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Little Stewie

Spiny Fleas In LOTW?

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Little Stewie

Stopped at Log Cabin bait today and heard some disturbing news about the future of emerald shiner trapping on LOTW and the Rainy river. Supposedly someone on the Ontario side of LOTW discovered the prescence of spiny water fleas. Because of this the DNR will not allow any future trapping of minnows to occur for fear of spreading to other bodies of water. For those who do not know this is where the majority of the emerald shiners you use on LOTW for bait come from.

I don't know if what I was told was just rumor or not but if it's true we stand to lose the bait of choice on the big lake. Also, local people stand to lose out on some yearly revenue from trapping shiners.

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loosegoose

If it's a true statement what else can be done to help stop the spread of the (Contact Us Please) critters?

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jnorm1984

Information gather from the DNR invasive species office:Spiny water fleas were detected in Rainy Lake last summer. Since

Lake of the Woods is in the flowage it has been designated as infested

along with Rainy lake. What this means to the bait industry is bait

fish can not be harvested from that system.... So the bait industry in this part of the state will run into some hardship..But i do believe most of the time the local bait shops will be able to supply you with the minnow selection you desire..........norm

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mjrfishing

Is this going to be something to worry about in the near future? confused.gif

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Hookmaster

I actually got some on my line when deep water trolling on the Canadian side of Rainy in 2004 and then last summer also on the Canadian side. I didn't fish it in 2005. In 2004, I didn't know what they were and just thought it was of plant origin. Last year someone described what they look like here on FM so I knew what to look for. They look like a fuzzy mass on your line. If you look carefully, you can see the eye (a black fleck) and the spiny tail. They compete with other zooplankton (critters) for the phytoplankton (microscopic plants that are the start of the food chain) and fish don't like them because of the spiny tail. I don't know what the long term effects will be.

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Royal Dutchman

I am VERY concerned about this situation. Not by what the spiny water fleas (SWF) will do to us but by what the DNR will do to us. I am still gathering info but it appears to me that if or when the DNR designates the RR & LOW as "infested" by the spiny water fleas, there will be no more bait harvest on the Rainy and since this is the primary source of emerald shiners, there will be no more available for bait.

We may be able to import spot-tails or other shiners which may work as well but their availability is always suspect & if you didn't like the price of local shiners just wait for that. Who knows what invasive species will be imported with that bait?

Have talked to one Baudette bait shop & he says if he can't make the money he was from local bait he will probably be out of business.

The thing that really bothers me is why? Again I have just started to research but what I read and hear is that the "damage" from these things has not really been documented. They do feed on the same forage as young gamefish, but no one can say if it is to the extent to cause low weight gain or mortality. Small fish choose not to feed on them but the fleas do become part of the food chain for larger fish.

Spiny water fleas have been in the Great lakes for more than 20 years and that fishery remains strong so why take these extreme and most likely pointless measures for something that may, might, or could happen. If the fisheries in other infested waters were collapsing because of the SWF, I would have been calling for a bait harvest ban before this.

No one knows for sure how they got into Rainy Lake but it was probably from boats & they are probably going to be spread into other waters from boats so the whole bait ban will be for nothing anyway.

The last thing I want to do is compromise this incredible fishery but this bait ban just doesn't make much sense to me. If someone has some real scientific data to help me understand how the risk justifies the action, please let me know. I want to be well informed as this thing comes about.

As Dennis Miller says "Sorry I went off on a rant. It's just my opinion. I could be wrong".

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mjrfishing

Is this just going to be a problem with shiners?....Or is it going to affect chubs also?

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Little Stewie

I don't think chubs will be affected since they can be trapped in local small ponds, streams and etc. Emerald shiner might still be available even after a minnow trapping ban goes into effect, but the availability may be limited and the price may be quite a bit more.

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BLUESHARP

The 2006 Mn.fish regs.show Saganaga having these pests.I wonder if that means that all water from that point flowing north to hudson bay will be infested some day? Maybe that is how Rainy Lake got the bug?

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curt quesnell

Blues, Good to hear from you.....You have been missed!

We looked at a map that showed the Spiney Water Flea

infestation area....The Great Lakes and all water west

along the Canadian border to Lake of the Woods.

What do you do?

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BLUESHARP

Curt thanks for the info.No local shiners will be hard to swallow.GULP!!! I hope for the locals,they find a solution.They need that cash flow.

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buoyblu

If the DNR stops shiner trapping on the US side what are the trapping laws on the Canadian side? Whats stopping them if anything from trapping shiners and selling them to Americans.

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Royal Dutchman

Can't transport live bait accross the border. I suppose you could maybe get frozen or salted ones.

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buoyblu

What about freezing shiners on the American side for sale. Will this kill the spiny flea? I hear it is a local secret to use frozen shiners all year long anyways. This way trapping stays the way it has been for years,and local resorts stay in business.

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Royal Dutchman

From what I read & have been told by the DNR, it will end all bait harvest period. No commercial harvest & I cant even dip 'em off my own dock for my own use. Even if I was to salt &/or freeze them. No way, no how, never!

All in a futile attempt to stop a critter that is going to go where it goes anyway. Studies can't prove how it was transferred from the Great Lakes to the Boundry Waters but equipment and birds are high on the suspect list. Don't think stopping bait harvest is going to do the trick.

Sure hope logic prevails but I don't hold very high hopes.

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fiskyknut

Years back here on FM we had several discussions about invasives showing up and sure enough we're getting them and are gonna feel the repercussions now. Got them Rusty Crayfish already and now these little buggers. Big time tourist lake like this and it's just inevitable that these little critters have hitched a ride. Pulling all the plants off your rig and draining livewells and such just can't stop some of these critters from showing up, they can live in a wee bit of water in the plumbing and bilge. Short of complete hot water wash and disinfection with bleach or something what else will stop these nasties from spreading even more yet.

I wonder what will become of the fishery once the dreaded Zebra Mussel takes hold? Thats just a matter of time too and it would'nt surprize me if they're already in the pond with the number of boats we see from the great lakes states thru the summer season.

Baitshops can find other sources for Emerald Shiners but man they'll end up being spendy as delicate as they are.

So I wonder....After March 1 we won't be seeing any more local Shiners for sale then eh????

Steve my man you must know the real story.....Bend our ears man!

fiskyknut

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Royal Dutchman

Fisky,

Where did you get the March 1 date? As far as I can tell the RR & LOW are not on the "infested" list and won't be until they can sample & confirm the presence of SWF. Probably not until open water.

Can't really get a straight answer on how the process works or what the timing would be to restrict bait harvest. Hope someone out there can enlighten me.

From previous posts, fishermen have been aware of SWF in Rainy Lake since '04 and it is just now getting listed for '07. More questions than answers.

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fiskyknut

I don't know for sure either hence the question marks. I surely want to know also. As it's not on the list it could take a while.....Or maybe not? Many people are wondering.

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curt quesnell

Steve at Log Cabin Bait told me that bait trapping permits

werent being re issued or renewed. That might be where the

March 1 date came from.

This is a pickle for sure.

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Royal Dutchman

The word from DNR Fisheries TODAY was that SWF have been confirmed in the RR & LOW. Not sure when that happened and why it hasn't been on the published list. Appears that the DNR has chosen a course of action and that's that!

Not sure why it took so long on Rainy Lake and happened litterally over-night here.

What it means is no bait harvest from RR & LOW period and when I asked about previously harvested frozen shiners, was told to "use 'em up; fast"! They are hoping to have it in place by open water.

Kinda hard to swallow.

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fiskyknut

There is a little clause if I remember right in my minnow regs pamphlets that say something to the effect of......The commissioner can implace or enact special circumstance regs at any time thruout the season. Something along those lines anyway. I'll go find it and dig thru it to find how it's worded.

How will they be able to tell if my frozen Shiners did'nt come from an entire different watershed?

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Royal Dutchman

DNA of course! Don't you watch CSI?

Trying to lighten up a bit. I'm getting way to shook-up about this!

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widetrack

That will be just plain retarded if frozen shiners aren't allowed. How can frozen bait possibly spread an invasive species? Even the Canadians allow frozen bait, and they are as picky as can be about this stuff...

I'm going to email the DNR on this and try get the scoop.

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lakowoods

Got my Bait License application and I can get it renewed, with no more Bait taken from the River or Lake. If you want to know some interesting info stop in and I can fill you in on some news. Steve @ LCB

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widetrack

Any chance you can post the interesting news here?

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