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Animal

What about the DNR LOW proposal?

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Animal

Did anyone attend the LOW meetings? Is the DNR pushing the changes or just taking comment? Was the crowd in favor or against? Any other info would be appreciated. <P>

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wareagle

I attended the meeting in Baudette. I would guess 30 - 40 people attended. I would have to say that most of the resorts seem to be against it(80% or so). However most of the general public that I've talked to are in favor of the change. <P>Most resorts are worried about losing business. I'm don't believe they will lose business considering that most of them have just added more cabins. So they lose the meat haulers that need those 2 extra fish (in summer and six sauger in the winter), I'd be willing to bet that for every 6 walleye person that doesn't come up another 4 walleye person will. As long as the fishing is good (i.e. numbers and big fish) people will come. They own a business, they should expect ups and downs. I guess they might have to cut their spring vacation from a month down to 3 weeks. I know that brings a tear to my eye.<P>That's my 2 cents.<P>I'm Out,<BR>wareagle!!

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casting

The talk I've heard from the resorts at LOW is most can work with a limit reduction. The slot, manditory release of all walleyes 19.5 - 28 forever is what really gets to them as it was added into the process after the ball got rolling. Most anglers I've talked to would also like to see a 14 or 15 inch bottom to the slot. Another idea I've heard included ending downrigger fishing as mortality rate of these fish would be questionable at best for catch and release.<P>Means all the harvest pressure will be focused on just 4 or 5 year classes. After a few years of this those slot fish will get difficult to find. <P>Probally means the end of the fishing tournaments at Lake of the Woods, which most folks probally won't miss. Unless you own a resort, motel, gas station, bait shop, restrauant ect. over the past few weeks it appeared those anglers were spending plenty around Baudette and the lake.<P>The DNR needs to look at protecting the forage base if they want a lake full of big walleyes, northerns and sturgeon. They need to look ending the commerical harvest of the shiners and any tulibee harvest. Fishing is great but if the forge base crashes, then the problems start. Big walleyes will need to eat the small walleyes, don't forget the cormants need their daily quota of walleyes, saugers, shiners and tulibee also. <P>According to the local DNR the low sauger population of the early 90's was a result of preditors using the saugers as prey.<P>If the forage base crashes like it did on Mille Lacs (Due to a lake full of big fish and lack of fish harvest due to slots and average anglers just giving up on fishing there because you could not keep anything anyway)When the forage base returns is when the fishing gets tough as mother nature likes to over fill holes in the chain. Thats when you have a lake full of fish and you can't get a bite. These are all lessons the DNR already has learned from Mille Lacs.<P>Charter fishing will in the end take the biggest hit just like launch fishing did at Mille Lacs. It's tough to justify paying hundreds of dollars to drive hundreds miles then get pounded by 4-6 footers and end up with a fish or two for the frying pan.<P>As for the new construction in the area it is nice to see. If they would have known this spring that these changes were going to happen I dought they would have been spending that cash. <P>The DNR's own numbers show the walleye pop. up 25% over the history they have on the lake. I've always thought the 1 fish over 19.5 was a good way to keep people happy, protect the bigger fish and maintain a stable food chain. <P>The DNR bases everything these days on a computer model. I guess the computer is that good it can predict the plans of the fishermen, weather (Ice every year by Dec. 1 & # of days with waves less than 4 ft), pounds of fish taken by cormrants, the future of the forage base, the walleye bite on Red Lake in 2006,what eel pout eat in the summer and all the other factors that play into the future of Lake of the Woods walleye fishing. All this info. but I've yet to ever be check by a DNR boat in 20 years of fishing on the lake.<P>In the end two things are important to the LOW area and its fishing. <P> For the fish its a strong forage base to keep them healthy, off of the eat anything bite mode and from canabalizing their young of the year and last years hatch. Plus no commerical fishing (Red Lake walleye fishing was destroyed by nets gone wild not anglers and the kicker is it was goverment perch contracts the band was filling that caused the downfall.)<P>For LOW Resorts and the area businesses its happy fishermen that have fun catch some fish and yes take some home to eat. When they are happy they rebook their trip and tell their friends of their great adventure. The guests are happy they spend lots of money the area invests in it town (new cabins, bars, skate board park, new golf course, new stores on main street) life is good.<P>Take this picture with a slot where your tring to catch fish that are 4 or 5 inches long and you hear alot of, our trip kinda sucked we caught some fish but we could not keep any they were all to big. If we want to catch and release fish well go back to canada ( things that are bad PR, basically nobody likes to hear that you can never ever do that again even though you use to and your father and grandfather and great grandfather use to not even just a little)<P>Most anglers just don't have the time to spend on the water to learn how to catch 15-19 inch fish or be able to look at a depth finder and realize that the fish he is on are over 20 inches and if he wants to keep a couple he'll need to keep moving and find some arcs on the graph that are 2/3's the size he is looking at. Slot lakes end up with most of the fish population being outside the harvest range making the average angler feel frustrated and sooner or later they just quit going fishing there or quit fishing all together. Most of these folks work hard have families and like to enjoy their time not be challenged and frustrated by constant rules and rule changes and then along comes some erogant fellow that calls him a fish hog because his son or daughter caught a nice walleye and wanted to keep it. Or say it's just under 19.5 when he measures it and along comes the DNR measures both sides of the fish and one side touches 19.5 and now he's getting fined for just going fishing and letting Johnny keep a nice walleye.<P>Hopefully these slots don't affect LOW and the area like they have on Mille Lacs. But history has a way or repeating itself. It is a very sad sight to pull into any of the boat landings and see them empty and not a boat on the lake makes you think you shouldn't be fishing there even when you know the lake is full of fish. Worse yet is to watch the people struggle to make ends meet and just 10 years ago they were the kings of walleye fishing. All because of slot limits on that lake.<P>Nature is a balance thing, seems to me we have a good balance at LOW a reduction in number is a good thing esp. winter nobody will argue that 14 fish isn't carried away and I would like to know where that limit came from in the first place. Going to a total no-harvest slot is just as overboard in the other direction that takes LOW down the same road as Mille Lacs.<P>If the slot goes into place on LOW you can bet a 22 inch walleye will starve to death before the DNR will ever let a licensed angler catch and harvest it. MN DNR workers and leaders are paid by taxpayer dollars you would think they would try to keep anglers happy and fishing. More and more I think their goal is to reduce the amount of time and desire of anglers to fish.<P>

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WCT

Casting;<BR> It seems that you are drawing VAST conclusions from HALF VAST evidence.<BR> Under current regs. an angler is allowed only one fish above 19.5 inches and under the new proposed regs. he/she would be allowed none, a net (no pun intended) difference of ONE fish per angler. That coupled with the fact that anglers frequently spend the entire day without catching a fish above the 19.5 inch mark, leads me to believe that your catastrophic prediction is off the mark.<BR> As far as the impact on the WigWam tourney, the contest has always had a self-imposed 15 inch minimum which coupled with the state 19.5 inch rule creates a 15-19.5 slot. It would of course eliminate the 19.5-28 fish but still allow the real pigs(28 plus). I wouldn't be surprised that the same team would have won this year's contest under either set of rules.<BR> Just my two cents worth, only time will tell for sure. Good fishing, Ol'Sneller

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bturck

Good points on both ends of the spectrum. Just one thing to consider and remember, if we give it away today, don't expect to get it back tomorrow. I believe both sides have valid points, resorts and sportsman, we just need to be careful and consider all aspects rather than jump into something that will be detremental to both groups. My nickels worth. Good luck and hang on. Bill

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curt quesnell

Casting and all others with an interest.<P>The DNR has said many times the limit reduction to 4 fish wont do the job. The <BR>limit would have to be reduced to 2 or<BR>maybe 3 fish to get the 25 percent reduction<BR>in harvest they feel is necessary.<P>The 4 fish limit and the slot, they feel,<BR>will accomplish this target reduction in<BR>harvest. Causing the least amount of<BR>change for net result.<P>------------------<BR>Curt Quesnell<BR>NorthCountry Outdoors Radio

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Hines R

I was going to call in and voice my opinion about the matter since people can still call the DNR. I've spoken to the DNR about this issue before but was unable to attend the meeting.<P>I'm O.K. I guess with lowering the limit because it's still enough to fill the frying pan up pretty good and make for a nice meal. However, I don't agree with what could possibly be a knee jerk reaction from the DNR that will more than likely never be changed back if it is a mistake. Once the government takes something away they generally never give it back! <P>I don't really like the idea of a slot because of what I've seen happen on Mille Lacs although I generally(injured fish) enforce nearly the same slot on myself that the DNR wants to put in place on LOTW. <P>Who is Ron Payer and what did he prove about slots? You refer to him but didn't give any information. <P>I'm of the opinion that this is a really big decision that could positively and/or negatively affect the lake. In all honesty I'm for whatever is best for the lake, and will help me to be able to continue to conistently enjoy fishing on LOTW! My concern is for the lake and the fisherman that use it.<P>Ryan

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curt quesnell

Good points LOWguy.<P>I agree harvest must be down so far this<BR>season but the big harvest time is still to<BR>come. Give us bad ice and lots of early <BR>snow and we will finish up under quota. But<BR>you cant bet on that and who would want it<BR>if you could.<P>At the meeting in Roseau we saw a list of<BR>major lakes in Minnesota and what the limits<BR>are being changed to on those bodies of <BR>water. LOW is very generous by comparison.<P>Reduced limits and slots is the future of <BR>fishing everywhere. It is not just a Lake<BR>of the Woods thing.<P>I saw that big spike in harvest back in <BR>the early 90s and was going to ask what <BR>it was about but then a moth flew by me<BR>and I forgot to ask. (I thought that might<BR>have been when the limit went from 20 to<BR>14, but I think that was earlier)<P>------------------<BR>Curt Quesnell<BR>NorthCountry Outdoors Radio<p>[This message has been edited by curt quesnell (edited 10-09-2004).]

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LOWguy

sorry about that. Ron Payer is the section cheif, DNR fisheries (as seen on the back of 2004 MN fishing regulations).Ron recently published a study in the Volunteer mag. Here he pointed out that out of 40 lakes with slot protections for walleyes. Only 4 showed slight improvement as well as NO improvement in Northerpike.Slots only fill in voids in year classes.<BR> Curt nice to see people express their veiws at the meetings. We at Baudette were told our input only mattered if we had a plan that would get the harvest down to 450,000 lbs.. Personaly I liked the 10 year over harvest remarks.(on the average) I crunched the numbers myself and could have made it 21 years of over ON THE AVERAGE. The DNR alows up to 500,000 lbs safe harvest to cover margin of error.From 1991-2001 theaverage was 426,000lbs per year. Or740,000lbs under target. Remember if you get to make the harvest years look one way you have to do the same on under years. Its only fare. Again we all know we will change the limits. We just dont see the hurry when the rest of the state is still not any were near our quallity or quanity of walleyes.p.s. I fish this lake at least 200 days a year,and keep about 75 walleys/saugers a year.(none over 16 inches)<BR>

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LOWguy

time for truth . yes there were too many lbs of fish caught in the last 3 yrs.however this year we are way below the normal and safe harvest.none of the resorts are opposed to lowering the winter harvest or even the summer if we can get a fare answer to a few questions . like why reduce when the walleye pop. is 25%above the 10 year ave.? and why is l.o.t.w. have to be held to a standerd that is far and above the rest of the state ? by the standard we must live and fish the restof the state should be catch and release only (eexcept mabey millacs).one major concern is what happen on oahe,wabay,and millacs. the 2001 year class and now 2003class of walleyes are dominating the lake. what happens if 2005 2006 class of walleyes is in the same numbers?just as a lake can give up it also can only feed so many fish.no one knows what has happened to our tulabee or crawfish which used to be ever present in our walleyes. as this has happened in big water before. why doesnt anyone adress this side of the issue . because we have no data or even a god idea. reducing the limit right now on LOW is not a biological issue its a possible trend issue as well as poltical.I challenge readers to look carefully at the data being put out to you. and ask how does 3years of over target not only happen,how does that turn into(for the last ten years we have been over the target harvest ave.)this is not the first time we have been over 1991 and 1992 we harvested 550,000 to 650,000 lbs without the pleas and cries for limits and the most nonsensical slot (THEY DONOT WORK as told by Ron Payer ). yes we will have limit reductions.the question up here is why not wait until the 13-14 inch walleyes grow to 16-17 or the rest of the state changes first.<P><BR>

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