Spent a few hours on Skogman yesterday. (3:00 to 6:30) Most of the time the vexlar was so lit up that you couldn't see the lure. Bad news is that they were very small sunnies and crappies. Fished in the area of the cluster of ice houses in 24 ft water. No fish kept this time out. Good ice but getting a little sloppy.
Even in the metro the little bit of snow pack is insulating the ice pretty well so far. I've been out 3 days in a row and haven't noticed any significant melting. The forecasted rain for the next few days will probably change things a little.
Well I started! Read bottom up.
I say start emailing and bugging Joe Stewing at the DNR. And I still think Joe is wrong. fishing licenses and Trout stamps are still a tax to fish.
Actually, MN has the second most native Lake Trout Lakes (116 lakes) in the country only behind Alaska. Most of which are up in the NE part of the state. We have not tried stocking Lake Trout in Big Watab due to its size (245 acres) and available habitat and forage. We already stock Rainbow and Brown Trout and have had good success creating that fishery. Stocking another predator in a small system like this wouldn’t make sense and would likely hinder the success of our trout stocking. Big Trout Lake in Crow Wing County, while similar in depth, is much larger (1,400 acres) and has far more habitat available for Lake Trout as well as tullibee and whitefish are present which are good forage species for Lake trout.
As far as stopping guiding for Trout on the lake, I don’t think that is a big issue. Guides/anglers still have to abide by the rules and regulations. To be honest, there is really no need to protect these trout. Big Watab Lake is a put-grow-and-take fishery with a limited number of carry-over fish so as a manager I would rather see these fish get harvested and taken home. It would be one thing if we were trying to produce a self-sustaining population of trout, but we aren’t. We stock the lake annually with 10,000 Rainbow and 2,000 Brown Trout which are paid for through fishing license and Trout stamp sales and not tax money. Our last creel survey indicated that 81% of the anglers were seeking trout.
I hope this answered your questions.
Area Fisheries Manager | Fish & Wildlife
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
1035 South Benton Drive
Sauk Rapids, MN, 56379
Area website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/saukrapids/index.html
From: Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 10:48 PM To: *Info (DNR) <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Big Watab lake-stocking
Question: Has the DNR ever thought about stocking Lake Trout in Big Watab lake by Avon MN, ? It seems to have some pretty good depth and the Rainbows are doing well there. Although a smaller lake it is only about 5 feet shallower then Big Trout lake up by Cross lake MN which Lake Trout are stocked in to. It would really be nice to get some more Lake Trout lakes in this state.
Also, I know there are people who Guide for rainbow on Big Watab lake as I had seen their ads on craigslist in the past. They boast about limits every time out. Can something be done to stop this practice? It seems odd to use tax money to stock the lake just to let a few people profit off it by taking so many stocked fish out for their own gain!
Thanks for your reply.