Mill Creek Reservoir - Fishing Opportunities
A new largemouth bass minimum size limit of 14-inches was introduced in 2001 to improve the bass fishing. This regulation change was instituted due to excessive harvest of bass resulting in a population dominated by young fish (ages 1 and 2). The size structure for bass improved with the new size limit after implementation. This lake currently is maintaining a good largemouth bass fishery with good numbers of bass up to 15 inches with a few larger fish up to 23 inches available.
Crappie are one of the most susceptible species to cyclic population trends and routinely have good and bad years when it comes to spawning success. The crappie population at Mill Creek Lake is no exception. This pattern is typical in small lakes and is expected to continue. The unfortunate side to good and bad reproductive years is that anglers can expect to have good crappie fishing some years and bad in other years. Size limits and creel restrictions used by managers to control fish populations cannot make up for years with poor reproduction. With this in mind, anglers may not know what to expect from year to year until they try their favorite crappie holes each spring.
Current crappie numbers are good but this population has experienced high harvest rates and many crappie were removed by the time they reached 8-inches in length. To improve the size structure and reduce the impacts of variable reproduction, a 9-inch minimum size limit was initiated in 2013.
The outlook for crappie fishing in 2010 - 2012 is very good due to a strong year class produced in 2007. Most crappie at this reservoir usually do not exceed 10 inches.
The sunfish population is comprised of primarily bluegill but redear sunfish are also present. The high reproductive capability of sunfish has offset angler harvest affects on population size but the heavy fishing pressure has reduced the number of large sunfish. However, bluegill still produce good fishing opportunities with fish up to 8 inches for those panfish enthusiasts.
Channel catfish are stocked at Mill Creek Lake and are collected in small numbers each year during electrofishing surveys. The catfish population is providing a limited catfish fishery for anglers and is regulated with a 15 inch minimum size and 5 fish creel limit to prevent overharvest. Most available catfish range in size from 18-28 inches.
Yellow perch have been recently introduced by anglers and were first collected in VDGIF samples in 2008. This species is fairly abundant but are generally very small in size. It is still unknown how much yellow perch will contribute to the fishery.