(KLIX) – Anglers are reeling in large crappie at C.J. Strike Reservoir – err, at least there is that possibility.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says crappie at the reservoir from 2017 stock are reaching a size just right for catching.

“We have a big 2017 year class of fish at C.J. Strike,” Idaho Fish and Game biologist Mike Peterson said in a statement, “and they are just starting to grow to a size that anglers can catch them.”

Fish and Game said crappie, which can lay up to 20,000 eggs per female, only live four to five years in the reservoir.

“Typically, fast growing fish tend to not live as long, and that’s the case with crappie in C.J. Strike so far in what we’ve seen,” Peterson said. “The four-year old fish are typically 9 to 10 inches, and may have spawned once by that age. Very few fish live to be 6 or 7 years old.”

Peterson said he expects to see above-average catch rates over the next few years as this year’s class of fish continue to age and provide increased harvest potential.

The department urges anglers to enjoy the good crappie fishing while it’s there, but to use the fish wisely and not be wasteful. Keep only the fish you are willing to clean and eat, Fish and Game said.

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