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MinnesotaBoatman

DNR to keep slot limits on Pelican Lake

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MinnesotaBoatman

From the Timberjay:

DNR to keep slot limits on Pelican Lake

By Tom Klein

Slot limits for northern and bass will remain in effect for the next ten years on Pelican Lake, but will be adjusted for northern pike.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reached that conclusion after taking public comment on the slot limits, which were set to expire in March.

Experimental regulations have been in place on Pelican Lake since 1998 and were designed to address concerns about an abundance of small pike and bass in the lake.

The current northern pike rule requires the immediate release of all pike from 24 to 32 inches. Anglers are allowed to keep one northern pike over 32 inches in a possession limit of three.

On March 1, anglers will still be required to release pike falling within the protected slot, but the slot will be from 24 to 36 inches. Anglers will be allowed to keep one nothern pike over 36 inches in a possession limit of three.

DNR Area Fisheries Manager Kevin Peterson said the change was to help eliminate confusion with similar protected slots on nearby lakes. Both Vermilion Lake and Ash Lake have protected slots of 24 to 36 inches for northerns.

Meanwhile, the current regulation for bass, which requires the release of large and smallmouth bass from 14 to 20 inches, will continue unchanged. Anglers will still be allowed to keep one bass over 20 inches.

Peterson said the decision to keep slot limits in place was based both on public comment in favor of the regulations and evidence that the slot limits were producing larger-size northern and bass in the lake.

“We interviewed 992 angling parties in our 2007 creel survey on Pelican Lake and the majority were in favor of continuing or modifying the existing regulations,” said Peterson.

That same message was repeated at a public hearing in Orr in October, although those attending differed over how to manage the lake for bigger-size fish.

“I appreciated all the input we got and thank the people who participated in the process,” said Peterson.

One of the chief concerns came from anglers who spear northern in the winter and say it’s difficult to avoid taking fish in the protected slot. Some had requested a suspension of the slot limits during the winter.

“We didn’t feel we could provide that accommodation for those who like to spear northern pike without jeopardizing the integrity of the regulation,” said Peterson.

Walleye proposals

On another topic, Peterson said he has heard mixed comments from area anglers, resorts and bait shops about a proposal to start the summer walleye opener sooner.

“I’m not hearing a lot of interest or support for it here,”said Peterson, who added that area lakes are sometimes barely ice-free for the opener as it is. “Business owners say they already have to scramble to get ready for the opener.”

A adjacent proposal to reduce the walleye possession limit from six to four, however, has more widespread support.

“Many of our best area walleye lakes are already at a possession limit of four,” said Peterson, citing Rainy Lake, Crane Lake, Namakan, Vermilion and Sand Point as examples. “It would be nice to see the rest of the state follow that lead to eliminate confusion over the rules.”

Anglers who have spoken to him seem to favor a statewide limit of four walleyes, Peterson said. “Anglers are very conservation-minded.”

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mnhunter 3815

i like the last comment “Anglers are very conservation-minded.”

i also like the other comment “It would be nice to see the rest of the state follow that lead to eliminate confusion over the rules.” hmmmmm i think about 60% of fishermen r confused cause the ykeep changing [PoorWordUsage] every yr.if its not broke the ywhy fix it.......

i say screw the new limmit of 4.

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SledNeck

Good Job on Pelican. That keeps the bass tourneys away too! The fishing will only get better and better.

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Tominator692

“I’m not hearing a lot of interest or support for it here,”said Peterson, who added that area lakes are sometimes barely ice-free for the opener as it is. “Business owners say they already have to scramble to get ready for the opener.”

When was the last time area lakes were not ice free for the opener? Does anyone know how many times in the last 10 years the lakes were iced over on the opener? Who are these business owners who would not want an extra week of sales due to the earlier fishing opener? No wonder were headed for a recession!! Obviously I am in favor of opening the season a week earlier. Open water season goes by to fast as it is. I have an idea, open the season a week earlier and if you don't want to go fishing stay home.

"friends don't let friends drive Lunds"

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delcecchi

"One of the chief concerns came from anglers who spear northern in the winter and say it’s difficult to avoid taking fish in the protected slot. Some had requested a suspension of the slot limits during the winter.

“We didn’t feel we could provide that accommodation for those who like to spear northern pike without jeopardizing the integrity of the regulation,” said Peterson."

I wondered how the spearers were able to cope with a slot limit. Pretty hard to catch and release using a spear. So does the DNR enforce it? Not that the enforcement in the summer is all that vigorous either on Vermilion.

Is there much spearing on Vermilion?

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shamrock7

Back in th 80's, Greenwood Bay would have between 12-20 darkhouses. Now there might be 3 out there. I don;t know about other "northern areas"

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SledNeck

Spearing is counterproductive to a healthy large northern population anyway. I wouldnt mind seeing it phased out entirely.

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blue_healer_guy

probably because you don't do it.

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Cliff Wagenbach

I would like to see joy riding on snowmobiles eliminated myself. I really find it irritating when I am fishing to have a group of young guys that have become bored with fishing decide to race up and down the lake close to me as they did yesterday! BUT, I have probably done that same thing in my younger days so I bite my tounge and let them have their enjoyment! The fish did not seem to care so why get so uptight about what others enjoy!

Unfortunately, sportsmen and sportswomen are some of our own worst enemies!

We help supply fodder for the cannons of the ANTIS who would like nothing better then to see all types of hunting and fishing and camping and hiking etc., etc. stopped entirely!

I suggest that you at least try something before you start condemming it.

We have to stick together or the antis will surely destroy all aspects of outdoor enjoyment that we all love.

Cliff

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SledNeck

Ive speared before when I was younger. Cant say I had the time of my life sitting around all day waiting to spear something that I wouldnt want to eat anyways. Im not saying spearing should or shouldnt be eliminated, It just wouldnt bother me if it was eliminated. Im sure gill-netting was just a boatload of fun back in the day too, but once people realized that it was counterproductive to a healthy fish population, they eliminated it. This isnt about anti- this or that, has nothing to do with it. Its pro-bigger and better quality Pike. There are many other sport anglers just like me that wouldnt mind if spearing was done away with. And Im on their side not the anti-sportsman's side.

How would everyone feel if they allowed walleye spearing?

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grousehunter

I dont spear fish and never have, but dont see how you can compare gill-netting to spearing. There is no way to control limits or size with gill-netting and it just depletes fish populations. As long as people spearing stay within thier limits and the lakes slot standards i have no problem with it. I don't agree with people keeping large fish either, but plenty of people cast for northerns and keep a trophy sized fish for food or memories on the wall. If everyone kept every large fish they caught it would hurt populations, but they don't. I don't think there are enough people spearing for it to be a problem either.

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delcecchi

I speared too, back in the day. Even kind of enjoyed it. But that was when every fish caught went on a stringer or in the fish basket unless it was too small to bother with. And my dad used to tell about shooting muskies at boatside in wisconsin to make them easier to get in the boat.

If I posted about keeping a half dozen 15 inch smallies for a fish fry, people would be all over me. Sure spearing is legal, mostly because it is a political hot potato in the legislature. Now if someone would explain to me how a spearer releases a northern that is in the slot on Vermilion, or how they can tell before spearing that they are outside the slot. I have a hard time telling when angling until I lay them on the ruler.

I also wonder how many muskies get speared accidently.

But I am old enough to realize that this is a hot topic for some folks, and not worth fighting about.

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