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Which came first?

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Guest

Man or fish?

The story of evolution:
Fish survived and reproduced in the big pond long before man arrived. So why does man have to remove fish for the fish to survive???

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huskminn

Of course, man doesn't have to do anything to Mille Lacs. The lake will fix itself....always has, always will.

However, the DNR's job is to manage lakes for conservation and sport-angling. It seems that they are doing very little of both on Mille Lacs right now.

Many people would like them to manage the lake so that it will be a consistently good fishing lake. Left only to nature, the lake would most likely have more booms and busts. What many would like the DNR to do is take the edges off those extreme fluctuations through management of the lake.

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Guest

Sorry but I'm not following you. Can you give me some examples of lakes that are solely "catch and release" and are experiencing busts? I have never heard of such a lake.

Locally:
The smallmouths in Chemquamegon Bay, Lake Superior.. What a fishery!

Lake Jane and Demontreville/Olson large mouth bass ... unbelievable!!

The walleyes and smallmouth on Mille Lacs!

Why are millions of dollars spent going on remote Canadian fishing trips? Because the fishing is superb!!!

Catch and release, or near to it, never hurts a lake. It restores the lake to it's natural state, not over night, but in time.

Fisherman and resorts are prospering alike from the Mille Lacs regulations. Who is losing out? The 800 pound gorilla who wants to eat everything in his site.

I absolutely love the taste of walleye, but I gladly give it up to take my children, friends, and neighbors, on a memorable and fabulous fishing trip.

I challenge any of the individuals who claim Mille Lacs is going to crash from the DNR's regulations, to answer my initial question.

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snipe

You know the really cool thing about this debate? Unlike all other outdoor debates, we will soon know who was right!!

There are a lot of chicken littles on this site who claim that the walleye population is going to crash "soon".

By "soon" I assume that they mean by this winter.

Others say that this is about as likely as a pig sprouting wings and going south for the winter.

Count me in the latter group.

I know that I look forward to reading the posts this winter (when the walleye population is doing just fine) and all the chicken littles are running around in circles, squawking and carrying on about the next thing that bonks them in the noggin.

(probably about how the regulation will have to be changed next year to accouont for all the kill this year over the 300,000 pound quota)

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Guest

I agree with Huskminn. The natural evolution of a population is bound to have more "booms and busts" compared to a correctly managed lake. There is no way a lake can naturally produce the "exact" amount of new year class fish. Some years will be good, others will not. I am speaking in terms of regularly fished lakes. Sure... there may be an exception... but who really knows?
As far as why people travel to Canada is more than just "great fishing". It's more of an overall experience to have an entire lake almost (if not entirely) to yourself. I have a trip every year, and look forward to it for the fact that I go with a tight-knit group, and I can get away from everything we have here.
And of course the fishing is good, they are relatively unspoiled, and those lakes pale in comparison to Mille Lacs as far as fishing pressure goes per acre of water. That in itself is a huge determining factor. But if you'd ask the resort guys about the lake you are going to... if they are honest they will tell you some years are better than others.
Just my $.02

As far as removing the fish... we do naturally. What do you think most of the people on the lake are doing? They are catching fish, and usually keeping some to eat. The DNR manages *tries* to manage it in a way that the fishery will be steady at the level. Yes... that's man interfering with the process of nature, but so is thousands of anglers and netting by the tribes.
If we were to shut the lake down completely, then nature would go on it's natural ebb & tide. We all know that we can't, nor want that... so rules have to be made and governed so that we don't completely destroy the fishery by our action we do to it. It's really simple when you look at it from that perspective. Now I am by all means not congratulating the DNR... as I believe they are doing a very poor job in regulating this lake. But the fact is that when you introduce man(DNR) into the equation, man(DNR) tries to better the process of nature which *may* fail.

[This message has been edited by FishNChester (edited 07-19-2002).]

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Guest

i agree with fidelis. i went last week and had the best fishing i have ever had in mn. obviosly someone is doing something right with the managment in that lake.

i would prefer to catch thirty fish a day and keep two or three, rather than only catch two or three.

mn could have more fisheries like this if people didn't have to keep every 11"er they caught.

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huskminn

Okay.....I see where you are coming from.

Weather is the primary factor in determining the success of fish spawning, both bait and prey fish. So, if a lake in Canada experiences a few years of poor spawning, all the catch and release in the world won't save it from being a poor fishing lake.

The same thing goes for most of Minnesota's walleye lakes. The vast, vast majority of walleye fisheries in MN are supplemented by stocking. The DNR does this to ensure that fish from multiple year classes are present in the lake. That makes for more consistent angling, which is what the DNR is supposed to provide to the citizens of MN--good angling opportunities.

Mille Lacs is an exceptional lake that isn't stocked with walleyes. It is a walleye factory--period. I don't know the history of the lake real well, but I would guess that there have been spans of years when fishing had been poor due to a couple of missing year classes of fish, either from a bad spawn or from a bad forage spawn. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Bad spawns occur in EVERY lake.

Mille Lacs' bait fish populations are currently at all time recorded lows. The DNR's policies have created a walleye population with higher than normal numbers of large walleyes. Some people think that the baitfish populations will be more quickly restored if some of those large walleyes are removed. I assume this is what you are referring to in your original post?

To answer your question, again.......

Man doesn't have to do anything for the "fish" to survive.

Mille Lacs will have fish in it until there is a massive event that causes general animal extinctions in this region. The next ice age, maybe?

If you would rather let everything return to it's natural state, that's fine. I think it's unrealistic, but you certainly have every right to hold that opinion.

A lot of people would argue that the resorts are suffering due to the current DNR policies, which are practically catch and release.

Your 800 pound gorilla is a family of four who drives up from Iowa and spends a week on Mille Lacs and hopes to have a fish fry before they leave town.

Your initial question and implications therein are too simplistic to apply to Mille Lacs. Lake Jane doesn't have a 50+ million dollar economy surrounding it soley because of it's walleye fishing. And neither do any of the "superb" walleye fishing lakes in Canada.

We're already way too far down the road to turn Mille Lacs into a walk-in area....


[This message has been edited by huskminn (edited 07-19-2002).]

[This message has been edited by huskminn (edited 07-19-2002).]

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Guest

Lakes with a no harvest restriction, or remote wilderness lakes usually establish a cyclical population pattern around an average population number. If you want to call the high points of this cycle: booms, and the lows: busts. Than yes all unmanaged lakes experience "boom and bust" or cyclical population dynamics. This is a very basic concept regarding wildlife populations and their ecology. While you may still be able to catch fish during a bust cycle only a careful population study will reveal it.

The MN DNR has never done a careful population assement, they have ignored much of the productive areas of the lake(nearly the entire lake) And used slipshod best guesses on alot of the calculation parameters. This may be what is happening on Mille Lacs right now, the lack of forage base resulted in a large portion of the population becoming underweight, as most of the breeding aged fish dedicated most of their energy toward reproduction for the last spawn. As such, when was the last time you have heard of a "wacky lure" contest on Mille Lacs? When else has the activity been so hot and heavy? Same reasons why the numbers are so great in Canada, basically the fish are in competition for the forage base, and will willingly strike at unconventional terminal tackle. While in a more "normal" situation like a few years back on Mille Lacs when there was an abundant forage base, the bite was described as "tough" the fish being "tightlipped", etc. The thing is, In any given fish population, there is an average amount of annual productivity, some of the population will be lost as fish age, are outcompeted, become ill, or are consumed by predators. Also there is a level of this population that may be harvested, without affecting reproduction or productivity. In regards to C&R,several studies suggest that as many as 25% of the fish you may catch and release, will not make it, if you think that does not affect the population, well it does. When you consider that there are thousands of fisherman on Mille Lacs, many bragging of 100+ fish days at times, thats alot of dead fish. Now compare this to the guy who would be happy catching a couple of fish and then heading in for some fried filets over a campfire and spending some time with the family. Which approach has a greater impact? Which provides more "benefit". Also, any idea where all those Canadian walleye filets that our grocery stores and resturants are filthy with come from? Chances are if you are fishing a canadian lake near a road, the Indians would be harvesting out the "market sized" fish if they can get them. C&R regulations on mille lacs would be a tradgedy, The resorts are doing well because people are hearing the fishing reports and are optimistic that they will find some slots for the pan, take away any opportunity for folks to keep a few, and those resorts will be out of bussiness in no time. Same with the launches and guides. That would be a trajic waste just to satisfy a few selfish individuals. There is no sound reason for C&R only regulations on Mille Lacs!

[This message has been edited by coldone (edited 07-19-2002).]

[This message has been edited by coldone (edited 07-19-2002).]

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BDR

Snipe, I myself haven't seen any reports that peoplr think it will crash by this winter. I also think this will be an excellent witer at the pond. But when fish are showing a 25% loss in body wieght I think a crash is very likely,maybe 1 year,2 years I dont no. Chicken litte??? Should I sit back passively a keep my thoughts to myself, not a chance.

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james_walleye

Well for months we've been hearing about skinny fish and low baitfish. Now the latest from Mille Lacs is the baitfish hatch was very successful and the lake is swarming with baitfish in many areas. Healthier looking walleyes are the result. I saw a fishing show that was taped this last week on Mille Lacs and im sorry but those were anything but skinny.
Here is what i'd like to know. People say the lake isnt being managed right. Well how can you say that right now with the fishing going on??? If the lake wasnt being managed right we'd be complaining about not catching any fish am i right? Thats what we complain about on every other lake...no nice walleyes? If it wasnt being managed for sport fishing we'd have no slot and we'd have no where near the fishing we've been having.

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Guest

My uncle owned Roll in Lodge is the 80's. Fishing was real tough for a number of years due to the abundance of prey fish (perch and tulibee). There are cycle that lake go through - no doubt. I would rather see something where you can keep some shore lunch, rather than sorting through many fish (that may most likely die) than C&R and waste the resource. I will continue to get a 'fix' of catching fish on Mille Lacs, but have the ability to stop after a few fish. I do not consider killing of fish through C&R (like the 70 or 100 fish a day) a reasonable way to keep the lake in balance. I would much rather have some type of system to promote a healthy population and allow some harvest. C&R 60 or more fish a day is wasteful. No one has a glass ball to predict what will become of this lake. But we should have some method to strike a balance. What good does it do to waste the bulk of the harvestable fish by allowing them to be killed by C&R? Especially if it means that no one would be able to enjoy catching a few due to harvesting (slot + C&R kill) done by some who view this as right. Wait and see, but I would think with this year, we may see a total C&R to come. If we exceed our quota, the DNR will make this happen.
My $.02 worth....
I'll fish other lakes for something to eat, rather than kill a bunch in hopes to get a slot fish.
gte

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Guest

i am still trying to figure out if there is anyone that i know who would consider 60 walleyes in one day a waste of time. most would consider that a great day of fishing. if you really want to save time and eat that shore lunch stop at the store and pick up some frozen fillets. if its a cost issue you can think about the money that you would have spent on gas and bait. you probably wont even taste the difference.

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bmg

Somebody here correct me if I'm wrong, but why is there some misconception among many folks that most released fish die and that C&R is hurting the fishery? Last time I checked, 100% of harvested fish die - while a fair percentage of released fish do live (believe it or not, not all of them are floating dead). And guess how many fish really are being killed by harvesting the typical 20+ inch walleye - that walleye will no longer have a chance to spawn - so you're killing much more than just the 1 walleye ...

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Guest

I don't think there is a misconception about that, but it seems there is a minority of folks out there who think Mille lacs should be C&R only. The comments were made to the C&R folks that not only is the lake not getting off scott-free, but the dying fish are just going to waste. For a lot of us who occasionally prefer some fresh American line caught walleye as opposed to frozen Canadian indian gill-net harvested walleye,(Fresh walleye does taste better, a LOT better!)

It just doesn't add up. Lets assume that A C&R guy goes out fishing for a day a catches 80 fish of all sizes,(a good day but not unrealistic). Of those 80 fish it is highly probable that 8 will die, and moderately probable that another 8 would as well. So the C&R guy gets to kill 16 fish of all sizes in a day. While the "meat" fisherman Is forced to catch at least as many fish, with the same hooking loss ratio, just to get a few in the slot. So the meat fisherman kills the same 16 fish, but gets to take two or three back to the cabin to feed his family. All those fish lost to hooking mortality(that are not in the slot), are feeding seagulls and flies, instead of fisherman. I think that is a waste. If you ask me the regs should be, keep or release the first four walleye you catch, and you are done for the day, this would satisfy the "meat" fisherman, and would give the C&R guys a crack at a big one, and then they could move on to bass, northern, and muskie, and extend thier fishing enjoyment.

Mille lacs is a walleye factory, it's annual productivity equals that of the hundreds of lakes that surround it. If mille lacs were to be shut down, those surrounding lakes would have to produce, and the quality of those hundreds of fisheries would be greatly reduced. What misconception I see is; how would making Mille lacs a C&R lake benefit the lake, the walleye, the resorts and community?

Another thing, why are you C&R guys even interested in walleye? They are simple to pattern and locate, they readily take all types of bait, they bite well all year in all weather, they fight like a big wet noodle (even the "trophies") and they don't look that impressive in pictures or on the wall. If anyone thinking that catching a bunch of walleyes is a rewarding challenge, you may be deluding yourself.

[This message has been edited by coldone (edited 07-24-2002).]

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Pannyraid

I think you've had too many cold ones.

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Guest

Gee, that's really clever... If you have an opinion different from mine, or would like to refute my statements, we would love to hear it. Otherwise keep your sophmoric comments to yourself.

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Guest

Thanks Cold-one, I’ll take that opportunity.

First Topic:
You start out in your post by angrily stating “the dying fish are just going to waste”. Yet, you propose nothing to regulate/correct it. You merely state we should increase the death rate by harvesting fish. If you are upset that fish are dying, how does killing more fish via harvesting SUPPORT your argument?

If you want to eliminate C&R because “fish are going to waste” your theory would work - if anglers are allowed to harvest at will, C&R won’t exist since the “C” will be nonexistent.

The only way to support your argument that fish shouldn't be wasted is to NOT release any. Is this realistic?

Sidenote: In a perfect world, regulations wouldn’t be needed. As a lawyer I can tell you property rights were created over two hundred years ago by the white man, and for good reason. Prior the creation of property laws, communities were formed to work together for the benefit of all. However, some individuals learned they didn’t have to work as hard as others but could still reap the benefits. At this point lines were drawn, laws were made, and everyone had to fend for themselves whether it dealt with real or personal property.

Second Topic:
Your recommended reg: “keep or release the first four walleye you catch, and you are done for the day”. Just another unsupported thought. How do you recommend the DNR police such a regulation? Fact is, your concept isn’t feasible. We can dream up a lot of great ideas, but if they aren’t practical they aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

C&R fisherman releases 4, maybe one dies. You keep 4, all die. Under your regulation we will back to involuntary C&R, accept there won’t be any “C”.

Third Topic:

You state ”how would making Mille lacs a C&R lake benefit the lake, the walleye, the resorts and community?” Go to a few resorts on Mille Lacs and ask them how business is this year. I think you will get your answer. Let me save you the leg work … “IT IS BOOMING!!!” Mille Lacs productivity has been reported so many times in various media outlets that fisherman are flocking to see all the commotion.

Fourth Topic:
Are you in the PWT? I assume so since you stated “[walleye] are simple to pattern and locate, they readily take all types of bait, they bite well all year in all weather”. Which one of the names on the leader board is yours??? This is one area of your post you should have left out. It is great to have a debate, but adding silly and callous remarks not only creates hostility but really ruins the credibility of your own argument.

Fifth Topic:
If I roll a fresh fillet (where ever it may have came from) in Shore lunch or other batter and fry it in hot oil, I can’t taste the difference. Maybe we should have a blindfold taste test?

Final Topic:
It is apparent from your post that you have quite a bit of anger on the topic and it results in disrespecting others thoughts. If you don’t want to see response like that of Pannyraid (or mine for that matter), you should remove the improper cynicism and vulgarity from your posts.

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huskminn

Uh, oh.

And I thought this would just be a friendly discussion........

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Guest

F:

First topic response: A protected slot, not a keeper slot. After seeing the channel 11 report of 7/23, I have to agree C&R is having a negative effect on ML. The DNR's numbers on C&R hook mortality are 15% MORE than the C&E(at) number!!

Sidenote Response: Ask the Lion pickin his teeth where property law started, 200 years is a bit young in my world (sky is blue).

Second topic response: At least he gave it a shot, where is your solution, or do you contend there is "no problem" as the DNR does?

Third topic response: see "Second topic response"

Fourth topic response: Please reference your own last sentence.

Fifth topic response: Please forgive me, the door is open and I have to walk through. I know, I know, it cheap sleazy, and easy, and forgive me everyone.

You have no taste.

Final topic response: see "Fourth topic response"


on a serious note: What disturbed me the most about the Channel 11 report last night, was the DNRs comment that they just didn't know what else to do, but maybe to stop the (sport?) fishing all together.

[This message has been edited by Labrat (edited 07-24-2002).]

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Guest

coldone, if these walleyes are so easy to catch why not go to another lake where you can keep your six and not worry about sizes? i have never found walleyes easy to pattern and catch all year long, except on mille lacs. by the way, i am not for C&R ONLY, the system in place is working great.

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huskminn

Huskminn's dictionary of words that infrequently appear on this site:

supra: earlier in this writing

elucidate: to make lucid by explanation or analysis; to give clarifying explanation


Fidelis,

Lack of etiquette is evident in your posts, as well. I really question if you find anything here humorous or entertaining, yet childish and uninspiring at the same time. Most uninspiring things lack humor and/or entertainment value. If anything, disrespect is the binding thread in a few of YOUR comments. Personal attacks aren't tolerated on this site.

Perhaps you should be elucidating your own question. We have been trying and you seem to be unhappy with our responses. If we need to agree to disagree, then lets leave it at that.

Your question is logically and philosophically unanswerable, as I'm sure you already know. Whether it's the DNR or members of this site, fisheries management results from, at best, educated guessing.

Although I personally don't agree with Coldone's position on the source of frozen walleye filets (don't want to debate it Coldone!), he makes some good points and has explained his position very well.

I thought I made a pretty decent stab at elucidating your original post, yet you had no comment. Perhaps I didn't leave enough rough edges in my post for you to grab hold and pick it apart.

Your serve.

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Guest

Dear Huskyminn,

You had a great earlier post, although I didn't complete agree with it. I responded, you didn't see it?

My lack of etiquette was solely in response to coldone (and now who chooses to support his argument with sarcasm and innuendo rather than substance. It is not my style to post in that tone but I felt it deserved such a response.

Personally, I am unbiased on the issue because I don't believe anyone has the right answer. I am disappointed so many posts are from individuals who are so enraged they respond with emotion rather than substance.

In sum, it is the first/last time I engage myself in such unproductive banter as I would rather be fishing.

I don't expect you to agree with me as it seems there is quite a trend with those individuals who have been given the title (Advanced Angler).

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Guest

Please ensure that we keep this thread civil and that we are all staying away from name calling and personal attacks.

Fidelis,

Just an FYI, when a member makes 35 posts they are automatically upgraded to angler-advanced level. It has nothing to do with their skill level, or lack of it smile.gif

------------------
Paul
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Pwaldow123 (edited 07-24-2002).]

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huskminn

"Huskyminn"??? You've stooped to the level of attacking my physical stature? wink.gif

1. I did see a response that you didn't follow what I said in my original post, so I tried to clarify. If you responded to that, I missed it. It really doesn't matter much at this point.

2. Mille Lacs and it's issues bring forth nothing but emotions.....as does any Tragedy of the Commons issue. That may be disappointing, but shouldn't be surprising.

3. If you feel your are unbiased on the issue, you are wrong (unless you're a saint or something!) because we are all biased. And, if you don't believe anyone has the right answer, then please qualify your inquiries as rhetorical. We all work too hard on our posts to have them be for nothing! smile.gif

4. We would all rather be fishing....finally we have established common ground on which all of us can stand.

5. A few fortunate individuals have been given the title "Advanced Angler" based not on their knowledge of fishing or fisheries management, but on their abilities to type and hit the "Submit" and "Submit Reply" buttons. Yes, sheer numbers of posts can make you, too, an Advanced Angler.

My soap box is broken from over-use. I need to go fishing.

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Guest

F: The simple answer is "Because He Already Has Tinkered With It"

As far as the rest of your post, you know what they say to do to um if they can't take a joke.

end of thread

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