2018 FISHING OUTLOOK: Blue Catfish
A 35" minimum length limit and 5 fish daily creel limit is in place to try to increase numbers. Blue catfish pulled off a measurable spawn in 2016, as juveniles were sampled in July and October 2017. Improved production, a goal of the length limit (by protecting young broodfish), is the pathway toward increased numbers.
Melvern, like most Kansas reservoirs, has good channel catfish angling and 2018 should be no exception. Higher numbers of larger fish were observed in the 2017 sample.
High numbers of crappie were sampled in 2017, but the overwhelming majority were less than 10" in length. Angling for crappie should be similar to last year.
Lower numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass were sampled during 2017 compared to the previous year. Anglers should still have good luck fishing for smallmouth, but they will find it tougher to consistently catch largemouth.
Sauger/walleye fishing should be similar to the previous 5 years based upon sampling. Anglers have reported catching increased numbers of sub-legal walleye, so perhaps the population is on the upswing.
Numbers of white bass declined in the 2017 sample. Quality sized white bass are still present and should supply fair fishing.