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CaptJohnWI

Commercial fishing makes NO economic sense

39 posts in this topic

Who are they trying to kid? The only people that will benefit from commercial fishing are the very few involved with processing and netting the fish.

A gill net does not know the difference between a 2 pound crappie, 5 pound white fish, a ten pound walleye, a 20 pound pike or a 30 pound musky. Once the words gets out which lakes are being netted, the fishermen will go elsewhere.

"rough" fish will equate to anything that cannot be sold to a restaurant.

If they really want to help the economy, start some fish farms. Commercial fishing public waters will hurt everybody that makes money from sportfisherman.

mad.gif

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the fish are coming from canadien natives that are going to net whether there is a processing plant in the Falls or not....I say bravo....we need some jobs....not all of us can be retired and fish all day.

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Do you really think the netters will haul "rough" fish for hundreds of miles to sell in International Falls for 5 cents a pound?

I doubt it. The fish will either be caught locally or will be walleyes. At the announced rate of over 100 tons per day, every lake in Ontario & Minnesota will soon be netted dry.

When the sport fishing business collapses, you will see just how much those fish were worth. And of course the processing plant would close as well since there would not be enough fish left to make it worthwhile to operate.

Whoever in the City government that thought this was a good idea needs to take a second look at ALL the consequences.

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at 250,000 pounds a day...yes they will haul them 100 miles....thats $12,500 a day......These netters are going to net these fish regardless why not let a dying community have a little kick to the economy. I agree that gill nets know no difference between a white fish and a walleye, the point is if they are going to net anyways why not take a piece canadas action?

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They do NOT net those quantities now. It is biologically impossible to sustain such a harvest. A really good lake has about 100 pounds of fish (all species)/ acre. With the colder water up here, I would guess it is not that high on area lakes. Even massive Lake of the Woods wouldn't last long at 250,000 lbs/day.

Supplying an outlet will only increase the netting. You assume all fish will come from Canada. Maybe so, but what is to stop Minnesota lakes from being netted? And the Canadian side of Rainy Lake will be netted extra hard for sure. Right now it is not so bad. Just a few nets mostly for family consumption.

How much gas do you think it will take to catch and haul 1/4 million pounds of fish per day from distant Canadian lakes? If one boat could catch a ton a day, it would take 100 boats to fill the supply. I suspect this is wildly optimistic but if so and each boat uses 20 gallons of gas that is 2,000 gallons/ day. Now you have to truck them to I. Falls. 200 miles round trip. Must take at least 10 BIG trucks to haul that much. So another 1000 gallons of fuel.

That eats up most of the money just in gas. Do you really think 100 netters will work for $30/day and still be able to buy equipment?

Only nearby netters of rough fish will be able to make it pay. Walleye netters might make a profit.

The harm massive netting will do to the sport fishing industry and the lakes will far outweigh a few $10/hr jobs.

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considering netting in minnesota lakes is illegal except on a few reservations....none of the fish can legally come from minnesota....that is why it is stated that he will only buy from canadien natives, not standard commercial fisherman....when you have lived up here for more than six months and realize that this town is dying whether the old timers will admit it or not....you will realize we need to embrace some of these businesses......not run them off like we have done for the last 25 years. again some of us are not old enough to sit back and enjoy the last of our days in retirement.....this area needs jobs to stay alive.

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Sure seems to me that the future of the falls lies with tourism and the Rainy Lake fishery. Hurt the fishery and there goes the tourism. I spend atleast 1,000 bucks a year at Rainy lake ever since the slot limit explosion. fishery goes to shat, fisherman and their money follow the fish. Canada is way off if they think the nets are economical. Maybe short term, but definitely not long term.

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The tourist industry will far out weigh any impact, that this guy who ( say's) he will create all these jobs will!I did not hear if these jobs were full time year round jobs,has anybody else. This guy is playing this town,trying to get us to give him everything.Why isnt he paying UNION WAGES!

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What tourist industry?? the one that has declined over the last 15+ years?? You use to be able to see every hotel in this town full in the summer from thursday-monday.....and the border backed up miles at a time....there is none of that anymore...this town needs a heckuva lot more than dying tourism......the leaders of this town unfortunatly don't want tourism.....dropping ice box days instead of promoting it as was done in the past....voting out an RV park.....shutting down the burner road and moving what tourists we do have around town instead of through it....and get real with the union comment....that's abigger problem that really don't need to be discussed here....we need to take the $10 an hour jobs when we can get it because this is a minimum wage town with a dead end in site. Everyone complains when a new business wants to give it a try in this town....If you have better ideas act on them...otherwise let free enterprize be.

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And Bassbuster, you say this guy is playing this town and trying to get us to give him everything....what exactly has he asked for except the chance to start a new business...he has not asked for free land or tax breaks...just the chance to start a business....and guarentee $10 an hour jobs and benefits.....sure beats working your butt off for minimum wage and no benefits.

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I agree with Hawgeye about the lake, Rainy is one of the best place in the world to me . I think the gambling the one purely great thing you have in the area would not be wise .I also see where vitalshot is coming from Ifalls is hurting for some jobs but the jobs I don't think would make enough difference to let the netting go.I grew up in the Ifalls area and know that alot of people need jobs .The one thing I think that people who are coming to Ifalls could do is try and buy some of there supplies ther as to bring in everything in from out of the area this could help the local busnesses .

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The one thing in this town that ought to be growing is tourism. It is in nearly every other part of the state that wants it to grow. And this area has more to offer than most other tourist areas that are doing well. The fishing and scenery here is second to none in the state. We have one of the most unique national parks in the country - even with all it's restrictive faults. We have a pace of life that most people on vacation are looking for. And people are friendly for the most part.

One thing we could start with is to clean it up. No matter whether you enter from the south, west or east the same junk that has been sitting there and getting worse for the past 25 years does not give a visitor a good first impression. Another thing is to hold some customer service seminars. Some, not all, of the customer service in key businesses in this town is awful. That is not very welcoming either.

If the leaders in town really don't want growth, then it's time to elect new ones.

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I've been going to Rainy over 20 years now and every time we go we top off our tanks, get minnows (kill them before we cross) find the hot jig and maybe a bite to eat in the Fall's before crossing and I would guess most people do the same. This year, the guy running the resort said tourism in southern Canada was down over $30 Million due to the government not letting people with alcohol convictions cross. Now with the number of people not going because they, or someone in their party, have DUI's has got to be taking it's toll on the Fall's.

So, to make a short story even longer, blush.gif tourism is going to be a tough sell on the lake if Canada doesn't rescind that law and if that's combined with increased netting you might as well say goodbye to any chance of selling the lake as a fishing/vacation spot.

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Once again greed trumps commonsence. Outsiders may not remember or even realize that Rainy was once considered a dead sea. Rainy was exploited by over fishing for only a few years but it was enough to devastate it. Will people ever learn from their past misdeeds? When it comes to money and the exploitation of the weakest victim (the fish) I doubt people are intellegent enough to see past their bank accounts. Life isn't about money, SUVs and big homes... we have a responsiblity to take care of our environment. It may sound cliche but we are only borrowing from our children.

Hey global warming or not we still should rethink the way we pollute, exploit, burn, cut down and generally destroy.

Black Elk Said, (and take heed native netters this comes from one of your greatest thinkers) "It is hard to follow a great vision in this world of darkness and many changing shadows. Among those shadows men get lost." and "the world lives and breathes, and we can draw its spirit into us. What we do to the world's body, we do to our own. We are not masters of the world, we participate in it's life." I hope folks think about this before their greed gets them lost.

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Jackfish...this has nothing to do with padding our bank accounts...it has to do with surviving....environment is very high on my priority list also...but it is not #1....my wife and kids being able to eat, get a proper education and go to college are my #1 priorities...without money this isn't possible.....it's great that the people that are well off can be so enviromentally correct, but in a dying town sometimes survival and bettering your family and kids now takes #1 over everything else...a minimum wage job without benefits just doesn't cut it.

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I see what you're saying Kidd but fail to understand why a greater effort isn't made to keep folks on this side. The Falls ought to be way more than a place to cross into Canada, which is what many up here have settled for. Our neighbors to the west seem to be doing fine at the tourism thing at a border fishery which is similar, but a greater distance from areas from which a bulk of tourists travel. I'm not advocating we should build resort condos up and down the lake but we ought to have enough folks up here from May to September to fill the existing resorts, motels and campgrounds. That we don't have an RV campground is simply shortsighted and inexcusable. Has anybody ever tried to poll tourists who come up or pass through to learn what we lack? There are numerous ways to do that very economically. How many people are aware of the walleye catch rate on Rainy compared to other walleye lakes in the state?

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As one who makes a yearly trek to Rainy I feel I can give somewhat of a tourist comment. I think I'Falls needs more restaurants on the main road into town. And our guys would love to see some new motels too. The super 8 is okay for a one night stay but I'd sure pay more for something a little newer. We always make time for a stop at Sportsman's Service and Rainy Lake One Stop, but that's about the extent of our tourism dollars. We just don't see much else to spend it on. You are right a nice RV Park would be a welcome sight too. My first year at Rainy back in the early '80's was amazing, never seen fishing like that before, then the fishing went to pot from overuse, now that it's back to such a great fishery I sure hate to see a processing plant come in and encourage wiping it out agian in no time. Economic gains may be big but how long will it last, and then you got nothing, no jobs - no fish.

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They are not talking about netting Rainy lake,there are no nets allowed on Rainy, they are talking about NE ontario,and as far as motels there are some very nice motels in town,not fancy motels,but nice clean and comfortable places to stay with nice people that are very accommodating and cafes that serve outstanding home cooked meals.We are not a big city ,we dont have all the franchises,but what we do have, is a friendly home town atmosphere in a very beatiful location,with a bunch of nice folks willing to help out anyone. smile.gif

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Hate to tell you but there were many nets on Rainy last year. I saw one guy pull three of them (right where I like to fish) one morning with about 50 walleyes in each.

One family ran a net all winter fron the next island north of Steep Rock out to the rock pile east of there. Didn't watch him haul it in but they were there tending it everyday I went ice fishing.

If a plant opens that will buy virtually everything they can catch, this will only get much worse. I don't care who is doing the netting - it is bad for sport fishing. Even if they are doing it some place other than Rainy, that won't make me happy either. I may want to fish Nipigon or Lake of the Woods.

I don't want to see any lakes raped.

One or two years of heavy netting will ruin a fishery for a decade or more. It has happened here before and will again if the plant opens.

A few jobs for a couple years will never make up for a ruined fishery. Only the plant owners will reep a windfall profit and then move on.

Anybody got any facts about what has happened with the plant in Thunder Bay? Not the pet food thing - I mean how many fish, what prices paid, where are fish coming from, what kind of fish, waste disposal, stink, etc? Might be some reasons there that explain why the I.Falls plant didn't go there.

All these efforts the past years to get the fishing good on both sides of the border were not to make it easy for netters to make a fast buck.

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CaptJohn if these people were netting all winter why didn't you contact the authorities....netting on Rainy is illegal...you not callin and notifying the authorities goes to show you don't care as much about our lake as you say.....and as far as the processing plant taking everyfish in is false also....they will only be able to process rough fish.....this has nothing to do with Rainy lake.....the processing plant will buy ROUGH fish from the Canadien NATIVES that already net them anyway.....if your worried about fish being netted, than you should have taken the time to turn in your neighbors.

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Netting is legal for some as far as I know on the Canadian side of the lake. If not, the wardens should have no trouble spotting the nets as many have markers on each end of them - (Some are hidden and pulled only under cover of darkness). Not my job to check ID's of those netting to see if they are "legal".

You continue to miss the point. Netting will greatly INCREASE as soon as there is an outlet that will buy anything that swims. If they were netting 100 tons/day now, there would not be a fish left in Rainy. A big lake like Rainy can handle limited netting for personal use by a few individuals. Not mass production.

If they only net in Canada, it will make little difference. Several of the nets I have seen on are the north side of Sand Bay. I doubt the walleyes are smart enough never to cross over from Minnesota.

Talk to the crappie fisherman to see how netting of those fish has hurt the fishery in Red Gut and Northwest Bay. Look what happened at Red Lake to the walleyes! Took years for them to come back. Many strains of Lake trout are gone forever on the Great Lakes thanks to commercial fishing.

Jobs at any cost doen't wash with me.

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The thing about it CaptJohn in Canada, as I understand it, is that the First Nation tribes get first crack at the fish, then residents, then a distant third are nonresidents. Basically the First Nations can do as they please and there isn't a dern thing any American can do about it.

Years ago we used to go to the Manitou trout fishing right after ice out with a group of guys. One of the guys was a First Nation member from Fort Frances. Well one day we were on the fish and limited out early in the morning. His response was don't worry about the MNR, if we wanted to keep fishing he'll say that all the fish were his since there were no limits for First Nation members. We said thanks but no and went back to camp and cleaned fish for dinner.

There are much different priorities across the border.

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I emailed Ontario MNR just in case. My understanding was that Ontario was buying out the rights from commercial fishermen starting way back when. I thought that included Natives.

I know they can still net for personal use. But 100 tons/ day would feed everybody in Ontario.

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I have had a place on Redgutbay for over thirty years. There has always been a Native American family netting during the summer just south of my place. About twenty five years ago, they built a ice house on Strange bay, and laid up ice in the winter to store the fish in. I talked to a Ministry of Natural Resouces officer about it once and he said they were only allowed to keep "rough" fish, whitefish and tullibee. They set the nets in deep water. One day I watched them pull the nets in from my place,about 300 yards away, with binoculars. I noticed they would pull about three fish out of the net and into the boat and then throw one back in the lake. They were throwing about one third back. After they left, my wife and I went out to the area they had the net. There were dead walleyes floating belly up all over. What was worse these fish were large, spawning size females. I think the smaller ones apparently got through the net. Those guys killed more walleyes in that one days netting than all of the boats fishing redgut, could legally keep for a week or more. Fortunately,over the years, The netting frequency decreased, until in recent years they only net about one or two weeks a year. I think this is because there is not much of a market for the "rough" fish. If this processing plant provides a market and those guys go back to netting everyday, and possibly others, I believe the affect on the walleye fishing will be devastating. It could take us back twenty five years,when fishing was so bad we rarely fished Rainy, instead relyed on fly ins and portaging. I think the affect on fishing, resorts and tourism, should be carefully considered before opening a fish processing fascility in International Falls.

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The new interest in commercial fishing is real and will happen. Take a look what has happened on LOTW's in the last few years and the fish processing plant that opened in Kenora a few years ago.

The Ont. government did indeed buy back most of the commercial permits that existed years ago. There are a few permits still in existence today. In the early sixes there were 56 permits for netting on the Canadian side of Rainy Lake.

More importantly, is that the first nations have proceeded with there demand that the fish stocks were very a miss with with them only removing a small percentage of the stocks. Their piece of the pie was grossly small. Usually less than 4 per cent on most area waters, compared to about the same for local residents and a whopping percentage over 90 percent in most lakes by people not from here.

In 1980 the tourism lobby groups unveiled their plan to make the lakes in N.W.Ont their exclusive domain by developing polices to remove the local residents rights to use their own lands and waters . We are seeing the fruit of their organized lobbying and many waters have become dangerously close to this reality.

During the unveiling of the lobby groups paper work, the chief of treay 3 interjected and said his piece. "First nations usage will be on top of the list. Local residents will come second and people not from here will come last. They were serious about the offending direction of tourism lobby groups and will correct the direction.

We are now fully into seeing their strong strategic direction and we will seeing a major shift in fish stock allocation. Everybody's piece of the pie will change soon. Not just on Rainy, but the entire N.W.Ont.

The netting will not only be rough fish, if you believe this well.........

First nations are indeed allowed to net as they please and you will see many new nets springing up soon. There is desire to make a point to tourist operators who have been very vocal that they indeed should have exclusive rights. They have been tracked and those lakes in the area will see MAJOR changes in the lakes their claiming should be theirs entirely. You will see a demand for inland lake tout, walleye, pike, and what ever fish they would like to net and sell increase. The vocals will be targeted first.

I blame tourism lobby groups and very greedy tourist operators that have created a huge blunder. Some tourist operators have been extra vocal at demanding that locals be harshly controlled.

and

Some are just very rich guys like the one who built a mansion on a outpost permit, The place is a good old boys club where he entertains his interests. He tried to close down all winter fishing on this lake and was almost successful. It spawned a major project to establish if the lake was indeed stressed like he complained was. Turns out the fish stocks were great indeed and he was not telling what was real. He has angered many including the first nations with his attitude and actions. He will be targeted for sure. I would suspect the lake he has demanded as his domain is going to see a very strong first nations presence and may even have a new "fish resource allocation removal building" built right in front of his palace.

I used him as an example to what has been going on. He is like many that have found ways to slide into tourism and get very vocal that the lakes and lands should be restricted to guests staying only with tourism or in his case "quasy moto tourism".

We will all pay the price now that the government has turned to the new direction of exclusive access.

Fish stocks and allocation take will change drastically over the next ten years. No lake will be safe from the new fight over who does indeed own the fish stocks, water, and land.

Sorry to be the barer of really rotten news.

R_D

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