It has been a common misconception for as long as there has been panfishing that they are so prolific that you can not fish down the populations. This has been proven wrong by many fisheries biologists and researchers over the past decade. Minnesota and Wisconsin are far and away the 2 states that have been leading the charge in reducing panfish limits based on sound research. For example, one small lake in Wisconsin gets heavy pressure but consistently year after year produces the largest sized bluegills in the state. Bag limit - 5/day.
Coincidence? I think not.
Speaking of bluegills (my favorite), type in "sneaker male bluegills" on google search. You will find information on how these stunted male genetic clones of the big parental male takes over breeding when the parental males are removed from the spawning beds. End result, a lake full of stunted bluegills. I can name several lakes in NY where this has happened. And, once the sneakers take over a lake the quality fishing is gone, forever.
When it comes to managing our panfish populations, DEC is living in the dark ages.