Jump to content

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

Selective Harvest, not just a good idea.

Recommended Posts

Selective Harvest, not just a good idea, but a critical one in order to insure a healthy fishery.

Often when chatting with anglers either in the field or at a seminar they ask me, "Hay Eddy, "How can I catch a 10 lb class walleye?". My best answer to them is, first release a lot of 7-9 lb class fish, and you will.

Selective harvest is the best tool we have to manage a river or lake system so we all need to understand the need to fallow slots without being forced into laws saying we must. In the long hall we all benefit from the practice of selective harvest by the increase in the quality of the fishery and the reduced health risk from not eating these large fat fish with higher contaminant loads.

Fish in the 15" to 18" year class range are the best and safest eating fish from most any system and especially rivers of the region. Larger trophy class fish have the greatest risk of heavy metal and PCB contaminant build up in the fatty tissues and meat, they are your highest risk in acquiring a dose of something you could do without guaranteed.

We are fortunate to have a abundance of very productive river systems in the region that often produce trophy and world class walleye and channel catfish. We must also understand that it is not a bottomless pit of piggy fish, it is a closed system much the same as a lake in all actuality. By harvesting the larger fish that may be passing on vital genetic traits we limit the future of the fishery and possibly endanger our own health by eating them. I am not preaching no harvest just a responsible one with eyes to the future.

Get more bang for your buck is what I say, enjoy the thrill of the catch plus the compounded thrill of releasing that piggy walleye. Simply take a few pictures along with the length and girth measurements so you can get a high quality replica mount that will out last and natural mount 10 to 1 in years, plus look as good as the day you caught it 30 years from now. Replica mounts are far the best investment both in self gratification, long term welfare of the river system, and a very wise use of your precious pay check. The graphite mounts have become far cheaper over time so they are now easily the best bet going to make your trophy room look its absolute best.

As anglers we must look past our stringers into the future to insure our continued enjoyment of our sport while guaranteeing it will be there for our children and there children to enjoy.

Thank You and good fishing.

Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson
Backwater Guiding Service
10409 Co. Rd #17 S
Horace, ND. 58047

[email protected]


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ed your right on the money, and I couldn't have said it more eloquently. There are, however, a series of other questions we have to consider making if we're to take the Red into the next century ....

We need to "support" (via various means eg. clubs individual letters, articles in popular magazines) efforts to put the best fishery science to work for us... Up here in Manitoba we haven't done any research on our channel cats for nine years.... What's happening to those critters - if anything at all? Are our management policies doing the best for a robust yet fragile population? Is it time we get back to taking a good objective and critical look at how these fish are doing? What's happening in your area, do you know?

Moreover no (nothing by our provincial resource managers) research has been done for a long time on the Red (North of 49) and Lake Winnipeg walleye/greenback populations. The information on populations that we receive comes from commercial fishing interests on the big lake ("biased" if I might hazard an opinion - I have to be careful as a member on the wife's side of the family fishes commercially for a living on lake WPG.). Nonetheless, wouldn't you guys like to come up to a fishery that was twice as good (I know it's good but imagine eh!) .... well if we bought out half of the commercial licenses for the south basin of Lake Winnipeg it could be reality --- they did it on Lake Michigan didn't they!

Are we anglers willing to pay more for angling licenses, fisheries stamps etc. to help pay for the research and enforcement that is so badly needed for many waters right now and right next door to us.... Are we ready to bite the bullet if what we learn says we have to change the way we have used the resource for umpteen years. If Leech lake in MN. and the Whiteshell region in Mb. are examples of measures to be taken and reactions to them then we've still got a long way to go.....

Is there anything that either side could do to help to maintain or improve the fishery for the other? Yup I think so.....Our natural resources branch could be nudged into doing some research if organizations from south of the border were to ask questions about those cats and walleyes who might make their way south if there were more of them to make the trip ---- wouldn't you be interested in having a better fishery? And last but not the least, I rarely hear anglers talking about the effect/impact that the Garrison diversion project ((ND)water out of Devil's lake) would have on the specific aquatic life of the Red (I don't have an opinion because I don't know enough!). Will it effect our walleye and cats in a negative way?

These are a few of the questions that I have for the future of OUR fishery: The Red and all of its tributaries. Catch and release will definitely help and we can play are part in preserving the great fishery we already have but what else are we required to do to assure the future viability of the Red. The issues it would seem are monstrous but if we chip a little at each question we might provide for the conditions of some momentous improvements for all users of the resource.

Thanks Ed for starting such an important discussion. It does spark interesting thought and discussion.

Dan Kiazyk
Cat Eye Outfitter
[email protected]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Great story, you made the cover of FM on Monday night.

Hey, isn't getting close to election time again and we've forgotten our ol' crony Eddy?

The story above is another reason to VOTE BACKWATER EDDY come election day. Write ins count.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   Ice fishing continues strong and it is still winter on the border.    Overnight temps in the teens and twenties are maintaining ice nicely.  Fishing continues to be excellent.  It has been an incredible year for walleyes and saugers with both numbers and size.     Resort fish houses and sleeper fish houses are available.  Some ice roads are allowing pickup trucks pulling wheelhouses as well.  Check with each individual ice road for specific limits.   As always, and certainly this year, it is important to stay on the resort ice roads.  It is tempting to go off on your own as there isn't much snow, but that is a risky move any time of the year.  Resorts and outfitters keep their roads on the best ice and monitor it numerous times per day.   Lake of the Woods enjoys an extended ice fishing season each year.  Fish houses are allowed on the ice through March 31st, the walleye / sauger season goes through April 14th and the pike season never ends.   The majority of ice fishing for walleyes and saugers is taking place in 24 - 34 feet of water.  Jigging one line and using a live minnow on the second line is the way to go.   Pike anglers fishing shallower shoreline breaks and reporting good activity and big fish.  Pike activity will only increase as we approach the month of March.  Arming your spread with a mixture of live and dead baits will allow you to quickly figure out what the pike wants that day. Alewife, smelt, herring, numerous sizes of live suckers, or even large shiners work well. On the Rainy River...  Most ice fishing is taking place on the lake.  There are a couple of resorts that ice fish on the Rainy River.  Know ice conditions or work through a resort or outfitter for safety.    The river is open east of Birchdale.  Those who enjoy the spring open water season on the river are optimistic the river will open early.  Is your boat and fishing gear ready when it does? Up at the NW Angle...   Another very good week of ice fishing up at the Angle.  Walleyes, saugers, jumbo perch, eelpout, pike and some big crappies in the mix.   Water conditions are clearer this winter compared to most.  For that reason, the morning and evening bites have been stronger than midday overall. Jigging one line and deadsticking the second line is the way to go.  Electronics help in determining what the fish want that given day and will up your catch of fish.   Ice fishing has been excellent, come on up.  It's still winter on the border! 
    • Kettle
      There's only one Waterfowl guide in the country that I went to. He runs about 20 trips a year. So he harvests about 185,000 less teal a year than some of the individual southern states. In MN, lots of the teal are gone before the early teal season 
    • leech~~
      Wow, don't want to be one of those guys.  But, you don't think such liberal limits down there, hurts the northern population next spring?  
    • smurfy
      Kettle..........we really didnt have a winter.......even up in your neck of the woods!!!!!👍🤣
    • Kettle
      I only duck hunted this trip. Definitely going back next year. Winter gets too long for me. I met some amazing people and might help with guiding for them in the future. Would love to escape a month or two every winter
    • Mike89
      just seen a show about duck and dove hunting down that way, Scoot Lyseth and the Dead Meat show!!  
    • Kettle
      Some teal from central America 
    • JerkinLips
      I think it was opened so I don't think I would trust it.  I will find use for the wooden blocks however.
    • SkunkedAgain
      Some morons just shouldn't be allowed out on the ice. Thanks for pitching in to clean it up.   On the bonus side, is it a quart of oil that you can use?
    • SkunkedAgain
      Some morons just shouldn't be allowed out on the ice. Thanks for pitching in to clean it up.   On the bonus side, is it a quart of oil that you can use?
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.