In 2009, a group of Department of Conservation employees from Protection, Resource Science, and Fisheries divisions came together to discuss the history of blue catfish and the anglers who pursued them on both lakes. Some anglers and professionals alike had concerns with the decline in the numbers of large blue catfish.
The Department looked at past angler surveys and harvest evaluations with an eye toward regaining the fame these lakes once held for producing big catfish.
In 2010, staff began gathering blue catfish population data and continued the effort for three years ending in 2012. During the same time period, the Department held three stakeholder meetings, three public open houses, and gathered public opinion in several other ways. With the combination of sound science and public input that showed angler support, the Department implemented the following regulations, effective March 1, 2014: