I have heard conflicting opinions among fishermen about keeping lots of perch at CJ Strike. Some say limits should be placed to prevent diminishing the fishery. Others say perch are overpopulating, and as many as possible should be removed to prevent stunted fish.
What is IDFG's view of the status of the perch populations at Strike, and what should anglers do to maximize the quality?
Yellow perch, for the most part, are prolific and environmental factors influence populations more than angling harvest.
In years where water temperatures coincide with zooplankton blooms and reduced numbers of primary predators, the perch population can exceed carrying capacity of the waterbody. Under this scenario, they can over-populate and stunt. Now, if the perch spawn and the weather turns cold and delays the zooplankton bloom, this could lead to poor survival of young fish and a year class with very low numbers. We often track year-classes of perch and accurately predict when we'll have a quality fishery of large fish and years when the fishery will be dominated by smaller or younger fish.
Given the size of C.J. Strike Reservoir, the amount of available habitat, and the amount of fishing pressure - we just can't see a scenario where anglers were driving the population. Our advice would be - catch and take home as many as you are willing to fillet and eat.