I fully agree that lakes go through cycles but that negates nothing I said. MNs best walleye fisheries are that way because they have a slot. Rainy, Winnie, Leach, Mille Lacs, and Red were destroyed and the slots brought them back. Lake of the woods a slot was put in before it got depleted and that fishery is awesome so easy to catch a limit there and a great mix of small fish and jumbos...just a matter of time for other lakes. Can you be more specific what lakes you are referring to that have just large fish and no slot? If it is not one of the well known lakes be careful if you name it here its fished out in 3 years if it does not have a slot guaranteed.
Minnesota's best walleye fisheries are anything but stable populations. These populations are constantly cycling with new robust year classes recruiting to the fishery every few years. Harvest of excess spawning stock actually stimulates frequent strong recruitment. The closest thing we have to stable walleye populations are lakes dominated by old fish with low to moderate recruitment replacing natural mortality from the aging population.
Guys, going back to the original post, the DNR did this to be in compliance with state and federal laws, not just be a PIA.
It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to make code, as my saying goes.
We don’t normally make a special trip to buy our combo license; we just pick it up at our best convenience either heading to the lake or doing other shopping. It’s really not going to be that significant of an issue for us since we do travel and shop together fairly regularly. 🙂
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Actually I already addressed this but will state it more directly. Having a slot state wide ensures we maintain a stable population of fish in each lake that cannot be removed. It takes a long time for a lake to recover a species once it gets overfished and this is not just the big lakes and it is happening all over the place. Upper Red Lake is good case study (I can cite case studies of smaller lakes as well but won't to protect those lakes). Though to be honest I loved the HUGE crappies that was a unique opportunity and I was quite disappointed when they turned it back into another me too walleye lake so I have not been back since. So, to what I said earlier, I see the value of it but there are trade-offs and I don't necessarily agree or disagree to it. Once you remove one species another will take over and personally I am not that picky so I adapt. If I were focused on walleye I would have a different view.