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Rockin Rod

300 fish/day - sustainable harvest?

15 posts in this topic

I heard an interesting tidbit yesterday from what I consider to be a reliable source: I was told that a resort (I won't mention any names here) is cleaning 300 fish a day on average this winter. Now that's one resort in one day.

If you have say 90 days of ice fishing, and 20 resorts, that works out to 540,000 fish just for ice fishing. I have no idea if there's 20 resorts out there pulling in 300 fish/day, but those are just guestimates, as is the 90 days of ice fishing. At any rate, that's a huge amount of fish, and that doesn't count private individual harvest, or summer harvest.

Can the lake continue to support a harvest like that?

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Yes

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The limit has been reduced on LOW from 6 to 4 on Walleyes

and 8 to 4 on Saugers in the last year or so for this

very reason. The fish population is strong and in no

danger at this time but the annual harvest of both species

was above what the DNR says was a sustainable harvest and

the limit cut was trying to get us closer to the desired

level.

The resort cleaning 300 fish a day has nothing to be ashamed

of. If they have 50 people in camp its only 6 fish per

person and that would be under the Walleye/Sauger daily

limit.

No doubt there are many fish on the cleaning tables at

Lake of the Woods.

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The DNR would like to be in the 450k lb. range.

Averages in recent years have been in the 620k lb range even with the reduced limits.

These numbers are just for Walleye.

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The size of LOW is simply MASSIVE. Drive all the way around it one time including the Canadian side or fly over the entire lake in an airplane and you will know what I am talking about! Some of the best fishing spots on that lake never see a fisherman all winter long! I am not saying that the DNR shouldn't be adjusting limits/slots/etc, and that CPR isn't a great practice but it didn't get the title "Walleye Capital of the World" by accident! Its one of my absolute favorite places!

Justin

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Widetrack, Where are you getting your numbers?

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I have to agree. I have fished it from one end to the other and it's absolutely loaded with fish, most have never even see a bait. With the present slot and limits I can't see us how we can hurt it. I'll leave it up to the biologists to make the final determination though.

Ron Anlauf

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Loosegoose,

The DNR website has the harvest numbers from the census

taken from the docks each year. You can see the tallys

from the last 20 years.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/baudette/index.html

Here's the address. You can search the topic on this forum

the information is here somewhere

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300 walleyes a day per resort??? I think that number is very much over estimated. My estimates come from the Gut Buckets in the cleaning houses. Most of the C/H's have three or four buckets and most of the time their not full. Even the snap shot of those here on F/M, doesn't compute to that many. Yes there are a lot of houses on the lake in the winter, but mostly used on weekends and then they are not all full. And yes, a lot of fish are caught, but I don't think every one of the people who hit the lake at Adrian's or Zipple Bay come home with their limits. I agree the lake can sustain many pounds of fish taken and we're not anywhere near that number that would injure the lake. I've been fishing LOTW since the late fifty's and it has had it's down years, but fishing is getting better as an overall lake in the country. Remember, most of the lake is in Canada and gets very little pressure. The fish migrate back and forth. Unless the Canadians figure a way to stop that, the US side doesn't have to worry. The DNR seems to jump ahead of the curve and we'll not run out of Walleyes in my live time or even my grandsons for that matter.. Kaz

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Well I hope we don't run out in the next two and a half weeks cause I will be up there the 16th to the 18th and I want to catch some. It will be my first trip up there, so everyone leave your limits in the lake so I can catch some. In all seriousness though, the lake is huge and from what I have read and heard, the walleye population is very high and self sustaining.

By the way, any tips for a newbie?

Tom

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Canada sees plenty of pressure, both angling, and netting.

The lake does seem to be holding up. Fishing has been great for many years... Hope it stays that way.

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Yes, in a short comment. GPS, don't leave shore without it!!

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Someone asked for the source of the numbers... From the DNR website.

This was from 05.

"Walleye are managed with a long-term average target harvest

of 450,000 pounds. The average walleye harvest from 1999-

2003 was 632,976 pounds. Fifty-two percent of the walleye

harvest occurs during the summer, along the south shore of

Lake of the Woods. The remaining 48 percent is harvested

during the winter on Lake of the Woods, spring and fall on the Rainy River, and the Northwest Angle in the summer.

Fisheries managers felt that the long-term harvest exceeded the safe harvest level on Lake of the Woods. After more than one year of public consultation and input, a new regulation was proposed to reduce walleye harvest to a sustainable level. The new regulation was enacted on December 1, 2004 in time for the ice-fishing season. The regulation reduced the possession limit of walleye from 6 to 4, and included a protected slot from 19.5 inches through 28 inches. 2005 in review Angling effort declined slightly, but continued near all-time highs during 2005, despite new regulations that limited the number of walleye anglers could keep, according to creel survey data. During the winter 2004-05, angling effort declined from the all-time high measured the previous winter, but was the third highest recorded since 1981. The effort anglers expended on Lake of the Woods during the summer of 2005 was also lower than the previous two years, but ranked as the seventh highest effort since 1990. Even with the new, more restrictive regulations in place, walleye harvest from the winter of 2004-2005, through the fall of 2005, totaled just over 620,000 pounds. In addition to walleye, another 290,000 pounds of sauger were also harvested."

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One of the prior posts got me thinking about something relating to my last trip to LOW. Where are these cleaning stations that you refer to? I have never really looked for one, just assumed you were on your own to figure it out or clean them in the Patch Motel like we did. Don't worry, we cleaned up good!!! LOL

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Jiggin: I was refering to the Resort cleaning houses. I look at the ones at Wheelers, there are several. Always a good indicator and a place to find out what's and where... Kaz

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