The numbers are in from the Missouri Department of Conservation's 2012 study of fish populations at Mozingo Lake.
Just a glance at the report shows that it's good news for anglers.
Numbers of large fish are up for several popular game species.
Through electrofishing, MDC field technicians caught, measured and evaluated the lake's fish population. The study was managed by Tory Mason, the agency's area fisheries management biologist.
Results compared numbers of "quality size" fish with smaller "stock size" fish.
Below is a breakdown for game fish at Mozingo. The numbers include the Proportional Stock Density (PSD) and the Relative Stock Density (RSD). The RSD is calculated as a ratio of quality sized fish to stock size fish and represents the number of larger fish compared to stock size.
Trophy largemouth bass were up from 2011. Out of a sample of 113 fish caught in one hour, the RSD of fish 18 inches or more was 10, the RSD for fish 15 inches or more was 44, and the PSD was 75.
Mozingo's limit for largemouth bass is six fish per day, and fish between 12 and 15 inches must be released.
Perch numbers for all sizes are increasing also.
Of 260 fish caught, four percent were more than eight inches long.
Thirty-four percent were six inches or longer.
In addition, white crappie populations have soared in the 1,000-acre impoundment.
The RSD of fish over 12 inches has grown from 2.76 in 2011 to 11.48 in 2012. The RSD number for fish between 10 and 12 inches long has decreased from 85 to 68, while the PSD number of fish more than eight inches long has grown slightly.
Black crappie populations are up as well. From 2009-2011, the MDC did not catch any over 12 inches, but in 2012, the RSD rose to two.
Black crappie sized 10-12 inches have increased from an RSD of 18 to 56 since last year, and the PSD of stock-sized fish grew from 87 to 98.
The daily limit on crappie at Mozingo is 20.
Walleye fishing at Mozingo is growing in popularity, and the MDS report held good news for anglers who bait their hooks for this exciting game fish.
The walleye population increased dramatically between 2007 and 2010, but saw a drop in 2011. Numbers are back up for 2012, with an increase in RSD from 2.86 to 3.23 for fish 26 inches inches and up.
RSD for walleye ranging between 18 and 25 inches saw the biggest increase, from 66.5 in 2011 to 93.55 this year. The PSD of stock-sized fish stayed roughly the same.
The MDC report shows far better numbers at Mozingo than for other lakes in the area and affirms word-of-mouth reports that the lake provides some of the best fishing in Northwest Missouri.
Matt Oltman and his son Keston reeled in a good catch late last week after working the north end of the lake. The Oltmans usually fish at Bilby Ranch or Nodaway Lake but decided to give Mozingo a try.
Page 2 of 2 - "The fishing is way better than it has been," Oltman said. "Usually we don't catch much out here, but we had a pretty good day today. I've heard the same from other people too."
Grant Evans, Mozingo Lake Park manager, is pleased with the results of efforts by his staff and MDC to boost fish numbers.
"It looks like the fishery is outstanding," Evans said. "The credit goes to the diligence of Tory [Mason] and the MDC."
Initiatives to improve the lake environment include placing felled trees and planting native water willow along the banks to slow erosion.
Evans and Mason are hoping the water willow will also compete with invasive colonies of Eurasian watermilfoil that have become prevalent in several coves.
Since the impoundment's completion in the mid-1990's, the lake has grown roughly 10 acres due to bank erosion. Evans said that erosion is not yet a pressing concern, but that preventive action is needed.
"It's been an ongoing problem for years," Evans said. "It's not critical at this point, but we really do not want it to get there."
Along with water willow and brush, the Mozingo staff also plans to plant locust and hedge trees along windward banks.
These fast-growing trees have large, strong root systems that hold banks together and reduce wave energy.
Though there is some concern with the trees and water willows interfering with bank fishing, Mason assures that it is the lesser of two evils.
"Bank loss is going to happen, it happens everywhere," Mason said.
"This is a preemptive measure. It may affect fishing a little bit, but it's better than losing the bank."
Implementation of this plan may seem daunting considering Mozingo's miles of shoreline, but Evans and Mason won't have to do it alone.
A number of community groups and fishing clubs have volunteered to help in the project, including the Maryville High School football team.
"It's nice to have so much support from the community," Evans said. "I look forward to fostering more efforts like this in the future. I think that with the cooperative effort between the MDC, lake staff and the community, we can accomplish a lot more in the future."