 6-10 inches.

Sunfish collected during electrofishing surveys. The top row is the inch group and the bottom row is the number of fish collected per hour of electrofishing in each size group.
Size (Inches)457678910
20087169363827236
20049457103512102
2003305430262240

Catfish

Channel catfish were stocked in 1978-1999 but no catfish have been collected for many years. The channel catfish stocking program at Thrasher Lake was discontinued since stocked catfish contributed very little to the fishery.