Lake Cuyamaca announced in their latest fish report that they have made some changes to their fishing program to protect their panfish fishery, including reduced limits, and stricter checks for both permits and fishing licenses at the lake.
Cuyamaca has long had one of the most “kid friendly” panfish fisheries in town, with a healthy population of small to mid size black crappie that were always eager to take a mini jig or similar presentation.
The crappie fishery was one of the main reasons we featured Lake Cuyamaca in our list of the top 10 easiest places to catch a fish in San Diego, where it appeared at #4 and was the 2nd highest freshwater lake on the list.
We have been experiencing a persistent problem with people overfishing our panfish…meaning crappie and bluegill. They fill grocery bags with 25 fish each, load the bags up into a day-pack, then take the bags to their vehicle where there is a 48 quart to 96 quart cooler waiting.
It’s too bad because this has now forced me to hire on an extra ranger just to monitor these people, reduce the take from 25 to 10…which 25 had been the limit for as long as I can remember.
Now, I have also instructed my rangers in the bait and tackle shop to verify each California State Fishing License from now on rather than merely taking the individual’s word for it, and have more frequent permit checks along the shoreline. This is sad…and expensive at best, but obviously needs to be done.