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vman11

Sturgeon Press from the Star Tribune

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Ballyhoo

Just think about how many walleye eggs these things suck up. They need to open the limit up so more of them can be kept.

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Cthulhu

Just think about how many walleye eggs these things suck up. They need to open the limit up so more of them can be kept.

Not sure if serious, or just trolling...

Must be no Walleyes left in the entire 'Bago system then...

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StillwaterAaron

Fish eat fish that is part of the food web that we learn early in life. We need all sorts of fish and I am happy that the sturgeon is making a comeback. Look back in history and the abuse that you suggest is what nearly wiped out the sturgeon. It has taken decades to get a sizable population.

Walleye is just one of over 150 native species to MN. I have caught over 50 of those and love nearly all of them.

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Schollmeier

Keep in mind, all fish eat fish eggs. Even Walleye. Some of the worst offenders are Perch and Sunfish, not exactly bottom feeders are they? Nope, but they actively target the eggs of other fish and this has been documented. Trout too but no Trout in the rainy. Something that hasn't yet been observed in Sturgeon. Sturgeon obviously eat eggs but they don't appear to go out of their way to do so.

Also consider cycle time. Walleyes reach spawning age typically between 3-5 years old, spawning every single year after that and die in there teens. Lake Sturgeon first spawn in their mid-20's, spawn about once every 5 years, and then may live over 100. Sturgeon reproduce much more slowly and it has taken hundred years for the population to reach critical mass where the fish is actually making great ground now. A protected Walleye population could recover in less than 1/4 the time it takes to recover a Sturgeon population.

Also, Lake Sturgeon have been around much longer than Walleyes. If they were going to wipe out the Walleyes they would have done so many millions of years ago, when Walleyes first came on the scene.

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Cheers

Sturgeon are still on the endangered species list in Canada so they are still taboo to catch including Rainy River

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Ballyhoo

Yes, all fish eat eggs but when you almost double the 40" + population of a slow growing fish what does that say for the population below 40". There are no sunfish in the river and all of the sturgeon are where the walleye spawn. I have heard from old timers and history that LOW didn't have the huge walleye population when the sturgeon was at its peak. I am not saying wipe out the sturgeon, I would like to see it kept at a decent level. It seems like the population is very healthy right now with all of the reports. I think it is time to look at that and maybe open up the limits a little. I enjoy catching them as much as anyone but I also love walleye.

I also worry about the spring fishing in the river and what that does to the spawning walleye. I don't want this lake to turn into Mille Lacs.

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Schollmeier

You are more than welcome to your concerns. I personally don't want to see a change made just on the opinion of some old timers.

I will say I'm not against the harvest of Lake Sturgeon. I (personally) think LOW is getting to the point that MN might want to consider looking at how WI manages the Sturgeon population. They have it down to science on how to keep a Lake Sturgeon population in balance.

Perhaps looking at the population the way WI does would encourage a greater harvest? I have no idea. If it did I would have no objection. All I'm saying is that rebuilding a Sturgeon population takes too long, increasing harvest might be fine but I would want to see it done under very close watch and sound science. Not under the "opinion" of a bunch of old timers

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Ballyhoo

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying we have to decimate the population, I think the strategy on controlling the population needs to be looked at before it goes too far. Even though people can keep one now, there are not many kept.

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pushbutton

My 1/3 cent.... is that there is a bigger problem with people keeping too many fish chip 12 and 13 inch saugerballs than not enough sturgeon......

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iffwalleyes

You have an interesting perspective Ballyhoo. I know I don't agree with you but to each their own. They are part of the system same as suckers, eelpout, perch, crappies, Pike, Walleyes and Saugers. They all have their place in the system and like you say management of all is needed but I don't think we are to the point of concern with these. I'd be curious the estimated population of Northern pike I bet it far exceeds the 92,000 sturgeon. That isn't that high of a number for the acreage of LOW and Rainy. It is good to see it growing that much really awesome.

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fishuhalik

Every fisherman is a biologist. I'm gonna go ahead & assuming you're trolling, cuz to say that a 92,000 fish population in a 1,000,000 acre lake is too many is ridiculous. If you aren't trolling, do some studying before you form an opinion.

For one, sturgeons main food source is crustaceans.

Second, how many eggs do you think those 92,000 fish eat in comparison to the 9 bazillion (my rough estimate) suckers, red horse, shiners and every other small fish in the lakes system?

Thirdly, about 5% of the walleyed in LOTW spawn in the Rainy River system. If every single walleye egg that was spawned in the river was eaten by sturgeon, walleye fishermen wouldn't even notice a difference

And I rest my case

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