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BlackArrow1

Small Mouth

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BlackArrow1

I'm posting and looking for some feed back. The small mouth bass population has exploded on Mille Lacs. This last couple weeks I saw tons of huge bass landed up shallow. And they are protected. The ones we got were all 17-20 inch mostly, protected. They are flourishing. IMO. Why are they protected? They are taking over the reefs and shallows. And will continue to. These are the rearing grounds for eyes and perch. What exactly is the dnr's plan for letting these predators proliferate in Mille Lacs? Nobody keeps em. I just don't understand. Their regs are not aimed at preserving the fish people want to thrive in the lake???

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thatoneguy

So you basically want your preferred predator to get preferential treatment over other fishermens' preferred predator?

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pushbutton

It's called a circumstancial hedged bet. If the eyeballs are fished out at least you have a world class smallie and muskie destination left to try to salvage something. As long as there is the presence of extensively netting walleyes in an inland body of water by the bands in conjunction with the political/economic pressure to keep the walleye harvest as high as possible for the state ......this is what you get. Of course it does not make a whole lot of sense, but none of this debacle does. Politics, money, greed, emotions, pride, special interest groups, lobbying....all are in the mix....not just what is best of the lake. The hand is more so dealt for the DNR, rather than them dealing the hand.

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BrdHunter01

So you basically want your preferred predator to get preferential treatment over other fishermens' preferred predator?

Mille Lacs is a walleye factory. Probably the best in the country. To let the walleye factory be taken over by bass and muskies was a HUGE mistake by the DNR!

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stacker12

Interesting... Just like the crappies "took over" Red when the walleyes were obliterated?? Maybe you should focus your attention on reducing the harvest of walleyes, especially the smaller males which have been pounded. But then again, over-harvest has nothing do with it. It's all because of the smallies. whistle

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that something will fill the void when the walleye population is destroyed by over-harvest. Let the walleye population recover by eliminating netting and angling harvest and I'm sure the bass population will balance it self to a normal level.

Mille Lacs is a walleye factory. Probably the best in the country. To let the walleye factory be taken over by bass and muskies was a HUGE mistake by the DNR!

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Dylan33

I'm not trying to be a Richard here, but what do you suppose the DNR does? Should we make it illegal to release a smallmouth? You said in your original post that "nobody keeps them"...so would removing this protected slot really have any impact?

Maybe harvesting a few more smallmouth and a few less walleye for a few years would help...but I can almost guarantee that hardcore walleye guys would fight that to the end. It's funny that walleye guys look at all the external forces effecting walleye numbers and then choos eto ignore their own harvest. just my 2c

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BrdHunter01

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that something will fill the void when the walleye population is destroyed by over-harvest.

Its not just the walleye population that is hurting.... Where are the perch? Tullibee? Were they over harvested as well?

I'm not saying the nets/harvest had nothing to do with the decline in walleyes. But you can't tell me those big bass, muskie, walleye, and northern aren't responisible for the decline in perch, tullibee and young walleye 2c

The DNR wanted a lake full of Trophy's for all species... Doesn't take a "rocket scientist" to realize they would eat all the baitfish!

Getting rid of the nets should be step #1

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Dylan33

Let's start a campaign to get a stocking program for Tullibee and perch!!!

smile

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Redlineracer12

Why are they protected?

Because they're a crapload of fun to catch!

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gritsnham

The smallmouth fishing is awesome, big musky and pike and walleye fishing is the best in the state IMO when you catch 40+ fish a day and maybe 5 are under 20in...really the only time they put up a fight when they are that big.

This lake will always have controversy and it will always be covered in the forum. Send you're questions/comments to the DNR and see what they say.

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northender

The smallmouth fishing is awesome, big musky and pike and walleye fishing is the best in the state IMO when you catch 40+ fish a day and maybe 5 are under 20in...really the only time they put up a fight when they are that big.

This lake will always have controversy and it will always be covered in the forum. Send you're questions/comments to the DNR and see what they say.

One needs to look at the big picture and future when you say "this lake is the best in the state". Think about what you said. ( assuming you are talking about walleye catches)"40+ fish a day and MAYBE 5 are under 20 in..." What will your numbers be, say ,in 3- 4 years at that rate--or sooner?

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JBMasterAngler

Where are the tullibees you ask? I believe most of them were washed up on the shorelines last summer frown I think last summer's high temps did a number on alot of tullibee lakes last year.

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northender

Where are the tullibees you ask? I believe most of them were washed up on the shorelines last summer frown I think last summer's high temps did a number on alot of tullibee lakes last year.

The average year tullibee kill years ago were ten times what they were last year. of course, there was enough adult tullibees to sustain that annual kill. ( it happened every year bigger than the past few years--no doubt and the other fish lived on young of the year perch mainly) Warmer water has an impact but many times the big walleyes that the lake can handle is, obviously, why the forage base has gone down hill to next to nothing. Years ago, one walleye in a hundred was 24" or over. What's the ratio now? Where the forage base went is very obvious. If it gets eaten at three inches it ain't gonna grow to adult size and spawn for years down the road. Eventually you run out of a species. One at a time....perch, tullibees, shiners, then young of the year walleyes. And reality is in a short few years, you have the ievitable.

DNR biologists predicted the exact scenario we have now , in writing, in 2002, if the lake is managed to accomodate the netting, the way it has been the past 13 years.

Time for everyone to stop being in denial.

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gritsnham

Northender I wont disagree that the size structure of walleyes is very weak in the lake but when nets target small fish and anglers are only allowed to keep small fish what can you expect to happen?

The size structure of northerns and smallmouths is much more diverse from my experience on the lake as well as panfish species so I am not sure forage is the entire issue...marked plenty of baitfish schools on the mudflats also.

My main point was that a lake that size cannot be controlled entirely by humans and that it will naturally balance itself out no matter what we try to do. Walleyes are not going to become extinct anytime soon

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BrdHunter01

The size structure of northerns and smallmouths is much more diverse from my experience on the lake as well as panfish species so I am not sure forage is the entire issue...marked plenty of baitfish schools on the mudflats also.

Forage is a HUGE issue on Mille Lacs right now! Everyone knows it including the DNR. The "baitfish" you marked out on the mudflats are most likely bugs coming up from the mud not baitfish 2c

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BrdHunter01

The smallmouth fishing is awesome, big musky and pike and walleye fishing is the best in the state IMO when you catch 40+ fish a day and maybe 5 are under 20in...really the only time they put up a fight when they are that big.

This lake will always have controversy and it will always be covered in the forum. Send you're questions/comments to the DNR and see what they say.

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gritsnham

Prolly the same reason some people cant understand smallmouths/musky are not the issue its the harvest and net mentality...

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