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Ronsay

Walleye/Perch ratio

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Ronsay

This is the first trip in many years that I have only caught one Perch in our overnight stay. We caught numerous Walleyes in this spot, and were fishing 4 holes.

Are the Walleyes starting to deplete there main forage base, and if so, should the DNR open the season in 2005 instead of 2006? The larger Walleyes we caught looked fine, but not fat.

The DNR has been dumping Walleyes in URL by the millions for a number of years, have they been test netting yearly to check the forage base ?

I would hate to see the Walleye population crash before the sportsmen got a chance to utilize this phenomenol resource.

This is just an observation by me and may mean nothing, has anybody else had these same experiences with the lack of Perch showing up this season?

Ron

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SoHawk

The kids and I also only caught one perch last weekend out of WW. Usually we catch a ton of them. makes a person wonder. I'll see how many we catch this weekend. and let everyone know.

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bubblehead1

Ronsay,

You may be onto something there. Remember what happened to the Walleye/perch balance in Mille lacs a few years back. I would hate to see that happen to Red. I will be up there this weekend. I too will let you know what our group catches in the way of Perch.

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halad

I agree, i havent caught a perch yet. I know the shiner minnows are down in the lake those who trap them are finding the Population way down. The crappies are feeding all day is this because there isnt the forage for them. Some of the crappies look thinner along the back then before.

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PikeTipper

That's a very interesting point. I remember maybe 4 years ago when we 1st started going there you caught perch constantly but that is definately not the case anymore.

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hanson

halad-

That is a very interesting thought about the crappies feeding all day.

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halad

Interesting and fun to Hanson.

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hanson

I hope to be experiencing some of that 'fun' Saturday & Sunday morning at Rogers.

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kelly-p

I only know of one perch caught in my houses so far this year. As far as the shiners my Grandfather first trapped shiners in the early 1930's and my father continued trapping them until now. The last 6 years there has been a steady decline in the shiners. Up until 3 years ago at times there were up to 30% small perch mixed in with the shiners which was a real pain as they have to be picked out by hand one at a time. The past 2 years there have been very few of those 2 to 3 inch perch mixed with the shiners.

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SoHawk

A friend and his brother are in my house from yesterday until tomorrow. I'll ask them how they did as far as perch. and post it here.

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Stud

I have also noticed a decline in Perch, I thought it was just the spot maybe, but that's interesting. We only caught 1 so far this year.

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crappie_king

Despite the moniker, I'm not as knowledgeable as I should be. confused.gif Are perch the main food source for Walleyes? If so, a dwindling perch population must be bad news for the walleye chaser, but how does that effect the crappies? I have come to understand that Walleyes and Crappies "compete" over the same food source. If this is true, will/could the crappie bite worsen as well?

One more week to go, and it's crappie time.

-Steve

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Ronsay

I think your statement backs up my observations, if there has been a decline in the forage base for a number of years, recovery will be very difficult with the number of Walleyes in the lake.

Predation of same species will become more prevelant, with the decline of Walleyes without fishing pressure even being involved.

It would be interesting to get any comments from DNR personel if they are present on the forum, as to the overall health of the fishery, especially the forage base to sustain the Walleye population in a healthy state.

Ron

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hanson

This might be a good question for CrappieTom and the crappie forum- What is a crappie's primary food source?

My understanding, although very minimal, is crappies prefer all the tiny little microrganisms and invertebrates that are found within the underwater world. Minnows aren't there primary food source in the winter months but they sure don't have a problem taking one.

In general, if the forage base of the lake plummets, the fishing will become downright awesome! Take Lake Mille Lacs for example a few years ago. The last few years, there have been so many little perch that you can't buy a bite.

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NINETOE

Hanson has it right. Next time you clean a crappie look at the inner portion of the gill. There are little white fingers there. They are used to "rake" plankton and other micro organism's. Also look in there stomach, you'll find a green substance which is the plankton mixed with bile. If a crappie had to chase down minnows to eat , they would not survive. The reason is they have expended more energy to catch the minnow than they have gained when they eat it. The whole of Ma Nature operates this way. When you hook a minnow on a hook it mimics a wounded or dieing minnow. The crappie may view this as a chance to gain the energy with out expending any because the minnow doesnt run. Then you set the hook! smile.gif

I have put my camera down at night and watched the crappies rake the plankton, it looks like they are struggling for oxygen. They pump thier gill plates hard, thus straining the plankton.

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bieganekbaitco

Remember, we're only fishing 1/4 of this mass they call Upper & Lower Red lake, I personally have friends on the lower lake who are catching a lot of perch right know. Perch numbers could be & probably are down, but we have no clue on whats taking place on the rest of the lake. My 3 cents

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beretta

bieganekbaitco: do your friends do well on the crappies to? Does lower red have any structure? Im sure these questions have been asked before but i havent been able to find anything on it. Thanks

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Fisherman For a Lifetime

Well, yesterday I only caught 1 perch in 10 hours of fishing on Red (and I was using waxies, too).

3 days ago I caught 2 perch in 9 hours on Red.

So, what does that say ?

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bieganekbaitco

The guys I know do some crappie fishing, but they love perch and thats the fish they target, and they get very nice perch too. The lower lake has a lot of current between the two lakes (the narrows) so that is naturally deeper there. As for structure, I'm not sure, my friends dont mention it, but I'll ask. Upper Red has more structure than a person would think, Kelly will vouch for this. Back in the days of the Ol' Sunset Lodge, Kelly and his father Jim, dug hundreds of holes over the course of a winter and mapped the lake with a compass and documented the depth with a 25' tape measure. This Map is still on the wall at Sunset Lodge. When He was doing this he found "The Rock", "Kellers Point" and "The Sunkin Island" and other forms of structure in the lake. I've Personally Cut hundreds of spear holes and found many small Rock piles and actually large boulder piles that are right off the drop off all around the lake. So anyone who classifies Red Lake as a large featureless cereal bowl doesn't know what he's talking about(No offense). Some people may remember an ol' timer named Vernon Davidson, his father Harry, use to own the Sunset Lodge on the river before he sold it to Ron Duresky (Chaunces Father). He would tell stories of all the rock piles on the north shore where fishermen would go and catch trophy northerns. In the 50's, Red Lake used to be advertised as the "home of the 30 pound northern". There are to many stories to tell here but lets meet in Westwind over a few cocktails and I'm sure you'll find some very entertaining.

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james_walleye

Let me first say i havent been up this year but last year I couldnt keep the perch off my hooks during the day and they bothered me during the evenings too. I think one thing can be certain if the perch population has somehow taken a dive. Mother nature will take care of things. I watched people in a panic a couple years ago when the baitfish declined on Mille Lacs. In a lake the size of Mille Lacs or Red for that matter, mother nature will take care of itself in that situation. The spring after the big panic Mille Lacs had an unreal perch hatch. Thats mother nature working some magic. Lets also remember the perch in Mille Lacs had some sort of bacteria that depleted their numbers. It wasnt because of predation.

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Willy

I haven't been up to red this year yet but the last time I was there (mar. of last year) we didn't catch as many perch as we normally do but caught a lot of walleyes. The walleyes were very skinny looking. I caught one the was about 27 inches and I bet she maybe weighed 5 pounds. I wonder if the same thing is happening here that happened to Mille Lacs. If so, the walleye fishing will be excellent. However, I think it's probably just a cycle and nothing to worry about as these things usually work themselves out.

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kelly-p

It is my understanding that the DNR will have an article concerning this issue in the next URLAA newsletter.

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Mjen

This is an interesting subject. I especially appreciate bieganekbaitco's history lessons on the area. (Maybe a seperate thread for some more stories?) I have only fished once so far this year and did not catch a Perch. I know there are a lot of factors at work here and the Perch spawn could be another. I agree with some here that nature works in cycles and there are many along with our impact with sportfishing and netting (if it comes back). I have heard some people talk about managing the Crappie spawn. Perhaps netting them in the river in the spring, harvesting the eggs and sperm and using hatcheries to spawn. Then release them back in the lake. I am not sure of this but someone told me Crappies need some particular conditions for spawning that rarely happen on their own in Red and they say that is why we are not seeing many small Crappies. I personally would like to see the Crappie population studied and managed as much as the Walleye population.

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SoHawk

I second that!! You can keep those white-tailed carp! I would take a fat slabber any day over them! Hehe

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PikeTipper

Question for "you locals", how long has it been that most of the west side of Upper and all of Lower have been off limits or has it always been? Have any of you ever fished Lower?

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