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from 6 to 4 for walleye limit


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Who's in favor of lowering the walleye limit from 6 to 4 fish? Who's against it?

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  • crankineyes_1

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  • Dave B

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  • crappie jigga

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  • Fisher Dave

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Against - should be on a lake by lake basis. People say this can't work but I don't believe it. Ontario has done it for years.

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Ok guys .. in all reality .. what percentage of the fishermen/women get to go out and have the opportunity to CATCH, let alone keep a limit of walleyes on the majority of their fishing trips througout the year? Yes, there are some avid anglers that are very familiar with their bodies of water and can coax a *limit* of fish to take their bait on a semi-regular basis, but few and far between... especially in the mid-summer months and mid-late winter. I consider myself to be a far *better-than-average* angler, but due to my regular bodies of water I now fish, a *limit* is rare and is based upon lots of luck along with the knowledge I have for the body of water. I mainly fish a lake with a good walleye population, and minimal pressure. An average *evening bite* will usually account for 4-6 keeper walleyes to 2 anglers in the boat ... or 2-3 walleyes each. Once every couple months the stars will line up just right and a limit will be taken. At the rate I take walleyes from this body of water, it is rare that I will have more than one extra meal in the freezer to feed my family(3 people)... We like to eat fish. This is on top of the crappies that I harvest from the same lake, which accounts for an equal number of meals.

Taking my families harvest/consumption into account.. I dont see where the limits are anything less than reasonable the way they are on the bodies of water I fish.... not because its me fishing there, because its only a few other anglers besides myself that fish this body of water .. or a 1000 acre lake with a overall harvest level of 15-30 walleyes a week(all anglers combined)... the lake can handle it.

I do realize there are some exceptional bodies of water out there that recieve higher pressure and are more prone to produce more walleyes, and a far higher harvest due to the number of anglers/catchability of the fish... but this in no way describes the average bodies of water in the Majority of the state.

Put the lower limit, or tighter slot limit on the popular, high pressure lakes that people look forward to vacationing at and still having a great catch rate, or any lakes with considerable pressure for their size that are immediately endangered by overharvest.... Other than that, leave the other 9950 lakes the way they are.

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Yup.
What Dave said! smile.gif
There are a few waters that I can get a limit for every one in the boat, every time I go out,provided the bite is in "season".Not all.
I do believe that the majority of average anglers strugle for a limit every time out,or even the avid fishermen other than the "best bites".
Of course this is coming from a guy who does practice selective harvest.
I think the best way to manage a fishery is by slot limits.Its becoming a cliche,but let the big ones go and only keep the smaller males.I strongly encourage this with my clients,and they usually agree...usually.
If we police ourselves we don't need as much resources going to enforce the game laws.Less money out of our pockets come tax time or better fishing when we are out.

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I think the MNDNR has done substantial research (creel samples, test netting and angler surveys) into sustainable fish populations and currently recommnends a general six fish limit with special regulations for specific lakes. The six to four issue had a lot of discussion last year at the statewide DNR public meetings. I don't think there was any evidence that cutting back the limit would result in better fishing. There is sone info on the DNR website about his issue.

I agree with Fisher Dave about the number of times the average angler gets their limit, but the limit is very effective when the fish are ganged up in the spring and fall. This is especially true on lakes like Vermillion, Kabby-Namakan-Crane, Rainy, and most of the BWCA where 50 fish days are not uncommon.

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I've been for it for a couple years. Speaking just for myself, I can live with four and over the long term "conservation" is what's going to help keep my favorite pastime healthy.

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another big debate, this is gonna be a long one, i would say it would have to be on a lake to lake basis, or manage some lakes for trophy, strictly c and r or one fish and some lakes for eaters,but maybe that is not possible.
Best fishes
chris

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Or on some lakes, you can go with the slot.

Slots for Lots of Photo Ops.

An argument against slots is they dont work in lakes that are stocked with walleye.

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I fish the St.Louis a lot and I can only keep 2. 4 would be fine but as stated above I think it has to be lake to lake and river to river. Im really in favor of slots these days.

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I have no problem with putting the limit to 4 if it makes a better fishery. Kinda like Fisher Dave said 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish. And I would guess that the 10% of them practice alot of C&R. The last time if fished in Onterio I belive the limit was 4 and a slot of 1 over 18". If this helps better the fishing oppertunitys I"m all for it.

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Speaking of Canada, the area I go to, there are 2 resorts. The first gives a substantial rate reduction if all you do is c&r, the other is a complete c&r resort. Both have no problem filling because of this. The only fish you keep are the ones you eat at shore lunch. They have both been like this for a while now and the fishing already seems to be much better, just a few years ago the average fish caught was around 10 inches, last year was the best fishing we have had, the average size was close to 20 inches. We spoke to the owner about this and he truly believes that it is because of the conservation. Right after he went to the c&r program he lost a few people but he has made up on double bookings per year because the quality has improved so much.

JegerJack

------------------
"What did the old man trade for these guys, a used puck bag?"

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Do I get my limit everytime I go? Absolutley NOT! I'm just refering to the times when a limit is easy to get.

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For a number of years I've thought about this topic. I am strongly in favor of this. Especially in my area or areas that receive a lot of angling pressure. As for the commerce aspect, there will be no change. Take South Dakota for example, the last few years with exeptional fishing and a lower limit. People still go there and spend money on fishing. If you improve fishing, people will always go where they catch fish. While I was in SD(when they had a 4 fish limit) I have never heard anyone say they have weren't able to keep enough fish. Most people were happy if they could catch fish a keep a few.

Jason Erlandson

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Dave's Sportland Bait and Tackle
Sportland Guide Service Hwy 371 & Cty Rd 13
Nisswa MN

218-963-2401

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So many are in favor of lowering the limit because its rare that we actually catch, or keep a limit anyhow ...

So, if we lower the limit from 6 to 4, what difference is it going to make when we are not catching(average per person) 4 or 6 in the 1st place to keep?

If we fish our hardest now and only catch 2-3 keeper fish.. its not going to make a difference if the limit is 4, 6, or 600.

So .. once the limit is 4 and the fishing does not improve .. what is next? A slot limit that will restrict us to keeping fish between 14"-15".

Some things are best left alone... If something is going to change .. change it on the pressured waters, or lakes that cant sustain the population of fish people are harvesting.

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I think it obviously comes down to a question of $$$. The state does not have the cash nor the man power to effectively keep some sort of slot or limit number for every lake, with the exception of the larger & more popular ones (i.e.. red & mille). I guess the only answer is to get more funding. We can do this by increasing our out of state licenses, to say one hundred bucks for a 3 days fishing pass. Limit out of state folks to one fish per man and do not let them fish until at lest June (this last part was a joke...)

JegerJack

------------------
"What did the old man trade for these guys, a used puck bag?"

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I think besides cutting the limit, there should be a state-wide minimum size, like 14 or 15 inches. There isn't enough meat on a shorter fish to justify killing it. I watched a guy on the upper Minnesota River catch and keep a limit for himself and his 5 or 6 year old daughter of 10 to 12 inch Walleyes. My son and I caught and released over 50 fish in a couple hours that night. There were several people that seemed to fish every day that wouldn't leave without their daily limit. All small ones. When I fished there the next year, it was hard to find a fish. When you kill a 10 inch fish, its pretty certain that it will never grow to be 16 or 18 inches long.

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The way it is here in South Dakota, you have to check the regulations every time you move to another lake because they are different. I remember when the limit was eight Walleyes state wide. Fishing pressure is what caused it. Has it helped? I think it has. Rule of thumb, when the pressure goes up the limit goes down. Too bad but it is a fact of life.

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STAY ON TOP

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I see no problem with a 4 fish limit. Alot of fishermen dont go home with a limit of 6 very often.

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I moved from MN to SD 3 years ago, so I have experienced both a 6 and a 4 walleye limit.

Honestly, loosing the opportunity to bring home an extra 2 fish has made no difference to me. I still fish every time I get the chance. I still give a ton of fish away to people and have enough to feed my family. Plus I enjoy catching and releasing a lot also.

I grew up fishing in SW MN fishing lakes like Benton, Wood, Shakatan, Hendricks etc.. And when these lakes turned on, people came rolling in. Everyone taking home their limit day after day. Ashamed to admit it, in my younger years, I was one of those people. I am almost embarrassed to have people see the pics of these slaughters. And now, I ask myself, did I really need all of those fish? Would I of had fun if I could not have taken home 6? Heck yeah! The day would have been just as memerable if I had only kept 4!

I get a kick out of the guys that put so much emphasis on the "meat" aspect of fishing. "Gotta bring em home to have a giant fish fry"! Honestly, if you think about it, a meal of walleyes is probably the most expensive meal known to man. If you are concerned about feeding your family, than go to the store and buy 6 T-bones and get by cheaper than 6 walleyes.

This is not meant to bash anyone's oppinions. I just feel that cutting the limit down would be some cheap insurance for your future.

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Man....how come it seams everyone gets their limit but me??????


I'm in with Dave and Dennis. It's ridiculous to think that certain bodies of water are ever touched by "regular" fishing pressure. It just doesn't happen. However there are the rare cases out there that need some protection from time to time. Some lakes are suseptable to fishing pressure.

But from what I hear on this website from some people and how good they are at getting a limit, Man....maybe we should cut the limit???

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icehousebob,

what we have learned from Wisconsin is that a 14" minumum is a great way to grow 13" walleye. It is better to let the various acceptable sizes viewed by anglers determine the size they keep to avoid pressure on a certain size and year class of walleye.

But, as far as those guys keeping those 10-12 walleye, they are actually doing little harm to the system. Those are the most numeruous fish in the system therefore creating the most competition for forage. By thinning the most abundant population you are actually increasing the growth rate of the remaining walleye. By keeping that 18" walleye ,which has less company of walleye the same size in the lake, and is just reaching spawning size, you are doing more to put a dent in the walleye population than keeping a couple or even more than a couple of smaller ones.

I'm not saying everyone should keep 10" walleye but rather to each his own, which disperses fishing pressure on the walleye population.

ccarlson

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I am a SD resident and I am not sure why the Minnesotan's wouldn't be happy to lower limits. It is my view that with the increasing pressure on every lake in the area along with the increase in technology that people would be a little more worried about the future of our fish.

The Internet has given people the resources to find a good bite almost instantly and as soon as one starts, its is on every board across the web. As this happens, we need to take PROACTIVE measures to protect our resources. Unfortunaltey in SD, all measures seem to be reactive at this point and we are licking our wounds for it.

And for those who say a 4 fish is not enough....Obviously it must be for a lot of MN fisherman because I see plenty of them on SD waters with 4 fish limits.

Think about it guys, its your lakes. Don't screw up a good thing.

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This would just be a feel good law for some that would have little or no impact on the fisheries.

Look at the reports-99% of people are happy to find 1-2 eyes in a night. Also-how many times can you honestly say that you took home more that 4 18"+ fish? So the extra 2 that are harvested (if someone catches 6) are likely smaller males anyway.

I fish 100% C&R pool 2 and love it-so I dont care. I go to Vermilion once or twice a year and take a limit of 15-16"ers home for my family. If that was 4, it would be OK too, but it is nice to be able to come home w/ 6 from a long weekend of fishing.

I am all for a 14-15" minimum on all lakes and rivers. But there is no proof that dropping the limit will improve the fisheries any noticable amount. I am sick of stricter laws that will have no impact (can you tell me that a driver at .09 is drunk but at .08 is OK-come on people).

[This message has been edited by Dave B (edited 04-07-2004).]

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Most people here assume that all fishermen have the same values pertaining to catch and release as the people on this forum. Unfortunately that is far from the truth. I see people all of the time who take home nearly anything that they catch. Most of the time they throw back the littler ones and keep the bigger ones because "they make a bigger meal". There are some times during the year when it isn't too difficult to take home a limit. When word spreads there are more people who come. Many of these people are "pelicans", who take home "their fair share". If you lower the limit it will reduce the taking of fish on these days when people do catch their limits. For example, under the current law 15 people were to take their limit out of a lake in 1 week, a reduction to a limit of 4 would leave 30 more fish in that lake. On a lake with moderate pressure 15 limits a week is not unheard of. Think about it.

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Dave B. I have to respectfully disagree with you that there is no proof that lowering limits will make significant impact on fish numbers. Look at South Dakota's waters and regulations. The GF&P here regulates fisheries using limits as their tool.

From your input, it is easy to see that you have great ethical standards for taking the fish you need and catch and realeasing the rest. Do not be blinded into believing that everyone shares your beliefs.

It would be a "feel good" law for you, but it would keep more fish in your lakes...no way to deny that fact.

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muchowja and crankineye1
You both hit the nail on the head....
I don't understand why some folks don't get it... I realize there is more to it than just lowering the limits, but it would be a great start...
4 fish
16" to 20" slots, one fish over 20"
Adjust certian lakes accordingly to what they need....

Here's a good story for ya'll...
I fish a lake called Lake Benton, it's roughly 2800 acres in size.. 3 years ago the walleyes really took off and for about 2 weeks straight, there were roughly 100 boats that would launch and load every day... Keep in mind these fish could NOT keep their mouths shut, they were hitting anything that moved.... I would bet that 80% of the boats got their limit (2 people per boat)..
Not to mention the double dippers and the shore fisherman...
80 boats X 2 people equals 160 Limits X 6 fish equals 960 fish/day X 10 days equals 9600 fish...
If the limit would have been 4 fish, there would have been another 3200 fish still swimming the next day..
If you could only have 1 fish over 20" that would mean even more fish would have been released to catch another day..
If there would have been a slot on the lake even more would have been released to catch another day.. It's pretty simple math!

If anyone doughts that story contact anyone that fishes near Lake Benton.. Trust me they'll remember it...

Sorry for the rant!!

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Time for someone to be the voice of reason. Dropping the limit to 4 from 6 would have next to no effect on the status of the fisheries. For all those in favor of reducing the limit to 4, how about increasing the possession limit to 8? I hear alot of talk about 4 walleyes feeding a whole family, and I think you people have to have some pretty small appetites. I can easily eat 3 or 4 15 inch eyes, with a side of potatos. (I'm only 155 pounds, before somebody makes a fat joke.) Maybe some of you fillet your fish differently? Do the eyeballs and fins taste good? For those of us that don't get out often, dropping the limit would mean I would probably only get a meal of walleyes on opening weekend, and one meal for the rest of the year. Glad I don't have kids who like walleye yet. Plain and simple, if there is a lake that is harvested excessive or in danger of it, then use smaller limits or a slot limit. Doesnt WI have a 6 fish limit with 12 in possesion? Last time I fished there we did just fine off the dock on a lake I had never fished, and there was plenty of other fisherman on that lake, so it's not like it didnt recieve pressure. Large lakes in the Northern part of the state are not going to see that kinda pressure in even my lifetime (I'm 24) as long as people arent slaughtering the spawing females in the spring. The sky is not falling. A one fish over 20-24 inch rule statewide is good, anything else that reduces the walleye limit on the majority of lakes is just gonna make people feel better, not improve the fishing. I practice catch and release most of the time (I'm not about to eat river walleyes). I'm sure some of you are gonna have some good reponses to this.

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Crappie Jigga - Did you have fun this weekend? I saw you guys drive by, but never got the chance to say hi. If you see Jer, tell him Donny Moore says hi, then listen to the stories start to roll.

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jparruci -

Point #1 - I could care less about the guys that go once or twice a year and take home 6 fish. These are not the ones that are hurting the populations. Just because you fish once or twice a year doesn't mean that is what the majority of people do. People need to quit being selfish about taking a couple more fish home and look at the FACTS. Look at it this way.

100 boats on a lake for a 2 day weekend. Let's say that only 25% of them catch their limit. 25x6=150 x's 2 days=300 fish taken by only the 25% of the fisherman that caught their limits.

Now take the same scenario with a 4 fish limit 25x4=100 x's 2 days = 200 fish. You just saved 100 fish in weekend. It is VERY realistic that 25% of fisherman catch their limit.

NOW, take 2 people per boat and double those numbers and you have just saved 200 fish in a weekend.

You cannot argue these facts.

[This message has been edited by crankineyes_1 (edited 04-07-2004).]

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You are missing something. The DNR states that on average a fisherman in MN catches a walleye every 4 hours. So on any give day, average Joe fisherman will need to fish for 24 hours in a day to get a 6 fish limit. Now I like to fish, but I am rarely on the water for more than 10 hours in a day.

You cant set limits for the state of MN based on 2 weeks of a hot bite on your favorite lake.

If you believe that 4 is a better number, why not 1 or 2 or 3? Why is 4 so magical. The DNRs own numbers state that lowering the limit from 6 to 4 will lower the harvest rate by 2%. On the one or two days when an average fisherman runs into a good bite, or is on a weekend trip for once or twice a year, should he be limited to only 4 fish so that we can have 2% more fish in the water? That makes no sense.

I cant say that your numbers are wrong, but I can say you number are not representative of actual fishing conditions statewide. Most fisherman cannot catch a limit of fish. And the ones that can, likely release 95% of those fish. Also-how do you know that the extra 50% of fish that were harvested in your example did any damage to the fishery? If there are too many deer in a region, cant hunters take 3-4? Is that wrong too?

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