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Help me understand

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I am new to MN and to Mille Lacs so I'm sorry if I don't understand the entire situation.

I have read a lot of posts that claim that the reg's imposed by the DNR on Mille Lacs are for political reasons not the well being of the lake. I don't understand what the DNR has to gain by doing something that is not in the best interest of the lake. From what I understand the treaty is here to stay and there is nothing that the DNR can do about it except try and work around it.

Maybe I'm being naïve but it seams to me that the DNR has people that have gone to college to learn about how these ecosystem work. They have spent time studying the lake to the best of their ability and are doing what they believe is best for the lake. I don’t see any reason that they would do otherwise.

Like I said I'm new to the state and I want to get a better understanding of the situation. I would appreciate any information that help me understand why everyone seams so against DNR.

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Nuclear Fishin

They don't have anything to gain, but also don't have anything to lose. Do the fisheries managers get a pay increase or a new contract if the fishing is really going great? Or a pay cut if the fishing is bad?

The ones who are concerned and skeptical are the people who gain or lose economically as a result of the quality of fishery.

I think that everybody agrees on what the outcome of this issue should be, more fish to go around and a healthy lake for the future. The debate comes at a point where people disagree as to how to reach that outcome.

It kinda seems weird that there is even a debate when the fishing is so incredible, but people who have fished the lake for years are generally concerned about the future of the lake. They have never seen such unhealthy and hungry walleyes, along with so few baitfish. It seems the DNR skeptics are the ones who are not seeing the kind of progressive achievement for success that you get in the private sector where salaries are based on performance.

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Grabs

Chucker, check out this forum topic
http://fishingminnesota.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000635.html

In this link is a link to the Sternberg Report, this will give you a better understanding. And also take a closer look to the PERM website too.

To summarize how the lake is being managed,
the DNR are asked to predict the total population of the lake, a very challenging task. They then say that 24% is a safe harvestable limit, which equates to so many pounds, which I believe this year is 450,000lbs. Now the treaty says that the tribe can net so many pounds, which I think is at 100,000, so that leaves 350,000lbs for the anglers. The DNR than figures that to safely harvest only 350,000 pounds of walleye the anglers can only keep fish between 14-16" and one over 28". Now at last report, probably 2 weeks ago we were already at 300,000lbs harvested, but the DNR announced that they were not going to change the slot or impose any other regulations at least until Dec. 1st. So as you can see this lake is not being managed for the betterment of the lake, it is strictly politcal. I have stated it before, if this was the way to produce a world-class fishery than don't you think the DNR would have imposed similar limits on other walleye lakes in the state?

Go enjoy it now, it could be gone tomorrow!

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fisherman2.gif

[This message has been edited by Grabs (edited 07-08-2002).]

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Guest

I will read that article tonight. It looks quite interesting. Maybe this will all make more sense after I reed the article but I still don't understnad why the DNR would KNOWINGLY set reg's that are not in the best interest of the lake. I just don't see what they have to gain by not doing what they beleive is best for the lake.

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Grabs

Chucker, they aren't knowingly doing so. The difficultly rests in trying to predict the entire population of the lake, which the courts are asking them to do. As the article states, they have made a very conservative estimate at the population of the lake, year after year. Which as us anglers have seen, and are seeing the population is much much higher than what they have predicted. If they could estimate the population of the lake better, the lake would be in a better condition and we all might be bringing home a few more fish.

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fisherman2.gif

[This message has been edited by Grabs (edited 07-09-2002).]

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Borch

Like others have said it's a difficult job to determine how many walleyes inhabit the lake. After that the job is too figure out how to keep the harvest down to the allowable limit. This is again made more difficult by the fact that they need to determine many factors(fishing hours on lake, how the bite will be, released fish mortality, fishing pressure, economic impact on business's in the area because of the limitation, etc). The DNR has selected a pretty simple and conservative approach to limiting the harvest. Have fisherman keep a few of the smaller fish(to keep the harvest lbs low) and release the larger fish(with the exception of one trophy fish over 28").

So this isn't management based on biology but rather portioning out the allowable harvest. They could manage the lake in a more bological manner but this would be a bit more complicated for anglers and the DNR(for instance a total length of say 36 inches with a daily limit 2-3 fish).

With lots of bigger fish(many looking quite unhealthy) and low forage numbers, people are concerned. I'm very concerned too.

But it's not just the DNR's fault. They're in a very difficult situation for sure. But really haven't been all that innovative or proactive in their approach to the situation.

Good Luck!

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