Might have something to do with these spot-on quotes from an AWESOME write-up Cory Schmidt did for In-Fisherman:
> “The term panfish, to some, seems to imply that God put bluegills, crappies and perch here for one reason: To be filleted and consumed in assembly-line numbers.
> “Too often, anglers view the harvest limit not as a management tool but as a daily fishing goal and a measuring stick for success.”
And the answer is “yes,” science is out there proving that folks who keep too many big bluegills can ruin the size structure of an entire fishery.
From Dave Weitzel, MN DNR fisheries supervisor in Grand Rapids:
> “Bluegill populations can be radically altered by the targeted harvest of top-end size breeding males. As the size of remaining male bluegills decreases, bluegills respond by maturing and spawning earlier. This means much of their energy goes toward reproductive success rather than growth during the early stages of their lives.
> “Eventually, because of increased competition for limited food sources, small, stunted fish overtake the population…can take decades to reverse.”
If this info even slightly tickles your fancy…I strongly recommend reading Cory Schmidt’s full In-Fisherman write-up here.