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Walleye_Farm

Why so negative?

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Walleye_Farm

I get sickened every time I try and look for a fishing report on Mille Lacs lake. The people that are bashing the tribe, the DNR and the legislature are giving fishermen and fisherwomen a bad name in MN. Instead of complaining about the Pond I spent my time fishing on Mille Lacs last Friday. We only fished from 4pm-8pm and had no idea where to start. In that time 2 of us caught 8 walleyes: 22", 16", 16" 15", 14" and the rest under 10", 4 smallies: 2 over 18" and 4 jumbo perch. There are not too many lakes in MN where you can do this well other than Red and LOTW or a lake that you know really well. I usually fish Mille Lacs 5-6 times per year and I love the lake. If I lived closer I would go all the time. For all the people complaining: stop please. You are compounding the current challenge...you are driving people away from the local Mille Lacs community. Channel your energy by fishing more on Mille Lacs lake. Meet in person with your elected official and if they aren't making changes that you see fit...vote for someone else. Control what you can and patron a local Mille Lacs area business. We need to be thankful we live in a country that allows us to fish and hunt! Things aren't so bad...I love this state. The MNDNR do a pretty good job managing our evolving/complicated natural resources.

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leech~~

Great! And how many fish did you two bring home to share with your family? whistle

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Walleye_Farm

Leech...it took a few hours to turn a positive fishing report to negative. Congratulations.

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leech~~

Leech...it took a few hours to turn a positive fishing report to negative. Congratulations.

Hey, thanks for the fishing report! It's just your feelings on what the rest of us should do about how we want to handle the issue that is a problem. Not everyone wants to just back off and sit on the side lines and let the lake keep getting raped! wink

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fish_hunt_guy

Thank you for the report! But I agree with leech. To sit on your hands and let the Tribes and DNR think they can continue with their current practices is the last thing this lake needs. The time for change is now.

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brian6715

Great! And how many fish did you two bring home to share with your family? whistle

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leech~~

So bring home a "legal" catch to share with your family is now raping a lake? I guess we all may as well stay home this weekend from fishing any of the other 10,000 lakes! whistle

The point of his "fishing report" was that they did so well, but how many fish out of all that they caught could they really bring home "legally" from Mille Lacs? confused

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Alagnak

So bring home a "legal" catch to share with your family is now raping a lake? I guess we all may as well stay home this weekend from fishing any of the other 10,000 lakes! whistle

The point of his "fishing report" was that they did so well, but how many fish out of all that they caught could they really bring home "legally" from Mille Lacs? confused

Who cares? If its all about the meat stay home and buy from the store. You can 'limit out' every weekend then right? You win I guess.....

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leech~~

I get sickened every time I try and look for a fishing report on Mille Lacs lake. The people that are bashing the tribe, the DNR and the legislature are giving fishermen and fisherwomen a bad name in MN. Instead of complaining about the Pond I spent my time fishing on Mille Lacs last Friday.

We only fished from 4pm-8pm and had no idea where to start. In that time 2 of us caught 8 walleyes: 22", 16", 16" 15", 14" and the rest under 10", 4 smallies: 2 over 18" and 4 jumbo perch. There are not too many lakes in MN where you can do this well other than Red and LOTW or a lake that you know really well. I usually fish Mille Lacs 5-6 times per year and I love the lake. If I lived closer I would go all the time.

For all the people complaining: stop please. You are compounding the current challenge...you are driving people away from the local Mille Lacs community. Channel your energy by fishing more on Mille Lacs lake. Meet in person with your elected official and if they aren't making changes that you see fit...vote for someone else. Control what you can and patron a local Mille Lacs area business. We need to be thankful we live in a country that allows us to fish and hunt! Things aren't so bad...I love this state. The MNDNR do a pretty good job managing our evolving/complicated natural resources.

Part of this is a "Fishing report" The rest is just an opinion which could have been posted at the bottom of this site in Silly Town instead of the "Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Reports" wink

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CaptainMusky

Leech I see your point but your argument of "keeping a legal limit" raping a lake is precisely the problem many have been pointing to. Just because its legal doesn't mean its right. The dnr may have messed up and the anglers who did what was legal did indeed rape the lake. Potentially.

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leech~~

Leech I see your point but your argument of "keeping a legal limit" raping a lake is precisely the problem many have been pointing to. Just because its legal doesn't mean its right. The dnr may have messed up and the anglers who did what was legal did indeed rape the lake. Potentially.

Well the lake was fished for ever without an issue, before modern day netting hit it a few years ago. For the hook and line did-it folk's please explain why the lake did not crash in the last 40-50 years in the Resort hay days with hundreds of thousands of people a year fishing it then? confused

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pushbutton

Thanks for the attempt Walleye Farm!!! Last time up there had a blast as well. Caught multiple slots, a few eaters, some shorts, pig smallies, some huge rockies, and some nice slimers.....yep, see if you can do that on your local lake. Have mostly fished the lake in the winter though, and sure every year was different, but took what the lake gave....some years a great jumbo bite, a couple years the tullies were on fire, others years eater eyes, and some years it was slobs. For sure every year the early ice pike bite is off the charts, and even stumbled on smallies one year....almost all year. Again, see if you can do that on your local lake. Why the 17 inch walleye is akin to the golden calf is beyond me. It does make people say and do rather peculiar things though........

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buzz1ng

Who cares? If its all about the meat stay home and buy from the store. You can 'limit out' every weekend then right? You win I guess.....

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Eyewitness

Glad to hear you had a great outing. Will be up fishing on sat with my winter gear on. Lol

I think a lot of folks making arguments on here about it being the all about the nets, DNR, meat hogs, etc..seem to lose sight that the past decade has seen the average fisherman using high end electronics and GPS mapping that has allowed the majority to fish like never before. Go right to the prime areas. Stay right on the prime fish holding structure. And so on and so on. I lived through this era and am as guilty as all the rest. I really don't think anyone, not the average guy, the DNR, the resort owners, or even the folks making a living off this awesome technological age we are so 'privileged' to enjoy could ever see the long term impact that it would eventually have on our fisheries........

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workin4bait

Well the lake was fished for ever without an issue, before modern day netting hit it a few years ago. For the hook and line did-it folk's please explain why the lake did not crash in the last 40-50 years in the Resort hay days with hundreds of thousands of people a year fishing it then? confused

If there was never an issue in the last 50 years,,,Why was mille lacs called "The dead sea" and "The home of the quarter pounders" back in the late 70's and early 80's???????

Fisherman have been spoiled out there too long,the fish have no place to hide from sonar and people bragging on forums such as this!

workin'

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northender

Glad to hear you had a great outing. Will be up fishing on sat with my winter gear on. Lol

I think a lot of folks making arguments on here about it being the all about the nets, DNR, meat hogs, etc..seem to lose sight that the past decade has seen the average fisherman using high end electronics and GPS mapping that has allowed the majority to fish like never before. Go right to the prime areas. Stay right on the prime fish holding structure. And so on and so on. I lived through this era and am as guilty as all the rest. I really don't think anyone, not the average guy, the DNR, the resort owners, or even the folks making a living off this awesome technological age we are so 'privileged' to enjoy could ever see the long term impact that it would eventually have on our fisheries........

And all that said, Eyewitness, the angling public took historical or less amounts of walleye from the lake the past 15 years. So what's your point again? In fact, per DNR numbers, the modern day stuff you speak to spread the catch out among more anglers but did not make it more of a negative impact on the harvest by hook and line anglers.

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northender

If there was never an issue in the last 50 years,,,Why was mille lacs called "The dead sea" and "The home of the quarter pounders" back in the late 70's and early 80's???????

Fisherman have been spoiled out there too long,the fish have no place to hide from sonar and people bragging on forums such as this!

workin'

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leech~~

In fact, the "dead sea" term was not due to a shortage of walleyes in any form or fashion and was based on bad bites--just the opposite of what it is now. The outdoor press (Ron Schara headline in the Star Tribune on a Sunday in the early 1970's) coined that phrase after spending one day on the lake getting skunked while guides the same day caught limits. The phrase caught on and was used whenever anyone had a bad day at the lake--which happened more often back then to the average angler than it has in recent years. In the dead sea days, over 2 million pounds of adult walleyes lived in Mille Lacs on average. Nowadays--starting in the early 2000's, the numbers have dropped to a little over 500K pounds of adult walleyes living in the lake. ( there was around 2 million pounds in the lake before treaty harvest fishery management started) Today might be more of a dead sea setting than ever? More than a bad bite the real issue?

Exactly! I've had a "Dead sea" day on every lake that I have fished! You can't set a size limit for some and let the others pull out the breeding fish without it hurting the resource! crazy

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Kyhl

Great! And how many fish did you two bring home to share with your family? whistle

Who cares. It's called fishing not stocking your freezer.

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leech~~

Who cares. It's called fishing not stocking your freezer.

This is the biggest peice of full-27051-49009-topes.gif I have heard twice now. If it's not about the meat, then stop netting fish! Or is that a sport as well! smirk

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Walleye_Farm

Summary of my points:

1) I had a good time fishing on Mille Lacs with much better than expected results. Go fish the lake and support the local businesses.

2)Negative post after negative post on this forum is driving people away from Mille Lacs. People don't think there are fish in the lake. This is where the problem is being compounded.

3) Take the time you are spending being negative on this forum and use it to meet with your legislator, write letters, meet with the DNR, etc. I can guarantee the decision makers are not reading these posts.

I do think there are issues on Mille Lacs and I do not think you should sit idle. I do not believe negative thread after negative thread is driving change. I want Mille Lacs to flourish...when the lake does get back into the 'hayday' I am afraid there might not be local businesses left. Support the local economy and give Mille Lacs a try one of these weekends.

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BrdHunter01

People don't think there are fish in the lake. This is where the problem is being compounded.

This is precisely the case. Not sure if you've heard, but walleyes are at a 40 year low on Mille Lacs. confused

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northender

This is precisely the case. Not sure if you've heard, but walleyes are at a 40 year low on Mille Lacs. confused

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CaptainMusky

Treaty Harvest management (accommodating the netting management) brought the lake to it's knees. Nothing else.

Not properly managing the ENTIRE harvest brought it to its knees. The slots were too forgiving early on and continually focussed on the same size structure of fish. If netting was not done on the lake and the lake still had the same slot I have 100% confidence we would be talking about the same issue today.

The DNR guessed and was wrong IMO.

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northender

Not properly managing the ENTIRE harvest brought it to its knees. The slots were too forgiving early on and continually focussed on the same size structure of fish. If netting was not done on the lake and the lake still had the same slot I have 100% confidence we would be talking about the same issue today.

The DNR guessed and was wrong IMO.

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leech~~

You could very well be right. But with that, the fact remains, on the record, the DNR said the slots as we have known them from 1999 on, were exclusively put into place to accommodate the treaty harvest court ordered poundage quota's. If the treaty harvest had not been pushed by the Bands, odds are almost 100 percent the lake, which was showing zero signs of population troubles let alone year class imbalances, would still be in good shape. No nets, no slots, maybe no trouble?

The DNR had a choice. Fight the inevitable and go back to the court, which they were given the option to do by the court, or gamble on the slot limits not doing what they were predicted to do by their own people.

And of course, the Bands did not have to push for these so called rights which were never intended to give them exclusive rights above the rest of the citizens. Those rights were given them within the treaty to allow the Bands to retain harvesting rights as was the usual way for all citizens to live back then--1837. Does anyone actually believe, with an open mind, those treaties were meant to give any exclusive rights to Indians, above and better than the general public had--in 1837? Surely that was not the practice nor intent back then by U.S. Government officials regarding Native Americans, let alone any other race or ethnic group. Surely, the opposite would have been more ( wrongly) expected in that era...

You can not deny the fact also remains, per DNR studies on the record, that less than 10 percent of the harvested walleyes for the past 15 springs via gill nets would have been harvested the same year by historical hook and line anglers, so several 100K of walleyes would have spawned, as usual, multiple years. Instead, gill nets took them out of the system before those multiple years of spawning. Surely, there was and is negative impact due to the gill net harvest. How big, no one knows as there is zero history to use and answer that at Mille Lacs.

Well stated northender!

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CaptainMusky

I'm certainly not going to turn this into a peeing contest and split hairs about what "intent" there was in 1837 but keep in mind netting has always been part of the native american heritage. I am of the belief that there was indeed intent to provide the native Americans rights above those of the rest because of their cultural heritage. Right wrong or otherwise that is why it was explicitly written into the treaty if it wasn't then why bother with a treaty?

So many people fail to realize that many lakes go through population swings like this that have not netting done on them whatsoever. A dead fish is a dead fish. If it is netted it is dead if a slot fish is caught and released and it dies its dead. How many floaters out there in previous years because guys pounded the lake with high water temps and pulled them from deep water? A lot! I had seen probably close to 100 in a single day fishing one area of the lake.

I think its conceivable to revisit the treaty concidering today's times and how technology, etc has evolved all the while keeping the right for native Americans to practice things that keep their heritage alive.

It should be a collaborative effort. Something as they have exclusive right to net xyz lake... but the specific terms are evaluated each and every year based on scientific data by both the dnr and the band. That seems reasonable to me.

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workin4bait

You could very well be right. But with that, the fact remains, on the record, the DNR said the slots as we have known them from 1999 on, were exclusively put into place to accommodate the treaty harvest court ordered poundage quota's. If the treaty harvest had not been pushed by the Bands, odds are almost 100 percent the lake, which was showing zero signs of population troubles let alone year class imbalances, would still be in good shape. No nets, no slots, maybe no trouble?

The DNR had a choice. Fight the inevitable and go back to the court, which they were given the option to do by the court, or gamble on the slot limits not doing what they were predicted to do by their own people.

And of course, the Bands did not have to push for these so called rights which were never intended to give them exclusive rights above the rest of the citizens. Those rights were given them within the treaty to allow the Bands to retain harvesting rights as was the usual way for all citizens to live back then--1837. Does anyone actually believe, with an open mind, those treaties were meant to give any exclusive rights to Indians, above and better than the general public had--in 1837? Surely that was not the practice nor intent back then by U.S. Government officials regarding Native Americans, let alone any other race or ethnic group. Surely, the opposite would have been more ( wrongly) expected in that era...

You can not deny the fact also remains, per DNR studies on the record, that less than 10 percent of the harvested walleyes for the past 15 springs via gill nets would have been harvested the same year by historical hook and line anglers, so several 100K of walleyes would have spawned, as usual, multiple years. Instead, gill nets took them out of the system before those multiple years of spawning. Surely, there was and is negative impact due to the gill net harvest. How big, no one knows as there is zero history to use and answer that at Mille Lacs.

Besides treaty harvest what has changed since 1999? Well many more people troll in the middle of nowhere during the heat of the summer pulling walleyes up from the depths only to have them float to shore days later. If treaty harvest is bad what do you call this total waste of fish? Dead fish don't spawn whether they are killed in April or August!

workin'

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northender

"in 1837 but keep in mind netting has always been part of the native american heritage. "

And lol, in 1837 the other citizens got their fish at the local fish market along the shores of Minnesota lakes---let alone Mille Lacs? Back then, subsistence hunting and fishing was away of life for all. It was a part of YOUR heritage and mine as well. Public hangings were too. Let's ALL justify doing this and that today based on our "heritage"...LOL

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northender

"Dead fish don't spawn whether they are killed in April or August!"

You are right and I have said that countless times here.

But that only works if you can show and prove the fish killed in a gill net in April will be killed the same year by hook and line anglers. Again, as I have pointed out countless times here, studies show that less than 10 percent of fish caught in a net in the spring by the DNR crews for tagging purposes, get caught and harvested the same year they are tagged. So how can a netted fish by Tribal nets be any different? Obviously, 90 percent or more of the gill netted fish would survive based on documented studies, more than a year and many multiple years, spawning multiple springs adding countless more YOY to the system --if not killed in a tribal gill net. At a 1.8 lb. average, Tribal gill netted DEAD fish add up to 100's of thousands of walleyes over the past 15 years.

Again, you are right--"Dead fish don't spawn whether they are killed in April or August!"--IF the fish is killed in the same year by either hook and line anglers or gill nets. Again--over 90 percent of the netted fish would NOT be killed the same year if not gill netted and killed by Band nets. That is not debatable. That is documented by many years of DNR records.

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