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kgpcr4

Spearing on Mille Lacs next winter

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kgpcr4

In the St. Cloud Sunday paper there was an article by Glenn Schmidt about Mille Lacs. He stated there is talk about opening pike spearing next winter. Have any of you heard about that?

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JBMasterAngler

I heard about that also, in the star tribune I think. Makes sense…walleyes are toast! Might as well destroy the pike fishing too! Mentioned expanding the night fishing ban as well.

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TRZ II

With the water clarity and abundance of large pike it would be a slaughter...I couldn't think of a worse thing to do on the lake, except for netting during the spawn of course....Mille Lacs is now a world class pike fishery and probably the second or third best in the state.

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KenM1987

Wow with that water clarity now it would be amazing to spear Mille Lacs. Nothing better than throwing the spear at those ones over 30.

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minky

Does the lake really need one more thing to have people fight about?

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ANYFISH2

I really like fisheries that hold fishable populations of large fish, really who wouldn't.

On the other had, this IS A WALLEYE FISHERY, it should stay that way. The pike and smallmouth are a hold over fishery to hopefully buy time and supply the business and community until the walleye recover.

I remember Red lake and all the chatter about keeping it a crappie fishery, it wasn't going to happen in the long term naturally and walleye is what that lake was best suited for. Now a short 15 years later it is one of the best in state and the country . I think mille lacs will bounce back as well, never as quickly as we would all like, but we will be talking about the great recovery in future years.

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MahtowaDave

Isn't it unusual to allow spearing of pike in waters with Muskies for fear of sticking the muskies? I don't buy that we are going back to spearing pike in Mille Lacs, like in days gone by. I would think that Muskie fisherman would be less than excited about that prospect. Let me be clear here, I am not anti-spearing nor do I think that an experienced spearer would mistake a muskie for a pike, especially in the gin clear water of Mille Lacs, I just doubt that spearing would fly again on this lake. It is just blather that won't amount to anything IMO.

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mwal

They relaxed the spearing Ban to only a few lakes as they have not had a problem with people spearing Muskies by mistake on the many lakes that had both pike and muskie and no spearing ban with no tickets being written.. They want to increase harvest of pike so this may be a way to do it.

Mwal

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Butter111

I say spear away. Too many big predator fish in the lake. There are many resort owners and people who make their living off the lake that would agree. Mille is a walleye lake first and formeost and should be managed that way. Plus Cass, Winni, Red, Leech all have good pike fishing and allow spearing. I dont think it would destroy the pike fishing

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delcecchi

They relaxed the spearing Ban to only a few lakes as they have not had a problem with people spearing Muskies by mistake on the many lakes that had both pike and muskie and no spearing ban with no tickets being written.. They want to increase harvest of pike so this may be a way to do it.

Mwal

They relaxed the spearing ban because the harpooners got the legislature to mandate it. It was not the DNR's idea, for sure.

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RumRiverRat

Open Smallmouth to spearing too.

They are eating all the Walleyes. crazy

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merkman

If you want to get rid of pike it is much more effective to have a pike tournament..... just sayin...

But I see no reason not to open a legal method of responsible harvest such as darkhouse spearing on a public lake such as Mille Lacs, when other just just as effective methods are currently allowed.

.

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minky

Would spearing be open for the whole season or just a two to three week test season for mille lacs?

I would think the resorts would welcome the added visitors while reducing a few large pike from the lake.

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JP Z

Isn't the other half of the problem with this that there is a pretty strict Slot Limit for Pike on Mille Lacs? At least at the moment only 1 over 40" per person granted that's a piggy but the slot is they have to be under 33" otherwise......couldn't that cause problems with folks sticking slot fish accidently? I guess things could obviously change with the slot if they open it to spearing as well though......

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laker1

Winter creels on Mille lacs when spearing was allowed, showed more northern pike were taken by anglers on the lake in that time period,mainly because they outnumbered the spearers 15 to 1 in numbers or greater.

Also most spearing took place in December,than it slowed really down. Speared fish averaged a little bigger on average,but anglers still took more bigger fish total.

This was the no size limits and 3 fish limit allowed than. About 95% of the spearing was in the south end.

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pushbutton

If you want to get rid of pike it is much more effective to have a pike tournament..... just sayin...

But I see no reason not to open a legal method of responsible harvest such as darkhouse spearing on a public lake such as Mille Lacs, when other just just as effective methods are currently allowed.

Agreed.....although highly doubt the big pike, or skis, for that matter, are making a living off walleye fry. Spear away......at the smaller ones.

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efgh

Dream on spear fisher people, between the tribal leaders and the DNR it will probley never happen. I would sure like to set up my spear house there though.

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AWH

I would think the resorts would welcome the added visitors while reducing a few large pike from the lake.

Reducing the number of large pike from the lake is the exact opposite thing that you would want to do to try to correct a predator/prey imbalance. The large number of small pike in our fisheries are what cause many of the problems that we see in lakes all over the state. Increase the pike harvest levels? Absolutely. But it needs to be heavily skewed to those smaller fish (less than 24", ideally).

Aaron

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workin4bait

Reducing the number of large pike from the lake is the exact opposite thing that you would want to do to try to correct a predator/prey imbalance. The large number of small pike in our fisheries are what cause many of the problems that we see in lakes all over the state. Increase the pike harvest levels? Absolutely. But it needs to be heavily skewed to those smaller fish (less than 24", ideally).

Aaron

+1

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live4chrome

Great, lets change the fishery from a lake with good numbers of big pike to a [PoorWordUsage] load of little ones that eat more and are no fun to catch. Good thinking. And while at it lets kill all the smallies, after all 90% of their diet is crawfish.

If the dnr really wants to address the problem maybe they should start shooting the walleye fisherman out of their boats. After all they want to kill anything that might possibly affect walleye populations right?why not address the biggest issue. People.

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Redlineracer12

If the dnr really wants to address the problem maybe they should start shooting the walleye fisherman out of their boats. After all they want to kill anything that might possibly affect walleye populations right?why not address the biggest issue. People.

laugh

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RK

I'm probably the last person you'd expect to hear this from, but if this is part of what it takes to keep the pike population on ML from exploding, then that's what it takes...

If you look at the survey numbers from recent assessments, the numbers of small pike are off the charts compared to what the lake has had historically. Someone earlier in this thread mentioned ML becoming another hammerhandle factory if they open up spearing. That's happening already. I think increasing the pike harvest (spearing or otherwise...regardless of method, harvest is harvest) is one of the few ways the DNR can do something to counter that.

Increasing the harvest hasn't been shown to be very effective elsewhere it's been tried, but ML is kind of a unique case, and hopefully the way the regs are crafted will make them somewhat more effective, but really, increasing the harvest of small pike is really about all that can be done. Hopefully that can be done while still protecting the quality of the pike fishery that is there now, because up until the resent explosion on small pike, the ML pike fishery was a very healthy, high quality fishery.

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Gordie

Sorry but why is it always waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit until the problem is almost full blown to try and correct it.. typical ,but hey I will help out in any way I can.

Thanks For the great post RK

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laker1

Some if the reason they increased it to 10 northern pike is that it might draw more people there to fish for them,knowing that 99% of the people will not get 10 pike.

I remember the 70's when pike numbers were fewer and spearing was allowed,many guys were lucky to get 1 northern a day. At present it sounds like a big year class of 2-3 pound fish present.

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kgpcr4

They should open it up to 10 with only one of say 10 lbs or more. Clean out some of those things!!

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hawkeye43

You can only have 1 fish over 30". That means 9 will have to be 2 to 3 lb fish

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BuckSutherland

You can only have 1 fish over 30". That means 9 will have to be 2 to 3 lb fish

What are you smoking?? A thirty inch fish is roughly 7-8lbs depending on the time of the year. 28" northern is gonna run around 5-6lb.

You would think its hard, but they are sending the lake further and further into the toilet.

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Gordie

I would bet a good chunk of money that most will not spear a 10 fish limit and as for the lake being flushed down the toilet buck, its already there due to slots. The Night ban will not benefit the lake in any way as it was originally set in place to protected the big females which is done with the slots.

It may however bring profit to the resort owners that have a good beverage selection which in turn may provide a bit more income for the counties of the surrounding area due to DUI's. The Spearing on the lake will benefit the resort owners and business establishments with a host of all new clientele that the lake has not seen in many a year.

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walleye18

Perhaps this has been mentioned prior...my apologies if it has.

The 10 northern pike limit is going to be a great big problem.....think about this: Joe fisherman and woman go on lake "x". They catch a ton of pike - keeping 10 each. They come off the lake and go down the road in which they are stopped by the local CO.

He inspects their rig and finds 20 pike. All kept illegally.

All the fisherman has to do is say - "we caught them on Mille Lacs".

How is the State going to enforce this? It sounds like a nightmare for law enforcement....and overharvest of pike on other lakes.

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GravelBar

If you're going to keep a 10 Northern limit you'd better have a receipt from a business on or near Mille Lacs. Bait,gas, food ..........

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