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wicky

THE NEW REGS ???

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wicky

Has there been a final answer from the DNR about the new limits? If not when is the final answer to be made and posted to the public? And when is it to began for LOW.

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LOWguy

As with anything poltical there has to be more meetings. We have one coming up with Payer and Gunther next week. They still have no reason to change this year. Although I wouldnt mind seeing the winter limit dropped to 4w/4s no closed slot.

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curt quesnell

The earliest this could happen (could) is Dec 1. It wont

happen quietly, you will hear about it everywhere.

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LOWguy

Well its just what I thought back in April. I know that law requires that the DNR has to have public meetings. But next time please tell the people in areas afected the truth. The new reg.s are exactly what the DNR proposed back in april. Not one little bit of give to the people of Lake of the Woods. It kind of resembles the elction. Where the people who live in the most polluted cities and counties in the state. Have the nerve to talk about the enviroment in someone elses home. Clean your own act up before you tell people who live in rural MN. what to do..( hypacrits) So LOW limits will be 4walleyes 4 sauger none over 19.5-28 winter and 4w/2s summer. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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bturck

LOWGUY Does it sound like these regs will be revisited annually as they are on Mille Lacs, or does it appear stamped in stone? Bill

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Daveo

Curt, do you know of a reason why the DNR did not just keep

RED lake stocked with crapies and L.O.W stocked with the walleyes instead of stocking RED with walleyes, that way, RED is a big crapie lake and LOW is a big walleye lake ...

I dont claim to be the brightest bulb on the tree but it seems that it would solve all kinds of problem's and let all kinds of businesses prosper as well as all the fisher people prosper...like I said before im not all that bright so Im hoping you can shed some light on it for me.

DaveO

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wareagle

Daveo, first I would like to say that I have worked in the fishery field for about 10 years and have a [PoorWordUsage] and MS in fisheries management and ecology I have also worked for both state and federal agencies as well as with private agencies. With that said, here are my reasons as to why the DNR did not stock RED with crappies and LOW with walleyes. First, Red lake was/is historically a walleye lake and the crappie happened to thrive due to the overfishing and filled a niche vacated by the once plentiful walleye. Mind you, the crappie being caught are about 95% (I won't say 100% because I'm sure some younger fish are being caught as well)from the '95 year class. Second, as I stated in a previous post topic crappie are very hard to raise and are highly variable in their recruitment. Red may go another 5-10 years before another year-class like the 95 happens. The main reason that the DNR stocked walleye into Red was to help facillitate the rehabilitation process of the adult spawning stock. With the residual spawning adults in the lake it probably would have taken 5-10 more years before the lake would have gotten to where it is today.

As for stocking LOW with walleye, all the state and private hatcheries in MN could not produce enough walleye to touch what is produced naturally in LOW. LOW has an excellent spawning stock of adult fish which will be protected if the proposed regulations go into effect.

LOWguy, having talked to the DNR it is my recollection that the resorts met with the DNR and this is what the resorts said they would support. So, it sounds to me like the resorts are flip-flopping.

That's my perspective on the new situation.

WAR EAGLE!!

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curt quesnell

The DNRs goal is to reduce the harvest of Walleyes to

between 425 and 450K. There is more than one way to do

this They are trying to accomplish the goal in the LEAST

disruptive way possible.

The limit of 4 and the slot they figure will do the job.

The other sure fire way to achive the harvest quota is

a 2 fish limit. I sure like the 4 fish and the slot idea

better.

They did get input from the resorters and these informational meetings will get their reasoning out to the

public.

As far as how they came up with this plan, It probably

didn't take very long. There is a formula the use to come

up with a harvest number and they also have the numbers

on how many and how big the fish are that are taken.

The public meetings are interesting. At the one in Roseau

we had one guy that said the Cormorants were eating all

the fish. Another guy said it was the Sturgeon.

The thing to remember is that there is no crisis, no shortage of fish. The lake is healthy and year in and

year out with normal rates of hatch survival the lake

will stay one of the worlds finest. The DNRs job is

keep tabs on fish harvest and that's what they are doing.

On the Red Lake topic. Ditto to Red Lake is a world class

natural Walleye lake and they will take over again. However, now that people realize there are Crappies to be

had too it should just make Big Red even more popular.

Old timers on the lake say they have always caught some

Crappies but never fished for them until the Walleyes

were gone.

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casting

wareeagle, with your fisheries knowledge maybe you can address the following questions.

1. Does DNR works off of total poundage est. in a lake - ex. if it's 2,000,000 pounds that can be 400,000 5lbers or 2,000,000 1 lbers. If so does it make sense to conclude that by eliminating harvest of 2.5 - 9.5 pound fish (increasing their numbers) we leave less room in the system for harvestable fish 14-19 inch fish. Remember that we must share these walleyes (14-19 inch) with the cormrants

2. Is there an equation of pounds of fish in a lake to pounds of forage required to support them. If so does a 5 pounder carry the same impact on forage as a 1 pounder. Is the forage base upto the impact that the future holds - Shiners have been tougher to get for the past few seasons not just this year. Big fish have to eat - with a 28 inch top to the slot harvest, a 19 incher gets to live the remainder of it's days as preditor only. Probally 12-15 years dieing of old age or other factors tied to the forage base. Most 28 inch fish are released. Include the sturgeon in the preditor colum, I have witness them feed at night in bays along the river just below the surface, head cocked back and sucking in shiners by the thousands, plus have boated 3 on crankbaits (mouth hooked) in the past 2 seasons. 2 in Oct 1 in June. They don't get to 50 plus pounds by eating bugs.

Is it possible for the predators including cormorants in LOW to wipe out a walleye year classes prior to reaching the 14 inch range. It did happened on Mille Lacs.

3. Is it a good idea to focus 100% of harvest on 3-5 year classes of fish in any lake. Past DNR reg. on other big MN waters have big impacts on the targeted year classes and these are lakes that have good weed lines for small fish to forage, hide and grow in. Without the major weedlines the predators can have a hay day on smaller fish. Hiding in numbers works until the numbers are down.

If you know of any major weedlines please share them with us as these will be the best slot areas in years to come. 4-mile bay may end up being the best slot area on the lake. The river is another good bet for slots in the future as it seems to hold small fish a season or two before they move to the lake, they may look at extending that stay a season or two to become larger before hitting the lake. Better chance of being a predator than prey at 17 inches.

4. When and if harvest numbers drop big time by pounds ( Mille Lacs @ 60,000 - 70,000 for 2 years straight - remember Millic Lacs can support more harvest than Lake of the Woods )will adjustments and corrections be made. That may sounds totally crazy to you ( harvest numbers that low ) but it is a fact. Direct effect of being a slot lake.

Mix in the fact that the past two ice seasons have been perfect for bring volumes of fishermen ( delivered by mother nature ) to LOW. Early, early ice, and no ice related fatalities making the 10pm news just like the low # of 60,000 - 70,000 is distorted by factors so is the high number that has driven these changes.

In regards to Red Lake and its walleyes only 1 group wanted them back in and those are the folks that removed them in the first place. Guess what, you and I foot the bill and if they choose to those folks can make them dissappear again. I'm guessing they might get smart this time, leave the fish alone and build a casino instead.

That Crappie thing was a once in a lifetime deal on that scale. A direct effect of what can happen when things get out of balance.

Limit reductions esp. in winter are needed. A manditory slot is what many resorts would like to avoid and could tip the scales of balance (in business and fishing) in a unforseen direction. You have to say fishing in the LOW area has been consistant for a long time w/ the 1 over 19.5 reg.

One of the real questions is will folks cover the hundreds of miles for less when more is available in other places and if they don't will the drive-in guys start booking rooms in the area to fill in the gaps. Yes they go to Rainy Lake and Canada for less in numbers, but someone needs to get going on building all those little islands in Big Traverse Bay to make it more tourist friendly.

If the slot is put on I'm afraid the only way it would be pulled of is when big walleyes start eating all the little sturgeon and their young of the year.

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curt quesnell

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curt quesnell

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Eiger0304

When do the new regs go into effect? Suppose to go out of Wigwam second week of Dec. Hopefully we have ice by then.

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curt quesnell

Its not a done deal yet, but It could happen as early

as Dec 1 this year.

We will see.

This isnt just a LOW deal, "adjustments" are being made

on large lakes all over the state. It is the future of

fishing everywhere.

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wareagle

Casting, here is my take on your questions.

1) You are correct. A lake does have a carrying capacity. As for what it is on LOW I don’t know. The key is to keep a diversity of large individuals in the system. This helps maintain stability in the spawning stock and also decreases the chance of boom and bust cycles that often happen in systems that have little age diversity in it’s spawning stock. I believe the goal of the DNR is to create a stable fishery by keeping the harvest at sustainable levels.

2) There is no equation that I’m aware of without diving into the literature. However, generally speaking smaller fish tend to eat more because they put more energy into growth whereas larger fish tend to put more energy into reproduction. It’s similar to humans. How often do baby’s eat? Generally, every 2-3 hours with meals being small (I’m guessing. I don’t have kids) whereas adults generally eat 2-3 larger meals a day. Also, the diet of smaller fish generally does not overlap those of larger fish. In general, I would say that smaller fish eat 4-5 times more prey items than a larger fish. Keep in mind that larger fish generally feed less and on larger prey items such as (in Lake of the Woods) tullibee, perch, suckers, and yes even walleye and sauger.

So let’s add sturgeon to the mix. Their impact I would believe would be negligible. I say this because their mouths are evolved to feed on the bottom and not at the surface. I don’t dispute your observations, but I think it is rare. Similar to catching them on crankbaits 3 in 2 years I would say is pretty rare. As for sturgeon not getting big feeding on invertebrates, consider whales, the biggest ones feed on krill (glorified shrimp).

As for Mille Lacs being wiped out by cormorants, if it did I never heard about it. If you have an article about that please send me a link to it. The cormorant population on LOW has been stable since the mid 1990’s.

3) Is it a good idea to focus 100% of the harvest on 3-5 year classes? Talking with the DNR in Baudette, they’ve indicated that 90% of the harvest is already targeted on fish < 20” so essentially nothing will change. Not to mention 50% of fish > 20” are being released. Going back to predator/prey interactions comparing Mille lacs to LOW is like comparing apples to oranges, each lake is different. Mille Lacs has a much less complex food web than does LOW. Mille Lacs has a walleye/yellow perch food web. Mainly a yoy yellow perch forage base however tullibee are present. However, Mille Lacs has a tendency to have summer kills of tullibee. The food web on LOW is rather complex with perch, tullibee, shiners, crayfish and seasonal mayfly hatches. If one forage species decreases there is a buffer due to the other prey available.

4) Will adjustments and corrections be made if harvest levels plummet? I can’t answer that. That is something that the DNR would have to answer. I would assume that it would go through a 10 year experimental phase and then be reevaluated.

Will anglers still come if a limit reduction and slot is placed? That’s the $1 million dollar question. I can’t answer that I wish I could. I wish we could poll the viewers of this site.

Curt, is it possible to put a poll on this web site? I would be curious as to the results of that type of a poll. My gut feeling is “yes” people will still come, but it might be a different clientele. I think resorts need to market the limit reductions as a positive and not a negative.

Finally, the restocking of Red Lake was not just because of one group, but a cooperative effort between state and federal agencies and well as the Indian band. I’m sure that lake will be watched a lot closer once it is reopened in 2006.

I hope this you find this information helpful.

WAR EAGLE!!

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warrior

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />I have to say i am very impressed with all of this information and is very good reading, kudos wareagle. I am a part time resident on the lake and do agree with a 4 fish limit although it may have an impact on the local economy as far as people making a living from charter fishing? This will have to play out, we'll see.

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curt quesnell

Thanks War eagle

I think we can do a poll, I will check

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      Angling regulations on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River in northern Minnesota would change under a proposal being considered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to reduce the number of walleye and sauger allowed to be kept in the winter on the lake, and on the river allowing only catch-and-release fishing for those fish in the spring.  “We recently went through a public process of updating the Lake of the Woods Fisheries Management Plan and identified several potential areas of concern with regard to current levels of harvest,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette fisheries supervisor. “That’s why we’re discussing these potential changes.” The proposed changes would reduce the aggregate limit of walleye and sauger in the winter to align with the summer regulations on Lake of the Woods, and make spring angling on the Rainy River catch-and-release for walleye and sauger. The changes would go into effect starting March 1, 2019. Anglers will see yellow signs at public water accesses around Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River later this month notifying the public of the proposal. Future news releases will provide the details of a formal public comment period during the fall, and will include ways to provide comment to the DNR on the proposal. For more information on Lake of the Woods management go to mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.