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B-man715

Muskie Spearing?

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Hey guys,

I was just wondering if people in Minnesota are allowed to spear muskies? On a lake near my home there were a couple hundred speared this past winter, most were well under the legal angling size. Is this happening anywhere else?

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Maybe tribal rights, not really sure.

That's what b-man is referring to in Wisconsin. The LDF have said they wish for the spearing situation to be reviewed in conjunction with the DNR in the next couple years. Hopefully they close that loophole where all fish speared through ice don't count towards the quota.

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I believe darkhouse spearing is illegal in most of WI.

I think just Winnebago (Short, highly regulated season for sturgeon) and Lake Superior (for northern pike) even allow darkhouse spearing.

Muskies are well protected against poaching in Minnesota.

Quote:
The level of penalty does vary with the size of the muskie, and the specific violation.

Wildlife restitution amounts are specified in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 6133 -- 0" to less than 30" $40; 30" to less than 40" $200; 40" to less than 50" $500; 50" and over $1000 plus $100 for each inch over 50".

The wildlife restitution amount would be in addition to the criminal fines and surcharges.

Generally, the violation would be classified as a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $1000 and up to 90 days in jail. If the restitution value of the muskie would happen to be over $1000 (54 inches for example), the violation would be a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $3000 and up to 1 year in jail.

However, there are established 'payable' fines for the misdemeanor violations (closed season, illegal length) with a base fine of $100. A $75 surcharge is standard, and most courts have a law library fee that varies from county to county.

In summary and for example: a 42 inch muskie taken in closed season would have a total penalty cost in the neighborhood of $695 = $100 (base fine) +75 (surcharge) + 20 (law library fee) + 500 (wildlife restitution).

In addition, any gear used to take the fish could be confiscated (such as rods/reels, spears).

License revocation is a possibility if two or more violations in a 3 year period, or if restitution value is over $500.

-Pat Watts, DNR Enforcement Division, St Paul MN

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It does happen, but most spearers in MN abide by the law, although fiercly protective of their sport (as are we), so let's not get into the us vs. them with this pic - however, there are a very small number of guys like this that don't care about the law.

Apologies in advance for posting the pic, probably a mistake, wouldn't have posted if it wasn't such a big fish, but it's worth seeing, even if it is officialy heresay and rumor, sure looks like it was speared, especially with the eye sunken in like that. Think he thought it was a pike?

Plenty of pics came up this winter from WI on another musky board, dozen or so fish lined up on the bloody ice.

I think the bulk of mortality in MN comes during the open water season from us, uneducated lucky anglers, and uneducated walleye fisherman, it's the maliciousness of this one that's bothersome.

sm.jpg

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That thing is a hog. Well i guess since the skies eat all the walleyes in the lakes they should probably be speared anyway right? haha i had to say that sorry

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Unintentional Muskie kills are a sad but true occurrence.

Spearing or Hooking mortality.

Lotsa pics of both out there.

I agree that we need to work together to minimize all unintentional Muskie kills and for sure try to eliminate all Muskie poaching.

I think the bulk of mortality in MN comes during the open water season from us, uneducated lucky anglers, and uneducated walleye fisherman

That only makes sense looking at the number of licenses purchased

There are uneducated darkhouse spearers and Muskie anglers out there too.

We will work to educate all them as best we can.

I think there are very few “muskie murders” and the majority are “muskie manslaughters”.

It would be nice to know the details of that pic before passing judgment though.

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Plenty of pics came up this winter from WI on another musky board, dozen or so fish lined up on the bloody ice.

Where these muskies speared legaly or illegaly?

If they were illegally speared I hope they were reported.

If not find out the details and report them.

If they were legaly speared and you have a problem with that; you should work to get the laws changed rather than taking the chance at facing hunting/fishing harassment laws.

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Originally Posted By: 50inchpig
Plenty of pics came up this winter from WI on another musky board, dozen or so fish lined up on the bloody ice.

Where these muskies speared legaly or illegaly?

If they were illegally speared I hope they were reported.

If not find out the details and report them.

If they were legaly speared and you have a problem with that; you should work to get the laws changed rather than taking the chance at facing hunting/fishing harassment laws.

I guess you could say the fish were speared legally (tribal rights). But the lake has a 50" size limit for anglers to follow (which makes the annual harvest very low). I just don't understand why there isn't a minimum size limit for the people spearing?

Are any of your good muskie lakes in Minnesota managed like this?

(and no I'm not out there harassing anybody, I just don't like the thought of all of those muskies under 50 being harvested)

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The lake he is talking about is Bone Lake. For the last 3-4 years a group from Eagle River has been coming down and spearing on the weekends. This year there were 3 locals who went out got to know the tribes coming out there, and were able to document 176 muskies speared through the ice with pictures in 2008, I saw the pictures they don't go after the little ones. Who know how many in the other years.

When the new agreement was signed, the focus was on how many walleye were to be speared, the lawmakers screwed up and thought that they were not interested in muskies. With this, there is no quota on muskies speared through the ice. The interesting thing is they don't spear around their own location.

When these 3 locals got their info they let the tribal leaders, DNR, and the tribal DNR know and they were all surprised at the number of how many were speared. All feel this is too many and are looking at changes. But until the new agreement is signed this is the way it is.

And from what I have been told the best thing to do is write to your rep. Right now it is their law given right and we just need to let them be. To start any problems only makes it worse. Hopefully the lawmakers can finally get it right.

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