Attention anglers! Ever wanted to know how your favorite fishing hole compares to other places around the state? Maybe you'd just like a good idea about where to go to catch some bass, bream or crappie? A new fishing index, MSFish, can help you answer these questions and anglers like you, supplied information for the index.
This unique index is an easy way to understand a lot of information about lakes around the state. MSFish uses the average size and abundance of fish sampled by biologists, the percentage of angling effort directed toward certain species, as well as the average size and number of fish caught by anglers. The beauty of MSFish is that it uses sizes and numbers of fish from both biologists and anglers. Of course, not all waters around the state can be sampled this intensively each year and many lakes cannot be indexed.
MSFish indicates potential fishing quality for bass, crappie, and bluegill on individual waterbodies around the state. Like a test score, it is based on a 100-point scale, with higher scores representing better fisheries. It's important to realize that MSFish is only a guide, and high scores do not mean fishing will always be better on that lake. As we all know, fishing success varies not only by location, but also from day to day, season, and year. However, some lakes do have more potential than others.
Fisheries biologists can also use MSFish to spot troubled fisheries or document improvements from management efforts. Protecting and improving Mississippi's fishery resources are important goals of the Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Mississippi anglers desire clean and accessible places to fish, but they also want to catch something. This index can't replace good ole know-how and determination, but it can be a useful tool to compare potential fishing success.