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james_walleye

Another outdoor news letter to the editor......

43 posts in this topic

Ok another letter to the editor about Mille Lacs that i think has to be way off base. This guy states that the DNR once told him that it takes 7 male walleyes to fertilize the eggs of 1 female and that this is another reason why the population is down. Basically saying that targeting the males of the population in netting is affecting the spawning success? I'm not even sure what to say in reaction to a letter like this. Is there anything about this that is at all true or is this someone else that is so misinformed its rediculous?

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I think it would be more like one male to fertilize seven females. With all the milt an adult male walleye gives off, thats a lot of eggs it can fertalize.

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That is kind of what i was thinking K Dawg

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not an expert but that statement is not that far off base, you may not NEED 7 males but it is natures way of genetic variability. If the number of males are down recrutment seems to decline (from memory can't remember source). Hope fully someone on here that has fishiers experience more than my 2 yrs of school and can enlighten us as to the specifics. I do know the DNR use many males when fertilizing eggs for the hatcheries.

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That probably is true anyfish but its like this. If you have 100 female walleyes spawning in a small area i don't think you need 700 males to fertilize do you?

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Well if fish are anything like humans, the 1 to 7 ratio still wouldn't get it done. I've been out to numerous bars (not sand bars!) where an even larger ratio in the females' favor still resulted in very little fertilization! grin.gif

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maybe apples to oranges but: one human male need all of his sperm to hopefully fertilize One egg ( not very efficent). Now one male walleye with all of his sperm needs to fertilize 100's of thounands of eggs from just one female walleye (large brood stock female), I don't think nature is that efficent in any species. To fertilize eggs walleye need water movement I don't think all of the one males milt will come in contact with enough of the eggs to successfully fertilize. I have personally watched spawning take place in Pipestone Falls on Basswood lake in the boundary waters, there was always many male walleye surrounding a single female. Maybe another reason way there should always be more smaller fish in a population ( higher percentage of males to females). Again not an expert by far, just throwing it out for conversation.

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maybe she was hot

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Ok i think i got the goods on this one. I does indeed take 7 males to fertilize 1 female. But the deal is its not like these 7 males only fertilize 1 female. 1 male will help in the fertilization of many, many females. I think what the author was trying to say is that if you don't have 7 males for every 1 female in the lake, which he much be suggesting is going on in mille lacs, that the spawn will not be as productive. I think this is absolutely not the reason for the decline of fish in the nets last fall.

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Totally Hot! That was good!

Face it, the lake got absolutely pounded the last 2 years. Most people that went up had success. WHat may not be calculated properly is the mortality rate on released fish. A diver friend did some salvage on Mille LAcs this year and was absolutely amazed at the number of dead fish on the bottom. I would imagine these fish were the primary breedstock per the slot. Water temps were very warm, handling fish in those circumstances is a problem. This may compound many issues and there may be some short term changes that need to be made. Maybe summer is the time to go barbless???

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I totally agree with you HAppnhook! I think a lot of fish are dying when released. I understand how fun it is to catch those pigs in the slot but I think we need to realize that the majority of those fish are dying when the water temps are that high. I realize it hurts the resorts and businesses near the lake but if we continue to hammer the hogs in the heat of the summer we will continue to have these results. It really burns me that the reservation folks are allowed an increase in harvest(on spawning fish) and we are allowed a decrease, what a bunch of @#$%#$!!!!!!!!!!

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I'm tired of hearing that catch and release is killing all the fish.I know that when it gets warmer the mortality rate goes up but are we to stop fishing. If I want to go fish and catch 25 eyes in one day that are over the slot and do my best to release the proper way, then thats what I'm going to do.If I remember last summer the fishing started getting slow towards the end of June. This is the same s**t people say when you finally catch that trophy eye and mount it, people get all bent out of shape.

Fish are going to die and the lake is going to have its cycle of good fishing and bad.

Mark

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I've put my camera down many times in the summer and slowly motored over large areas that are fished hard. I have never spotted a single dead fish yet. I have seen fish floating, not saying there aren't any down there. I'm sure mortality is part of the equation. The bottom line is that Mille Lacs is one of the best walleye fisheries in the country. It is also one of, if not the most regulated fresh water lakes in the world. If the DNR and the Tribal Conservation Officials are allowed to keep up their good work, we will never have to worry about losing this magnificant resource......Just my 2 cents.

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Jim,

You would not see these fish in the exact area's that were fished hard. They would more likely show up on the down wind side of the lake, like my shoreline. I believe most people do not realize how much the water gets moved around on this lake. Also I am on the lake ALL the time and I can assure you 1000's of 4-6lb fish were floating on the lake at any given time last June. Sometimes it even looked like an August tullibee die off but they were 5 lb walleyes instead! Very sad!

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It is what it is. Thats just all try to realease the fish as quick as possible and keep the mortality to a minimum. Remember it is still the best walleye lake in mn. Personally I love catching big walleys so I think things are going great on the big pond. My 2 cents

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Lets face it, the lake is heading in the direction Upper red did years back. It is hard to manage a lake when some are allowed to harvest LOTS of the spawning fish. I think it will come around just like red has. It will just be awhile. Atleast the muskie fishing will be good for those that fish that species.

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 Originally Posted By: keyks42
I'm tired of hearing that catch and release is killing all the fish. I know that when it gets warmer the mortality rate goes up but are we to stop fishing. If I want to go fish and catch 25 eyes in one day that are over the slot and do my best to release the proper way, then thats what I'm going to do.

I couldn't disagree more. Yes, when it gets warmer, perhaps we should stop fishing. I don't trout fish in the heat of the summer for this very reason. There's lower oxygen in the water due to the warmer temperatures, and the fish can't recover from the fight. Especially the larger fish. You may think the fish swam off fine, but there's a good chance that within 24 hours it will die.

ADDED: What would people think of not allowing C&R on ML, but requiring that once you've caught 4 fish, you have to stop fishing? Except for panfish.

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I brought this subject up last summer after the massive hooking mortality on Mille Lacs and the reactions fit into 3 categories.

1. People like you blackdog who understand that sometime self restraint in the right thing to do for the lake.

2. As long as the DNR says I can keep catching fish I am going to keep catching fish.

3. I am so good at catch and releasing that I don't kill fish. It is those other people not me.

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I would like to see NO walleye tournament fishing on the lake for the months of july, aug, sept. This would reduce the mortality greatly. This is my 2 cents worth.

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Just my two cents, but I tend to agree with the notion that they should get rid of the slot and limit you to a certain # of walleyes. Say 2 or 3. Once you have them, you can't fish for them anymore. We have a cabin on the lake and I can't tell you how many dead walleyes I see floating around between 20-28" that were probably thrown back after someone caught them and tried to release them because they were in the slot. When a fish comes up and hammers your bait and takes the hook deep, I have to think alot of the damage is done just trying to get it to the surface even if you cut the line and throw them back. Not to mention the amount of meatball surgery I have personally witnessed on the lake with people trying to retrieve their lures....I have to think if they adopted something like this that it would reduce the mortality rate on the lake and there would be enough fish for everyone....

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Blackdog

To be honest with you I never fished Mille Lacs after july last year until the fall bite. Am I perfect at catch and release, no

but i do try my best to release the fish the way your suppose to.

What would you do with 4 25 inch eyes? I have never kept a eye over 20 inches in my lifetime so I'm totally against that proposal. I feel you have to continue to educate people on the proper release of fish and hope for the best. I really dont have any solutions to the problem but to totally close fishing because its to warm would never work. I should also say that I'm really not trying to pound the 25 inch eyes but trying to catch a once in a lifetime trophy.

Mark

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i think that if they went with the rule of only keeping 3 fish, and then having to get off the lake would be absolutely impossible to track.... but it is an excellent idea i think to keep what you catch...... but what happens when you get that cigar walleye that you feel horrible about keeping... or that 29 inch walleye that taste horrible..... i did not see many walleyes afloat this year but there are certain ways for going about catching walleyes or fish in general with out killing them or stressing them... dont horse em' the great saying... let the fish tire out not drowned it.... but what i have always wondered is instead of a slot have a 2 fish per person limit (because that is all you need for a meal per person... if that) and have our extreme amount of natural resource tax dollars be used for DNR hiring people to work at the boat launches checking livewells EVERYDAY..... for that 2 per person limit.... because the slot is horrible.... yea you can catch the 14-16 inchers but 90% of the walleyes i have caught in that lake in the last 2 years have been 19 plus.....just out of the slot..... go figure

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I like the idea of having people at the landings EVERY DAY! I know there is no way the DNR could do this but what about a citizens group of some type? I would be more than willing to put in some time am I am sure there are many others that would do the same. In fact I would be willing to organize it. Maybe we could not be at every landing every day but I think we could have much more coverage than we do now.

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Go tell the businesses in the area you are going to close the lake in the warm months. Mille Lacs and Red couldnt be different. The red lake band didnt have much for restrictions to hold them back. We take more fish out of the lake than the nettings do on Mille Lacs. Do i like the netting? No but it does less damage to the lake than the rest of us do. The DNR says even in the warm months that 85% of the released fish survive. Keeping tourneys off the lake would make no noticable difference in mortality. The rest of the people on the lake on a given tourney day will produce more floaters than a group of tourney anglers. It will never happen and its pretty unrealistic but the best way to drastically reduce mortality is to get everyone educated on the issue. Again, unrealistic, but if anyone who fishes had the knowledge it would make a difference. Some peopple have no clue that time matters. I would say most poeple out there dont have near the sense of urgency that they need to. If done right that fish doesnt have to be out of the water for more than a few seconds and most people dont know that or they dont care. This is how you drastically reduce mortality. I've said it before that i would bet that 20% of the fisherman out there cause 80% of the floaters.

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see but your contradicting yourself james walleye..... you had that walleye out of the water in your pic for more than a few seconds.....

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