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Sarge

I was just wondering if any body else received a questionnaire/survey from the DNR about SE MN trout fishing. Leah got one early last week, but I didn't and no one else I have talked did either. Maybe getting info for LTM?

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Jim W

Nope I didn't. Why would they ask someone who fishes as much as I do? That would make too much sense.

Jim W

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J.A.Say.Tree

Nope... I didn't get anything like that.

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DARK30

NOPE. WHAT DOES IT ASK YOU? MAYBE WE COULD ALL SEND THEM ONE ANYWAY.

WET NETS!

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cast,cast,cast,cast......

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Sarge

It basically asked if you fished the winter season and how often, and how often you fished in the summer, and if you fished this past season.

The letter that came with it, said depending how you answered them you may recieve a longer survey. It did give a name and phone number of somebody in the DNR, can get it if anyone is interested.

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Guest

My father, who is not an avid trout angler and just buys a stamp for the hell of it, received one in July/August. I filled it out for him and he mailed it in.

The survey had two parts: southeast MN and Great Lakes. I don't frequent the Great Lakes so I didn't fill any of that out. The southeast questions ranged from ranking your outings in terms of success, enjoyment, quality, did you fish to get your limit, catch and release, the quality of large trout, the quality of your outing, was the purpose to fish alone or with friends, how much money did you spend on your trip, how many times you get out a year, the methods used for trout angling. The list goes on and on.

It was the most detailed questioannaire that I filled out in a long time and in all honesty, I hammered the survey pretty good. From my vantage point (and you are all welcome to disagree), spending time in TU and actually reading and looking at creel surveys and rates of harvest, and seeing first hand the negative effects that over-harvest has (5 trout limit with one over 16?? sounds like a 1960's way on conservation), I drilled the surveyors: I want more regulations, a stress on large trout management, more habitat improvement, expansion of the winter season, and management of the ENTIRE coldwater resource that is forward thinking. You want an example of forward thinking - Wisconisn. Individual streams management. Evaluate each stream with a set of criteria, study it, and figure out a reasonbale set of regulations for it instead of the one regulation fits all. It sounds like I'm a grassroots conservation freak, but I'm not affiliated politically at all; I just want some positive change for the resource and more protective measures to create a better fishery than we already have.

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Guest

Hopper - In today's economic climate, your chances of getting individual management are pretty slim. Until our legislative officials start looking at our natural resources as a possible source of tourism income, the DNR will continue to live on a shoestring budget. What that means to us is that out of neccecity the DNR will look more at a regional management plan that is far less costly to sustain.

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Fish On!
Big Lew

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Guest

I agree to an extent about the economic situation. Perhaps Large Trout Management may be Minnesota's version of individual waters management. Rumor has it that LTM is going to include up to 25 streams, or at least that is the proposal on the table. Many factors go into selection of LTM streams (see previous post about LTM), so this may be as good as it gets for now.

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DARK30

RIGHT NOW THE ECONOMIC CLIMATE IS PRETTY GREY AND CLOUDY IN GENERAL. I LIKE THE IDEA OF CATCHING SOME 17-20" FISH MORE CONSISTANTLY LIKE I USED TO. I THINK THEY SHOULD CLOSE A PORTION OF THE ROOT RIVER TO ANY HARVEST AT ALL ( MAYBE THE PART RIGHT BEHIND MY CAMPER!)
THERES REALLY TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON THESE FISH NOW DAYS.

BOY ITS GETTING LATE, THE GUYS HATE ME AGAIN...I TOOK ALL THEIR MONEY! LOVE THAT DUCES WILD.
WET NETS!

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Guest

I love the idea of special regulations on the Root (trout for now, but I could see smallmouth regs. also). It's a large watershed, has tremendous numbers of forage fish, but like Dark said, it gets absolutely hammered. How does a 16-20 protective slot (catch and release) sound on certain stretches - think of the potential to produce some extremely large and nasty browns!

Others I have talked to seem to think that if there is going to be a change in regulations that there needs to be more enforcement. I'm not sure that is absolutely necessary (although I was checked twice this year - two more times than I was checked between 1987 and 2001). It's an education issue - teaching others that they can catch all the fish they can handle, but they cannot keep whatever they please.

LTM uses data that the DNR has colleted via electro-shocking, which is not an expense above and beyond standard budgeting. It may be the most cost effective measure that's a viable option for some change in the way the resource is run, considering that the future probably does not hold a great deal of fringe benefits in terms of funds for the DNR.

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Jim W

Great conversation and information!!

I would have to agree with Hopper that increased enforcement isn't the only way to promote an improved fishery!!

Word of mouth, fishingminnesota.com(and all other fishing sites), by example and DNR enforcement I think are key to developing a long living ideology that would significantly enhance our wonderful streams and rivers of SE MN!

Yes, law would help, but in relation to an earlier comment by Hopper, If everyone followed the law each time on the water, taking 5 trout with one over 16 inches....fwheuuwww!!! That IS a legal catch!

Taking an extra moment out of your day to talk with other fisherman about the future of our trout and smallmouth in SE MN would greatly effect their future! DO NOT play God with people, because they can follow the law!

Rather, simply assist in putting things in perspective.

I want to share a brief fishing vignette that occurred last year fishing with Sarge on one of our favorite tribs to the Root.


We noticed a couple young fellows(early college age) fishing a stretch we frequent.

First, we noticed a dead sucker laying on the shore, then we noticed a styrofoam crawler container on shore. We mozied(sp?) on up to them to ask how they were doing and if they recieved permission to fish this stretch of posted water.

They mumbled something while pointing at the house hearby.(I always ask this landowner everytime before I go, and he would have told me there were two guys fishing ahead of me).

Then they showed me a stringer of 3 fish one near 20 inches and two near 16inches. At this point, I had to hold Sarge back , asking the guys if they could tell me how many trout they could keep OVER 16 inches. One just shrugged, the other blurped out "5 or 6 I think"!

These young gentleman could have been flagged for 4 violations.
1. Littering
2. Throwing a fish on shore
3. Keeping too many fish over 16 inches
4. Trespassing

They asked us if we were DNR and we simply replied, "No just concerned fisherman"!

Did we do them any good???? Will the obey laws on the future? Maybe not, but they sure will remember getting question by Sarge and I!

This is one of the reasons, I want to have my Second Annual Trout Day. If anything to reinforce management(Not being "Trout Cops"), but to remind people of what we really could and can have for trout fishing in SE MN!! ALong with sharing in the pure enjoyment of a wonderful God given beauty,

The Root River system!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

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Guest

Your vignette was one that I have heard before. If I was a betting man, I'd say that it could go either way as to whether or not your story had any influence on those youngsters. Someone was telling me that there are four levels to an outdoorsman:

1.) You want to catch/shoot your game
2.) You want to catch/shoot your limit
3.) You want to catch/shoot a trophy
4.) You want to catch/shoot due to aesthetic enjoyment.

Some people never get beyond level two, so hopefully those youngins were on their way to becoming better outsdoorsmen. Your talk could be helpful in making them realize what they were doing was wrong, or it could be taken as some guys telling them what to do and it could anger them and make them not want to be conservation oriented.

The education process never ends. I beleive that educating people in a factual, unintimidating factor does the best good. I certainly do not have all of the answers about how to run the resource, conservation issues (although I have a strong opinion), regulations, and ethics. We'll always have those who rape and pillage the resource needlessly, but getting to the kids and teaching them ethics early is the key.

Your Trout Day is certainly a stepping stone in the right direction for that.

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Sarge

Well I actually have the letter in my hands now. Before it was read to me over the phone.

This survey was actually from the University of MN, department of forest resources. And says the U.M. is doing this study for the DNR fisheries division. I plan on emailing the project manager tonight for more info.

"Vignette"-sure, make me pull out the dictionary. Knew I should have stayed in school and paid attention!

But yes Jim I remember that day well, wish I would have aproached it differently, but when you see first hand somebody possibly "recking it" for everybody else and showing no respect for the land owner or the resources it is frustrating.

As for being "Trout Cops" I think it is my responsibility to "protect and serve" this resource that I enjoy. Serve by helping educate people, and protect by "turning in poachers". Is this attitude wrong?

I do like the idea of a 16 to 20 inch protective slot if it would help, I would not mind seeing that for all SE MN. But I guess that shows that I'm stuck between levels 3 and 4 (getting a trophy and just pure enjoyment of the sport). That big fish thing, sure can make miles of walking and deer flies a little easier to deal with.

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SEwalleye

I hope that you guys are not trying to put us all in the same category. I am a college student, and I personally practice C&R. In fact I do quite a bit of trout and smallie fishing and haven't even kept a fish in the past 3 years.(not to say that it is wrong to keep a couple for supper) I think that you have to remember that there are as many "older people" running around doing the same thing that those boys did that day.

I feel that it all starts when we are young. My Dad took the TIME to teach me how to fish. He also taught me how to be ethical and find the enjoyment of just being in nature(Thanks Dad). That is why I think that the Annual Trout Day is a great event. When the "old and wise" pass on their knowledge, we "young and foolish" can learn. Granted not all of "us" do, but by passing on the knowledge to those that are willing to listen, we will all benefit.

So what it all boils down to is that "us" youngsters who have already found the shear enjoyment of just being alongside a stream, should thank "you" wisemen for trying to protect something that will only benefit "us" in the future!! So thanks to all of you who do fish and hunt ethically.

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J.A.Say.Tree

Excellent exchange boyz!!!


Good lunchtime reading material indeed!


I've heard that "college kids story" a couple times now, and everytime I can picture the scene. Those fish on that stringer were our babies... most likely caught and released by one, if not two, of our threesome over the course of the year(s). And now they were strung up... makes me mad to even think about it.


But I also want us to remember that it wasn't long ago that we (and we know who we are) were those "kids" doing some things that definately pushed the boundaries of ethical fishing. When you're young... you're foolish.


But now that we're older, we understand the importance of conservation & find more pleasure in the pursuit of game than the taking of it.


So I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe at least one of these kids thought twice about "stringing up" such dandy trout. I doubt it, but someday they'll realize it was foolish. And who knows, maybe they'll be the ones to bring their children to the 12th annual "Trout Day" and the educational process can get a jump start on the next generation.


JA


[This message has been edited by J.A.Say.Tree (edited 12-10-2001).]

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Jim W

SEwalleye,

No stereotyping intended. Just an example. All age groups have been represented in the lack of understanding category. We need to make every attempt to broaden the understanding of conservation through selective harvesting.
I don't consider myself "old" yet. I will be a student of our great outdoors for my whole life. Learning never ceases!!


Hope to see you at Trout Day on APril 27th!

Jim W

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Guest

I'm not "old" yet either, but it wasn't too many years back that a few buddies and myself went on the once a weeke excursion and kept 3-4 trout each for the grill. Do that for 6-7 weeks a summer and that's a significant amount of trout harvested from a stream. We obviously have learned out lesson since then.

I use the analogy with people that if I like to play catch with my football every day, I wouldn't eat it; then I obviously couldn't play with it anymore. The same holds true to the resource. I encourage people to keep a few fish once in a while, and even keep that 20 inch monster to mount (not eat) maybe once in their life.

I agree with SEWally that there are plenty of "older" gentlemen who are stream side with their white five gallon bucket and can of worms, just like there is the younger generation doing the smae thing. Over harvesting is cross-generational.

As for policing, NO ONE is wrong to play policeman. CO's cannot be everywhere in the field, so those of us who get out quite a bit and see law breakers need to report them immediately. There's no room for complaining if we don't turn in law breakers.

I talked to a CO the last weekend before the season closed and he told me they were running into significant amounts of people still harvesting trout during the late catch and release period. I have no problem wiht being checked - I wish I would see them more. But if they aren't around to catch every little infraction, we have to be the ones to blow the whistle (on all people - young and old alike).

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J.A.Say.Tree

Hey SEWalleye,

No stereotyping meant... just sharing a concern (with a few personal references). Sometimes it's the "old dog that needs to learn a new trick," and sometimes it's just plain inexperience or lack of knowledge... and sometimes it's raw poaching.

Sometimes it's the bait fisherman who doesn't cut his line when the 5 cent hook is buried. Sometimes it's the flyfisherman who luckily hits an amazing caddis hatch that allows him to catch 30, 40 or even more fish in an evening-but overfights, uses a net for everyone, and basically mishandles many of the fish all together.

What I'm trying to say is there is no one age group or method that can be singled out as problematic. It's up to each individual angler to take responsibility for his or her actions on the water. And education is the key. Some people may never learn, and that's were the CO's come in!

Anyway, I'm spewing again... and I need to get to work!!!

JA!

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SEwalleye

Hey guys- I didn't mean that you were "old", just older than a 20 year old college kid. Have a great day and pray for ice!!!!

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DARK30

TALK ABOUT IGNORANT......I GOT PICTURES OF A PICNIC TABLE COVERED WITH TROUT THAT I HAD A HAND IN CATCHING. WE DIDN'T THINK ABOUT "NEXT YEAR" OR "OUR KIDS" WE JUST TOOK WITHOUT GIVING. I'M NOT PROUD OF THAT AND IT TOOK AWHILE FOR ME ANYWAY TO LEARN HOW TO REALLY ENJOY FISHING!
WET NETS!

P.S. NOW THAT I'M 40 DO I HAVE TO JUST SIT ON A BUCKET AND FISH FOR SUNNIES OR SIT ON THE BANK AND DROWN CRAWLERS? I LIKE TO THINK I'LL ALWAYS BE 20 AND JUST A LITTLE SMARTER!

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Sarge

The Project Manager of this survey emailed me back with this.

"The primary goal of the project is to develope a potential classification system of trout streams in SE MN based not only on trout type/size/aboundance, but also on desirable physical, social and managerial characteristics of streams. The project will identify the different characteristics that are important to anglers. It will not mandate specific status for any specific stream or stream strech. The DNR may use the information from this study to develope a more comprehensive stream management system that reflects the desires of anglers in SE MN. Project findings will likely recommend that the data from the study be used in conjunction with an involved public planning process to develop such a system."

He also said that he will send me a copy of the second survey after its been approved by the DNR in early january.

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Sarge

And yes I also have a picture of myself and another holding a "forked stick-stringer" with our limit of 12inch+ brown trout.

I still remember that particular day vividly every time I see that picture. But years sure can change your ideas, goals and values.

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