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Wanderer

Barotrauma

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Rick

Definitely not catch and release at those depths and beyond.

 

If you catch them that deep they die. 

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Bigfatbert

So what all this is saying is that during a good portion of winter on any given lake , let’s use Lake Of The Woods here for example , that when the hot bite is at 25-33’ that all those fish that are released for either being a dink , or trophy size are gonna die , hmmm , doesn’t sound good to me . Goodness there are times up there when probably thousands of dink’s are released on any given day because they are a dink . Yes I would definitely agree with Ricks statement above that it’s definitely not catch and release , it becomes catch, release and die ..  Catch and release needs to be addressed here in Mn. and changes of some sort need to be made.. maybe a law that states that if you are fishing at these deeper depths it becomes illegal to catch and release the fish , with maybe a lower limit at these depths and if it’s caught you must keep it and quit when one has reached this limit . Throwing back fish of any size just to have them die is ridiculous...

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Kettle

Having a regulation on how deep one can fish is not ideal. Many times night fishing I'm in 60 ft of water on the edge of a 20 ft break fishing 15-20 ft down targeting fish. There's also been times when I'm fishing 25 ft down in 75 ft due to a thermocline both of these incidents I described were fishing for suspended walleye. 

Fishing education in my opinion is a better option. Some will follow and some won't. With our daily possession matching our possession limit and more times than not most not going home with limits every outing I do not believe the ones not listening to advice are not depleting our resources. With all that being said hooking mortality from deep depths is a real thing and I think friendly reminders to others can go a long way.

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LoonASea

How would the DNR deal with fish over the slot that are currently required to be released,,, Kept because they were caught in water too deep for a safe release,,,, Kind of a ticklish situation 

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Wanderer

VERY ticklish situation for all the reasons mentioned.  ND recommends not fishing the deep water where slots are in place.

 

There are so many what ifs that I would say having a general law about depths alone couldn’t possibly address the known hazard areas.  Maybe though some oversight on those known hazard areas/practices could be put into effect.  The clearest example I’ve ever experienced was the scour hole below the Red Wing dam.  70 fow and an armada if boats over the top of it catching dink’s to run up their number tally.  Plus the chance to snag a paddle fish.

 

Realistically at best we could hope for education through additional published information and those anglers who know the situation leading by example.  It’s tough news for our fishing culture for sure.  Many will ignore it but maybe some will start leading as those who started C&R and selective harvest did.  We’ve come along way since I was a kid.

 

 

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roony

Plain and simple is that you cannot keep a fish that legally must be released just because you know it won't survive. Sometimes I think the catch and release culture has caused more mortality because people will just keep on catching and releasing. When I hear stories of people catching and releasing 50 plus fish a day it make me cringe. The angler who catches a few for a meal and then goes home, cleans them and eats them as part of the whole angling experience is doing less harm to the resource in my opinion. Your view may vary. 

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Getanet

I really don't think this is an issue that can be solved with regulations. Banning fishing at certain depths just isn't practical. Rather, it will be incumbent upon sportsman to lead by example by spreading the word about this type of research, choosing not to fish at those depths, and explaining why when others ask.

 

 


 

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Bigfatbert

A great portion of the winter on Lake Of The Woods , Mille Lacs , the daytime bite occurs in depths that fall into the depths outlined in Wanderers original post above on this matter . Roony hit the nail on the head with his statement that the catch and release culture has caused more mortality because people will just keep on catching and releasing , and doing such at these depths is downright a wrong , greedy , stupid thing to do to our natural resources , plain and simple , and unless proper and resource minded  regulations are made to address these issues nothing is gonna change by a handful of people leading by example on these huge bodies of water , once again the almighty dollar rules over proper management of a natural resource . Weather if it’s having to release a gut hooked fish back because of a slot size says it must go back or throwing back fish after fish caught from these deeper depths just to have the fish die is not proper management .....   

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delcecchi
18 hours ago, Bigfatbert said:

A great portion of the winter on Lake Of The Woods , Mille Lacs , the daytime bite occurs in depths that fall into the depths outlined in Wanderers original post above on this matter . Roony hit the nail on the head with his statement that the catch and release culture has caused more mortality because people will just keep on catching and releasing , and doing such at these depths is downright a wrong , greedy , stupid thing to do to our natural resources , plain and simple , and unless proper and resource minded  regulations are made to address these issues nothing is gonna change by a handful of people leading by example on these huge bodies of water , once again the almighty dollar rules over proper management of a natural resource . Weather if it’s having to release a gut hooked fish back because of a slot size says it must go back or throwing back fish after fish caught from these deeper depths just to have the fish die is not proper management .....   

And yet we have all the deniers saying that hooking mortality is overstated.   

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LoonASea

If catching a fish out of water too deep for a safe release and releasing it ,,,,, Why arent the cabin / lakeshore owners complaining about lots of dead fish washing up on shore??? ,,, Do they sink to the bottom ,,,they cant all be eaten by birds

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Wanderer

I dunno @LoonASea, I used to wonder the same thing.  But I have seen several floaters plucked off the water’s surface by eagles before they were completely dead.

 

I had the same comment about hooking mortality on Mille Lacs; how can they say such things without seeing a bunch of floaters?  Then I started hearing from friends that actually fish the lake that say they see them often since the tight slots have come into effect.  

 

Rush Lake by Rush City had reports of hundreds of dead crappies under the ice by Crane Island.  A deep hole I’ve fished myself and put back lots of crappies I’ve had to close the mouth on to get them to swim back down the hole.  Made me wonder...

 

What I like about the ND study is it’s actually a study, not just feelings or intuition.  I don’t like the news any more than most with the exception that it lends some reference to an often debated topic.  Some “proof” if you will.  I’ve felt this to be an issue for several years already but didn’t have anything to refer to except my own personal experiences.  So I’ll continue to fish with this information in mind and continue to look for more.

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delcecchi

Also, once the gulls rip the guts out through the gills, down they go.   

 

The quota for 2019 is 87,000 pounds.   Let's say that 50k pounds, the mortality from last year is the mortality for 2019.   So that is maybe 20,000 fish on the whole lake over a 200 day period.  Average a hundred dead walleye a day.   Maybe several times that at peak times.   But a couple hundred dead walleye on a lake of 207 square miles...   one per square mile up to maybe a few per square mile...    

 

Not what I would think of as "seeing a bunch of floaters" .  And the wind disperses them away from the place they were released, so some would be in places where people aren't fishing...

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gimruis

Interesting thread.  I'm familiar with the concept of Barotrauma, but I almost never fish that deep and I don't ice fish.  So personally, there is no issue with this.  I release 95% of the fish I catch the entire open water season and rarely use live bait so I am confident that virtually everything I catch has a high survival rate.

 

This issue of catching fish in very deep water seems to be more correlated to ice fishing than open water fishing.  The fish seem to stack up in deep water or suspended in deep water more so in the winter.  Plus, with the explosive popularity of wheel houses, there's definitely more pressure in the winter.  Catch rates aren't as high because the water is so cold, but people often leave their houses there for long periods of time.

 

As for Mille Lacs, the lake is only about 35-40 feet deep which is very shallow for a lake that size.  It does not develop a thermocline like other deeper lakes do.  Hooking mortality is a real thing, though.  The DNR and other scientific bodies have shown this through countless studies that warm water + live bait definitely kills not just walleyes, but other fish too.  That's why they have considered banning live bait to keep the season open all year because that reduces mortality by up to 60%.  The problem is that too many people complained about not being able to use live bait so they scrapped that idea.  The lake has tulibees which are far more sensitive to warming waters and/or lack of oxygen than walleyes so they are the species to watch.  Once they go, the walleyes are next.

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delcecchi
7 hours ago, gimruis said:

Interesting thread.  I'm familiar with the concept of Barotrauma, but I almost never fish that deep and I don't ice fish.  So personally, there is no issue with this.  I release 95% of the fish I catch the entire open water season and rarely use live bait so I am confident that virtually everything I catch has a high survival rate.

 

This issue of catching fish in very deep water seems to be more correlated to ice fishing than open water fishing.  The fish seem to stack up in deep water or suspended in deep water more so in the winter.  Plus, with the explosive popularity of wheel houses, there's definitely more pressure in the winter.  Catch rates aren't as high because the water is so cold, but people often leave their houses there for long periods of time.

 

As for Mille Lacs, the lake is only about 35-40 feet deep which is very shallow for a lake that size.  It does not develop a thermocline like other deeper lakes do.  Hooking mortality is a real thing, though.  The DNR and other scientific bodies have shown this through countless studies that warm water + live bait definitely kills not just walleyes, but other fish too.  That's why they have considered banning live bait to keep the season open all year because that reduces mortality by up to 60%.  The problem is that too many people complained about not being able to use live bait so they scrapped that idea.  The lake has tulibees which are far more sensitive to warming waters and/or lack of oxygen than walleyes so they are the species to watch.  Once they go, the walleyes are next.

 

Except that basically no one targets Tullibees to any extent.   The issue with walleye is that they are targeted at a level that the fish cannot tolerate no matter the weather or global climate change.   The natives taking their share has increased the pressure, and the various invasive species have made them less able to withstand the pressure, especially considering the political and economic issues.

 

If the tribal quota was zero as it was for many years, it would be politically easier to maintain harvest by anglers at a sustainable level.   

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