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halad

Trophy Lake

45 posts in this topic

If you want to catch a lot of walleys Reds the place but if you want a couple to eat you better have a lot of time and a lot of bait. The Pelicans and Eagles are going to eat up our quota this year because so many fish have to be caught and released before you can catch a couple keepers. Can somebody explain to me why our slot is 17in. and the Tribe is 18in. Could it be that an 17-18in. fish is the fish restraunts want to plate?

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while your at it tell me why ours is 26" and theres is 28"

could it be that resort owners want trophy 26.5" walleyes to be available to there clients?.

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I guess there is a way to find the negative in anything. Most anglers I have talked to seem to enjoy a very good catch rate and don't mind catching a number of walleye in the process of getting a couple of keepers.

There is no shortage of walleye under 17 inches in Red. If you are catching too many over (if that is a problem) you are probably into a concentration of post-spawn mature fish. Try moving to a different location, away from the river and first breaks. There are plenty of immature 15-17's out there. The problem (if you can call too many big fish a problem) is that those fish are more aggressively feeding as they recover from the rigors of spawning.

And possibly for an explanation for differences in regulations you might consider that our regulations need to manage harvest from well over a million angler hours on 48,000 acres while Band regulations need to manage harvest for a fraction of the angler hours over four times the water.

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One thing to remember is previous circumstances took all of the walleye out of this lake.... I know it's great now, and the state (or I mean MN taxpayers) have put countless amount of dollars into this lake.

Hopefully the state doesn't let it get back to what happened a mere few years ago.

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and the state (or I mean MN taxpayers) have put countless amount of dollars into this lake.


The State paid only a little over a 1/3 of the restocking cost. The Band still paid the lion's share and it was not as expensive as we all want to believe.

It costed $68,000 per stocking/year. per 500 quarts of walleye fry. The band and BIA paid $40,000 per stocking year, the State paid $28,000. Our cronies in the Capitol piss that away by the minute on other things!

Good Luck!

Ken

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You catch 20 fish and release 18 you have a mortality on the 18 you released if you have to catch 100 to keep 2 the release mortality is on 98 fish. I live here most of the time and every time there are boats in front the fish come floating in. The few that the birds miss. The season is only a week old and already i here people complain that they cant catch 2 to eat. I agree that you should move especially when ancored because the bigger fish do seem to zero in on you but with it as windy as it is up here most of the time you dont have a lot of options on where you can fish. I have time so i can pick when i fish but when friends or family come up the want to fish.

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I live here most of the time and every time there are boats in front the fish come floating in. The few that the birds miss.


Must be nice - don't even have to go fishing - just go for a stroll on the beach every morning... grin.gif

Not to hijack the thread, but what's with all the pelicans the past few years??? I've lived here all my life, and there seems to be getting to be more of those things all the time.. Time to bring in the sharpshooters maybe...

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what's with all the pelicans the past few years??? I've lived here all my life, and there seems to be getting to be more of those things all the time.. Time to bring in the sharpshooters maybe...


Watch those pelicans for awhile, you will see they are picking up dead walleye and pike floating on the surface. If you had a nice place to stay with all the food you could eat you wouldn't leave either.

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It's not only Red Lake and the larger lakes like it used to be - you will find them on a lot of small lakes these days too.. I drove by Bartlett near Northome last night and there was at least 25 or 30 out there. They say they will eat about 3# of fish each per day.

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You are so Right! its just silly. the limit is not good at all right now. I got keelhauled for saying the same thing you did a while back here. the Limits are silly. They say sport fishing crashed the lake. Thats bull as we can only fish part of one lake. I am afraid of the million dollar processing plant that is being built. You dont need one of those unless you are going to process alot of fish. Time will tell. I can tell you this the guys who keelhauled me for wanting to keep a few more are killing more than they think and strut about catch and release. I would rather eat them than let a pelican eat them. but oh well i love the lake

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Since we are stirring the pot I will add this; I kept track the last four days, I had seven separate groups tell me they caught and realesed a hundred or more walleyes per group. So take away the bragging factor and say 75 walleyes each. Now put the seven groups together for 525 hooked walleyes. They each kept an average of six walleyes (some groups big some small) that is 42 walleyes harvested leaving 483 returned to the lake. Now figure in a 17% hooking mortality if everbody handled the fish with care you now have 82 dead walleyes just from those seven boats. We are seeing 150+ boats a day on the weekends. The average worked out to 11 dead walleye per boat. Ok some anglers are better then other so lets say only 50 boats out of the 150 found good fishing, yes sir you now have 586 dead walleyes in one weekend day of fishing on non reservation waters of Upper Red Lake. We have roughly four weekends of heavy fishing on Red before everybody gets bored and it turns back into a ghost town come mid June. Friday, Sat and Sunday are busy days on Red so now take twelve busy days of fishing times the daily mortality of 586 now sportsmen could have easily killed off 7,032 walleye from sitting in one spot hooking and releasing fish all day for the pelicans to eat or float up on shore as they have been doing.

I don't know if some have noticed when you drive up on pelicans some fly away while a few stay and keep tossing thier head up in the air while trying to swim away? Thats not some thing pelicans do just because, they are trying to vomit their full bellys so they can fly. The pelicans are so full of walleye they can't even get airborn.

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It is important that we remember that the released fish that eventually die, will do so over a period of weeks or even months, due to infection or injury. They may swim away just fine.

We usually will not know they died...until they float by, or wash up on shore, or are eaten by birds.

Sooner or later mortality of one type or another will reduce the fishery population, and the Heydays of 100 walleye per boat or icehouse will pass, just as the Crappie Bonanza did, but excessive catch and release will greatly hasten the reduction.

My opinion is that a greater limit needs to be allowed, with wider slots. And no contests, organized or not, unless its the first fishes you catch, up to the regular limit, within slots, and then your done, and maybe they should be kept and eaten.

Maybe these should be regular fishing rules??? confused.gif

Of course, many would ignore these rules, and there are not enough CO's to enforce them or other rules, but the true Sportsmen would.

Of course limiting catch and release, could impact Red Lake businesses, and many are already suffering from the two fish limit. Much of the business comes from people living 3-4 hours away, and the reason they travel that far is to catch a bunch and become a "Walleye Hero" in tales and pictures.

It is one of the few lakes that a person knowing little about catching Walleye, has a very good chance of catching a bundle.

Personally I think Red has gone from way too few Walleye to way too many, for a healthy population. I and others have caught some with some kind of sores, and with the additional stress from so many in close proximity, any disease or infection can spread more rapidly.

It might be a good idea to allow diseased fish to be kept in possesion, above the the limit, until they could be turned in, hopefully to Red Lake businesses, where DNR could pick them up, and monitor trends???

I know, too many ifs'nbuts. crazy.gif

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I have to throw in my opinion here. You're calculations seem well thought out, but I have a hard time believing that 17% of walleyes die when thrown back, especially on Red Lake with the shallow water. That's almost 2/10. Yes, it depends on how good a fisherman is at handling, hooking in time, etc. We caught above 80 walleyes last weekend, and I would be hard-pressed to believe that so much as 5 died. None appeared injured. Anyways, the point I wanna make is that even if the mortality is that high, its still a drop in the bucket. I would rather have the lake properly managed by the DNR (which I don't really know anything about. They've done a fine job on Mille Lacs, and other lakes, and people were complaining in the past there just as they are now at Red. But yeah, I have to agree that there seems to be an abundance of walleyes- but look how big the lake is too.

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If you are catching too many over (if that is a problem) you are probably into a concentration of post-spawn mature fish. Try moving to a different location, away from the river and first breaks. There are plenty of immature 15-17's out there. The problem (if you can call too many big fish a problem) is that those fish are more aggressively feeding as they recover from the rigors of spawning


Last winter less then 1 1/2miles out most of the walleyes were over the slot. 17" Beyond 1 1/2 miles there was a far higher % of "keeper" smaller walleyes.

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It is easy to come up with excuses to raise the limit or narrow the slot so we can harvest more or bigger fish. Release mortality is always a good one. Since XX% are going to die anyway we should be able to keep them. The problem with this logic is we are looking at the wrong side of the equation. No matter what mortality rate you assume 5%, 10%, or even 15-20% the important side of the equation is the survival rate. Look at the percent of released fish that survive to swim another day, be caught another time, or most importantly to spawn another year.

We all know what the survival rate is on harvested fish.

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I and others have caught some with some kind of sores, and with the additional stress from so many in close proximity, any disease or infection can spread more rapidly


I've been told by a DNR biologist that this is some type of skin virus (he told me what it is, but I can't remember the name) that only happens in the winter months, and goes away in the summer. He said it doesn't affect the eating qualities of the fish - it's only in the skin.

It's my opinion that a "no-culling" regulation be implemented in the lakes with the slots, and maybe up the limit by one or two fish in Red. Keep a good healthy fish population and the fishermen will keep coming. The practice of catching and releasing tens or hundreds of fish is nonsense, and should be done away with.

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Jon, have you ever gotten really close to those pelicans? I have, and about the only thing that is more disgusting is a vulture with a belly full of rotten meat...(been close to them too...stumbled onto a group of them in the woods once...they were too full to fly away and stunk to high heaven!!)

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I would rather see the slot raised to 18 than the limit to 4 with 4 just more fish will have to be caught and released trying to find some keepers. I know there are people who like to fish all day and catch and release a lot of fish that is their right but there is also lots especially older folks like myself that a couple hrs on the lake and a couple fish is enough. Isnt the reason for the slot to protect the spawning age females if so why is it 19in. on LOW 18in. on Lower Red and 17in. on Upper. In my opinion there is no reason for the slot limit on 1/3 of Upper Red to be 17 and 2/3 18.

I was out yesterday afternoon and had my 2 in the well, one i measured 15 the other 16 1/2 bobber fishing havent caught a crappie yet. The Warden came up, big guy in a Lund, very polite and friendly checked license asked to see the fish i held up the 15 he said ok then the bigger one, you always sweat a little and think i hope i measured it right. He says that is a perfect fish 16 1/2 people are having a hard time finding keepers. Im leaving fresh fish and fried potatos on my mind. As i was pulling the ancor he was checking a boat that had just trolled by me and i heard him say this one is to big. I think he probably just let it go because he didnt spend a lot of time. There are so many right at 17 or just a little over so be careful.

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Isnt the reason for the slot to protect the spawning age females if so why is it 19in. on LOW 18in. on Lower Red and 17in. on Upper. In my opinion there is no reason for the slot limit on 1/3 of Upper Red to be 17 and 2/3 18.


Good point. It would be easier for people to abide by the regulations if they were more universal. You almost have to be a lawyer to go fishing these days, with all the different regs on all the different lakes. I think the DNR is responding to local input - trying to accomodate everyone - which is good up to a point, but it sure gets confusing..

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The Wisconsin DNR did a study on Muskies. They gut hooked them, cut the line, an immediately released them back into their ponds. In the first 24 hours there was no Mortality. After 50 days, 22% Mortality, after one year, 83% mortality! frown.gif

A study by Texas Biologists on C&R Large Mouth Bass, not gut hooked but throat hooked, showed an average 22% Mortality rate after only 72 Hours! frown.gif

We see the fish swim away just fine, but we do not see what happens in the coming days, weeks, and months. crazy.gif

Bacterial infection occurs over time, and most of us could not detect it in a fish.

Also many of these fish are caught over and over, multiplying their injuries and chance for infection.

So it is not unreasonable to suggest a 17% Mortality rate due to C&R, over the period of one year, after a fish has

been released.

Most experts agree at between a 15-20% average, 10% is considered very low.

As far as limits and slots, everyone has the right to an opinion. The only way we will know what works best, is by implementing and observing over time.

Perhaps the ones who fish Red every day should be limited to only 2 per day, and the others who only fish it 6-12 times per year, to 4 per day??? blush.gifgrin.gif

Seriously, we could be issued tags with different point values for different size and type fish, something like deer tags. When you have kept your personal quota for the year, you are done fishing for that specie. Of course people might just throw everything back when they are close to the limit...unless C&R is limited. wink.gif

Swamptiger, thanks for the info on the Walleye skin virus, if you get more info let us know. I hope the DNR are keeping a close watch on this, it can't be a good thing.

Another example of infection, even though these fish were given antibiotics before they were released, years later they have an infection.

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I pulled the 17% mortality rate from the many stacks of reports and surveys on Red lake I read through, sad thing is as the water gets warmer it just gets worse.

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Jonny did his homework guys! We just have to accept that C&R Mortality, has been, and will continue to be, a significant contributing factor to all the fisheries.

It is not something I would have thought of in the past either, but truth is truth... whether we care for it or not!

If we want to maintain or improve our fisheries, we have got to be willing to change... the lakes and the fish cannot. blush.gif

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From my understanding wallye will get lymphocystis in the winter due to the stress the fish are under. In summer living is easy and less stress...kinda like fish pimples. smile.gif

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Despite some level of release mortality in the long run catch and release works. Remember this walleye fishery made an amazing recovery under a total C&R regulation with considerable crappie angling pressure.

Another example: The anti-muskie folks have been compaining about release mortality from muskie anglers for years. However, since size limits have been increased and broad acceptance of voluntary C&R has spread MN's muskie population has gotten better and better even though muskie angling pressure has increased immensely.

Again despite some nominal mortality rate the majority of released fish survive, grow, spawn and are available to catch another day.

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