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fire-in-the-hole

Cleaning Regulation

18 posts in this topic

I know there was some conversation weeks ago as to whether or not you could clean fish on the ice. I couldn't find the discussion again and never did see the final rule. Can anyone confirm/deny whether you can clean fish on the ice?

Years ago we used to clean them out in the hut out of ignorance and we always brought the entrails back to land and discarded them. Then one day the nice conservation guy told us we were not to do that. I never saw anything wrong with it (because you could easily count and measure what we had) and was surprised to learn of such a rule, but I guess rules are rules. Anyhow, I sure hope we can do this again. Whenever I started to clean fish it always seemed to make them bite.

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you mean clean or eat ????

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Grab a copy of the regulations to be sure but I believe you can clean and eat fish on the ice but that counts towards your daily limit, like a shore lunch, and you must keep the guts so the DNR can measure them if you are checked.

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I believe if you go to the MN DNR web site you can find the new letter there explaining the new rule. Took effect 12/10/07.

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Here it is from the DNR website

ICE FISHING MEAL PREPARATION

While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins and skin intact and be measurable except when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal.

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Something else to remember, if you clean your saugers on the lake or for the drive home, they are counted as walleye. This is mentioned in the regs a couple of times.

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OK, thanks for the posts and advice, but it only elates more questions such as: Since every fish I clean is for a meal, does it depend upon "when" I eat the meal? For instance, we make the fillets in the the ice hut, keep all the measurable stuff and whatnot. Can I then discard the carcass once I get back to shore? Granted, I might not eat the fish until three weeks later, but it is prepared for a "meal" nonetheless. Does the rule only apply if I eat the fish in the hut? When would a person prepare fillets that would not be used for a meal? And if such a person exists, can I just have those fillets?

Secondly, this has always confused me the "sauger counted as walleye rule." We actually just gilled and gutted our saugers last year so you could definitely see that they were sauger. I believe that is appropriate with the regulations, or at least it was last year.

Maybe it's just me, but when I get to the "fleshy meat" of a perch, I can't tell the difference between them and walleye in the way the fillets appear. If I leave a patch of skin, you can see that I have a walleye, but if I remove the skin, it may as well be a perch? I abide by the rule, but it still doesn't make sense. With a eel pout, you can tell just by looking at the meat, it is an eel pout. Not to mention that it is usually still squirming and trying to metamorphisize itself back to life.

I don't eat fish in the ice hut and would only clean them to save on the nuisance of doing it when we get back to shore.

Sorry for the rambling, but sometimes I get the feeling that if I even think about fishing, I might be doing something illegal without even knowing it. Is there any rule that says I have to use vegetable oil to fry the fish? I prefer canola. Maybe I need to save the oil so they can check the DNA of the fish I just scarfed down.

I will go to the DNR website now. Thanks again for the posts. Anyone else confused by this?

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if you eat your fish on the lake you must keep the reamins in your shack so they can be measured but they must not be frozen.the next mornin go to shore and get rid of the remains then you may catch another limit.as for saugers, you can keep 8 fish no more than 4 can be walleye.

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 Originally Posted By: curt quesnell
Here it is from the DNR website

ICE FISHING MEAL PREPARATION

While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins and skin intact and be measurable except when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal.

What the regulation leaves out is whether specific fish that are protected can be eaten or not. For example, on L.O.W., can one catch,clean, and eat a 25 inch walleye, even though it is protected? One possible interpretation of the rule, I think, permits this.

A better writing (with my additions in brackets) of the rule would say: "While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all [types of] fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins and skin intact and be measurable except when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal. [but one still cannot eat a fish if it is within a protected slot of that lake.]

I think the rule is ambiguous as it is written...What do you all think?

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For example, on L.O.W., can one catch,clean, and eat a 25 inch walleye, even though it is protected? One possible interpretation of the rule, I think, permits this.

The protected slot is always in effect....Reg also notes you must be actually prepairing the meal. So cleaing fish for home meals 3 weeks from now is also illegal. Only fish cleaning allowed on the ice is for prepairing a meal in a sleeper house type situation or shore lunch out on the lake.

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I would go with GoFish4. You can clean fish on a lake with size restrictions unless you are in the process of eatting them at that time. Just leave them in the round, unfrozen if you are transporting them home and then you know you are safe.

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I agree with GoFish4's interpretation of the regulation, as I am sure this is what the legislature intended when passing it - however, the regulation is not clear whether one can clean protected fish on the ice and eat them or not. One conservation officer said the new law will encourage fishermen and women to eat the protected fish, then keep some outside-of-slot- fish to take home, and get away with it because they do not have to let the game warden in the fish house. One could easily do this except on one lake -- Upper Red Lake, where the legislature was diligent enough to require the entrails of any fish cleaned and eaten on Upper Red Lake to be kept for proof. From what I have read, other lakes do not have the requirement that one must keep the carcass of the fish just cleaned and eaten. The newspaper article printed on Jan. 8 in the Star Tribune seems to indicate this point. The rule of keeping the carcass goes into effect on Jan. 12, 2008. Here is an excerpt for it:

"Eating walleyes on Upper Red Lake? Save the carcasses

By DOUG SMITH, Star Tribune

Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake will have to keep the carcasses of walleyes and northerns they eat on the lake to prove the fish were legal size, beginning Jan. 12.

The change is in response to a state law passed last year by the Legislature allowing anglers fishing on waters with size restrictions, such as Upper Red Lake and Lake Mille Lacs, to cook a meal of the restricted fish while on the ice."

Doesn't "restricted fish" mean fish that are within the slot limit? If so, I am right, and a 25 inch walleye could be kept,cleaned, and eaten on L.O.W. in a sleeper house.

Hey, I am not trying to encourage anyone to be unethical or break the law, but from my reading, one can keep a fish that is protected for one meal on a lake with restrictions. Because conservation officers still have no right to enter a fish house, I say, "why not?"

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The following is the actual law, not a newspaper's interpretation of it. What follows contradicts what Doug Smith wrote in his article. He says it is only on Upper Red Lake that the carcass must be kept. Confused...Confused...

D. While OIl or fishing instate waters with size

10 restrictions that differ from statewide regulations, includlng

11 experimental waters, special management waters, boundary waters,

12 or any other waters with size restrictions, all fish for which

13 the different size restrictions apply must be undressed and

14 measurable when in a person's possession, regardless of where

15 taken, except when a watercraft is docked or moored to shore or

16 when on the ice and a person is .in the act of preparing and

17 using the fish for a meal. While a person is on the water or

18 ice, fish carcasses from fish with size limits must be retained

19 with head, spinal cord, and tail intact and maintained in such a

20 way that the carcasses may be readily unpacked, unwrapped, and

21 separated so that they may be examined, measured, and counted.

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confused.......so when we come up to millaces are we going to be able to clean and eat our catch? reading regs. can be confusing, why would'nt it be considerd a shore lunch? or can't you have a shore lunch on certain waters either? guess we could go to the local tav. to eat

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you CAN NOT eat protected fish.

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 Originally Posted By: GoFish4

The protected slot is always in effect....Reg also notes you must be actually prepairing the meal. So cleaing fish for home meals 3 weeks from now is also illegal. Only fish cleaning allowed on the ice is for prepairing a meal in a sleeper house type situation or shore lunch out on the lake.

The shore lunch or sleeperhouse idea might be what was intended, but the way it reads is that "when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal." In other words, I am preparing the fish to be used for a meal. It doesn't say for meals "only" consumed on the ice although I may do that.

I suppose the worst case scenario is that the officer stops in to check me and sees that I have cleaned part of my possession but do not have any hot oil going. He says "you can only do this if you are going to eat this as a meal on the ice." At that point, I will cut him off a little chunk and offer him part of my "meal." If he eats it, I guess then I will somehow try to follow suit.

Seriously though, I believe that in accordance with the regulations and good conscience that I can fillet the fish in the hut insofar as I do not separate the fillet from the carcass. I will leave a little piece of skin still attached and lay the fillets back in the fish. They will be identifiable, measurable, and countable which is what the law desires to apply. Such fish are being prepared for a meal and until I eat them, will be counted toward my possession and will be discarded apart from the fishing waters at the appropriate time.

But then again, when I finally go up to LOW in a couple weeks and don't catch nuttin it might just be a mute point. \:\(

Like everyone else the fishing is always the best a few days before I get there and right after I leave.

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This thread is confusing. Can I clean and eat a 17 inch walleye while in a rented fish house if I keep the skin and carcass? Or can I only do this with Sauger and Perch?

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you can eat fish on the lake but you gotta keep the remains intact so the dnr can measue it if they stop in.((( depending n the lake)))

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