Lake Memphremagog makes Bassmaster list
Lake Memphremagog has made it onto Bassmaster magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list, coming in at a respectable no. 44. It is the third year that the almost fifty year-old print magazine, based in Alabama, has compiled the list of American lakes for their over 500,000 subscribers who reside throughout the United States and in seven or eight countries, including Canada.
It is a three month process to put the list together, researchers at the magazine consulting with officials working with the Department of Natural Resources and Wildlife agencies. Catch rates are looked at and about 3,500 anglers are polled. “We also ask our 550,000 Facebook fans for their input,” said the editor of the list, James Hall. Online fishing tournament data is consulted and, finally, a panel of fifteen fishing and industry experts determines the ranking.
“It’s an educational process. At first, we thought we wouldn’t see much fluctuation from year to year, but that hasn’t been the case. One lake on the list dropped by 32% in one year. Some lakes in Minnesota froze so hard last winter that all the fish in them died,” said Mr. Hall.
“Bass is America’s favourite sport fish,” continued Mr. Hall. “They’re aggressive and willing to bite at artificial bait. They’re feisty and will jump right out of the water. They’re also a very hardy fish which is good because most of the fishermen will put them back.”
It was actually the magazine’s founder, Ray Scott, who started the first “Catch and Release” program for Bass, so that the popularity of the sport would not deplete the stock, in the United States. In some lakes, where there is an overabundance, it is actually better to keep the smaller bass so that the more mature fish have a better chance of surviving, an example of why it’s important to understand fish populations.
Besides the United States and Canada, bass fishing is very popular in Japan, South Africa, Spain and Australia. Making the 100 Best Bass Lakes list can be good for tourism. “The top lakes go crazy with visitors after the list comes out and other lakes have set attendance records. One thing we hope to accomplish with the list is to get people to try new lakes,” concluded Mr. Hall. The complete list and beautiful photos of the lakes can be found at the Bassmaster website.
Lake Memphremagog, seen here on the American side, made the “Best 100 Bass Lakes” list of Bassmaster magazine for the first time, indicating a very healthy Bass population in the lake.