Angling prospects for smallmouth 
bass look favorable. There are good 
numbers of medium sized and large 
fish in the population from several 
strong year classes. Anglers may 
catch fewer small fish than normal 
due to poor reproduction in 2008 and
2009. An electrofishing boat is used 
as the standard sampling gear for 
smallmouth bass because they are 
not often caught in standard assess-
ment nets. The 2012 smallmouth bass
catch was 36.5 fish/hour of electro-
fishing, which is near the historic 
average Electrofishing was not done 
on West Vermilion in 2012 due to 
poor weather during the time period 
scheduled for sampling. Smallmouth bass catches are usually higher on West Vermilion while the average size is larger on East Vermilion. Smallmouth bass sampled by electrofishing had a mean length of 11.6 inches, well above the historic average. Good numbers of 12-18 inch bass were sampled from strong year classes produced in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006. One year of sampling indicates the 2010 year class may be stronger than average as well. Weak year classes of smallmouth bass were produced in 2004, 2008, and 2009.
There is not a sampling program in place that targets largemouth bass. Recent creel surveys and angler reports indicate the largemouth bass population has increased, especially on West Vermilion.
MN DNR
Large & Small Mouth Bass
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