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steeplechaser2

How Much Is TOO Much....

20 posts in this topic

I keep my fair share of fish...I'm not a fanatical C & R guy, but I have to admit that watching a few guys harvest 20 catfish on Saturday was a little to swallow...I know I know it was their legal limit, but 60+ pounds of catfish seemed a little overboard...now, maybe it was made that much worse by my inability to land more than a few....but I think we gotta keep in mind that the ecosystem is a little fragile....

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what are they going to do with all them? Way more than enough to eat for a meal.Stock the freezer so they can forget about them and throw away next year. I'm sorry but i just don't understand why people keep that many fish. I think its better to keep them than just throw them on the ice like i have seen before out at cedar island.Was out there last year and seen a good pile on the ice. Dnr came out there and gave me a card so if we seen someone doing it to call him.

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 Originally Posted By: steeplechaser2
that watching a few guys

How many guys is a 'few' guys? Are we talking 3,5, or 10? 20 fish for 'x' amount of people will put your allegation into better perspective.

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Well if they want to clean 20 catfish that is their penalty I guess. That is a lot of fish to eat, maybe they are having a huge fish fry or something, otherwise that is overkill. We caught quite a few tonight out on the chain and we took home 2 of them to try. The walleyes were what I was hoping for but only managed to catch a few nice smallies and some big catfish. Still a good time. Also, good thing there was a definte road, otherwise we would still be trying to find our way off the lake, that fog was thick!

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The way I understand it from a few hardcore catfisherfolk, and from one very well known fishing magazine, there are hundreds,if not thousands of cats in the chain in the various holes there.These areas are wintering areas, and hold large numbers of fish.Cats can get really finicky in the winter,so fish catching success can vary from one day to the next, and is not indicative of 'too' many fish taken form one area.If these guys caught their legal number of cats,I don't see a problem with it.Channel cats are a pretty profolic species, so taking 20 out of a lake isn't going to hurt the local population.I should also add I am not throwing selective harvest out the window,either.Fishermen have to use their head when it comes to keeping a few fish.Bigger fish go back into the system if I am catching any. Does it mean I am advocating going gonzo,and taking more than a legal limit? Absolutely not.Read my post on wanton waste in a thread from a couple of days ago in this forum.My reply here may ruffle a few feathers,but I think the fact these guys kept a few cats is much ado about nothing.I'll jump off the soapbox for now.

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Guess I don't have a big problem with folks keeping channel cats to eat from the H-Chain. Least they were taken home to eat rather than left on the ice which is a practice that also happens quite frequently up there.

What I'm more concerned about is folks don't realize they can have only 1 cat over 24" in possession. The limit is 5 cats with 1 over 24". Measure those H-Chain cats next time when you are keeping fish, 24" is pretty easy to exceed.

What I am happy to see here is concern for that special fishery. There are folks out there who would rather not see channel cats in that lake period. They are real abundant and can be a nuisance in the summer. Bass guys catch them. Walleye guys catch them. Panfish guys catch them. Heck... cat guys catch them too! I know for a fact the MN DNR is even netting catfish out of Horseshoe to transplant in many of the lakes around the Twin Cities metro area.

There is no doubt the lake is becoming more popular for catfishing. Shoot... catfishing in general is becoming a lot more popular.

I've talked to a few COs up there who are on the lookout for fisherman leaving cats on the ice to die. Its a pretty darn hefty ticket to if they cite you for that. These COs have also confirmed the DNR netting.

Guess I'm not really sure where I was going with that other than there are other issues that have a major impact on the cat population than a few fisherman keeping their limit. Hope that makes sense.

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Hanson,you,dtro and a few others have more experience on the chain fishing cats than I do. I was trying to relay in my prior post what I was told by others. One guy told me of seeing hundreds of fish in one spot, on an underwater camera.I agree with you on the possibility of some not watching the size limit, as well as the possession limit.Having people who watch for the good resource as a whole is fine,but where does the line get drawn with folks going overboard towards others who are keeping fish? If there is a problem with folks keeping too many cats out of the chain,the DNR will have to reduce the bag limits.Simple, really.Wanton waste of these fish is a huge issue with me, as I eluded to on the previous Cedar Island thread.Common sense, and a little bit of knowledge about selective harvest is all a guy needs to do it right in keeping a few fish. Does everybody have those two things to do it right? Well, I will leave that one alone.

My first cat,caught earlier this winter out of the chain, was longer than 24 inches.I immediately released it back into the hole.That being said,there is obviously bigger fish to catch out there.I am definitely looking forward to the next trip there.

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I feel your concern Rockman. The cats have been getting pounded more in the last couple of years, and the fishing pressure on them has increased significantly. I don't have scientific evidence, but it seems the cats as a whole have gotten smaller the last year or two and the big fish are now tougher to come by. There are still big fish out there, and beleive me that there's still lots of fish out there. Heck, I was on the chain yesterday and dropped the camera down into a school of what was easily 75-100 fish. I'd love to see the DNR do some studies on the cats in the chain, and increase the regulations accordingly.

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so haaad, do you think that is because there is too much harvest going on of those bigger sized fish, or is it because the fish are reacting accordingly to the increase in the fishing pressure? My intention of fishing cats was/is to catch them just for the fun of it, not necessarily keeping any to eat.A couple small to medium sized fish to harvest would be fine for me, and that is about it. Fishing pressure has to be having an effect on the cats daily patterns vs. decreased fishing pressure from some time ago.

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I think it's both overharvesting of mature cats in select areas and an increase in fishing pressure. Like I said, I don't have scientific evidence. But those fish are getting pounded.

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steeplechaser2, these guy's had all the right to keep there limit. Crappie, bluegill, walleye, perch fisherman keep there limits just as well. We give the DNR huge amounts of money every year to keep the populations of fish in check. These guys could very well of caught nothing on previous outings makeing the 20 cats not seem like too many to them. As for the cats, I've C&R hundreds on the chain, and many of my buddies also, and probably most others C&R chain cats. I wish more would keep them, the population of cats in the chain is far too extreme, they eat young game fish. Leaving cats on the ice to waste is stupid.

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I guess I would be lying if I said that I wasn't concerned about overharvest, because it could become an issue, if its not already.

You are definitely right Rockman about cats holing up in the winter. They pile into them making them very susceptible to angling pressure.

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Hard to believe that angling pressure alone could affect the cat population out there. Then again, Mille Lacs is a huge lake with the same problem.

Either way, it's unacceptable for so many reasons to leave fish out to die because you don't want them swimming in your lakes.

The primitive and uneducated have been trying to eradicate dogfish from Minnesota.......since the beginning of time.......and it's not working so well.

Hopefully it's a pressure/location thing, not a population thing. Maybe a special fishery deserves some special regs. I'll stop short of ranting on C & R.

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not to start a war, but i heard these cats are hard on the small sunfish. is this accurate. stories of cats having 20plus little sunnies in there bellies. that alone makes me not like them since they are not original to the lake to start with. more interested in what there typical meal is than anything.

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not sure, just know that the spot we were in has always been a solid choice for us for late-season walleyes and crappies...we caught none of these and a mess of cats. Had never before caught a cat in this spot...

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Not sure about the small sunfish. I know in the winter time you will find very little in a cat's stomach. Their feeding/eating habits change dramatically in the winter.

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I think you could look at this many different ways. They could be stockin up on some fish, they could be having a fish fry for the end of the year, they could just really love eating fish, or they could be taking more then they really need and could be wasting. Its a touchy subject cause you dont really want to walk up to them and tell them there wrong when in the laws eye they are right, but its more ethics then anything. If they had good intentions of eating the fish with no wasting i see nothing wrong. I have more of a problem with the guys who keep 10-12 inch walleyes

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this time of year alot of people have fish feeds for lent. So that would be my guess. I love catfish and this time of the year is when they taste the best so ya if my freezer wasnt full of deer meat I to would probably stock up on some of the best catfish meat of the year.

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you could always put the deermeat in my freezer! yummy!

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I see no problem with harvesting that many fish as long as it's in your legal limit, plus if they were having a fish fry, that would feed quite a few people and catfish taste pretty darn good.

As far as the sunnies go they do eat some small panfish, but with the amount of water in the chain, they aren't going to affect it much. Tha=e chain is still amazing for panfish.

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