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crappiefisher26

Fish Populations Diminishing in the Metro

76 posts in this topic

Lakes all around the metro area are seeing a tremendous amount of fishing pressure now a days. People are keeping a lot of the bigger fish and the big ones should be left to spawn. Keep the Smaller fish and only keep enough fish for a meal or two. Or even practicing catch and release will help the fish populations rebound to what they used to be.

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Crappiefisher, I think this is even more true on small lakes.

I'm happy to take a meal or two a year out of metro waters, but I've seen folks going back to the same 40, 80, 120 acre lake day after day to take limits of crappies or pike. Perhaps Tonka or the Bear or Mille Lacs can handle that kind of pressure, but it doesn't take long for this behavior to really hurt a small lake.

I love these small lakes!

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Thats exactly what ive been talking about in the crappie overharvest topic. And some of the responses just make me shake my head, like this one when i said something about 3-5 people keeping their limits of crappies::::Why cant I keep 30-50? It is in the law to do so, and I pay every year to have that right. I love fishing and rare, if ever have I ever done that, but quit with all these threads about keeping smaller, or less number of fish. I pay the DNR to keep fish populations up, and to do other things. But to preach to us everyday to take less, when the price to fish keeps going up, it is getting old.:::: There's a difference between abiding by the law and being a sportsman

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well said KSP 651

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Yeah - rarely will I keep fish. Practice a pretty strict catch and release..i will on occasion take a meal home. But that to is also part of the sport.

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I'm a C&R angler about 99% of the time, and any fish I do keep is exclusively perch or trout from way up north. Now at the risk of becoming the bad guy here...why do so much of you have a problem with other people keeping their legal limit of fish? I am fortunate enough to be able to go out twice a week and fish, if I was to keep my limit of fish twice a week I could see you guys having a problem...but how do you know these other people only get to go fishing once or twice a month? Is it still bad then that they keep their limit? Now of course I am in favor of keeping the medium fish and letting the big spawners go. I just wish people would stop villafying other people for keeping fish. Should there be smaller limits and stricter slots? Probably, as stated earlier, I rarely keep fish so they wouldn't bother me none. But for now the crappie limit is 10, the walleye limit is 6, so on and so on. Let a guy go out and catch his limit for pete's sake! crazy.gif

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i dont think anybody's tellin anybody what to do here, or tellin people not to keep their limits. I think its more about raising conservation awareness. I take my limit once to twice a season, but if i know im not gonna be gorging on fish, i will practice C&R. Maybe it will just take stricter limits by the DNR, until then, there's nothing we can do.

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Is this the reason why I havent caught anything in about 2 months? I'd like to think so.

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I dont think that the issue is necessarily people taking a limit of fish. If the average guy goes out once or twice a week and catches some fish to take home to eat, then that is "normal", not to mention legal.

The issue comes in with the term "bucket brigade", where a person(s)or group will fish multiple times per week and take limits each day. When there is clearly no way one can eat so many fish, but rather they give them away or stock the freezer.

Now i'm not sure about the rules of giving away fish, just so you can catch more...but to me that is unethical and IMO should be also illegal, along with filling the freezer (which already is illegal).

There is the law of averages out there where a guy like me who chooses to fish for the sport and not keep any fish is off set with the guy that goes out two or three times a week and keeps fish for a meal. The numbers will average out in this scenario and the species will prosper or atleast sustain. But with Illegal activity (which i am loosely attributing to the "bucket brigaders") will depleat the resources a heck of a lot faster.

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Ever since I moved to the metro I hardly ever catch anything large enough to eat anyway.

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We as sportsman have to be smart on what we keep. I try and get out once a week (walleye, crappies and gills). I will keep 4 or 5 walleyes for the winter season and I only need to keep a total of 10 panfish to make a nice meal for my family. I release all large fish and when I bring my two kids with I still will only keep 10-12 pannies, there is no need for me to bring home 60 gills and 30 crappies this is a waiste to me even though by law I could do it. It just takes some common sense and we can preserve metro fishing.

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If people are having trouble catching fish, they should try new lakes, new spots! I have heard alot of people talk about how they hear and see all these people taking limits out of a lake. For me, it seems simple...fish where you see no other people! Either a lake that you are virtually alone on, or a spot away from the herd. Do some research, and put in some time on new ice and if you catch nothing, at least you werent annoyed by others bad habits!! Lots of untapped lakes in the metro!

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Fish population has been diminishing in the Metro for years now. But im still catching fish. So are other Anglers in the Metro Areas. Things have a way of turning themselves around. It's called management and preservation.

I would'nt worry too much about it. Them smaller lakes can get hit very hard but will rebound again over time. So for every Angler that reports no catch there's probably another reporting they did well. Vice versa.

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OK KSP, you want to call me out because I don't fall into your belief of throwing everything back. I don't get to go out 3 times a week like most on here. But to criticize me because I keep my limit is asinine. It is my LEGAL right to keep that many fish. People on here think that because someone keeps what they are, by LAW able to do, that makes them the evil fisherman. NO! I keep my limit so me and my wife and son can enjoy a good meal of fish every once in a while. If that is wrong, well then the law has to change. Do I keep my limit every time? NO, as I had stated in my last post. But if the wife says she wants fish for dinner, you can sure as heck know that I will keep my limit, and lick my fingers after the meal is done.

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Edited because I shouldn't be shooting my mouth off. If Lindy is obeying the law and using common sense, then peace to him.

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There is a difference, and I know that. When I hook into a big one 10 min before I am planning on leaving do I keep it? No, I let it go. This happens more often then not. I have never kept 25 paper lips in my life, nor do I plan to. Like I have stated many times before, just because I do not go by your belief, does not make me wrong. I pay my fees, I do my research before I go fishing, and if I hook into 6 big ones, yes I will keep em. I earned that right.

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If I don't keep'em somebody else will...so it might as well be me. I just hook-blinded the fish and it would simply just be cruelty to let it go.

Most of all, I sure hate it, when my line breaks and I lose that slip bobber floating in the water. Now I've really wished, I would've caught that big one.

LOL's

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I think a lot of people that judge what others are keeping should look in their own freezers. The only thing you can control or have any right to control is what you yourself do. God Bless America!!

Good for you going out and getting your limit.

Opinions are like butt holes everyones got one and they all stink.

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i've gone out about a dozen times this year and have had some fairly good crappie success. I did keep 6 fish, not 10, on one outing in the 8" range(i caught about 40 that day). Honestly they were delicious, but i felt guilty about keeping them, wish i would have put them back.

it's good to have this discussion, but the fact is the populations/bigger fish will continue to diminish and "urban sprawl will start to reach to lakes out of metro. The question is just how fast. Remember how great 10 years ago was....now think 10 years from now, we'll be wishing it was like it is today. We can't rely on the DNR soley to manage our lakes. By all means you have the legal right to keep your limit of fish every time you go out, but don't blame me when your grandkids, have to drive 3 hours for decent fishing.

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I figure that I might as well add my two cents here, especially since I doubt that anyone will agree with me.

In my experience, most lakes in the metro region are choked with stunted panfish -- they're numerous and they're small. What is the cause of all of the stunted panfish? There are two factors, it seems to me.

First, each lake has only a limited supply of food for the panfish. If people harvest all of the bigger panfish, then the very numerous, smaller panfish will have to compete for that food and there is simply not enough of it around to grow them all to a nice size. Hence, all of the panfish remain small.

Second, if people aggressively harvest bass, walleye, and northern, then the "harvest" of the small panfish by their natural predators will also be reduced. Hence, you have even more small panfish.

So, in my humble opinion, the solution to the small size of panfish in the metro lakes is two-fold. First, aggressively keep small panfish. When I am interested in eating fish, I keep small bluegills (4-6 inches), crappies (6-8 inches), and perch (~6 inches). I throw back the bigger ones. Second, I almost always practice catch-and-release with bass and northern pike. (I must admit that I've kept every walleye that I've caught in the last two years but that's a total of one fish)

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Hmmm. I've been fishing for over 40 years now in Wis and MN. I do not subscribe to the theory fishing has gotten worse and will only get worse. The "good old days" seem to improve with age but the reality is most of the sunnies we caught back then were 5 to 6" fish and the crappies averaged around 8". A 10" inch gill was just a rare then as now and 2lb crappies weren't jumpin" in the boat either. With all the "stuff" we have now I find I can catch more and better fish than I did 20 or 30 years ago. A large majority of current anglers practice selective harvest - go back 30 years and no one did. And I am optimistic that fishing won't get worse in the future decide IF we protect the water quality and continue to use selective harvest. That said anyone who wants to keep his limit of fish for the table has every right to so and should not be berated for it. I have noticed the size of sunnies the "bucket brigade" on Tonka keeps is on the small side which is a positive in my book.

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I'd have to agree with you Mark. Fishing is just as good/bad now as it was 20, 30 years ago. I think it's more the water quality that we should be concerned with. In the rural area with runoff from farms and in the city with sewage and illegal dumping. I think these factors will hurt the fishery far more than even a few hundred "bucket fillers". Sure, they can hurt the fishery for a while but if you get the right amount of polutants in the lake and it's dead forever!

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frazwood, well said.

Some of us who concentrate on smaller lakes are probably more sensitive to this than others. I've seen small lakes I've really grown to enjoy fishing get hammered into oblivion in one ice season. It's happening again this ice season on a lake under 40 acres near my house. There's someone spearing on the lake & taking home three pike per day a couple of times per week. No one can tell me that, plus all the other folks out there taking fish, isn't having an effect on this small body of water. It is.

As for the legal argument - "I have a license & that's my right to take fish" - yup. You're legal. It's also legal for anyone to drive 53 MPH in the left lane of 494 at 4PM. But that person, acting in a legal manner, is having an outsized effect on many people around him. Same with those who are taking a lot of predator & large panfish out of our lakes, especially the smaller, more vulnerable ones.

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I too agree with LindyRig. I am a meat eater. I have the right to keep the legal limit. I practice select harvest as far as size. I would rather clean 3 larger crappies than 10 dinks. That being said, the most fish that you will see me keep at once would possibly be 6 pannies or if I ever got lucky enough, my limit of walley (so far this winter I am skunked in the walleye department). If I wanted to come home without any fish, then I maybe I should just drill holes and drop a camera in, take a pic and say "yep, I did even better than catch and release".

I like fish, they taste good and I spend way too much money fishing to just throw everything back. If I caught a large muskie I would be thinking hard about throwing it back. I look at it as a realy nice large meal. (For those of you who are about to write a tirrade toward me, don't worry, I have never caught a muskie in my life and don't plan on targeting them when fishing)

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Ok. So yes there are legal limits out there. Crappies 10, Bluegills 15, etc... Does it make sense to go out there fishing, and everytime keep fish? No it doesn't. Why keep more fish than you are going to eat. I've fished a lot of the lakes around the metro for years. And my Dad and his brothers have also, and so on. And fishing just isnt the same anymore. And trust me its not just the small lakes, its the bigger lakes in the metro. And yes the water quality is getting worse and worse. But Im pretty sure that we can help fix that. The point is that the fishing in the metro isnt what it used to be. THe main Reason being that the lakes are getting over fished!!!!! And We as Anglers need to step up, and Help protect our natural resources!!!!

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