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DNR plans to stock 23 million walleye fry in Leech Lake


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In the Duluth News today.

COMPILED BY SAM COOKNEWS TRIBUNE OUTDOORS WRITER

In an effort to improve walleye fishing in Leech Lake, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will stock up to 23 million walleye fry in the lake this spring.

The stocking -- part of an intensive management approach that includes cormorant control, special fishing regulations and habitat protection -- aims to improve a fishery that has relatively few small- and medium-sized walleye and a dwindling population of large-sized breeding walleye, according to a DNR news release.

DNR Fisheries Chief Ron Payer said the combination of strong natural reproduction in 2005 as well as experimental fry stocking in 2005 appears to have brought about the largest year class of walleye in many years.

The DNR will stock 20 million fry from the Boy River spawning run this spring. If available, an additional 3 million fry will be stocked after all priority needs are met from the Boy River spawning run, the DNR said.

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In my opinion, this won't do much good unless they eliminate the 23 million cormorants around the area.

By the way, does anyone know the current situation on these birds? Are they actually going to get rid of any of them this year? From what I saw last June, they are wreaking havoc.

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I agree that stocking without eradicating cormorants is just feeding the cormorants once the fry get big enough to be of interest to them, but that concept seems to be lost on the DNR. Last I heard they were talking about eliminating 1000 more this year, which is not enough. Last year I started to see them in numerous other lakes in the area, and once they spread they will be even harder to control.

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I think it's great, my theory was and still is Leech will get better naturally mainly due to the lack of pressure it's been getting the past 2-3 years. While at the detriment of resort owners, Leech has been like a small scale Red Lake with less pressure than it used to get which leads to more fish to catch and reproduce. My time frame is that about 3 years from now it will be back to being a walleye hotspot. I could be wrong but I'm sticking with my theory. I've heard reports from various people already.

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Yeah I just don't get it they said that in '98 there were 78 pairs of Commorants on leech and last year there was like 8,000. I know they killed like 5,000 this year but why not kill them all they are not doing any good. They are populating alot of other lakes also. They reproduce to fast and are not needed so get rid of the stupid things.

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I have heard (wink wink), culling of the cormorant population on leech has not been completed. Nearly 3,000 cormorants were removed from Leech Lake in 2005, before we(USDA-Wildlife Services)were slowed by pressure from several groups. The study of the cormorants diets has not been completed by the U of M, and with the amount of data yet to be processed it may still be awhile. Let me tell you it is an eye opening detail, and a stinky one especially down-wind from the island. I can't really talk too much about it publicly but hopefully by the end of this project our goals of helping re-establishing the leech fishery and protecting a threatened species of tern which nests on the island is being driven out,will be completed.

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Quote:

I have
heard
(wink wink), culling of the cormorant population on leech has not been completed. Nearly 3,000 cormorants were removed from Leech Lake in 2005, before we(USDA-Wildlife Services)were slowed by pressure from several groups. The study of the cormorants diets has not been completed by the U of M, and with the amount of data yet to be processed it may still be awhile. Let me tell you it is an eye opening detail, and a stinky one especially down-wind from the island. I can't really talk too much about it publicly but hopefully by the end of this project our goals of helping re-establishing the leech fishery and protecting a threatened species of tern which nests on the island is being driven out,will be completed.


Well, I can tell you that the Cormorant's diet that resides at Leech Lake is Walleye. I've seen first hand what looked like 100 birds flying together low to the water and each were scoping out walleye.

I'm assuming these special interest groups were similar to PETA, with failure to see anything beyond what they want to see. Pelican Island is a great example, look back 10 years ago at pictures of how bushy and beautiful it looks. Look at it today, most of the trees are dead/dying (because of the highly acidic feces of the birds - look at the boulders on the islands as well, they are all discolored from these disgusting birds.

There are people around the country (I live in Arkansas) literally laughing at the bumbling way the DNR has been handling this.

If these birds are not taken care of, they will ruin Leech, and then move to another lake and take it over. In fact, it has already begun. In a few years, the bud that could have been nipped will be out of control. This is also tourism dollars for the state of Minnesota that are at stake. What may seem like an isolated incident of birds disrupting Leech Lake may very soon have an effect on the state economy.

Of course, I believe, if these birds are removed, this can be avoided.

Was that doomsday enough? grin.gif I am completely serious about this, though.

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I agree with most things you said, although the trees which were once covering the island are almost completely gone, they were intentionally removed. In an attempt to discourage these tree/canopy nesting birds from utilizing pelican island, the trees were removed. Wouldn't you know those little buggers began nesting on the ground, I guess there is something else in the area which the birds have found. I have seen these cormorants with many species of fish, bluegill,LM,perch, and walleye, hopefully reducing the number of birds using the lake, will have positive results.

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I've got a good idea for those comorants. Just open up a season on them with no limit. I guarnatee the problem would be gone in no time! Oops, I thought it was a goose.grin.gif

Seriously though, they are a worthless bird and I have no idea why they are protected. If if were up to me, I would get rid of every one of them. They are starting to show up on Winni too. smirk.gif

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the DNR needs to keep a very close watch on this. trapping or shooting all of these nasty and stinky commorants is the only way. Let the public take care of these birds and buy a commorant stamp for $7.00, the state would make money and the gamefish will survive.

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I also think that they should get rid of all the birds. We have a cabin on leech and the lake is a waste of time if you plan on catching more than one walleye a day. I have fished over by pelican and those (Contact US Regarding This Word) birds are thick just take a toll on the lake. We have been fishing leech for 5yrs and 05 was by far the worst year fishing for us. I have been concentrating on the muskies. Hopefully the DNR can get this figured out before you have a dead sea.

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i would just like to put my 2 cents in. Back when i was about 5 so 1993 til i was about 12 my dad me and my grandpa would go to leech and get as many 2 lbs crappies as you could catch. Now we havent caught one untill last year when we got a limit of 10 inchers. I have been going to leech openeing day since i was born and i have noticed the decline in walleyes drastically. But im just wondering about the crappie- walleye connection. Ive heard it before the crappies go up the walleyes go down. The walleyes go down the crappies go up. For example look at Red Lake. Its over run with walleyes now. And the crappie numbers are slim . I think maybe just maybe that we could have another Red lake Crappie fishery on our Hands. But the comorants still can go grin.gif!

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