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GEO

Muskies and walleyes

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GEO

Does anyone think the relatively new presence of muskies has had any kind of impact on the abundance of walleyes on Miltona??

I recently got into a debate with a friend of mine about this. My position is that muskies don't have an impact on a walleye population other than positive, although I use Mille Lacs, Leech, and LOTW as examples of lakes with an abundance of walleyes and muskies.. those bodies of water are much larger than Miltona.

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ghotierman

GEO...Miltona doesn't match the size of LOTW or Leech or Mille Lacs, but it is a big enough body of water to house a diverse gamefish population. At over 5800 acres, there is enough littoral area to support muskies as well as walleyes. It is a hot issue on Miltona. Yet, the reality of any decline in panfish, or walleyes is most likely attributable to increased fishing pressure, and shoreland development...not musky predation. Miltona is a natural walleye factory, with reproduction out-pacing stocking efforts. It also has a strong enough forage base to be a world class muskie fishery...like the big lakes. (evidenced by the 54-55 incher washed up on the south shore this summer)

What do others think....
weigh in and continue this discussion!

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Northeast Outfitters
915 Hwy 29 N NE
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 763-9598

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Smitty

I used to fish Miltona quite a bit and it's a tough question. At a minimum, I think the Muskie population makes you change the way you fish for walleyes. At least from what I've seen, the eyes seem to be more on smaller mid lake structures or deep weedlines. Used to be able to catch them in that 10-17' range on the edges of many of the flats.

Without a doubt the muskie is a pure predator and I'm sure eat some walleye. However, I don't know if it's enough to impact the population. I guess if I'd had my choice, I'd have said pick another lake to stock the ski's (only my personal preference). Miltona was certainly a fantastic walleye fishery and the DNR netting surveys are way down in recent years.

If it's like it was a couple years ago, I'm sure the resort owners still have a strong opinion about which side they're on.

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Tonka Boy

There is a post in the Mille Lacs forum called "DNR deal rejected by tribe". If you read into it, there is a good explaination of walleye/muskie relationships. This may help.

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Tonka Boy

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Anderland

Great information on that post Tonka Boy.Its good to see people using rational sense about this topic. There are some good thoughts here on the issue but I've got one more point to consider. From what I've witnessed I think one of the most important factors next to fishing pressure that hasn't been mentioned is the strength of different year classes. For those who fish Miltona regularly it should be fairly easy to see there hasn't been a strong year-class (natural reproduction) for a few years now. As Smitty referred to approximately 5 years ago there was an abundance of 14-15 inch walleyes being caught on Miltona showing us there had been an exceptional year-class produced a few years earlier. Fishing for numbers (not size) was fantastic and people were taking walleyes out in bucket-loads (another problem). Did anyone blame the musky for the great walleye fishing then...I don't think so. The muskies have been in the lake since 1982 so it's not like they were just introduced. I'm sure many of you have witnessed that over the last few years the average size walleye caught has completely changed, catching a 5 pound walleye in not uncommon these days while catching a 1 pound walleye has become less common. And like all good lakes I'm sure over the next couple of years this year-class cycle will change again as we get some "normal" spring weather that is conducive to walleye spawning success. There have been numerous studies conducted on this subject of year-class and the effects on a fishery, probably most notable are the studies I've seen on Mille Lacs. In addition (this summer and last winter aside) over the last 3 years I've had some of the best walleye fishing I've ever had on Miltona. Anyway, I personally have a hard time listening to the tale that the muskies ate all the walleyes. In my opinion if that's someones story they either haven't been on the water enough (or at all in some cases) or may not be the most talented angler in the world - hardly the muskies fault.

In reality Miltona was and still is a fantastic walleye fishery, and like ghotierman said is now developing into a world class musky fishery. And regarding the 54-55 inch musky that ghotierman referred to that was found dead, I think it just adds to the Miltona mystique knowing that a state record class fish could welcome some lucky angler. I know I'll be out there hoping to be that lucky angler! See ya on the water everyone.

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Tonka Boy

I read an article in the July 2001 issue of Infisherman that states, Wisconsin muskie waters average .42 muskies per acre. I'm not quite sure what the ratio is in MN waters, but I would venture to say the numbers are similar(keep in mind that is the average). To me .42 fish/acre doesn't seem like a strong enough force to change the entire walleye population.

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Tonka Boy

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