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fishinlocal

Regs clarification

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What are walleye/sauger regs just south of Wakota bridge on the Mississippi? It looks catch n release only correct?

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Awesome thanks! Just out of curiosity what is the reasoning behind the catch and release only? I can't imagine it is a numbers thing? Health reasons? The couple walleyes we did catch were very healthy looking and their color was excellent!

We had a great time on pool 2, walleyes, bass, catfish, sheephead galore. Gorgeous day yesterday for sure.

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Glad you had good time on the River! It all started with the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972!

Here's some info on how we got to where we are today!

Cut n' paste:

If D i c k Grzywinski "the Griz" of St. Paul tells you he caught 91 walleyes, it isn't a guess. The renowned Minnesota fishing guide is famous for keeping a mechanical counter in his boat, and he has counted plenty of fish from the metro.

"I fished every day on Phalen, Gervais, Round Lake, 'Big' Bear, and the Mississippi," Grzywinski recalls of his early fishing experiences as a boy.

Grzywinski is a familiar face at walleye factories like Mille Lacs and Winnibigoshish, but today he chases big walleyes closer to home. "If I'm going to go after a trophy walleye, I wouldn't go north," Grzywinski says. "I'd take the metro over any place in Minnesota. If you want to catch a big walleye in a hurry, you can do it right in town." His favorite spot is Pool 2, a 35-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between the Ford Dam in St. Paul and Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings.

Had it not been for the federal Clean Water Act of 1972, there would be little reason to wet a line in the metro's portion of the Mississippi, according to Dirk Peterson, DNR metro-area fisheries manager.

"In the 1960s our nets didn't fill up with anything but toilet paper; now they just fill up with large walleye," Peterson says of Pool 2.

Prior to the Clean Water Act, storm water and wastewater were handled together. When large rain events occurred, capacity at treatment plants was overtopped, leading to the frequent discharge of raw sewage into the river. The resulting high levels of organic material often depleted dissolved oxygen levels in the river to zero, making aquatic life impossible.

Separate handling of storm water and wastewater, as required by the act, has led to the recovery of large rivers in the metro, according to Peterson. "At the Pig's Eye wastewater treatment plant, they discharge water that is cleaner than the river," he says.

In the early 1990s, after decades of improving water quality, a handful of anglers discovered that walleyes had staged a comeback. It didn't take long for word to get out, and anglers started arriving from all over the Midwest, recalls Duane Shodeen, retired DNR metro-area fisheries manager.

"Some were keeping big stringers of fish to show off at local bait shops," Shodeen says. "They figured they weren't safe to eat, so most of these fish were just being discarded."

This waste concerned a number of metro anglers, including Grzywinski and [PoorWordUsage] Sternberg, once a fisheries biologist with the DNR. Grzywinski and Sternberg helped mobilize support from local anglers to stop the indiscriminate harvest of walleyes from Pool 2, and they assisted the DNR with the fish sampling needed for an official fishing regulation change. In 1993 their efforts helped establish a year-round catch-and-release-only season for walleyes in Pool 2. The regulation, which also applies to sauger and largemouth and smallmouth bass, remains in effect today.

"The best part of it is," Grzywinski says, "when I'm not around anymore, I know my two grandsons will still be able to go down [to Pool 2] and catch a 10-pounder."

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