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rowdy

closing flathead season?

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This sounds goofy to me, but is there alot of flatheads caught icefishing? Dont get me wrong i know there trying to protect the fish.

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This sounds goofy to me, but is there alot of flatheads caught icefishing? Dont get me wrong i know there trying to protect the fish.

Check out this video:

The issue isn't if there are a lot of people doing it.

The issue is that flatheads stack up like cordwood in their wintering holes. They are sometimes literally stacked 3 and 4 deep in very large groups of trophy sized fish. When they are grouped like this they are in a form of stasis or motionlessness and are very susceptible to being snagged and overharvested. We have well documented videos of large schools of trophy flatheads almost in a hibernation like state when the water gets below 51 degrees. With the expanded use of underwater cameras as fishing tools it would be easier to find these winter holes and exploit the opportunity to harvest trophy flatheads. Many of us support the initiative to create a closed winter harvest season on flatheads to try to protect this unique fishing resource. I would ask anyone reading this to please help us in this effort by e-mailing a response to the MN DNR which is seeking public comments on the issue. Comments, questions and requests for more information should be directed to Linda Erickson-Eastwood at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155-4020. Citizens also may call 651-259-5206.

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Wow! cool video!! Thanks for sharing that steve. Now i totally understand why there thinking about it.

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When they are grouped like this they are in a form of stasis or motionlessness and are very susceptible to being snagged and overharvested.

Too bad the MnDNR can't enforce the existing snagging laws.

I really cant see how closing the winter season on flat heads while keeping other species open will be anymore enforceable than our current unenforced laws..... ohhhh sorry officer... I am not fishing flatheads... I am just jigging for walleyes.... ohhhh and look what I happened to snag....

It is also (IMHO) too bad we as sportsmen choose to close seasons to "protect" against potential overharvest (that may not even be happening); rather than keeping the season open and adjusting limits to properly manage the harvest to acceptable levels.....

But then again to some people; the harvesting of even one fish is not acceptable.

Just how many flat head catfish are being harvested? I have asked for creel studies from the MnDNR but they have not pointed me to a single creel study in the state of MN that documents flathead overharvest... certainly there are creel studies out there that document the overhavest, why dont the MnDNR share these studies?

I support thoughtful effective laws/rules/regulations to protect these fish if indeed there is proven overhavest; however closing the winter season (IMHO) is not thoughtful nor effective way to truly protect these fish... it is merely yet another "feel good law that further restricts law abiding sportsmens rights/privileges/opportunities with little to no net gain for the resource.

.

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But then again.... to some people; even one fish harvested is not acceptable.....

I support thoughtful effective laws/rules/regulations to protect these fish if indeed there is proven overhavest; however closing the winter season (IMHO) is not thoughtful nor effective way to truly protect these fish... it is merely yet another "feel good law that further restricts law abiding sportsmens rights/privileges/opportunities with little to no net gain for the resource.

.

The people "harvesting" them durring the winter months are snagging them.

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The people "harvesting" them durring the winter months are snagging them.

Then bust them for snagging..... no need for another law.

If they are breaking one law and not getting busted, they certainly arent gonna follow adittional laws!!!!

.

.

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that further restricts law abiding sportsmens rights/privileges/opportunities

restricts from doing what exactly?

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Then bust them for snagging..... no need for another law.

MUCH easier to issue citation for possession than it is for snagging. A simple useful tool for the CO's.

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restricts from doing what exactly?

1) The legal Catch and Release of Flathead catfish in the winter.

2) Winter harvest of flathead catfish at acceptable levels.

.

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MUCH easier to issue citation for possession than it is for snagging. A simple useful tool for the CO's.

Are all flatheads caught in winter snagged?

If not, then what is the acceptable (IMO acceptable = sustainable) amount of harvest for leagaly caught flatheads over the entire season?

Are we under or over that threshold?

If we are indeed over that threshold... by all means adjust the limits to get us under that threshold... but don't needlessly close seasons especially if we are not over that threshold.

Were'nt limits just changed not to long ago?

What were the results of those changes?

If closing the winter season decreases winter harvest of flatheads; will the summer limits be brought back up to balance the sustainable harvest model? Or is this indeed a one way street of more and more "restrictions for restrictions sake" hiding behind the guise of sound fisheries management practices?

.

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Yes all flatheads caught in the winter are snagged, Like a bear, the flats go dormant. They go to sleep for the winter until the water warms in the spring.

You cannot catch a live one by means of hook and line.

One cannot legally snag a flathead so there is no season on them in the winter to harvest.

Why would you want to snag a flathead asleep, very sporting.

NO, you cannot kill them by means of spearing.

I had to check and see if this thread was in Silly Town.

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Yes all flatheads caught in the winter are snagged.

Cut and dried then...

It is already illeagal to catch and release and or harvest flatheads by hook and line in the winter.

And darkhouse spearing them through the ice is very difficult when

1) most of the places they hole up in have little to no ice

2) most of the places they hole up in are too deep or too murky to spear.

3) 99.999 percent (or less) of the 1% of Minnesota fishermen who do darkhouse spear; dont care to harvest a flathead catfish anyway.

Thanks Harvey Lee.

.

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It's certainly easier to bust someone dragging a 35# flat through the snow than busting them snagging with intent. This way, if they can't keep them- hopefully there's no incentive to do it. Although I know of several instances this winter where guys have done just that, just to bring the fish up above the ice because it's 'cool' and they've never caught a fish that big so they don't care if it hits or is snagged- to take a pic to brag. A neighbor of a guy I work with was doing it on the mn a half dozen times until he was shown one of BK's videos of them hibernating and it opened his eyes a little bit and he kind of put 2 and 2 together in regards to how little they fought, how they were hook 'near' the mouth and not 'in' the mouth. There's just so many people that don't know ANYTHING about them except they can get big. He just assumed they were so big and clumsy they missed the bait and were hooked else where. There's a huge educational pc to this.

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My intent is not to anger you guys at all here... but what exactly will closing the winter season on flathead catfish while keeping the season open for other species do to stop the yohoos who are illegaly snagging them without keeping the fish?

My guess is it will only change their excuse.... no I am "walleye fishing" not catfishing.

If they are indeed keeping the fish; then harvest limits along with creel studies to back them up will ensure they are not harvesting flathead catfish at unsustainable levels.

If harvest this way is happening onsie, twosie; and the fishery can support that harvest; why is there any need to regulate?

I could not agree more that education not regulation is the proper channel to fix this "problem"

.

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I agree that making any news laws may not seem to make any sense. But, I do not know why the DNR wants to do this, they have have a great reason to do so.

One cannot fix dumb and some will contiunue to do whatever they like while fishing or hunting.

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merk, would you still be a arguing about this if the word "spearing" didn't appear in the proposed change? I doubt it

I don't know how many times I have to say this, but I promise I won't say it once more. The snagging itself is not the problem, its what comes after the snagging. Snagging is VERY hard to enforce and prosecute. Possession is not. Do you understand that? Its a simple change that might protect generations of fish during vulnerable time. Nothing wrong with being a little proactive...

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And darkhouse spearing them through the ice is very difficult when

1) most of the places they hole up in have little to no ice

2) most of the places they hole up in are too deep or too murky to spear.

3) 99.999 percent (or less) of the 1% of Minnesota fishermen who do darkhouse spear; dont care to harvest a flathead catfish anyway.

Since this is the case then I see no problem closing the season as it will not be missed by me. Law breakers will be law breakers, this will keep the honest fisherman honest.

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DTRO,

First off I am sorry you percieve civil communication as arguing... but anyway...

The snagging itself is not the problem, its what comes after the snagging.

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Law breakers will be law breakers, this will keep the honest fisherman honest.

My point exactly... it keeps honest fishermen from legally harvesting fish while doing nothing to keep the law breakers from illegally harvesting fish.

I for one am getting tired of more and more restrictions on me... the law abiding fisherman to make up for the fact that the non law abiding fisherman can't/won't be held accountable for their actions.

.

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Still having problems

Still having a hard time

Still having a problem

Still having a problem

Still having a problem

.

Sounds like you still have a problem wink

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Too bad the MnDNR can't enforce the existing snagging laws.

I really cant see how closing the winter season on flat heads while keeping other species open will be anymore enforceable than our current unenforced laws..... ohhhh sorry officer... I am not fishing flatheads... I am just jigging for walleyes.... ohhhh and look what I happened to snag....

It is also (IMHO) too bad we as sportsmen choose to close seasons to "protect" against potential overharvest (that may not even be happening); rather than keeping the season open and adjusting limits to properly manage the harvest to acceptable levels.....

But then again to some people; the harvesting of even one fish is not acceptable.

Just how many flat head catfish are being harvested? I have asked for creel studies from the MnDNR but they have not pointed me to a single creel study in the state of MN that documents flathead overharvest... certainly there are creel studies out there that document the overhavest, why dont the MnDNR share these studies?

I support thoughtful effective laws/rules/regulations to protect these fish if indeed there is proven overhavest; however closing the winter season (IMHO) is not thoughtful nor effective way to truly protect these fish... it is merely yet another "feel good law that further restricts law abiding sportsmens rights/privileges/opportunities with little to no net gain for the resource.

.

You're arguing with a person that feels "harvesting even one flathead is unacceptable".

Some people are just regulation junkies, as long as the regulations fit their personal ethics/agendas. Forget everyone else...because then it's for the betterment of the sport.

The funny thing is, most Minnesotans don't really know how good Flatheads are to eat. If nobody wants to keep them, why further restrict them...particularly without any sound reason behind it. Maybe 3 guys on the internet ranting is all the DNR needs to decide.

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I have ZERO issues with keeping a Flathead to eat. I have several friends who keep a few each year. They are responsible about it and practice selective harvest when doing so.

I will admit though, I wish the regs went a little further and didn't allow the one big fish. Currently we can keep 5 with one over 24". I wish it was one between 24"-35" or something like that. I personally don't like to see decades old 50lb fish eaten, but that is just my personal opinion.

I truly don't understand the logic of thinking that its OK to be able to drop a jig into a pile of dormant trophy fish, foul hook one and then drag it home to eat. Its like shooting fenced deer......that are bedded and sleeping.

Is the law needed? I can't answer that, but I think its being proactive, just like when they made a 5 fish limit with the slot not so long ago. I'm sure a lot of people thought (is this needed?). Well I'm sure glad that someone was being proactive and the law isn't wide open like WI where you can keep 10 50lbers if you so choose.

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I also have Zero issues with the eating of flathead catfish as a matter of fact they taste great, but I would also like to see that resource protected so my grandchildren have the opportunity to catch one of these monsters.

The law is not about restricting the fisherman it’s about protecting the resource at a time when they are most vulnerable. The less than one percent as you put it merk that may spear catfish is most likely less than a person and this law will not affect the way spear fishermen go about their business.

I think that the laws and limits for open water are a great testament of how well this state has started to protect these giants.

I spear pike and I fish for flatheads, so yes I have a passion for both and believe that if the habits of these fish would have been know when the laws were originally were put in place we would not have this issue now as they would have been for protecting the resource.

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Might as well give up DTro.

I was thinking the exact same thing and then I read Harvey's quote. Made me chuckle.

Nice try, Darren but his receiver is turned off. He transmits loud, but he can't hear you. Best to just give it up.

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