Chicago Sun-Times
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Chicago fishing: Weighing big ones

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Click here for my Sunday column about growing difficulties with weighing big fish on certified scales; and trying to come up with ways to weigh big muskies then release them.


This discussion was started late last month when Eric Lichamer had trouble getting his 72-pound grass carp weighed.

That's when I found out that there were thoughts of having a scale somewhere on the Chain O'Lakes so muskies could be weighed and released.

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I believe the Trading Post in Altorff just outside the Kankakee River State park has a scale capable of weighing fish up to 100 lbs.I should be so lucky as to catch something that would be bigger than that.

Wacker Baits in Broadview sells scales and slings for large fish that can be certified.

If an angler plans to target big fish, they should be prepared to handle big fish. Otherwise the fish are poorly handled and/or killed unnecessarily such as in the case with the large grass carp above.

It's also worth mentioning that grass carp are stocked, at no small expense, to do the job of weed control. This was a working fish that should have been released.

That grass carp did very little weed control. They eat weed like mad when growing but eat much less when full grown. That fish did very little to control weeds, and being an invasive destructive fish should have been removed from the waters as all carp should be.

Anonymous, how sure are you about that? I'm no expert on grass carp, but from what I know of them, they are triploid and therefore sterile. That means they expend more energy on growing than on reproduction and for that reason, should continue to eat large amounts of vegetation.

Also, they are not invasives in the sense that gobies or alewifes are: they are planted in these bodies of water to do a job. Again, they are sterile, so there is no danger of them overrrunning a body of water the way Asian carp may in the future.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 6, 2012 9:09 AM.

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