Channel catfish, bass, and bluegill stocked; catch-and-release the first year
MANKATO -- On Saturday, Oct. 4, the west gate at Jewell State Fishing Lake will be opened to the public. Rains in spring, summer, and fall have raised the water level nearly 14 feet, and with this adequate water level, the fishery is being renovated. Although it will take a couple of years to recover, catchable fish will be available this fall. Stockings this fall include 2,000 channel catfish 8-12 inches long, 125 largemouth bass 6-8 inches long, and 1,500 adult bluegill 5-6 inches long. In addition, crappie and saugeye will be stocked in 2009 or 2010.

Special fishing regulations are in place to protect this fishery, so most of the fishing will be catch-and-release for the next year. Largemouth bass have a 21-inch minimum length limit; channel catfish have a 15-inch minimum length limit, and both species have a daily creel limit of five fish. There are no length or creel limits for bluegill or green sunfish.

By opening the west gate, visitors will have access to the boat ramp, courtesy dock, three designated campsites, and plentiful shoreline. The southeast gate will remain closed until March 1, 2009, and opened only if the water level rises to allow fishing in those areas. Walk-in access for fishing and hunting is still allowed on the property beyond the gates.

For more information, phone Mike Nyhoff at the Glen Elder Area Office, 785-545-3345.