2018 Fishery Study Report

By Gary Hasenfus
Member of the Town-appointed Lake Advisory Board

The Town of Lake Lure has conducted three fishery studies starting in 2007, with a follow-up study in 2011, and a recent evaluation in May 2018.

All three assessments were completed by fresh water fishery biologists.  These studies included electro fishing which allowed for hundreds of fish to be counted, weighed, and measured to determine the health and age. 

Our dominate species, Black Bass or better known as Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass were aged by the scientific method of otolith counting.

 Our fishery experienced a dramatic change in strategy after the completion of the 2007 study.  The practice of stocking Rainbow Trout each winter was discontinued in that trout could not survive the reduced oxygen levels in the lake in late summer.  The practice of "release and catch" was replaced with adding habitat in the form of Christmas trees and stocking Threadfin Shad to insure a continued food source.

Our current strategy of adding habitat each year at the rate of one hundred trees, as well as stocking of shad has proven to be successful.  In 2007, it took six years to grow a fourteen inch Largemouth Bass.  However, the 2018 results revealed the growth rate had been reduced to 3.75 years.  These results are promising.

Lake Lure as a fishery has many challenges such as an unfavorable PH level, minimal aquatic growth, sediment issues, and low nutrient levels. 

Regardless, our fishery has improved in a dramatic fashion over the past decade.  We have stayed the course and our fishery continues to improve.