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Lake Alexander vs Fishtrap


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I like to fish both Alexander and Fishtrap, but am torn between which lake will be a better lake to start the walleye season. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Alex is a way more productive lake for walleye. Fishtrap seems to not give up the numbers Alex does.....

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I have fished Alex for the last 25 years, my father starte bringing me when I was 5 years old. And in all my time on that lake the most important thing I learned is fish at night as much as possible and sleep during the day. Alex has alot of nice walleyes in her, they just get tight lipped for the most part during the day light hours, the only exception is fall.

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You are correct. Fish it at night, because Alex is such a clear lake, the walleyes are spooky during daylight hours. It is very tough catching walleyes on that lake during daylight. Night time fishing is awesome. But between Alex and Fishtrap, there is no question that Alex is better.

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Thanks for the great information. I have found out that the night fishing is much better. I have heard the Muskie popluation has had a big effect on the walleye fishing. Is that true?

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Yes, you have heard correctly. The lake is becoming very overpopulated with large muskies, and it is hurting the walleye population. Many locals and fishermen are VERY upset with the dnr introducing muskies into Alex. I am one of them. I have talked to people around the lake about the issue, and they are very upset. One local told me he caught 15 different muskies in one day. Thats unheard of on any lake. That tells me there is too many of them, and the dnr isn't balancing the walleye to muskie population correctly.

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I found this article about muskies and walleyes.

Many people view the musky as a walleye killing machine. While there is no doubt that the stocking of top end predators will affect the fish community of a lake, little evidence exists to suggest that musky stocking negatively affects walleye populations. Musky are a ferocious predator but walleyes are generally not on the menu. Diet analysis of muskies shows that they primarily feed on perch, sucker, and small minnows. They occasionally feed on terrestrial organisms such as shorebirds and frogs. Anyone who has ever fished a musky lake has heard stories of a monster musky taking a walleye off a stringer. What you don’t realize is that the walleye was in a location that it normally wouldn’t be in and that it was obviously struggling, making it an easy prey item for the musky. The fact is muskies are much more likely to eat other muskies than to eat a walleye.

Musky stocking may affect other fish, however. Musky do best in lakes and streams that do not have an abundance of northern pike. Northern pike have a much greater reproductive potential and can out compete muskies for habitat and food resources. In lakes that are frequently stocked with musky, competition and predation may limit pike populations. Because there are few limits on pike population growth, predation by muskies may be beneficial to the pike and other fish as well. Unlike musky, pike will often out-produce the forage base. This results in slowly growing pike as the food is eaten up. It also means less food for walleyes, bass, and panfish as those small, aggressive pike eat everything in site. Musky will prey on the small pike, which typically seek out the same weedy areas as the musky and thus thin pike numbers.

I have heard many anglers complain that musky stocking has ruined their favorite lake. They believe that the reason behind their lack of success is musky predation. Hey folks, look around. It doesn’t matter how many thousand fingerlings the DNR stocked, the musky is a rare fish and accounts for very little of the walleye predation. On opening day, when there are hundreds of boats on your favorite lake it is pretty hard to blame the muskies. There are many more anglers eating walleyes out of that lake than there are muskies in the lake. The fact is musky are not walleye predators, we are……………AND THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE.

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I am hard pressed to think of a well known walleye lake that doesn't have muskies in it. Old wives tale.

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Thank you Shamalex,

Why is it that the 3 biggest walleye I have ever caught (27",28 1/2", and 29") all came out of the same body of water where I also caught my two biggest muskie (48" and 50")??????? . I'm sick of people saying muskie have destroyed their favorite walleye lakes. The only way muskie have effected these lakes is that they give people a reason to complain why they didn't pound the walleyes. Don't use the muskie as a excuse.

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We have a cabin on Alec and I think the muskies are great. fish morn. and eves for walleyes, muskies in the day. No better fishing rush, than to have one of those hogs grab on or just follow up.

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Vexilar65 and others interested in the muskie/walleye debate on Lake Alex,

The following is the response I received from Jim Lilianthal, area fisheries supervisor in Little Falls, the office which manages Alex. My question was simply what walleye stocking they are doing on Alex which I compile as part of the Brainerd Lakes Area Walleye Alliance newsletter.

Hi Chuck

Lake Alexander is stocked each odd numbered year with

2,500,000 walleye fry. The last stocking was in 2003. The next stocking will take place this week probably Tuesday or Wednesday. Our fall electrofishing checks have indicated excellent fry survival to fall fingerlings every stocked year since we changed from fingerling to fry stocking in 1995. In our most recent assessment in April of 2004 we captured 524 walleye during our spring muskie trapnet assessment. This is the highest walleye catch of any sampling ever done on Lake Alexander. Spring assessments seldom sample walleye under 14 inches long {they stay out of harms way while the big fish are spawning}.The walleye ranged in size from 14 to 29.5 inches long ,with 70% over 20 inches long. We also had the highest catch of northern pike ever sampled at 1,052. I want to" strongly" encourage anglers to harvest northern pike under the 24 inch bottom of the protected slot (83% of those sampled} so they don't present a future problem for walleye fishing through excessive predation of juvenile walleye and yellow perch. We captured 163 muskies and 57% of them were over 40 inches long. Good luck fishing! Jim

Then, when I e mailed Jim back to ask his permission to post the information on this site, He responded with:

Hi Chuck Go ahead, I would like to see this message get out to as many anglers as possible so we don't hear the same wrong focus. It is extremely important for anglers to harvest abundant populations of small northerns (less than 24" long) and releasing larger northern pike and muskie is the only activity more important if they truly want to see greater survival of the juvenile walleye. Survival of juvenile walleye is directly related to yellow perch density and high populations of small northern pike reduce the yellow perch density. With low yellow perch density the small walleye have reduced prey and are more vulnerable (less buffered) to northern pike predation. Large northern pike and muskies can help help to balance the northern pike population and lower the density of small northern pike,but it may take time. Thanks Jim

For those that posted against or commonly hear mis information about muskies causing problems in lakes, Please help spread correct information instead of contributing to the rumor mill.

Thanks,

ccarlson

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I opened on Fishtrap about 10 years in a row and never worked so hard to catch nothing. I'd vote for Alex.

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Great post CC. I grew up in Little Falls and have fished Alex for years. Alex does not produce enough walleyes naturally, so it has to be stocked. Nothing hurts the walleye population class more than people harvesting these fish when they're small. I have seen people take limits of fish in the 11"-13" range. A limit of walleyes this size barely even covers the bottom of the bucket. Get a hot bite and alot of pressure and the year class gets hit hard. Then for the next 2-3 years when the bite is tough, the muskie gets the blame. This is one lake I would like to see a slot limit on. Let them go so they can grow.

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My family has got a cabin on Fishtrap and this year will be the first time on opener there. Fishtrap used to be an awesome lake for walleyes but it has drastically went down hill the last 5-10 years. I think there is a lot of locals that fish it and keep all their fish. Ive never seen someone catch a walleye on that lake and release it and I fish the lake a couple times a week.

As of Alexander vs Fishtrap that is an easy choice ALEXANDER for walleyes but as of bass and other fish i would say they are pretty close to being the same.

We will be out on Alex in the mornings and afternoons and then probably fish Fishtrap at night this weekend.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

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