Riss Lake Fishing Club

Fishing Club

Winter 2016 - Christmas Tree Drop


The final key to achieving our goal is high quality habitat. A mixture of aquatic plants and hard cover (rock and wood) provide the best combination for producing large amounts of bass forage and habitat, as well as good locations to fish.  An additional effort was made to create brushy cover with a stated goal to achieve adding 20 more brush piles consisting of 16 cedar or 30 Christmas trees in 3-8’ of water in the coming years. Bushy (8-14’) cedar trees, old Christmas trees, or storm damaged trees were used. Each pile is densely bunched together anchoring each tree with a concrete block and nylon rope or wire. On average, brush piles will need some attention every 3-6 years as noted in the picture above.  

Season 2015 - Removed 287  Bass under 13"


Largemouth Bass


Based on the spring 2015 electrofishing survey by Lake Management Services the recommendation stands to remove small bass up to an annual removal target of 1000 fish.  Thanks to all the residents that continue to participate in this critical management practice.  With the additional 173 taken out in the spring shocking our total came in low but still will benefit Riss Lake for years to come.

Season 2015 - Removed 240 Green Sunfish


Green Sunfish


Green Sunfish are considered a nuisance species, providing little value to predators or fisherman so therefore are not surveyed in shocking reports.  Residents are encouraged to harvest up to the statewide limit of 50 per day.  Reducing the population density will decrease the competition for food in our young game species (bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish).

Fall 2015 - 1,800 Walleye 6"


Walleye


The Riss Lake Fishing Club took another step to ensure future years of successful fishing by stocking 1800 6 inch Walleye.  This maintenance stocking will grow up to replace previous generations that have hit the frying pan.

Fall 2015 - 1000 lbs of Rainbow Trout


Rainbow Trout


The 7th annual trout stocking of Rainbows in Riss Lake occurred again this fall!  Many being stocked in the 10-12" size class, with a select few stocked weighing 2-6 lbs providing a unique angling opportunity.  Grab your poles and enjoy some great winter and early spring fishing, when hooked they tend to put on an aerobatic display.


Spring 2015 - Age Analysis of Largemouth Bass

Age
 Numer Fish
Average (range) inches
 Good Growth Target
1
0
0 (0) 
 5.4
2
 14
 8.3 (8-9)
 10.9 (9-12)
3
  11
 10.5 (9-11)
 13.3 (12-14)
4
  24
 12.6 (10-15)
 16.1 (15-17)
5
  19
 13.9 (12-15)
 18.1
6
  0
0 (0)
 19.1

Age Analysis - Full Report


Attached is the info from your aged fish. Continue harvesting fish - primarily fish less than 15-inches.

Let me know if you have any questions or need anything else.
Thanks.
Trish Yasger

Spring 2015 - Removed 173 bass under 13"


Largemouth Bass


2015 Report


To help achieve the goal of removing 2000 Largemouth Bass annually Lake Management Services was able to remove 173 bass under 13".  The removal of mouths came right before the critical spawning period for all the bait species.  With decreased competition for food this should allow the bait species to create a denser population increasing the growth rates of our remaining bait species.

Spring 2015 - Removed 100 lbs of Carp

Common Carp


During the spring electrofishing survey approximately 100 lbs of Common Carp were removed from Riss Lake.  While the non native common carp can sometimes be over exaggerated as a nuisance species they provide little to no value to the Riss Lake angler so were removed during the survey.  The fact of the matter is that a body of water only has so much habitat and carrying capacity for fish and ideally that space should be filled with targeted game species.

Winter 2015 - Cedar Tree Drop


The final key to achieving our goal is high quality habitat. A mixture of aquatic plants and hard cover (rock and wood) provide the best combination for producing large amounts of bass forage and habitat, as well as good locations to fish.  An additional effort was made to create brushy cover with a stated goal to achieve adding 20 more brush piles consisting of 16 cedar or 30 Christmas trees in 3-8’ of water in the coming years. Bushy (8-14’) cedar trees, old Christmas trees, or storm damaged trees were used. Each pile is densely bunched together anchoring each tree with a concrete block and nylon rope or wire. On average, brush piles will need some attention every 3-6 years as noted in the picture above. 

2014 Riss Lake Water Quality Team Data Report

Season 2014 - Removed 380  Bass under 12"


Largemouth Bass


Based on the spring 2014 electrofishing survey by Lake Management Services the recommendation stands to remove small bass up to an annual removal target of 2000 fish.  Thanks to all the residents that continue to participate in this critical management practice.  With the additional 513 taken out in the spring shocking our total came in low but still will benefit Riss Lake for years to come.

Season 2014 - Removed 48 Green Sunfish


Green Sunfish


Green Sunfish are considered a nuisance species, providing little value to predators or fisherman so therefore are not surveyed in shocking reports.  Residents are encouraged to harvest up to the statewide limit of 50 per day.  Reducing the population density will decrease the competition for food in our young game species (bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish).

Fall 2014 - 5,800 Hybrid Stripers 2-3"


Hybrid Striped bass


Hybrid striped bass, "Wipers", are hybrids between striped bass and white bass.  Stocking hybrid striped bass should not negatively affect Riss Lake as they are a large open water predator that will consume the large gizzard shad.  It will take 2-3 years before angling opportunities present but get ready for the fight.  If caught while using light tackle they are known to break your line and/or destroy inferior lures.   This restocking program will supplement the initial stocking from 2012.  Controlling the population is relatively easy since they are sterile and only have an average life expectancy of 5-6 years.

Fall 2014 - 1000 lbs of Rainbow Trout


Rainbow Trout


The 6th annual trout stocking of Rainbows in Riss Lake occurred again this fall!  Many being stocked in the 12-15" size class, with a select few stocked weighing 2-6 lbs providing a unique angling opportunity.  Grab your poles and enjoy some great winter and early spring fishing, when hooked they tend to put on an aerobatic display.

Fall 2014 - 4,000 Yellow Perch 3-5"


Yellow Perch


Stocking any fish in the face of established predator populations carries plenty of risks.  This is especially true if you hope to establish a new population of species which will not achieve large size (shiners, minnows). Predators may consume adults at such a high rate, they cannot maintain large enough numbers to spawn in high enough numbers to sustain a population.  So, with existing largemouth bass and walleye populations, the "expensive snack" comment has plenty of merit.
 
To some degree, that could also be true of trying to establish yellow perch.  However, if survival is good, stocking yellow perch may provide a couple benefits which shiners cannot.  First, yellow perch are one of the best tasting fish to eat - similar to walleye.  Wherever quality populations become established, they are coveted by anglers.  Secondly, they can reach good size. Yellow perch can grow to sizes exceeding 12", making some of the adults too large for most bass and walleye to consume. Finally, young perch are one of the favored prey items for walleye. So, if your walleyes' body condition isn't good, especially for walleye >15", perch may be able to help. 
 
So, like stocking any species in the face of established predator populations, stocking perch has its concerns. However, they could provide unique benefits if they become established.

Fall 2014 - 1,875 Walleye 4-6"


Walleye


The Riss Lake Fishing Club took another step to ensure future years of successful fishing by stocking 1875 4-6 inch Walleye.  This maintenance stocking will grow up to replace previous generations that have hit the frying pan.

Fall 2014 - 900 Blue Catfish 6-8"


Blue Catfish


Blue Catfish were added to ensure future years of successful fishing.  As anglers harvest Blue Catfish subsequent stockings are necessary to maintain numbers. 

Spring 2014 - Removed 513 Bass under 12"


Largemouth Bass


2014 Report


To help achieve the goal of removing 2000 Largemouth Bass annually Lake Management Services was able to remove 513 bass under 12".  The removal of mouths came right before the critical spawning period for all the bait species.  With decreased competition for food this should allow the bait species to create a denser population increasing the growth rates of our remaining bait species.


Spring 2014 - Removed 200 lbs of Carp


Common Carp


During the spring electrofishing by Lake Management Services approximately 200 lbs of Common Carp were removed from Riss Lake.  While the non native common carp can sometimes be over exaggerated as a nuisance species they provide little to no value to the Riss Lake angler so were removed during the survey.

2013 Riss Lake Water Quality Team Data Report

Season 2013 - Removed 605 Bass under 12"


Largemouth Bass


Based on the spring 2013 electrofishing survey by Lake Management Services the recommendation stands to remove small bass up to an annual removal target of 2000 fish.  Thanks to all the residents that continue to participate in this critical management practice.  With the additional 450 taken out in the spring shocking our total came in low but still will benefit Riss Lake for years to come.

Season 2013 - Removed 61 Green Sunfish


Green Sunfish


Green Sunfish are considered a nuisance species, providing little value to predators or fisherman so therefore are not surveyed in shocking reports.  Residents are encouraged to harvest up to the statewide limit of 50 per day.  Reducing the population density will decrease the competition for food in our young game species (bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish).

Fall 2013 - 1000 lbs of Rainbow Trout


Rainbow Trout


The 5th annual trout stocking of Rainbows in Riss Lake occurred again this fall!  Many being stocked in the 12-15" size class, with a select few stocked weighing 2-6 lbs providing a unique angling opportunity.  Grab your poles and enjoy some great winter and early spring fishing, when hooked they tend to put on an aerobatic display.

Spring 2013 - Electrosurvey


Chuck Colby of Lake Management Services


2013 Full Survey Report


In the spring of 2013 the Riss Lake Fishing Club hired a professional lake management company to help coordinate and direct the activities of the club.  The company hired was Lake Management Services run by a retired employee of the missouri department of conservation in Chuck Colby.  After reviewing all past work accomplished on the lake he came in with the goal of helping us to get our bass population in balance and continue to diverisfy the fishing experience on Riss Lake.  Attahced above is the full report but what follows is a quick summary of the bass population.


The club continues to make strides in improving the bass population.  While it might seem small we gained 1% in population density of bass over 12" long going from 40 to 41 percent (PSD target number is 40 - 60).  While that might not seem significant the encouraging jump came in the greater than 15" category with a jump from 13 to 19 percent (RSD target number is 25).  This is an encouraging sign as those fish in this category will grow up to be our future trophies.  To put it into perpective when the club started the percentage of bass greater than 15 inches was around 10%, with that number doubling over the past 6 years we are well on our way to a balanced Bass population.


PSD - Of all bass  greater than 8" the percentage that are over 12"

RSD - Of all bass greater than 8" the percentage that are over 15"

Spring 2013 - Removed 500 lbs of Carp


Common Carp


During the spring electrofishing survey approximately 500 lbs of Common Carp were removed from Riss Lake.  While the non native common carp can sometimes be over exaggerated as a nuisance species they provide little to no value to the Riss Lake angler so were removed during the survey.  The fact of the matter is that a body of water only has so much habitat and carrying capacity for fish and ideally that space should be filled with targeted game species.

Spring 2013 - Removed 450 Bass under 12"


Largemouth Bass


While completing the spring 2013 electrofishing survey 450 largemouth bass under 12" were removed.  Following previous survey guidance and observation during the survey it was recommended by Lake Management Services to quarantine and remove the small bass helping us get to our annual removal goal of 2000 fish.  This will jump start our efforts in 2013, removing mouths prior to the main growing season allowing the remaining fish to grow faster and healthier.

Spring 2013 - 1,000 Walleye

 

 Walleye

 

An excellent opportunity was presented from Levasy Lake to stock advance sized 8-11 inch walleye.  1,000 were released with no mortality at the time of stocking.  The advanced size should ensure that the majority grow up to hit a frying pan of a Riss Lake resident.  If you have not had a chance to fillet one of these tasty creatures get out on the water and enjoy the increasing population density.

2012 Riss Lake Water Quality Team Data Report

The Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program

         

Thanks to the efforts of Linda Gocken and the financial support from the board to purchase the initial chemical analysis equipment, she was able to successfully start and organize Riss Lake as a sampling site in The Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program (LMVP) through the University of Missouri.  While the data is only from one season and numbers can vary drastically from season to season the program will allow us to track our water quality over time and get a baseline to work off of if any issues would arise.  From the single season sampling our water quality is very good, that blue green hue that is seen from the road is just what nature provided us.  Follow the links below if you are interested in the full data set and compare our lakes data to the data at all the public bodies of water across the state, might learn something about the lakes you visit every year or give you a reason to venture out.  As a comparison and for those of you that visit either Table Rock or Stockton lakes in southern Missouri our water quality is almost an identical match in 2012, we will continue to track is see if that holds true in the coming years.


2012 LMVP Data Summary

2012 LMVP Riss Lake Data

2012 LMVP Public Lakes Data

Season 2012 - Removed 1,120 Bass under 12"


Largemouth Bass

 

 Based on the 2010 shocking report and recommendation from the department of conservation efforts are being made to remove up to 2000 bass under 12" from Riss Lake.  It was estimated that 1,120 bass under 12" were removed. Although short of the goal, and slightly less fish removed than in 2011 participation from the neighbors is making an impact on our fishery.

Winter 2012 - 3,300 Hybrid Stripers 2-3"


Hybrid Striped bass

 

Hybrid striped bass, "Wipers", are hybrids between striped bass and white bass. They are stocked in many impoundments around the state. They superficially resemble white bass but usually have 2 patches of teeth on the tongue like striped bass. They achieve a larger size than white bass, exceeding a weight of 5 pounds. 

Stocking hybrid striped bass should not negatively affect Riss Lake, they should help.  Hybrid striped bass is a large open water predator that will consume the large gizzard shad.  It will take 2-3 years before angling opportunities present but get ready for the fight.  If caught while using light tackle they are known to break your line and/or destroy inferior lures.   A smaller restocking program on intervals of every 2-5 years depending on how many are removed will produce a productive fishing opportunity.  Controlling the population is relatively easy since they are sterile and only have an average life expectancy of 5-6 years.

Winter 2012 - 3000 Redear Sunfish


Redear Sunfish

 

 The third and final stocking to add to the base population established in 2010 and 2011, 3,000 4" redear sunfish were stocked in Riss Lake.  Not only do these fish provide excellent angling opportunities but then can supplement the food chain for the larger game species.  Targeted angling opportunities should start to present themselves in 2013 from the 2010 stocking.

Fall 2012 - 1000 Rainbow Trout


Rainbow Trout

 

The 4th annual trout stocking of Rainbows in Riss Lake occured again this fall!  Many being stocked in the 13-15" size class, with a select few stocked weighing 2-6 lbs providing a unique angling opportunity.  Grab your poles and enjoy some great winter and early spring fishing, when hooked they tend to put on an aerobatic display.

Spring 2012 - Age Analysis of Largemouth Bass

Age
 Riss Lake Average (range)
 Good Growth Average
1
-- 
 5.4
 9 (9")
 10.9
 3
 10.5 (9-12")
 13.3
 4
 12.8 (11-15")
 16.1
 5
 14 (13-15")
 18.1
 6
 --
 19.1

Age Analysis - full report


Of the fish that were aged; four of your 9” age 2 fish are growing good and so are two of your 15” age 4 fish.  Keep continuing to remove LMB, especially those in the 9-14” range – basically anything less than 15”.  And limit harvest of bluegill.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks.
Trish Yasger
MDC - Fisheries Management Biologist

Spring 2012 - Highway 45 Tree Planting

A variety of trees were selected to thrive in an urban environment, provide a wind/noise break from highway 45, and add to the wildlife value and beauty of the lake.   Descriptions of the nine varieties of trees selected follows.  Although it might take a few years for the saplings to show a difference small projects like this will set the table for generations to come. 

 Northern Red Oak - Bristle-tipped leaves turn red in the fall. Fast growing tree, grows as much as two feet a year for 10 years. The leaves have 7 to 11 waxy lobes. A good street tree, tolerates pollution and compacted soil. Red oak acorns are at the top of the food preference list for blue jays, wild turkeys, squirrels, small rodents, whitetail deer, raccoons, and black bears. Deer also browse the buds and twigs in wintertime. 

Bald Cypress - A stately deciduous conifer adaptable to wet or dry conditions. Best known in wet areas, does well in city conditions. The pale green leaves turn majestic orange-red in the fall, giving it one of the most unique fall colored trees.

Shumard Oak - The Shumard Oak is a stately tree with beautiful fall color and great urban adaptability. It is drought tolerant and medium to fast growing. Prefers well-drained soil. The Shumard Oak produces small acorns that are valuable wildlife food and are especially loved by deer and squirrels.

Hackberry - The Hackberry has been called admiringly, "one tough tree!" Found on a wide range of soils east of the Rockies from southern Canada to Florida, Hackberries thrive in a wide range of temperatures and on sites that vary from 14 to 60 inches of annual rainfall. Here is a tree that can stand up to strong winds, tolerate air pollution, and bring shade to hot city streets.  The fruit of the Hackberry is popular with winter birds, especially the cedar waxwing, mockingbird, and robin.

Redbud - Rosy pink flowers appear in April. Reddish-purple leaves change to dark green, then to yellow. Full sun or light shade.  The seeds provide winter food for birds.  Northern bobwhite and a few songbirds, such as chickadees, will eat the seeds, and it can be used for nesting sites and nesting materials, it also provides shelter for birds and mammals.

Wild Plum – A small thicket-forming tree found statewide.  One of the first trees to bloom in the spring. Produces a bright-red edible fruit.  Provides excellent food and cover for wildlife.

Norway Spruce - Fastest growing of the spruces. Develops strong graceful branches that are covered with dark green needles. Ideal windbreaker.  Supports a wide variety of wildlife. They are important as winter cover for deer, small game including grouse, hare, and woodcock. Song birds and fur bearers also frequent these forest types, Norway spruce makes a good roosting tree for hawks and owls.

Red Pine - Red pine is used in tree strips for windbreaks.  It is an attractive tree that is used in recreational areas because of its colorful bark.  This species provides cover for many species of mammals and birds.  Deer, cottontails, and snowshoe hares browse songbirds, mice and chipmunks feed on the seed while seedlings. 

Eastern White Pine - The ease of transplanting and rapid growth of the White Pine tree make it an ideal candidate for landscape and windscreen applications. Wildlife that eat the seeds range form chickadees and game birds to rabbits and black bears.

Season 2011 - removed 1,350 Bass under 12"

Largemouth Bass 

 Based on the 2010 shocking report and recommendation from the department of conservation efforts are being made to remove up to 2000 bass under 12" from Riss Lake.  It was estimated that 1350 bass under 12" were removed. Although short of the goal, and slightly less fish removed than in 2010 participation from the neighbors is making an impact on our fishery.

Season 2011 - removed 90 Green Sunfish

Green  Sunfish

 Green Sunfish are considered a nuisance species, providing little value to predators or fisherman so therefore are not surveyed in shocking reports.  Residents are encouraged to harvest up to the statewide limit of 50 per day.  Reducing the population density will decrease the competition for food in our young game species (bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish).

Fall 2011 - 850 Walleye

 Walleye

 The Riss Lake Fishing Club took another step in continuing to develop Riss as a Walleye fishery with the release of 850 6" fingerlings.  2011 proved to be a breakout year for walleye in Riss Lake; not only do we have a nice year class of 12-15" eaters coming along but we are quickly approaching trophy sized catches with two 4 lb class fish caught in the spring.  Checkout our Riss Lake Records page for photos and to track the upward climb of the walleye record.

Fall 2011 - 5,000 Gizzard Shad

Gizzard Shad 

 Another supplemental stocking of gizzard shad were released this fall.  The 5,000 gizzard shad were 4-6" in length, perfect forage size for our bass population and the ones that avoid predation will contribute to the establishment of a sustainable population.

Raising trophy bass in our lake is a delicate combination of cover, structure, forage fish, water quality, water chemistry, aquatic plants, genetics, and variety of size ranges of all species of fish.  Small fish need dense cover and tiny morsels of food. Intermediate size bass need medium size forage fish and moderately dense cover. Large bass eat large meals, often intermediate size bass, five to seven inch bluegill, shad...anything and everything which fits into its mouth, and is moving. It takes up to 10 pounds of forage fish for one bass to gain one pound. The more bass you have, obviously the more forage they require and you want your forage fish to supply forage in a wide variety of sizes for bass.

Part of the answer to this problem is the slimy old gizzard shad.  In private waters where gizzard shad have been established to enhance trophy bass growth, the majority of gizzard shad are 12 inches and smaller.  The slimy gizzard shad is just that -slimy. It has fins which are composed of soft rays, not sharp, bony spines. Although it is thicker and deeper bodied than threadfin shad, which is quite thin and skinny, gizzard shad are not as deep bodied as bluegill. These characteristics make it easy for bass to gulp large gizzard shad.  "Large" is, of course, relative to the size of bass eating the shad. Research has shown a largemouth bass can eat a bluegill about 1/3 its length. Therefore, a 12 inch bass can eat a 4 inch bluegill. However, a bass can eat a gizzard shad more than 50% of its body length.  Based on these aspects of fish morphology, it is easy to understand concepts of maximum foraging efficiency. Large gizzard shad allow large bass to achieve greater feeding efficiency than when eating bluegill. Therefore, large bass maintain high growth rates and have a higher probability of realizing genetic potential if provided with an adequate supply of gizzard shad.

Fall 2011 - 3,000 Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish 

 After taking a couple years off from stocking catfish efforts returned to maintain a healthy population with the stocking of 3,000 6" blue catfish.  The blue catfish provides an excellent opportunity to diversify the fishing experience in Riss Lake.  Not to mention the potential to land a fish that can grow to triple digits in weight decades down the road.  The blue catfish is not only known to hit the shallows during the evening hours but they will hit the open water to gorge themselves on the shad population.

Fall 2011 - 3,000 Redear Sunfish

Redear Sunfish 

 Giving a boost to the base population established in 2010, 3,000 4" redear sunfish were stocked in Riss Lake.  Not only do these fish provide excellent angling opportunities but then can supplement the food chain for the larger game species. 

Fall 2011 - 928 Rainbow Trout

 

 Rainbow Trout

It is becoming a yearly event, the trout stocking of Rainbows in Riss Lake occured again this fall!  For a total of 1,100 lbs the average size will be over a pound each, with a select few stocked weighing 2-6 lbs. each.  Grab your poles and enjoy some great winter and early spring fishing, when hooked they tend to put on an aerobatic display.

Fall 2011 - 16,000 Fathead Minnows

 

 Fathead Minnow

 The Riss Lake Fishing Club took another step in creating the ultimate bait bucket for our game species by stocking 16,000 1-2 inch Fathead Minnows.  Because these minnows quickly multiply and seldom exceed three inches in length, they are excellent food for trout, bass, and walleye in private self contained bodies of water that do not have a sufficient food supply.  Stocking fatheads in a lake that has established fish populations is not the only answer to slow growing fish but they do provide an excellent forage species for young game species reducing the feeding pressure on the bluegill population. 

Spring 2011 - Bo-Jo Fish Light

Refer to details below in summer 2010 as to how the fish lights starts the food chain. 

 With the successful trial of a fish light in the summer of 2010 we were able to fit 3 additional lights into the fishing club budget for the 2011.  Two lights are currently installed on the deep water side of  "C" dock, they are placed on each end of the dock to avoid the cables in the center from breaking off the big catch and allow additional anglers to gather around without crowding.  One light was installed on the shallow end of "C" dock at the deepest point to avoid the eventual crowding that will occur from the weed growth.  Assuming the weed growth encloses this area the plan will be to eradicate a circle in the weed bed around the light to create a feeding frenzy.  The last light placement will require a boat ride but is in an ideal placement of 25 ft of water on the end of the reserve boat dock across the cove.  If you get a chance check it out as it should be one of the most productive lights for all species of fish.

We encourage you to enjoy the night time fishing around the lights throughout the summer months.  On active nights the fish become easy targets and can be a lot of fun filling up the stringer.  If you are not an angler don't miss the chance to watch the fish sneaking a quick meal.  It can also be a great opportunity to introduce your kids to the many different species of fish available in Riss Lake.

Season 2010 - removed 1,450 Bass under 12"

 

Largemouth Bass

Based on the 2010 shocking report and recommendation from the department of conservation efforts are being made to remove up to 2000 bass under 12" from Riss Lake.  It was estimated that 1450 bass under 12" were removed. Although short of the goal, the increased participation from the neighbors has allowed the community to creep closer to the target removal number.

Fall 2010 - 1,600 Rainbow Trout

 Rainbow Trout

With the success of last years trout stocking the Fishing Club stocked 1,600 Rainbows in the lake this fall!  Average size will be just over a half a pound each, with a select few stocked weighing 2-6 lbs. each.  Grab your poles and enjoy some great winter and early spring fishing, when hooked they will put on an aerobatic display.

Fall 2010 - 1,081 Walleye

 

Walleye

The Riss Lake Fishing Club took another step in continuing to develop Riss as a Walleye fishery with the release of 1,081 6-8" fingerlings.  The longer length will have greater survival rates and provide an excellent year class of future eaters and potential a trophy or two along the way.  If you haven't had a chance, check out the fish Don MacCallum caught under the forums and Riss Lake Records.  At 21" and 2 lbs 11 oz it shows how quickly these fish are adapting to deep cool clear waters of Riss Lake and what a wonderful opportunity the addition of the species presents.

Fall 2010 - 25,000 Gizzard Shad

 Gizzard Shad

The Riss Lake Fishing Club took a step in establishing the backbone of the food chain for large game species with the stocking of 25,000 Gizzard shad; 70% of the fish released were 2-3" and 30% were 4-6".  This rapidly growing bait fish provides large quantities of buffet style food to grow the trophies we all desire.

 Gizzard shad typically grow 8.5-13.5 inches, but can reach 20 inches with a maximum life span of 4-7 years few live beyond age 3. Usually weighs 1 pound or less, with a select few reaching 3.5 pounds.  They feed by filtering microscopic animals and algae (plankton) by passing water through their gill rakers, but can also feed on detritus (organic ooze) off the bottom when plankton abundance is low.  The vegetable material they eat is ground in a gizzard like stomach.  The gizzard shad is essentially an open water species, living at or near the surface, however, they have been collected at depths of up to 100 feet.

Gizzard shad can spawn as early as the age of 2.  They typically head for shallow water at night in May when water temperatures reach the mid 60’s. They broadcasting as many as 400,000 eggs over submerged objects such as rocks or logs near the shore. Each year, after spawning, they can become extremely abundant providing food for many larger fish species.  Growth is rapid, up to seven inches in the first year have been recorded, providing an excellent food source for larger game species of bass, catfish, walleye, striper, and muskie.

Fall 2010 - 3,077 Redear Sunfish

Redear Sunfish

To establish a base population and to continue to diversify the fishing experience 3,000 3 inch redear sunfish were introduced on Riss Lake.  Redear sunfish are similar in appearance and shape to bluegill, but redear can be distinguished from other sunfish by their yellow to yellow-orange belly, long, sharply pointed pectoral fin and light colored, sometimes reddish-orange border of the ear flap over the gill cover. Redear also generally run larger than other sunfishes. It is not uncommon to catch redear sunfish weighing more than a pound with the current Missouri state record of two pounds, seven ounces.

Redear do best in clear water with vegetation that holds snails and insects.  Stocked in many small ponds and fish hatcheries to control the spread of certain aquatic parasites. Redear prey upon aquatic snails, which are an important link in the life-cycles of certain aquatic parasites.

Favorite baits include bits of live worm, euro larvae or crickets. Some anglers even use snails to catch redear. Use tiny gold or black hooks.  Feathered 1⁄100-ounce jigs or small flies also work. Wet flies are preferred, but a redear will occasionally pop a top-water insect. Black or dark brown lures are best. Generally, you’ll have better luck fishing lures and baits slowly and just a few inches off bottom. Use small bobbers to keep your bait in front of fish. Redear will drop a lure if they detect resistance. Bites are generally light but, once hooked, a redear is anything but subtle.  Ice fishermen often find redears suspended in deeper water, where they are easily lured by the possibility of an easy meal.

Summer 2010 - Bo-Jo Fish Light

 

The Bo-Jo Fish Light is an excellent device to attract bream, crappie, bass and more. It works great on large lakes and equally well or even better on small ponds and lakes. The act of feeding fish can have a dramatic effect on the size and quantity of fish you catch. The light mounts to a fishing dock, contains a pair of standard fluorescent light bulbs that attract bugs to the device. Once the bugs come to the light, an electric motor with weed-eater mechanism knocks the bugs into the water. It is as simple as that!

A fish light will establishing a nightly food chain at the docks.  If you get a chance bring your pole or come down and watch the activity.  You should expect to see the insects, plankton, minnows, and bluegill at the illuminated surface area with the bass, walleye, crappie, and trout in the depths or on the outer fringe of the light penetration trying to sneak a quick snack. 

The unit was installed at the end of  "C" dock.  Thanks to everyone who donated and allowed the club to try one out this season. 

Spring 2010 - Fish Population Study

The largemouth bass population is showing signs of improvement.  In particular, the PSD value rose from 18% to 40%.  This is very encouraging.   PSD was comparable in the 1991 sample, however this was due to a large catch of 12 to 13-inch bass, while the increased PSD in 2010 was attributed to the larger catch of all bass over 12 inches, not just those barely longer than 12 inches. To clarify this further we look at a value called RSD.  The RSD in 2010 was higher than in any of our previous samples.  While it has not increased a lot from the 2007 sample, it does take bass some time to grow once the numbers have been thinned.  If you look at the length frequency graph (Figure 3 below), you will see a fair number of fish in the 13 to 14-inch range that will be moving over 15 inches this year.  RSD is  anticipated to continue to increase over the next few years if harvest targets are achieved. 
 
 Bass PSD = 40, Bass RSD 15 = 13, Bluegill PSD = 48, Bluegill RSD8 = 11
  • Bass PSD is the percentage of bass >8" that are greater than 12".  The target value is 40-60%.
  • Bass RSD is the percentage of bass >8" that are greater than 15".  The target value for bass is around 20%.
  •  Bluegill PSD is the percentage of bluegill >3" that are greater than 6".  The target value is 20-40%
  • Bluegill RSD is the percentage of bluegill >3" that are greater than 8".  Values in excess of 10% are uncommon, even in lakes with excellent bluegill populations. 
  
Fish Population Characteristics and Management Recommendations
  •  The club should continue to harvest up to 2000 bass per year for the next three years.  The abundance of bass produced each year may require this practice be considered a permanent goal of the club.  Continue to encourage anglers to abide by a 12 to 15-inch slot limit for bass.  Anglers should harvest bass under 12 inches and return bass between 12 and 15 inches.  Anglers who catch a large bass would be able to harvest the fish as a trophy if they desired.
  • The bluegill population is still in very good condition and provides young anglers with exciting quarry.  The quality of this fishery will decline some as bass numbers are reduced, but that is an unfortunate casualty of managing for larger bass.  With the vegetation surrounding the edges of the lake, the bluegill population may not suffer as much as in some other lakes when bass numbers are reduced.  The vegetation serves as a vital link in the food chain for bluegill.  Algae that grows on the plants feeds aquatic insects, which are the primary food for bluegill of all sizes.
  • Crappie are rarely sampled in enough numbers to provide a complete look at the population.  However, the reports from your anglers and the fact that you have only black crappie suggest that the population is in good condition.  Continue to encourage anglers to harvest crappie whenever possible.  High harvest is necessary to prevent crappie from becoming too numerous. Crappie can be harvested up to the statewide limit of 30 per day.
 

Spring 2010 - 21,000 Golden Shiners

 

Golden Shiner

The sexually mature 4 inch Golden Shiners are basically fully grown with average adult sizes ranging 3 to 5 inches.  We already have some in our lake, but we are hoping to substantially increase the size of the population and provide a larger and healthier forage base for our largemouth, crappie, walleye and catfish.  These pre-spawn bait-fish thrive in clear quiet water with dense mats of vegetation tolerating temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  They are omnivorous, eating zooplankton, insects, plants, and algae and feed throughout all depths of the lake.  With any luck we should see some of their sticky eggs amid vegetation yielding millions of fry, really increasing the bang for our buck.

Spring 2010 - 1,100 Walleye

 

 Walleye

The Riss Lake Fishing Club took another step toward building the walleye population at the lake when it stocked 6 to 8 inch fingerlings in mid-April.  Larry Chambers and Brent Frazee helped with the stocking, transporting the fish to the middle of the lake before releasing them.  Past stockings of walleyes have been successful, with many 16 to 18 inch fish being caught at Riss.  The stocking of the larger sized fish should ensure survival rates and lead to a good year class of keeper sized walleyes several years from now.

Winter 2010 - Christmas Tree Drop

Members of the club braved the cold weather and ice to drop brush piles around the marina.  This will provide structure for the bait fish, attracting the larger fish for an easy meal,  making the overall fishing around the docks that much more enjoyable.  Check out the photos below, the invested time will provide dividends for years to come.  The key is to keep the trees submerged, as flooding and then exposing will cause the trees to decay much faster.

 

 

Season 2009 - removed 1,350 Bass under 12"

 

Largemouth Bass

Based on the 2007 shocking report and recommendation from the department of conservation efforts are being made to remove up to 2000 bass under 12" from Riss Lake.  It was estimated that 1350 bass under 12" were removed. Although short of the goal, the additional participation from the neighborhood has allowed the community to make great strides to better the fishing experience in Riss Lake.

Fall 2009 - 1,600 Trout

 

Rainbow Trout

Stocked fish were 8 inches or greater weighing up to 6 lbs.  Catch them before the summer as they may not live through the hot summer months.  There is a chance due to the depth of Riss Lake and therefore the depth of the thermocline, but no guarantee.

Summer 2009 - 6,000 Walleye

Walleye

Stocked fish were 3 inches long and released in the middle of the lake.  This should provide a great year class of walleyes and some nice eaters down the road

Spring 2009 - 2,100 Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish

Stocked fish were 6 to 8 inches.  The fish that avoid predation or an angler can live more than 20 years  and grow to 20 to 44 inches long weighing 3 to 40 lbs with biggest being caught weighing up to 80 to 100 lbs.

Season 2008 - removed 750 Bass under 12"

 

Largemouth Bass

Based on the 2007 shocking report and recommendation from the department of conservation efforts are being made to remove up to 2000  bass under 12" from Riss Lake.  It was estimated that 750 bass under 12" were removed. Although short of the goal, the department of conservation is excited to see that as a community we starting to make strides in managing the lake, they have been suggesting to remove bass since the 70's.

Season 2008 - Structure Addition

 

Due to the limited amount of deep water structure in Riss Lake cedar trees were dropped on several key points throughout the lake.  Cedars were chosen due to their ability to reduce rot, last well over 5 years, most likely a decade or more.  After a Couple years only the branches will remain creating great deep water habitat for the game fish.  

Groups of approximately 15 and a total of 200 were dropped in targeted 15-20 feet of water.  At that depth they will be above the thermocline in Riss Lake for the entire year providing good congregation areas for fish year round.  Check out the map above for the gps coordinates and report back your success or failures so we will know better how to organize activities in the future.

Summer 2008 - 2,500 Walleye

 

Walleye

Stocked fish were 3" long and released in the middle of the lake.  This species normally grows to 12 to 28 inches and .5 to 8 pounds with the largest getting 20-22 pounds in Missouri with a life expectancy of 7 to 8 years, some living up to 13 years or more.

Spring 2008 - 1,600 Blue Catfish

 

Blue Catfish

Stocked fish were 6 to 8 inches and will provide a base population for Riss Lake.  They are carnivorous bottom feeders so preferred bait is live or cut shad and herring.  They feed in deep water during the day and shallows near cover at night.  In a few years memories will be made as they can get as large as 80-100 lbs.

Season 2007 - removed 500 Bass under 12"

 

 Largemouth Bass

Based on the spring 2007 shocking report and recommendation from the department of conservation efforts are being made to remove up to 2000  bass under 12" from Riss Lake.  This will create an environment with less mouths to feed and allow the remaining bass to grow with greater efficiency and become those trophies we are all looking for.  It was estimated that 500 bass under 12" were removed. Great strides were made considering the program was started mid-year.

Summer 2007 - 1,500 Walleye

 

Walleye

Stocked fish were 6 to 8 inches long and released in the middle of the lake.  The longer length will ensure survival rates and establish the introduction of a population in the lake.  Watch out for their teeth when caught but handled with care they are the best fish to hit the frying pan from fresh water.  Their large eyes allow them to feed in deep water and in low light conditions going in to night.  So fish for them when they are most active in low light of dusk/dawn,  choppy water, or heavy cloud cover.  Those clear blue sky days are great but could prove difficult to locate the walleye.

Spring 2007 - Fish Population Study

 Bass PSD = 18, Bass RSD 15 = 11, Bluegill PSD = 57, Bluegill RSD8 = 15
  • Bass PSD is the percentage of bass >8" that are greater than 12".  The target value is 40-60%.
  • Bass RSD is the percentage of bass >8" that are greater than 15".  The target value for bass is around 20%.
  •  Bluegill PSD is the percentage of bluegill >3" that are greater than 6".  The target value is 20-40%
  • Bluegill RSD is the percentage of bluegill >3" that are greater than 8".  Values in excess of 10% are uncommon, even in lakes with excellent bluegill populations. 
Fish Population Characteristics and Management Recommendations
  •  The largemouth bass population is becoming stunted and many bass need to be harvested to reverse this trend.    It is recommend 20 bass per acre be removed each year for at least three years.  Anglers should remove the 10-12 inch bass up to their daily limit of six each time they fish.
  • The bluegill population is very good and benefits from good levels of aquatic vegetation in the lake.  Bluegill PSD and RSD are within desirable ranges.  Aquatic vegetation provides cover, places for aquatic insects to colonize and provide food for bluegill and small fish and helps filter the water keeping it clearer.  Vegetation also binds nutrients in the lake keeping it from experiencing  algae blooms.
  • Crappie are doing well in the lake but can benefit from increased fishing pressure.  We collected too few crappie to make any detailed analysis, but they appeared in good condition.  There is very little in the way of submerged trees in the lake and these can provide attractors for crappie throughout the year and make them more vulnerable to anglers.  Its recommended to sink some trees in 20 ft of water to aid crappie anglers.  The trees can be cedar, hedge, locust, or pin oaks and should be sunk so that they are 10 feet below the surface of the water to make sure they don't hamper navigation or interfere with other lake users.  The easiest way to do this is when there is substantial ice on the lake.  If we get ice depths of 6 inches or more in the winter, that would be the ideal time to create these brush piles.  Drag the trees to the desired locations and tie a couple of heavy concrete blocks to sink them when the ice melts.  Do not cut the trees until you are ready to place them on the ice .  The longer the time from cutting to sinking, the harder they are to sink.  I would also recommend marking them with small buoys to make locating them easy.  Crappie can be a nuisance in smaller lakes.  They tend to overpopulate and become stunted.  Anglers should be encouraged to keep every crappie caught up to their daily limit each fishing trip.
  • Channel Catfish can be stocked at a rate 10-15 per acre each year.  If you think the fishing pressure for them is low go with either 10 per acre per year or 15 per acre every other year.  
  •  Walleye are a big water fish that can provide an interesting incidental catch.  Large numbers of them would need to be stocked to create a quality fishery.  However, 10 small finger-lings per acre each year will create a small fishery for those interested.  
  • Trout can be stocked in the winter, but care needs to be taken to only stock as many as will be caught.  They will have a hard time surviving during the hot summer months so you only want a few of them left over.  

Fish Population Survey 2007.PDF

Spring 2007 - 2,000 Channel Catfish

 

Channel Catfish

Stocked fish were 8-10 inches long and will augment the minimal amount of catfish found in Riss Lake.  Channel grow 12 to 32 inches long, weighing 1 to 15 pounds with largest growing to 45 pounds.  Their life expectancy is 6 to 7 years but can live up to 20 years.  This bottom feeder is a southern boys treat and can be a delectable meal when put to the frying pan.

Spring 1997 - Fish Population Study

  
 
 Bass PSD = 22, Bass RSD 15 = 5, Bluegill PSD = 25, Bluegill RSD8 = 6
  • Bass PSD is the percentage of bass >8" that are greater than 12".  The target value is 40-60%.
  • Bass RSD is the percentage of bass >8" that are greater than 15".  The target value for bass is 15-25%.
  •  Bluegill PSD is the percentage of bluegill >3" that are greater than 6".  The target value is 20-40%
  • Bluegill RSD is the percentage of bluegill >3" that are greater than 8".  Values in excess of 10% are uncommon, even in lakes with excellent bluegill populations. 
Lake Conditions and Fish Population Characteristics
  •  The largemouth bass population is dominated by fish less than 12 inches in length.  Body condition was fair to good.  Scales were taken from the bass to analyze their growth rate.
  • The size structure of the bluegill population is fair.  Most of the larger number of fish collected were less than 6 inches  in length.  Average bluegill body condition is fair to good.
  • One yellow bullhead was captured and many green sunfish were present but not collected.  No channel catfish were captured.
  • Earlier in the year curled pondweed appeared and died back as summer approached.  Aquatic vegetation was overabundant at the time of this survey.  Vegetation was also surveyed in July and comprised more than 20% of the lake's surface and bottom.  Vegetation present during the survey included: filamentous algae (10%), chara (20%), coontail (20%), naiad (20%), sago pondweed (20%), american pondweed (10%).
Management Recommendations
  •  Release bass 12 to 15 inches in length.  Bass smaller than 12 inches and longer than 15 inches may be kept within statewide limits.  Anglers should be encouraged to harvest bass in the 8-12 inch length range.  This will allow the remaining bass to grow to a larger size.  The overabundant aquatic vegetation is providing too much escape cover for the small fish that bass prey upon.  Removing some of the aquatic vegetation in conjunction with the harvest of bass in the 8-12 inch range should help improve growth rates of bass.  The scales that were taken were analyzed to determine the rate of growth of bass.  Largemouth bass should be greater than or equal to 12 inches in length at age 4 and 11 inches at age 3.  Riss Lake bass only average 10.75 inches in length at age 4 and 8.5 inches in length at age 3.  This confirms that growth of bass are slow. 
  • Due to the large amounts of escape cover for small bluegill, the bluegill population contains a large number of fish less than 6 inches in length.  Of all the bluegill that are greater than 3 inches, the percentage greater than 6 inches (PSD) is within the target value of 20-40%, bluegill growth rates can be improved by encouraging anglers to harvest bluegill in the lake.  Also by controlling a portion of the aquatic vegetation, the abundant small bluegill will be made available to the bass as prey increasing bass growth rates.
  • Within statewide limits, harvest all green sunfish that are caught.  Yellow bullhead may be harvested as desired.
  • Survival of young channel catfish is poor in ponds and small lakes with clear water, largemouth bass, and bluegill populations.  Restocking is eventually necessary to maintain catfish populations.  We recommend stocking 10 to 20 (8-10 inch long) catfish per acre annually.  This number can be increased or decreased based upon the number of catfish that are harvested by anglers and how well the fish grow.  If fishing pressure is light, you may only want to stock every 2 or 3 years.
  • Curled pondweed is an exotic species that has the potential to become a nuisance.  From fisheries management standpoint, lakes should have 10-15% of the lake's surface and bottom covered with aquatic plants.  There should be a narrow band of vegetation around much of the lake's shoreline.  Excessive amounts of vegetation can be cause for concern.  If more than 20% of the lake is plant-covered the lake may develop problems in the fish population by providing to much escape cover for young fish.  Removing some of the plant cover helps maintain a healthy fish population.

All Species Photos By: Joseph R. Tomelleri. Used with permission.

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