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MinnesotaBoatman

Pelican Lake Regulations

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MinnesotaBoatman

From the Timberjay:

Opinion split over regulations on Pelican Lake

By Tom Klein

A majority support managing Pelican Lake to produce larger-size northern and bass, but differ on the methods for achieving that goal.

That was the message that emerged out of a public meeting attended by 19 people in Orr. The Oct. 25 meeting was held by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to gather public input on experimental regulations set to expire on March 1, 2008.

Two-thirds of those attending the meeting agreed the lake should be managed to produce more large-size pike and bass, but were split on how to proceed. “There was no consensus,” said DNR area fisheries manager Kevin Peterson, who said support was evenly divided among three options — extend the rules, modify them or drop them. “Everyone wants the big fish, but they don’t agree on how to go about it. The devil is in the details.”

Experimental regulations have been in place on Pelican Lake since 1998 and were designed to address concerns about an abundance of small pike and bass in the lake.

The northern pike rule requires the immediate release of all pike from 24 to 32 inches. Anglers are allowed to keep one northern pike over 32 inches in a possession limit of three.

The bass regulation protects smallmouth and largemouth bass from 14 to 20 inches, with one bass over 20 inches allowed in possession.

The regulations have had the intended effect, according to Peterson. “We did an extensive review and it shows pretty clearly that size and distribution of those species have all improveds since the regulation was first implemented in 1998.”

One of the chief concerns about the rules is the impact on spearing northern pike. “People said that it’s difficult to selectively spear and avoid fish in that protected slot,” said Peterson. Even accidentally spearing a fish in the protected slot could result in a fine from a conservation officer.

But despite criticism, the DNR also has heard support for extending the regulations. Peterson noted that in creel surveys last year, 85 percent of the people interviewed on the lake favored extending the regulations.

In addition, Peterson said that he received a petition that supports extending the regulations. Although some have said support for the regulations comes largely from the resort community and tourists, Peterson said the petition, which was circulated around Orr, included a number of local addresses.

Regulations to manage fish populations to produce more large-size fish are not uncommon but usually focus on walleyes in this region. Rainy Lake, Kabetogama and Crane Lake all have protected slots for walleyes. Pelican is unique in that the protected slots are for northern and bass.

“That’s because Pelican is more suited ecologically for northern and bass,” Peterson said. “It has a lot of really good habitat for those species, so that’s why they are the management focus there.”

The DNR will continue to take public comment on the regulations through Nov. 5. Comments can be sent to the DNR Area Fisheries Office at 392 Highway 11 East, International Falls, MN 56649 or e-mailed to [email protected] Comments can also be delivered by phone by calling (218) 286-5220.

A decision on the regulations is expected by Dec. 1, according to Peterson.

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SledNeck

They are good rules and they should keep them in place. The bass fishing is great and the Pike are starting to get bigger. Most people that bass fish throw them back anyways, so I dont see what the big deal is. If they really want to have bigger pike, they should go ahead and ban spearing...that would be a great idea statewide anyways, IMO.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hoey
      I applied to be on the committee, denied.  I pretty much understand and agree with all comments in this post, however I would add the topic of slots.   1 - I believe the strategy behind the protective slot is a good thing for reproduction and growth of trophy sized fish. 2 - I believe there is a large natural imbalance of slot fish, size-wise, more of the slots than typical in nature. 3 - i believe this imbalance leads to depredation - large ones eating small ones.   The DNR and other "experts" claim walleye do not do this.  i have personally seen 10 inch eyes in the stomachs of 18s.  A 16 inch eye in a 30.  Not many of the fish in the slot and above are being cut open, so it is really tough to know exactly what is going on, but it sure is possible.   I do not have a recommendation on how to solve this.  Around 2000, fish over 19.5 were protected, allowing one over to be kept.  That would seem to help control the number of slots.  Again, I do not have a recommendation. Also, folks fishing multiple days, claiming a limit each day seems fishy, as it is nearly impossible to eat 4 fish each day.....  And if you claim have a fish meal the night before departing and you have a limit to travel with, you were over the limit.  
    • Hoey
      Fished Fri, Sat, and Sun with FIL, BIL, and the Mrs.  Fri was at large, deep basin reef.  Pulled up, anchored with a good bite.  Nothing fast and furious, but enough to keep us busy and interested.  Then the wind went flat.  Our bite went with it so we began pulling spinners, finding areas with biting fish.  The bugs were a moderate bother.  Ended with 8 larger eyes and 4 slot fish.   Sat was up to the south shore of the Angle.  Started off in 30' pulling spinners into 5', but never got past 27' as the bite was good.  Spent about a hour with this bite, then proceeded to join the 60 or so boats off Stoney.  We trolled through the village, picking up fish every 5 minutes or so.  Ended early at 2pm due to threatening skies that never produced and unbearable bugs.  Ended with another 8 eyes and 3 slot fish. Sun, needing suager, we fished in nearby reef that we heard had sauger.  Really no bugs to speak of due to the nice breeze.  Found our sauger, but more remarkable was the slot fish bite.  Ended just short of 20.  FIL was on fire.  He had nearly half of the boat's slots.  He went 28, 20, 25, 26.5, 27, 24, 27, and 24.  Here is the 28 with a smile.  
    • holmsvc
      I agree with too many small fish, the issue is the deep water winter fishing.  This would result in more fish being wasted, as people would shove them under the ice rather than being fined.
    • Jmnhunter
      you are correct got a solid answer from champion on that; i do have an email sent out about the thermostat on those coleman ac units as they ahve a catolog selling them, just couldnt find out if it was compatible with our units
    • fancgoDRfwa3562
      Excellent topic. I remember a lot of new things. I need more such discussions.
       
    • MN_Walleye_0408
      I'm hoping so! 
    • redlabguy
      PSU, If that’s the cause, that’s a serious problem! Has anyone seen evidence of spiny waterfleas this spring? RLG
    • PSU
      Yesterday was the first time I have noticed all of the dead smaller minnows floating around in the Frazer / Smarts Bay area. Friend of mine who knows the lake as well as anyone indicated it may be perch minnows choking on spiny water fleas. If so, that's a bit disconcerting.....Can anyone confirm? Slow for me mid to late afternoon yesterday in the area fishing for walleyes.. 
    • Surface Tension
      I'm not going to say it.
    • imhatz