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Bearfan1963

Shame, Shame

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Bearfan1963

I know its legal, but I don't have to like it. I posted earlier when the new slots came out that I was afraid that anglers would keep very small ones when keepers were hard to find. Well I just got back and had to shake my head noticably in disgust one evening as I saw a 5 gal. bucket 3/4 full of 10-11" walleye. Give me a break. I guess we all have opinions and mine is that anything less than 14" was back in the water. I really wish they would have put a minimum size limit. I hope this is only isolated cases and doesn't reduce the quantity of eaters in the in the next 4 years of the current slot.

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tearin' lips

It is a rare case to see small 'eyes like that being kept. This issue can go two ways.

1) You can look at it as reducing the numbers of eater sized fish for next year and the year after or...

2) Is it better that all the bigger fish are protected for spawning, hence producing thousands of more walleyes for future generations.

Personally from a Lake Ecologists perspective it is much better to extend that slot on the upper reaches and get some big females with the ability to produce thousands and thousands of eggs. This will be much more beneficial for the fishery in the future. Also studies on Rainy Lake have shown that almost all of the walleyes being kept on Rainy by fishermen are 13"-16". Lake Ecology is a science, but it is always changing. That is why they have creel surveyists on the water and at the landings. Please don't be rude to these gentlemen/women. They are just providing information to the DNR that will help them better the fisheries in the future.

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AWarrior

I also witnessed the taking of small (less thasn 10") walleyes this past week. I was always under the impression the slot was not needed, but I watched one boat place (2) 10" eyes into their live well, and this was not the only "catch" I witnessed. It happens entirely too much. It is a shame people can't think of the future, and not just themselves. Bring back the lower slot!!!

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Wade Joseph

Lips, you have a good point, but I gotta agree with the original post. I would like to see a "keeper" slot of 13-17" no need to keep anything smaller than 13". Why not improve the fishery "at both ends" of the spectrum.

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tearin' lips

It's a gray area I realize that, but it seems to have worked REALLY, REALLY well for Rainy...In the future it will drastically improve the conditions on Kab/Nam as well.

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BigStevie

Yeah, that's a hard one... A definite gray area as was mentioned. It's one thing to keep a couple of 11 inchers for a nice meal on a once a year weekend trip to Kab/Nam, and an entirely different thing to make a regular habit of it. I hear you guys about the lower slot... That would definitely eliminate the really small fish from being harvested.

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Bearfan1963

Lips,

I do like the 17-28" C & R, I had a lot of fun bringing in quite a few 23-26" this year, even without the slot I would have let them go. My point was that I thought there should have been a minimum size limit and then a previously posted, both ends would have been protected. I don't want to see alot of people using minnow buckets for livewells.

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Hockey Guy

The thing to remember here is why the lower end of the slot was removed from the regulations in the first place. Besides the proven benefit that Tearin’ Lips mentions above, the DNR got a lot of pressure from anglers (many of them resort owners and other locals). They stated that the lower end of the slot should be removed because smaller fish tend to swallow the hook. If the fish is going to die, you may as well keep it instead of feeding the seagulls and eagles.

Personally, I think the DNR figured that the un-written rule of not keeping a fish under 12”-13” would be respected and that the new regulations would not be abused. As with most things, it comes down to a matter of education. Many people don’t know that if they are catching fish too small they should try shallower and deeper until they find what they are looking for. Maybe as more avid fisherman, we should tactfully try to educate these people when we see this happen.

I know the last thing I want to see right now is less people buying fishing licenses because ultimately that will decrease the number of kids being introduced to fishing. I know this sound like two separate issues, but think about it… The person that kept a bucket full of 10”-12” fish is probably someone that only goes fishing once a year and doesn’t know any better. They also probably had a blast catching those fish. Hopefully they had youngsters with them and he/she also had a blast. If we as more experienced anglers make fun of them or tell them how stupid they are, that is going to turn their fun into a negative experience. The number of fishing licenses has gone down dramatically in the last 20 years (I heard 40% somewhere). If that trend continues we won’t have the stocking we have now or the people to enforce regulations at all.

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