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eyechoholic

Dnr's future plan for walleye slot?

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eyechoholic

With fishing be so good right now with the big 2013 year class lots of 13"-15". Does the dnr have a plan layed out for the next couple years? How long will they protect this year class? Just curious I'm having fun just catching and releasing all of them now and in a few years it will be even better getting 16"-18" one after another but at some point they will need to be thinned out a bit I would think. 

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Stick in Mud

Them's the million-dollar questions.  With no end in sight to the treaty/harvest management system currently in place, I'd expect more of the same, with yearly bickering over harvest totals and slots, confusion over last-minute changes to those slots, lost business revenue, etc.   I was up fishing Red this weekend, and my buddies who stayed on Mille Lacs caught waaay more fish than we did, with more big ones, too, but there still are hundreds of guys driving right by it.

Regarding "thinning them out":  A *LOT*  of those "keeper" (but illegal) walleyes are going home in people's buckets.  They've been getting thinned out since this summer, if not before by those guys who'll keep anything. 

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Sculpin

Sad to say the DNR does not yet have a plan, but they meet endlessly, and scratch their collective heads, and try to figure out how many fish are in the lake, and how many have been harvested.

The Mille Lacs band will not gillnet the lake this spring, not sure if the WI bands have agreed to stay home.  You can almost bet there will be a one or two fish harvest allowed, but it'll be pretty tight.  Any return to anything resembling normal may be five years off. I see the Governor wants a couple million bucks in bonding money for the proposed hatchery on Mille Lacs.

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mjk

Does Mille Lacs need a hatchery?  What dollar amount would keep nets out of the lake, for say, the next 5 years?

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eyechoholic

Mille lacs is its own hacthery. Sounds like another waste of tax money. I would love to see the nets stay away for five years and let this hugh class reproduce unharmed it would be the best walleye lake in the state. It's already on the heels of red lake.

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Sculpin

It was announced in the current edition of "Outdoor News" that the harvest quota has been set at 40,000 Lbs., same as last year. It will be doubtful that the harvest will be more than one fish. There is still no division of the harvest set between the bands and the DNR, so that will come shortly. Suspect that will be about the same as last year, the Bands got 11,400 Lbs., and the State got 28,600.

Sad to say, Mille Lacs is no longer "it's own hatchery".

One nice year class in the 15 years since this debacle started proves that, and the DNR has for the most part acknowledged it.

The lake bottom is covered with Zebra Mussels, there are a ton of spiny water fleas, the zooplankton necessary for survival of huge numbers of walleye fry are gone. So, stocking may not be an answer either.

However, the DNR is on record saying they plan to stock 5 to 10 million fry in the lake this spring, the eggs will come from Mille Lacs stock, stripped at the lake, and then hatched in a facility in St Paul.

On it goes.   

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Stick in Mud

And with the bite that'll be going this spring, it won't take long for anglers to hit our quota, whatever it is. Add in an estimate for hooking mortality, and it'll be over earlier than it was last summer--if they plan to shut it down again.  But who knows?  It's a shame all around. 

I just wish--if they do shut it down--that they at least leave it open for C&R with artificials only.  At least then I can still get out trolling in October.   Chances of that happening?  Probably not so good, it appears.  Thankfully, though, there are walleyes in other lakes in this state. :)

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Weathertite

If the DNR  was truly serious about trying to help the walleye woes in Mille Lacs Lake they would shut it down during the spawning season . I believe that if we leave the fish alone during the spawn, the health of the overall walleye population in the lake would benefit tremendously. Just my opinion , but something to think about.

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leech~~
28 minutes ago, Weathertite said:

If the DNR  was truly serious about trying to help the walleye woes in Mille Lacs Lake they would shut NETTING down during the spawning season . I believe that if we leave the fish alone during the spawn, the health of the overall walleye population in the lake would benefit tremendously. Just my opinion , but something to think about.

Fixed it for you! ;)

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Weathertite

I do appreciate that , What if both sides did the same ? What do you think that might do for the Fishery ? Just Sayin !!:2c:

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Sculpin

The DNR is not empowered to "shut netting down" during the spawn, or at any other time.  The DNR can only sit idly by while the Bands determine what they wish to do, how they wish to do it, and when.  That's the rub.

The DNR has in effect shut down the fishery for the general public, by making the slot 18/20. They know there are only a very limited amount of those fish in the fishery, and so in effect it is closed. Band members on the other hand can have ten fish a day, any size. 

I am sometimes amazed that the overall general sporting/fishing public has no idea how it all works at Mille Lacs.

Perhaps if more people were engaged in the process, attended the advisory meetings, lobbied their respective Govt. representatives, put economic pressure on Band businesses, etc. change might occur.

The Mille Lacs Band, to their credit, has been pretty good of late in trying to be a part of the solution. The 6 Wi. Bands, another story.

Perhaps when they declare to fish Vermillion, Farm Island, Gull, Whitefish, and other lakes in the ceded territory, the big money will come to the table.   

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Snag

Would it make sense to go down to 14-16.  I assume if they keep,the slot, the females from the good class will get picked off when they hit the 18-20 slot.  I assume they grow faster than the males.

 

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eyechoholic

Tough call Snag if it's 14-16 the quota will get filled quicker which would shorten the season and there would be more fish taken because they weigh less than the 18"-20".  I think keep it the same 18-20 which really turns out to be a catch and release season again. And hopefully another monster class comes up with all the 2013 reproducing. And then open it up like reds limit 2 under 17" and 1 over 17" or visa versa based on the situation. I think the resorts will start getting busy even without being able to keep fish with the fishing that's going on. Just my thoughts and believe me I love eating walleye.

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delcecchi
On 1/28/2016 at 0:33 AM, Weathertite said:

Trying to keep my blood pressure down while I write this . I believe that the Indians have a right to net as their ancestors did , With birch bark canoes , candles taped to their forehead and nets that they stitched out of willow branches!!! I DO NOT agree with them using current Boats , Nets or lights !!!!!! Not even the same as their ancestors and that's the reason they are using to be able to net walleyes on Mille Lacs and other lakes. I have to stop writing now as I may have a stroke.

Take some Losartan then.  The ruling by the Supreme Court is that the bands, as long as the president is OK with it, has the right to harvest a chunk of the fish in the lake.  The method they choose to use is up to them.  They get their share.  

Perhaps Rudy Perpich shouldn't have thrown away the state'so leverage and the citizens shouldn't have rolled the dice with bud grant's effort to get revenge for Wisconsin.

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Sculpin

I believe Gov. Carlson gave away the gambling compacts, that was another step in the wrong direction. At some point in time, if the DNR has the seeds, they can declare the method and timing of the harvest is biologically detrimental to the health of the fishery, and they can shut them down. Call it a hook and line fishery. They need to study it for another 15 years to be certain, but they may get there. 

In the meantime, they will simply go elsewhere and get their fish.

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delcecchi

Nope, Perpich.  And no payment from bands to state.   Say bye bye leverage.  Thanks, Rudy "chopstick" Perpich. 

http://www.mnindiangamingassoc.com/our_compacts.html

Minnesota tribes were the first in the nation to negotiate and sign gaming compacts with a state government. Then-Governor Rudy Perpich wanted to create jobs in rural Minnesota, and he believed tribal gaming would be a boon to disadvantaged rural communities.   However, the state did not want full-blown Las Vegas-style casinos.

Ultimately, the tribes agreed to limit their casinos to video games of chance (slots) and blackjack. Both parties agreed that the compacts

should be effective in perpetuity. This assured the state that the scope of gaming at tribal casinos would never expand with the addition of Vegas- style games like keno, craps, roulette and baccarat.

 

For the tribes, the perpetual compacts meant that they would never be held hostage to changing political winds. They could begin rebuilding their communities with an eye to the long-term future.

 

At least nine other states have compacts without termination dates, including Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

 

The Minnesota compacts also establish negotiating procedures; regulatory standards and powers; licensing requirements; technical specifications for all games; financial reporting requirements; and remedies for violation of the agreements.

 

Minnesota's tribal-state compacts may not be "re-opened" or renegotiated unless both sides agree to do so. However, technical amendments have been made to update equipment specifications and other details with agreement from both parties.

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Sculpin

Looks like Rudy signed off on 7, then Arne came along and gave away the store on the last two big ones, which virtually gave them free reign. Its all a historical footnote anyway, because once the Feds established the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, there was no longer any need for the tribes to negotiate with State Govt. anywhere in the country.

Perpich and Grant were but a couple pebbles in the road, not even a speed-bump, to what would become a total  disregard for anything at the State governance level. Ask the local's in Duluth how those payments are coming in from the Fond Du Luth casino.

Tribal wealth, and huge political patronage on the Dem. side in MN. now rule the day. The MN. DNR does have the resources to take anyone on in court, much less the Tribes.

"leverage" comes with votes, or financial leverage, or patronage. If the Casino doors quit swinging, and the slot machines went dark for about two weeks, things would change.   

 

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eyechoholic
On Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 7:16 PM, delcecchi said:

Take some Losartan then.  The ruling by the Supreme Court is that the bands, as long as the president is OK with it, has the right to harvest a chunk of the fish in the lake.  The method they choose to use is up to them.  They get their share.  

Perhaps Rudy Perpich shouldn't have thrown away the state'so leverage and the citizens shouldn't have rolled the dice with bud grant's effort to get revenge for Wisconsin.

So the president can over rule it? If Hillary Clinton promised to end netting would you vote for her and  suffer through 4 years of listening to her? I don't know if I'm that desperate. :D:D:D:D

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delcecchi

Other states still negotiate, and get payments from the tribes.  

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mjk
On 1/30/2016 at 7:07 PM, eyechoholic said:

Tough call Snag if it's 14-16 the quota will get filled quicker which would shorten the season and there would be more fish taken because they weigh less than the 18"-20".  I think keep it the same 18-20 which really turns out to be a catch and release season again. And hopefully another monster class comes up with all the 2013 reproducing. And then open it up like reds limit 2 under 17" and 1 over 17" or visa versa based on the situation. I think the resorts will start getting busy even without being able to keep fish with the fishing that's going on. Just my thoughts and believe me I love eating walleye.

Make the limit a total # of inches.  That way, all year classes get harvested, and you don't end of with a severely skewed population.

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Weathertite

How exactly would that work , would everyone be checked as they came off the ice ?  Or would it be on the Honesty system which we all know only works with the Honest people ? All I know is that the system they have now isn't sitting well with the fisherman or the people who depend on the fishery for their livelihood.

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Sportland_Bait

I'm not sure there will ever be a solution that works for all parties involved.  I still do not buy the answer of a hatchery.  The biologists have stated that the problem is in the survival of young walleyes.  So why would we expect stocked walleye fry to make it through that first year better than the natural hatch?  Springtime netting is devastating to the spawn.  If netting is going to exist move that to a fall season and allow the spawn to occur without interruption.

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Sculpin

The Bands have done some fall netting over the years. The problem with that is that there are not the huge concentrations of walleyes in the shallow reef areas in the fall. In addition, the tullibees are in spawning, and they don't want to mess with those.

They want lots of walleyes, full nets, not just a few per pull. 

To your point, there may never be a solution.

The ultimate solution would be a hook and line fishery, but then the bands would never get their fish.

 

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Bandersnatch

Am I mistaken, or did not the Mille Lac band say that they would not net the lake Spring 2016?

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