Alabama Reservoir Fishing and Management
Fish sampling is conducted with various gears, depending on the species of interest. Largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill and the major forage species, gizzard shad and threadfin shad, are collected in the spring by specially designed electrofishing boats. Gill nets are used in the fall to evaluate walleye, sauger, striped bass, hybrid striped bass and white bass. Specially designed trap nets are used in fall to sample crappie. These nets collect crappie of all sizes, including those that are only three or four inches long. This allows for accurate predictions of fishing success several years in advance. Another useful management tool is interview surveys with anglers to assess fishing effort, catch and angler opinions.
Alabama’s Reservoir Management Program monitors 42 reservoirs totaling more than a half million acres. The information collected is vital for biologists to make wise management decisions. Whether a fish population needs a minimum length limit, a slot limit, change in creel limit, or is found to be in good condition, the Reservoir Management Program is the primary source of reliable data.