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How much weight or emphasis should be put on determining where you fish based on DNR fish surveys? Some surveys are recent and could be considered reliable data, others are 5 years or more old and perhaps could be questionable to today's counts.

When I look at my lake maps book, or look on the DNR's website, I tend to look first at the survey of various fish species, and more particularly, the fish I wish to target. Am I, or anyone else that looks at these, putting too much emphasis on this type of information?

Take for example Lake Elysian. The walleye count in that lake was 1 fish between 6" & 8" which was sampled from all gear in 2001. However, I have heard in the past of some pretty decent walleye fishing out of that lake. On the other hand, lakes such as Shields and Mazaska have relatively high crappie counts sampled (409 and 537 respectively) in years 2001 on Shields and 2002 on Mazaska. Yet, from reading posts on this site for those lakes, I don't usually see people talking about big catches of crappies on these lakes.

There is also a lot more information about fish size and population when reading into the surveys. Numbers and size for the year sampled are things I look at. If, say in 2001 or 2002, there was a number of fish sampled (let's say walleyes) that were in the 9"-11" range and/or 12"-14" range, it would hint to me that a lake might be worth trying since these fish would be of good size today in 2006. On the flip side of that, if the lake has more adult fish than young, smaller fish in surveys 3, 4, 5 or more years ago, this lake may not be worth trying. But, then there is stocking data showing the year, species, size and number released. This is important to me too, to some degree. Not to mention too if a lake is subject to winter kill. This will have an even larger impact on populations.

So, if there are lakes you haven't fished before, but you have access to this kind of information, how much weight/emphasis do you put into it in deciding whether to hit that lake or not (barring hearing any fishing reports for that lake).

Just looking to get other input and other points of view here.

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Me tink U tink to much. LOL!

The best thing you can do is call up the people how work with the lakes on a yearly basis and pick their brains. They usually have the time this time of year to take an hour out of their day to answer some of your questions. I have done this with some of the smaller lakes up in the Nisswa area. I fish them more in the summer more than I do the lakes down here, and I found our a lot of info that wasn't in those reports that you refer to.

They have accurate and up to date info, and are willing to spew their knowledge to anyone that wants to take the time to listen to them. My eyes were opened on a couple of lakes up there that didn't look to have any potentional at all. They have turned out to be gems the last 3 years.

My advice is to talk to the biologist in charge of those lakes and get a note pad ready. Then, call me righat away and tell me exactly what they told you! tongue.gif

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Quote:

Me tink U tink to much. LOL!


Gee, that's odd....most people say me talk 2 much! shocked.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Don't put any emphasis on the DNR surveys. Everyone knows bass don't show up well in the reports. smirk.gif

The surveys listed on the DNR site are always a few years outdated. More current data can be obtained by calling the Waterville DNR office (for lakes in our region). I have found them to be very cordial.

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I don't take a lot of time looking at these surveys. I would rather find out for myself. Sometimes you can run into some darn good "secrets" when out exploring new water.

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Basscatcher,

One thing about the DNR surveys and crappies--there aren't very good ways to survey craps. They don't gill net very well and are not that easy to seine either.

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Most of the walleyes ive caught this winter came from a lake that showed no walleyes captured with no stocking record of them either.. Nice mix of size too. I discovered them fishing for crappies

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