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Royal Dutchman

River Update

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pznak

I was told by the officers at the Northwest Sportshow that starting this year you don't have to get the permit for the U.S. They gave me a copy of the law stating the same.

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srj

pznak, that would be a good deal as a guy sure ends up with lots of paper but I'm skeptical. The I-68 is still there to be downloaded at the US Immigration site.

Anybody been to customs trying to get one lately?

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pznak

I was leary of even responding in case I misunderstood the custom agent and I didn't want to look like a bozo if I had it wrong. The fact sheet that he gave me is effective Jan. 1, 2007 and is titled Reporting requirements for all private boat operators in Mn and N.D. boundary waters. It is from Homeland Security and U.S. customs and border protection, and is for Lake of the woods, Crane, Rainy River, Rainy Lake, and Lake Metigoshe in N.D. basically what it says is under the section WHEN REPORTING IS REQUIRED is you must report if you have touched land in Canada or had contact with any hovering vessel, so if you don't do either of those items you don't have to report. He mentioned that it is new this year. I will be keeping the fact sheet that he gave me in my boat, just in case, but he said that it is a good change.

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ccarlson

What range of jig weights are you guys all using that have been up there? I want to be sure I'm stocked up on the right sizes. Sounds like the current is lower than what I'm used to so thought I'd ask.

thanks,

ccarlson

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iffwalleyes

pznak do you have a forum number for that fact sheet. I would like to know where I could find it so I could get a copy of it.

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pznak

I am not sure what you mean by forum number. The fact sheet is 4 pages long and it does talk about the I-68 program. The custom officer said the change was touching land or meeting another boat. I just bought a home on Rainy Lake and wanted to make sure that I was legal fishing. I saw the customs booth at the show and had a nice talk with the officer. Sorry if I am causing any confusion, this is all new to me also. I am just going by what he said and the info he gave me. Hopefully someone else can respond with the same info.

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Royal Dutchman

The catch is the "hovering vessel" thing. Seems there is some room for interpretation on that. A border patrol agent told me that being less than 50' from a Canadian vessel that is not on plane, could qualify.

For the last 3 days I have been within 50' of a Canadian vessel so I would qualify I guess.

The issue can be as difficult as you want it to be. If you want to be safe, get the permit.

Oh yeah, bite was real nice today. My buddy snuck his 12 year old out of school today and we popped 74 eyes in 5 hours after only having 3 in the first hour and 1/2. Had a 24.5, 25 and a 27 for me right in front of the Birchdale ramp as my buddy backed the trailer in.

I held her up high for him to see and he held his hands up and communicated his dissatisfaction with me.

I have used a metallic gold 3/8 oz fireball prism-eye jig with a 2" red treble stinger the whole season. No reason to change. Caught 1/2 my fish on the stinger.

Large rainbows seem to work the best for us. Caught 9 or 10 fish on the same rainbow till he got too soft to hold on.

Gonna get the wife out tomorrow. Should be good.

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gorrilla

Ccarlson, like doug said 3/8 oz is working well and we also used the usual 1/4 oz'ers too.

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tearin' lips

Here's the thing with the I-68 guys...straight from the customs office in I-Falls.

The I-68 is not required if you are venturing into Canadian waters without touching Canadian soil...However upon your reutrn to the US you still have to call the customs office.

Now if you were to go into Canadian Waters and touch Canadian soil on say and Island of some sorts, you have to have a I-68.

One way to avoid all this is to just stick to oneside of the border fishing, but the I-68 mainly applies to LOW, Rainy, Namakan, and other such border waters where camping or staying at a remote resort in Canada occurs often.

Check out the post on the Rainy Lake forum too.

Take Care and Good Luck Fishing!

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slimy

Just got back from Birchdale last night ended up catching about 70 eyes in 8 hours of fishin. Largest was about 26", used dead fatheads and 1/4oz thumper jig it seemed a little flash helped. If you get to the landings after 8am plan on walking quite aways to get back & forth to where you have to park or throw a bike and lock in and ride to your boat and truck. Good luck all.

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HeavyD

Anybody have a guess if there will be an open site for my tent at the Birchdale ramp tonight? In other words, have all/most of the camping sites been full everyday so far this week? Usually get in late and have always had good luck finding an open site, but this year seems like most others waited out the cold like we did. Maybe we'll have to stay at Franz Jevne this year, no?

Thanks for all of the great reports throughout the week, fellas!! Does not make work go any faster though frown.gif See you in the morning!! grin.gif

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slimy

As of 5pm Wed. about half the sites were full and this morning has been a steady run of boats heading north on 72, so I would say Birchdale will be full.

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HeavyD

Thanks for the heads-up, slimy. We'll expect to sleep in the truck and if there is a site already occupied by the Swedish Womens Fishing Club and they ask us to pitch our tent next to theirs, all the better.:D

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PieEyed

We stayed at Birchdale Mon and Tues. Mon there was one or two other campers there and on Tues we had the place to ourselves as far as I could tell. I never go on the weekends but I've honestly never see very many people camping.

Fishing was great we caught about 350 walleye in two days for 6 guys. We ended up with only a doz or so bigger than 25", biggest was 28". That's not counting the 66" sturgeon that took three of us to pull in to the boat. There's going to be some good fishing this weekend. My guess is the big girls will be showing up. Good luck!

What's the biggest sturgeon anyone has heard of coming out of the Rainy? I can't imagine one much bigger than that. It was an absolute beast!

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Silver Scale

I know of several over 70 inches that have been released in the Rainy. If you got a girth on your fish you can go to the DNR website - Baudette Fisheries link and there is a chart in there with the estimated weights if you have the length and girth. 66 inches probably between 85-90 lbs unless it was really skinny. Nice fish.

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LEECH21

Last year I was 2 boats away when I saw a 70+ incher brought in. It was in April as well.

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Royal Dutchman

Another great day on the Rainy! Finally got Marilyn out today and kinda wished I hadn't for a while. She jumped to a strong lead but I was able to edge her out 29 to 25. In all fairness I caught 1 while she was getting the truck (yes, I'm a lucky guy, she parks & retrieves the truck!).

Anyway 54 in 5 hours is not to bad considering the bite was a bit tougher today. She had me with a 27" to my 26" to her 23,21,20,19,& 18 so I'm not too sure I won.

Really negative part was when we were pulling away, a DNR enforcement dude stepped up and told us to dump the water off our bait. Well I've been pretty envolved and fairly informed in the whole Spiney Water Flea fiasco for some time and called our local fishery office to ask what we should tell our customers about bait handleing this season.

I asked to talk to one of the employees that I still trust there and he directed me to the head of the Invasive Species program with the DNR in St. Paul. A gentleman that I had met at an SWF informational meeting in I-Falls. That gentleman responded to my voicemail with a voicemail stating that the DNR would require dumping of bait bucket water in the future but were "not enforcing yet" so I didn't bother our customers with it.

I tried to talk to everyone here tonight and only one guest was asked to dump his bait bucket today. Not 1 person that I have talked to before today has had to.

We are 2 days from the end of the season and it is to late to tell the folks coming in to be prepared with a bucket of water from another source to transfer their bait at the ramp & what about the apparently 99+% of people that weren't required to dump their buckets & were taking "infested water" to parts unknown. How about a sign? How about some printed material? How about a press release? How about actually informing the people who ask what they can do to help?!!!!!!!

If this thing is real, let's deal with it. Please help us. Don't just throw regulatory & bureaurocratic process at us.

What discourages me is that IF the threat from the SWF is so disastrous that they can threaten the economy of a region, why can't they at least coordinate the communication with those who desire to cooperate to control it. I want to be a part of the solution!

The DNR enforcement agent admitted that the "bait bucket dump" requirement was "un-enforceable" because it was impossible to prove what water was in the bucket, but who wants to risk the rath of DNR enforcement? If they tell you to do it, you do it or suffer the consequences.

This thing is coming together more like a "South Park" town meeting than something we've had 20 years to prepare for.

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Silver Scale

I know people that were up about two weeks ago and the CO was at the landing making everyone dump minnows. If you had the minnows in a bucket of water that you brought with you they were OK.

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CatManLee

So you can keep your minnows if you have your own water with? I understand trying to stop the spread of invasive species, but it would be nice to keep your minnows you have left over for the next day of fishing. I'll bring a gallon or two of water from home to switch the minnows to if needed after fishing.

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was trustworthy?

I'm Looking forward to coming up on the 21st for some Sturgeon fun!!!:)

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PieEyed

It had a 23 1/2" girth. I checked the Baudette link and I couldn't find a conversion chart of any kind? If you can tell me what it roughly weighed that would be great. Thanks.

Gorrilla, how long was that one? What did it weigh?

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Silver Scale

66 x 23 /12 = 65 lbs and about 38 years old. Still a youngster in sturgeon years. smile.gif

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gorrilla

Mine was 62" x 26" girth = 66# according to their chart. I have heard of many bigger, but for me it was a blast.

One thing I do have to apologize for is our handling techniques. We attempted to be careful to support the pigs while lifting.

In my picture pose, whats hard to tell is I'm trying to lean back to support the body with my leg at a 45 degree angle(or so).

The problem I can tell is quite UNLIKE a large musky, northern, or walleye, a grip with one hand under a gill plate isn't ever a good hold on a stoogey...

For those who don't know, you can grab a tail fairly well on a large sturgeon. As for the head end, your buddy shouldn't grab under the gills. They are very tightly closed and lifting on them looks like it has the potential to damage a large fish through tearing or abrasion to the easily exposed gills.

We experimented on the four we caught this weekend and found a good handhold on the snout. It you grab from the front of the snout, and grip your fingers under the front of the mouth (not in the mouth, but right in front of it) while keeping your thumbs on top of the snout, there is a good solid grip to be had.

And always try to keep the middle/heaviest parts supported when lifted out of the water. Obviously the best thing is to unhook a fish in the water without removing them. I can't blame people for trying to photograph or measure their biggest fish of their lives. We never dropped one of ours this year and have modified our holds to get optimum support. Being quick to measure and photo is very important I believe, just like muskies, even more so as the water temps warm up.

I did see the "pros" out west catching huge white sturgeon where it isn't legal to lift them out of the water for any reason and most guide boats had measuring tapes stuck to the exterior boat hulls to rough measure those monsters. One cool idea I now remember is they claimed when you get ahold of one turn it upside down and they become very submissive and calm and you can unhook their mouths in the water. I have yet to try this one.

Please don't attempt to weigh these fish with your scales. Unless you have a stoogey-friendly cradle to attempt this you are most likely to severely injure the ancient old fish. The only fish I would ever keep or put on a scale is one significantly and obviously over the state record. I think its been shown these are relatively young fish for the species potential and the record should fall several times in the near future.

I'm hooked on these unique trophies and hope they can be protected on our northern waters.

P.S. We boated a 53", 40+, 20+, and 20+ sturgeon on Friday. Of course the 53 and 40+ bit the 8# mono while fishing walleyes again and not the heavy braids like the 20's.

We caught tons of bonus rough fish (walleye) too including "slimy eelpout's" -27", 28", and 29" walleyes. Fun was had by all (except maybe the four eaters at supper)...

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