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JoshM

I have been fishing loopers for quite a while now and I have never caught a so called small looper 18 inches or less.Why is that? Also I have not seen as many fish roll the last few years is there a shortage of fish or what? Any info on this would be great thanks.

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bdog162

I have noticed that too, not too many small ones caught. I have caught a few under 18" over the last ten years, but not many. As far as where they go, no one realy knows. The DNR began a study last year in which they implanted archival data recording tags into Loopers and Steelhead, and released them back into the lake to see what depths and what temps they preferred. If you search the MN DNR site for Lake Superior Rainbow Trout Management Program, you should find quite a bit of info on this.

As far as the low numbers are concerned, there is several theorys on this. One that I heard was that the water temps in the big pond were lower the last few years when they stocked the Loopers as smolts. Apparently the lower temps brought the Lake trout in closer to shore and they ate many of the smolts before they had a chance. Another reason is that they are stocking fewer of them than they have in the past. I believe this years number was like 85,000 as opposed to 150,000+ in past years.

This year seems to off to a better start than last year though. I have only been down to the shore a handful of times, but I have caught fish each time. As far as the rolling is concerned, I tend to see more of that later in the spring. Although last Saturday my buddy and myself saw quite a few rolling up at the Stewart.

I'm sure there is other guys who cand add to/shed some light on this subject as well.

Bob

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matthothand

I saw a 12" looper pulled out of the sucker last spring and have seen a handful of 16" inch class fish caught along the shore. I don't get why they only call em 'fry' when they are little...even when I get big ones I say, "FRY!"

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biff

Ive caught an occasional small one...as small as 12 inches, usually in the fall. Interestingly enough, I have seen pods of 20-30 small rainbows presumably loopers cruising around the two harbors breakwall. I think they just scatter out and dont hang around the river mouths (unless they have just been stocked) since they arent interested in spawning yet.

Loopers will roll all winter, just not in the numbers in the spring probably because there arent as many around in the winter. I have seen fewer roll this year for some reason? Things were really slow on loopers until about the week before that first really cold snap and then it picked up a bit. I have noticed that this year seems like its even more predominately one year class...mostly right pec clipped fish. Most years one year class will dominate but youll get more of a mix than it seems so far this year...ive only caught a handfull of fish that werent in the same year class this year. Maybe the low numbers the last couple years have less fish making up older returning fish. Maybe also its a good sign that that that returning year class did pretty good and numbers will be up.

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spivak

One spring, fishing the end of the run, I ran into a bunch of 16-20 inch loopers at the mouth of a North Shore stream. I was drifting spawn sacks and they were very aggressive. I caught 6 of them and they were bright as nickles. Kept one to eat and it was more like a coho than a looper--definitely a looper with a clipped adipose/additional fin clip. Only happened once and I'd be happy if it would happen again--they were like a different fish.

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shogun

Don't believe those fish stock reports. The DNR stocks WAY LESS than what those made up public reports tell you. It's a sham.

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traveler

What proof do you have making a claim like that?? I mean, I'm not there counting them when they stock them, but I believe they probably try to be accurate with the counts. Kind of helps the science that way. it seems like a pretty "conspiracy theory" statement to make.

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shogun

Seen the actual reports that only the fisheries employees see. The public ones are false.

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shogun

You might find this site eye-opening. Check out

[Please read forum policy before posting again, Thank You]

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Duffman

It took two seconds to figure out who's behind that web page, the driver of the biggest Whaaaambulance ever known in the North Central part of MN. grin.gif

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SKIPPERS KID

This is what I have seen over the years. When the DNR plant the loopers the big lake trout show up at the river mouths and Eat the loopers. Now what was let go to what is left well we will never now. They blamed the salmon for this for years and it is the lake trout that are to blame. They have had some bad stalking due to low water and warm temp where they lost a lot of them with low water and to warm of water. Well I just added my 2 cents worth. The DNR and Don can raise there suckers at the french to feed the muskies in ponds. I think they should stalk them on the point in late june and let them find a river on there own. Park point is a safe place for small fish that time of year. Lots of bait fish and small game fish smelt fry to for them to eat.

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shogun

okay just do a search for minnesota dnr documents and you should be able to find the site.

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Surface Tension

Its been my experience that the small one run together, so if you get into one you'll get more.

Under the ice and in up close to river mouths is where I've seen hoards of them.

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matthothand

Shogun, I found the site after searching and wow. There were some eye opening documents available through those links. Some very interesting topics found there as well. Thanks.

I'm sure a bunch of those little loopers get gobbled up by larger predators shortly after entering the big water. How many? That's something we'll probably never know. I'd like to think the DNR has considered such an event happening though.

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biff

Maybe they could raise them to a larger size to help with predation. Some states will put them in cages in the river and feed them to add size and aclimate them a little more with out taking up hatchery space. Maybe put some pens in that pool above the trap at the french...yeah, I know never happen. They are to cheap and will do as little as possible. Of course they should have more hatchery space and $ now that they cut the chinooks and are cutting back on the laker stocking. How bout leaving the lake trout season open longer so us shore fisherman can get rid of some of those pesky lakers? \:\) The more the lakers rebound the more the smolts are gonna get hit.

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