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Andrewsdad

Contact the DNR

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Andrewsdad

I sent an e-mail to the DNR asking what they are doing to make sure Mille Lacs doesn't come crashing down. Thier response was that everything is fine and that they expect a gradual return of perch and tulibee. From the posts and the feedback on this site, I don't think they have a clue of what is going on nor are they taking this issue seriously. A campaign of contacting the DNR needs to start to get them to take this issue seriously and make some changes. I was up at the lake last Saturday and seeing all the dead walleyes on the west side was a shame.

Send an e-mail to Tom Jones, large lake specialist for the DNR at [email protected]

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huskminn

I think they know exactly what is "going on" with the lake and I also think they take the situation seriously.

But!! Unless they are willing to take unprecedented political/legal risk, there really isn't much they can do. In an election year, where candidates don't want to be taking sides on an explosive issue, we most likely will see no real action.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be letting them know our concerns, though.

The DNR is right, you know, there will eventually be a gradual return of the perch and tullibee.....you may not like what will happen prior to that, though!

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Tonka Boy

I just had a question. I fish some lakes in Canada every summer. In many of these lakes there are decent walleyes from top to bottom, yet there aren't many perch/baitfish. Many feed on insects. Many feed on each other. I know there isn't near the fishing pressure Mille Lacs has from day to day, but these lakes seem to survive nicely. Yes, we have concluded that man has/will possibly ruin Mille Lacs.
So why not compensate and make Mille Lacs catch and release only? I know many fish will die anyhow, but with continued DNR micro-management, Mille Lacs could remain a trophy walleye lake for many years to come. If people really want to keep fish, there are some 15,000 other lakes in the state..or even Cub!
Indian quotas would still apply of course, but if they (Indians) are really concious about the future of the lake, they should be willing to contribute to the "common goal" also. Sounds more like a powertrip (on both sides) to me!
I wasn't looking to start a heated debate again, more so the suggestion of catch and release. Any thoughts?

------------------
Tonka Boy

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Whiskeywalleyes

A catch and release lake. We already have one of those types of Lakes. IT's called Upper Red. Have you seen the town of Waskish. Ghost Town.
What do you think would happen to the Business around the Lake. Future Ghost town if you close the walleye harvest off..
In turn the Casio would lose out big time= no business or less business.
Just another opinion of mine.

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Guest

If I were to judge the condition of Mille Lacs, on a medical scale, I would say the lake is ready to enter the Intensive Care Unit. There are far too many big fish, and there is not enough balance within the population. I talked to someone recently who said 2 boats caught 106 fish in a day, and not 1 under 22". That's NUTS. While I can't say it's fact because I wasn't there, but I wouldn't doubt it. The DNR/tribes need to act in a joint effort to reclaim the lake. While it's true the fishing has been INCREDIBLE this year, it cannot keep up. A weel balanced fishery is a healthy fishery, and this lake is far from balanced.

Tonka Boy,
While catch and release is a great catch phrase in the world of fishing, I don't think it will do any good on Mille Lacs in it's current situation. After all, aren't we releasing nearly EVERY fish caught? We need to take a few of these larger fish, and stock forage fish (perch, tullibee), to return the lakes balance. Plus, I'm of the opinion that walleye taste great, so why not be able to keep a few, the fish population certainly could stand it.

Hopefully Mille Lacs doesn't crash, but under the current status, and regulations, I don't see how it won't.

Good Luck,
Rusty

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Guest

Why not stock some other lakes and make those catch and release lakes, and allow Mille lacs to be what nature intended, A walleye factory for numbers of average sized fish. People catching and eating fish is what staying at a resort or taking a launch trip is all about for alot of folks. I could care less about catching another #*([email protected]^ trophy sized walleye out of Mille lacs, now that there are so many of them, it isn't really a challenge anymore, and as long as you are only reporting LENGTH and not WEIGHT, It still sounds like a trophy, but I sure would like to take a few eaters home once in a while. Another point is; how many average sized lakes would have to be stocked to equal the amount of harvestable poundage of fish that Mille lacs can produce in a year?

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Tonka Boy

Good point(s). I have one more thing to add. I think we are all realizing their may never be an agreement between the tribes and sportfisherman. I also think we all realize that Mille Lacs is hurting because of too much pressure. Slot limits, stocking, or anything else suggested may not keep up with the pressure. The lake can only fix itself so fast and we are ruining it even faster. Either we leave it alone now, or we leave it alone later...

------------------
Tonka Boy

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fishhawk1750

solving the mille lacs issue is simple. Inform the native americans that they can have the lake to claim their quota of fish, and then inform them that the state is going to open a casino just south of the reservation. The way I see this argument is that walleye is 6 bucks a pound times 300,000 pounds thats 1.8 million dollars. Do you think the casino makes more than that?

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weekendjunkie

ok folks do you really think that the local native americans give a rats ass about the number of fish in the lake effecting tha casino? name me a lake of any popularity near hinckley or mysticlake. red lake has had no amount of walleye in it for many years and the casino keeps raking in cash. a state casino?, good idea but not as a barganing chip for mille lacs.. cause it just aint gonna work. what you have to work on is the every day business people that happen to be native american. any bait shop owners that are natives? resort owners? those are the people that you have to work on. those are the only ones that can become the mouthpieces of sanity for the big lake in the indian community. the junkie

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Guest

I think Fishhawk had a very GOOD point. The fight for Mille Lacs has very little to do with fish, but a lot to do with money. Weekend Junkie argues that Mille Lacs is not a good piece for bargaining but I disagree. The native americans don't care about the fish, but they do care about the millions of dollars the casino brings in. If the state were to go to natives and say, if we don't get a better share of Mille Lacs, then we're opening a state run casino just down the road, I think they would choose to give up the lake. However, I don't like this idea because it should not have to come to that. I think the state of Minnesota should have their own casino's. Imagine the money we could make for our natural resources and other projects. Be careful who you are voting for.

Good Luck,
Rusty

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mwktrapper

Coldone, You're ridiculous! We have this incredible fishery up here of monster walleyes and you're saying fill it with medium-size walleyes because you want some to eat? I could take you to a hundred different lakes right now and get you a limit of nice eater walleyes. But there is only one lake where you can catch that many trophy walleyes in Minnesota--Mille Lacs. Next time you're taking a vacation to fill your freezer, go to Winni or Leech or one of the thousand other lakes that could fill your freezer. It's kind of like Red, I can fill up on crappies around home here, but there aren't many lakes full of trophies like Red. Catch and Release is fun!

good fishin

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TUMBLEWEED

MWKTRAPPER, I am what you folks refer to as
a "meathunter". Your trophy walleyes are
somewhat boring to catch all the time,but I
wish you all the luck(not that you need it while the fish are starving). For me,they
are really not trophies anyway since the lake is basically, filthy with that class of
fish anyway. A TRUE trophy is that of which is extremely rare,and or hard to obtain.
That being said, I myself have no problem
with a reduced limit instead of the
ridiculous idea of restricting access.
The DNR continues to stick its head in the sand on this one,and sadly, tougher times are probably coming.At least until we hear a loud POP!!! smile.gif

I would like to see some more creative ideas
on this. Maybe when we get our licenses next
spring,they will have a multiple choice
of options,surrounding this issue. And let us,the fishermen,decide how to manage our
resource.ie slot size,creel limits,etc????

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Guest

Mwktrapper,
If you are going to call me rediculous, at least provide the numbers I ask for to prove me so... The simple fact is that my statement was my opinion, it's OK not to agree with me, but why say that my historically correct opinion is rediculous? Are the only people with a legitimate point the C&R crowd? Other facts are; Just like the crappies in Upper red the population of walleyes in Mille lacs has in no way stabilized, so what we have had in only the last few years, is highly unlikely to stay the same anyway, no matter how the lakes are managed. Why not leech or winnie be managed as the "trophy C&R lake" and make mille lacs the "meat lake" that sounds more reasonable to me, and with more historical support. I did not say I wanted to fill my freezer, I would just like to be able to occasionally take home a few fish, to share with my family. Mille lacs has always had the potential for trophy fish, just was that not everyone got a chance to catch one. And with the tremendous potential for producing fish, I think it is a shame to be feeding large fish to the crawfish, while filling our photo albums with pictures of long skinny walleyes(hardly trophy quality) and going home with nearly empty stringers. Also, most folks who patronize the resorts along mille lacs have historically come there for the "catch and eat" oportunities. Just catch and release may be fun for you, and yes I do release all large walleye, but catch and eat is alot more fun!

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avrg.joe

OK, here is my 2 cents. ( Opinion )
Writing the DNR will change little. I'm not saying don't write them, expressing your views on an important issue like this is always a very good thing. It is just at this time the DNR are up against the wall. Weather you believe they are managing the lake properly or not ( personally not ) the courts have thier hands tied tight. Just about any way they change the slot or limits, the harvest will increase pushing us futher over our limit.
As some of you have mentioned, it insn't about the fish anyway. It is partially about money, but mostly about power to make make us angry. And by reading all the coments on this site I'd say they have succeded.
I believe ( once again my "opinion" ) that what needs to happen is that our state politicians need to get together and offer a settlement to the tribes. Settling the treaty is the only way we can go back to managing the lake without that [email protected] harvest limit.
If you want to write somebody, write your senators & legislators. These are the only people who can offer up a settlement. Hopefully with the next election we will get a governor who cares less about himself and more about the issues before us.
As far as a state run casino, I could go either way on that. I agree with most of you who say not as a bargaining chip. My fear would be that the same thing would happen that happened to lottery money. It started out that it was supposed to go to improvements to the outdoors. Now everyone has thier hand in it. I think we could raise enough money to pay the bands of with a simple five dollar stamp to fish the lakes in the area the bands net. A stamp just like a duck stamp. I know, nobody wants another fee. To me, it would be worth resolving this issue.
Hey guys, keep the reports & "opinions" coming. It's fun to read all your thoughts.
Tight Lines All!! GOOD LUCK!!!!


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Slugo

Until everyone is treated the same in this country ther are gonna be these kind of problems. And I'm not talking about Billy two Feathers not liking his neabor Angus the Kiltwearer or whatever^(&(stereo types you care to throw in there. Alltho that needs to be addressed as well. that part of it can't and won't come around until the preferencial legislations are done away with. It just drives me nuts!!!with the conflicting Ideals of this country. Are all men created equal or not, I say yes!!!
but some seem to get special privlage.
is it the content of character or colour of your skin. It seems that we have a judicary that ,unlike me, believes that it is the latter. And until that is changed Billy and Angus average sure as hell ain't gonna change there ways.

hehe I don't know maybe I'm looking at it backwards maybe until Billy and Angus change we can't change the other.

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mwktrapper

A fisherman just can't argue with a bunch of city-slicken meat-hunters. They just don't realize that there is more to fishing than catching meat. I get my meat on some lakes, then release some fish out of other lakes, Mille Lacs being a fun one just for that. Let's keep it that way boys.

good fishin

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TUMBLEWEED

YEP, I see in the paper, that all those
catch/release walleyes that belly up during the summer, count towards the yearly quota.
So you guys who fish the heck outta the lake
day in and day out,keep on trashing us guys
who take a few home to eat(if we are lucky enough to find a slot or two).I wonder who really is doing all the harm??Mind you,I'm
just a city slicker and all!! Hey there
trapman,...(trimming up my big Mercury)
Here's wake in yer eye my friend!!!

I appologize to the other readers,but I didn't like the cut of his jib.

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Guest

Yah der hey, don cha know, dem der country boys are da ones who must know it all...

Give me a break, I have seen the C&R guys in action, and listen to them brag about numbers, What I know is there is alot more about fishing than just getting a few filets for dinner. There is concern for the resource base, there is recognition that it would take thousands of small and medium sized lakes to equal the productivity of mille lacs (most of which would have to be stocked). It is only certain small and medium sized lakes with productivity problems that should be for C&R only. Typical of a lot of people these days I guess, jump on board some policy for the gratification of short term gain.

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Guest

Walleyes taste great, fried, smoked, broiled you name it. THEY ARE Tasty. Selective harvest is fine, it's a free country if you want to throw all of your fish back, fine, why should I care. But I get so sick and tired of these people who stereotype the "majority" of anglers who like to take a few fish home for a meal. We aren't continuously telling you to "take fish home or else" yet we're told, you can't take fish home or you're a "meat hunter". Give me a break!!!

Good Luck,
Rusty

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Havin' Fun

Mille Lacs can have it's big fish, and it's eaters too. This is a lake who is biologically healthy. Mille Lacs has too many fish on one end of the spectrum. It's not healthy. So, eventually fish will die. Too bad. This is life. Mille Lacs needs this to happen. For the Catch and Release guys, the walleyes they caught and released gave them and hopefully several others enjoyment. For the meat guys, well, it's a sad day in the fishing world because a fish we could have eaten, died for no purpose. On the other side, when a guy keeps a 5lber because he wants to eat, the catch and release guy yells and screams. Point is, doesn't matter what you classify yourself as, the end result of your day on the lake chasing a walleye is for pleasure and I for one hope that everyone someday can get either one of those pleasures, just like you and I. Either meat, or just plain catch and release. Lets just face the facts that a walleye is going to die somehow, it is just a question of who and how! Mille Lacs will survive, as will the fisherman. Just think of all the young of year walleye swimming in the lake right now from all the reproductively mature males and females in that 20-25 inch class.

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blue_healer_guy

Fished Mille Lacs for the first time in recent years this past Sunday. Had a blast, 2 in the slot but didn't really care to take them home. As I look back on the trip, it did bother me to see about 15 dead wallys. We caught 1 or 2 ourselves that probably didn't make it. Question? Any ideas of a total length limit? Like a 2 limit that doesn't exceed 40 inches? We could have harvested those 2 that probably will die. Just a thought. Joe

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Guest

Hammer 'em,

Great points, about the catch and release vs. "meat eaters". But I have to argue that there aren't a ton of young of the year walleye swimming around there anymore. Fact is, walleye, northern, muskies, etc... will eat the young of the year. And I know the fish are hungry, that's where they are so skinny, and why anglers are catching so many. The lake will probably crash in numbers because these bigger fish will eventually die, and they've eaten most of the young of the year, creating a large gap in the reproductive chain.

Good Luck,
Rusty

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Guest

Trapper,

Easy tiger!!! City-slickin meat hunters??? Relax, lots of people like to eat fish and there is nothing wrong with that. To each there own.

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Guest

I have been reading this sight for some time and have been pretty quite until now. The statement I enjoyed the best was how mwktrapper (claims) he can take you to a hundred diffrent lakes and fill your freezer. It is very hard for me to sit back and watch these so called (experts) catch walleye after walleye knowing full out that they are killing a large precentage overall. That to me is an irresponible sportsman. I no longer go to the mille lacs for that very reason, its simply a waste. It is very hard for me to sit back and look at all the hard work we did in the late 80's and 90,s floating around and rotting on the banks. for those of you that truly want to band together and try to change this feel free to contact me. those of you that are willing to sit back and brag how good you are,wake the hell up.

[Editors Note: No personal attacks allowed]

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 07-17-2002).]

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Tonka Boy

Sorry, I posted 2 times.


------------------
Tonka Boy

[This message has been edited by Tonka Boy (edited 07-18-2002).]

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