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DTro

Angler DQd for culling

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DTro

This past weekend a B.A.S.S angler was DQ’d in an event on MN/WI border waters for illegally culling his fish.  I’m trying to understand exactly what happened, but the  story is not very clear.   From what I’ve read, the touney limit is 5 fish and the MN state limit is 6 fish, so with that being said, how could he have violated the culling law if he never had more than 5 fish in his livewell.   Did he actually have 6 in his livewell and then was culling or are they literally taking the culling law and saying you cannot cull any fish no matter how many you have in your livewell?  My understanding is that you can cull as long as you don’t possess a limit.    

 

What’s the deal here

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fivebucks

Just a theory but maybe the tourny has a no cull rule to force you to decide to either keep or release a fish and he was DQ'ed because of that and not for violating a state law.

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smalliehunter

I think the law states once the fish is in the live well it cannot be culled

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DTro

No it was a state law because they specifically mentioned it was because he wandered into MN waters (tourney was based in WI}.

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x1957x

Probably a tournament rule,ALTHOUGH!! some do get away with!! My son and a friend was at a tourn. in Jackson county mn.(Loon Lake) a couple weeks ago and there was a 2 guy teams. They all knew the rules but they are to be broke RIGHT?? Any way these guys in a Ranger boat were culling their fish and were called on it at weigh in. POINT made by them is EVERYONE CULLS FISH and HE IS WRONG!! NOT EVERYONE!! HE SAID Do what you have to do right!!, and again at weigh in he had one that measured 20 and an eighth and he said his ruler measured it at 19 and an seveneighth's which in turn would have made it a DNR violation but they took the 19 and an seveneighth's because it was no other than his GIRLFRIEND that was doing the measuring in and weighing!!!!!!!!!!!! GO FIGURE!! Happens all the time but what do you do!!

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DTro

Story and photos by Matt Pangrac 

La Crosse, WI - With the disqualification of tournament leader Brandon Palaniuk late Friday night after the second day of competition at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the tournament is once again wide open.  

Over the first two days, Palaniuk had amassed a total weight of 37-7 and opened up a 6 pound lead over his nearest competitor, Aaron Martens.   At 11:44 PM CST on Friday night, B.A.S.S. released a statement that Palaniuk’s Day Two weight (19-3) had been disqualified because he inadvertently culled one fish while fishing in Minnesota waters on Friday.    

Here is a portion of the Minnesota fishing regulations:  

Possessing Fish

• Daily and possession limits are the same unless otherwise noted. Fish are

in an angler’s possession whether on hand, in cold storage, in transport, or

elsewhere.

• Once a daily or possession limit of fish has been reached, no culling or live

well sorting is allowed. No culling is allowed on Mille Lacs or Wisconsin

border waters (see pages 41 and 72-74).

• While on or fishing waters with size restrictions it is illegal to possess any fish outside legal length limits.

With his Day Two weight disqualified, Palaniuk dropped out of the lead and finished the tournament in 77th place with a total weight of 18-4

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DTro

So the black/white no cull rule only applies to Mille Lacs and WI border waters??

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DTro

B.A.S.S. announced late Friday evening that Brandon Palaniuk, the leader for the first 2 days at the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series, had his day-2 weight disqualified for culling a fish while in Minnesota waters.

Minnesota regulations prohibit culling from a limit of bass in state waters, or any culling in Wisconsin-Minnesota border waters.

In a press release distributed at 11:44 p.m. CT, B.A.S.S. stated that officials were presented with a written protest regarding the violation after the day's results had been published (to read BassFan's day-2 coverage, click here).

“We discussed the protest with Brandon Palaniuk, and we determined that he did in fact cull from a five-fish limit while he was in Minnesota,” said B.A.S.S. senior tournament manager Chris Bowes, who's filling in for tournament director Trip Weldon at the event in La Crosse, Wis. while Weldon recovers from a health issue.

“We recognize that he did not realize he was in Minnesota waters, and his error was completely inadvertent," Bowes continued. "In dealing with a river system like the Mississippi and its numerous channels, it’s easy to become confused about the state lines on the water."

“When his mistake was pointed out to Brandon, and he was referred to a map, he acknowledged that he must have culled in Minnesota, but was not aware of it at the time," Bowes said.

The ruling has huge ramifications for the 25-year-old Palaniuk. With a 6-pound lead heading into the weekend on a fishery at which 20-pound-plus sacks are almost unheard of at this time of year, he was a strong bet to claim his second Elite win in 2 seasons and the $100,000 top prize.

A victory also would've earned him a berth in the 2014 Classic, which he has no chance to qualify for via the Angler of the Year race (he came into the event at No. 89 on that list). The runner-up at this year's Classic could still make next year's edition of the sport's premier event by winning one of the two remaining Elite events or one of the two remaining Bassmaster Northern Opens.

PHOTO: B.A.S.S./SEIGO SAITO

Brandon Palaniuk caught the biggest sacks on each of the first 2 days at the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite Series.

With his tournament-best 19-03 sack from day 2 nullified, Palaniuk was relegated to a 77th-place finish on the basis of his 18-04 stringer from day 1. The B.A.S.S. release included the following statement from Palaniuk:

“I had no idea today that I ever broke a rule. I signed off on the rule sheet. One hundred percent in my mind, I believed that south of the I-90 bridge, the main river channel was the state boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin, until we went south of the takeoff and went into the West Channel. I knew one of my areas was in Minnesota and I could not go back to that when I caught five.

“I made one cull today – just one – in Minnesota, in an area that I believed was in Wisconsin. It was only in Minnesota waters by less than 100 yards. I had 18 1/2 pounds before I made that one cull that just cost me, possibly, $100 grand and a Classic berth."

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mrklean

Pretty expensive mistake. My one question with the thousands of dollars of electronics on his boat how did he not know he was in MN?

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BartmanMN

Wow, 100K and a Classic invitation. Ouch!

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nofishfisherman

I guess I didn't realize that the border waters had a zero cull rule but according to the regs it appears to be the case.

Even though his mistake was purely accidental the ruling makes sense to me. I'm sure all anglers were warned of the rules before the event and its on them to know their location. I'm sure everyone of them has the best GPS units money can by so you'd think a simple look at the GPS would have told him which side of the border he was on.

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walleyeman1

Wisconsin you can cull. But I believe in Minnesota once you put your 6th fish in the well you are done.

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DTro

But the tournament limit was 5.

I'm still not exactly clear what the culling rule is in MN. Is it different on only ML and WI border waters or the same everywhere?

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nofishfisherman

Here are the applicable regs that I just pulled from the regs book. Seems fairly clear cut which I know is rare for a MN regs question.

Fishing Regs page 13 (Possessing Fish)

• Once a daily or possession limit of fish has been reached, no culling or livewell sorting is allowed. No culling is allowed on Mille Lacs or Wisconsin border waters (see pages 41 and 72-74)

Fishing Regs page 72 (MN/WI border water regs)

• LARGEMOUTH and SMALLMOUTH BASS (either or comb ined)

Mississippi Riverand and Lake Pepin - Continuous 5 (14" minimum size)

Fishing Regs page 74 (MN/WI border water regs)

• It is illegal to cull fish that have been reduced to possession.

Since the tournament limit was 5 and the possesion limit of MN/WI border waters is also 5 then no matter how you slice it he shouldn't have been culling fish. The first regulation regarding possessing fish should have covered it all.

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DTro

Ok, that makes sense. I was thrown for a loop with the border limit of 5 vs 6.

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DTro

Ok so for clarification purposes, can contest anglers of any species cull fish if they dont have a limit already in possession? Mille Lacs and border waters excluded...

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nofishfisherman

Ok so for clarification purposes, can contest anglers of any species cull fish if they dont have a limit already in possession? Mille Lacs and border waters excluded...

I would say they probably could based solely off the MN regs I posted. As long as they aren't on Mille Lacs or a border water and don't have a possession limit it seems it would be legal.

Perhaps tournamnets could be handed down a secondary set of regs once they are given a permit for the tournament that bans culling of any kind but I'm not sure if that actually happens.

I honestly had no idea the culling rule or possesion limits were different for MN/WI border waters. I guess I don't fish the border waters so I didn't have a reason to know but it still surprised me a little.

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DTro

I also happened to come across this:

Minnesota Bass Federation opposes DNR rule change

The Minnesota DNR fisheries staff is proposing a State wide, all-species no-cull rule. This new rule is being proposed as a response to last season’s high walleye hook mortality rate on Lake Mille Lacs. Last year, the DNR changed the “slot” rules, causing a large majority of the fish to be released. As the walleye is a very fragile fish and is highly susceptible to hook mortality, this unusually high number of released fish resulted in a large number dead fish (estimated to be more than 100,000 lbs.). The sight of thousands of dead walleye washing up on the shores of Mille Lacs has led to a ground swell of adverse public reaction. The DNR’s answer to this localized Mille Lacs problem appears to be placing a “no-cull” rule on all species of fish, state wide.

Culling or High grading is generally understood as replacing a fish with a larger fish once the angler has reached the set daily bag limit (for tournaments, one less than the daily bag limit).

This “no-cull” rule is acknowledged by the DNR to be unenforceable, except for tournaments, and will probably be ignored by the public. The irony of this is, tournament anglers are trained and equipped to ensure the fish’s survivability and have long been leaders in the development and implementation of techniques to keep fish alive over extended periods of time. In fact, the Bass Anglers Sportsmen’s Society (B.A.S.S.) pioneered the concept of catch-and-release and is primarily responsible for the nation-wide acceptance of this practice for all species of fish. Nowadays, all tournament boats are equipped with modern equipment such as oxygenating and water re-circulating systems to keep fish alive for long periods of time. Special chemical additives are used in the live wells to help heal any wounds and to assist in the fish’s speedy rejuvenation. These measures are taken because if a fish dies in the angler’s possession, major penalty points are assessed which effectively eliminates them from the competition. In short, tournament anglers are not the problem here.

Another point that doesn’t make sense is the fact that walleye, muskie, panfish and bass are very different fish when it comes to hook mortality. Where walleyes and panfish are fragile, bass and muskies are extremely durable fish and documented records show hook mortality rates for bass tournaments to be less than 2%, especially in the cool water conditions of Northern states such as Minnesota. This could be reduced even more if the DNR would allow bass tournament organizers to use live release boats and more selective bass distribution sites after tournaments.

In Minnesota we are blessed with a robust Bass population. By the DNR’s own admission, the bass population in our State is very healthy. In fact, there are those in this State (and across the Nation) that feel that catch-and-release for bass has become too widespread and the fish population would benefit from anglers keeping some of the smaller bass for the table. The bottom line is this: there are no scientific reasons to limit or restrict bass fishing beyond the current guidelines.

With all this in mind, why are bass included in this “cover all” rule.

For some reason, bass tournament anglers in Minnesota are perceived in a less-than-positive light than their counterparts in other parts of the country. For the past few years, the Minnesota DNR appears to be doing everything they can to stifle tournaments and discourage organized bass fishing in this State. This is very curious because in the Southern States where bass is the prime angling target, tournaments are viewed as a major sporting event and are highly sought out by the local communities. The economic benefit is well known and welcomed throughout the region, just as with other major sporting events. A recent survey of bass anglers in Minnesota showed that the average amateur week-end bass angler spends almost $5,500 in support of his/her sport each year. This same survey documented that the mere 550 members of the Minnesota B.A.S. S. Federation alone contributed nearly 4 million dollars to the Minnesota economy during 2001. From another angle, a typical 2-day amateur tournament with 100 boats nets the local community about $140,000 in added spending by the contestants. A “professional” tournament of the same size can be expected to contribute at least twice that. All this is a product of a sporting event that releases the fish back to the water, unhurt, and ready for the next angler to enjoy.

There are 1.6 million registered anglers in Minnesota. This group’s financial contribution to the State supports more jobs than does 3M (40,840 vs. 32,000). Together we spent 2.17 billion in 2001 on outdoor activities in this State. This has a net ripple benefit effect of 4.18 billion to the Minnesota economy. This should give us anglers a voice in how our resources are managed.

The Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation believes that our natural resources should be managed based on sound research and good scientific management principles. Setting “feel good” rules without doing the proper homework does nothing except alienate the population supporting this activity. If a rule change is needed to protect the resource and is backed up by sound scientific research and management principles, we will support it enthusiastically. We will not, however, support rule changes that restrict the rights of anglers if they are based on purely political motives. Instituting a “no-cull” rule for bass in Minnesota is a prime example of a rule without scientific basis. Recently South Dakota exempted B.A.S.S. and other “permitted” tournaments from the no-cull (high grading) rule.

The Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation is not alone in its views of the political system in this State. In 2002, the Game and Fish Oversight Committee said: “The Fisheries research division largely works in the dark, without stakeholder input or in many cases knowledge. This lack of information flow can and often does generate mistrust between Fisheries and its’ stakeholders.”

Minnesota anglers need to speak up about the proposed “no-cull” rule. We need to let the our policy makers, State Legislators, and other State officials know that walleye mortality on Mille Lacs will not be affected by crippling bass,walleye, muskie or panfish tournaments or by weakening fishing in the rest of Minnesota. The only thing that will happen is the economy will suffer and the rift between the DNR and Minnesota anglers will widen.

Comments on this proposed no-cull rule can be sent to:

Linda Erickson-Eastwood

Fisheries Program Manager

Minnesota DNR - Section of Fisheries

500 Lafayette, Box 12

St Paul, MN 55155-4012

email = linda.erickson-eastwood@dnr.state.mn.us

phone = 651-296-0791

fax = 651-297-4916

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TruthWalleyes

The Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation believes that our natural resources should be managed based on sound research and good scientific management principles. Setting “feel good” rules without doing the proper homework does nothing except alienate the population supporting this activity. If a rule change is needed to protect the resource and is backed up by sound scientific research and management principles, we will support it enthusiastically. We will not, however, support rule changes that restrict the rights of anglers if they are based on purely political motives. Instituting a “no-cull” rule for bass in Minnesota is a prime example of a rule without scientific basis.

Way to go B.A.S.S. !

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harvey lee

Not quite sure what the whole issue is, he culled and could not and he also admitted he culled.

Sounds like a closed case to me.

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thatoneguy

It is a closed case, Harvey. But it's a closed case that hinges on a stupid rule. Change is OK, and this is something that can easily be changed without hurting the fishery.

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DTro

Who said there was an issue? I was trying to understand what exactly happened, and now i get it.

The whole culling thing in general makes for a good discussion though.

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pegleg

Who said there was an issue? I was trying to understand what exactly happened, and now i get it.

The whole culling thing in general makes for a good discussion though.

So, does he get a ticket from the DNR also for culling? He not only loses $100,000 and a tourney bid, he is probably going to get a fine also.

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nofishfisherman

So, does he get a ticket from the DNR also for culling? He not only loses $100,000 and a tourney bid, he is probably going to get a fine also.

I suppose that would be up to a CO if he'd want to send him a ticket. I highly doubt the guy cares too much about any potential fine. He just lost out on $100,000 in prize money, what does he care about a couple bucks more in fines?

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pegleg

I suppose that would be up to a CO if he'd want to send him a ticket. I highly doubt the guy cares too much about any potential fine. He just lost out on $100,000 in prize money, what does he care about a couple bucks more in fines?

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