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RK

Meeting on Muskie Stocking in Ottertail Co, Oct 29

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FYI - from the Minnesota Muskie and Pike Alliance

 

Muskie management in Minnesota is under attack. Without your support our muskie fisheries are in jeopardy. This threat began with a small group of muskie haters on Pelican Lake (one of MN's premier muskie waters). By promoting false information through their lakeshore owners association, they were able to convince the Ottertail County COLA to take action against muskie stocking in Ottertail County. They've gone to great lengths to manipulate local residents into believing muskies are destroying their lakes, and they've gained enough traction to pull the statewide MN Coalition of Lake Associations into the fray as well. Their claims are nothing new. It's the same old story.... "Muskies are eating all the walleyes." Then, when the science proves that completely false, it's "Muskies are eating all the panfish." And when that is also proven false they turn to "Muskies are a threat to public safety and will attack our children." Obviously that doesn't hold water either. In fact, this is nothing more than a re-hashed version of previous efforts by the group "No More Muskies", but they've found a new face and a new voice. There are decades worth of science supporting muskie stocking and proving it has had no negative effects anywhere in Minnesota, but actual facts are not something these people concern themselves with. They use scare tactics and emotional pleas to further their cause.Make no mistake, this threat is serious. 
In fact, they have allies in the Minnesota Legislature. Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen has long been opposed to muskies, and in the past has made several attempts to hamper positive muskie management. Senator Ingebrigtsen has aligned himself with this current group and is working to help them stop muskie stocking in Ottertail County. Representative Bud Nornes has joined in as well. Many Legislators see this as a "social" issue and not a biological one, meaning they don't care about the science. If there is enough public outcry against muskie stocking, they can and will write legislation to stop it regardless of the actual facts The groups' current goal is to stop muskie stocking on West Battle, Pelican, and Big Detroit Lakes. These are three of Minnesota's premier trophy muskie waters, in addition to being thriving fisheries for walleyes and panfish. They also intend to stop any possibility of stocking any additional waters in Ottertail County in the future.What must be understood is that this is just the start. This threat goes far beyond Ottertail County. Any traction they gain will be used to promote this same type of action across the state. If this isn't stopped dead in it's tracks it will have serious implications for every muskie water in Minnesota.  
The only way to stop this is with your support. 
This is not the time to be complacent. We need EVERYONE who cares about muskies  anywhere in Minnesota to take action. There is a meeting being held on Thursday, October 29th in Fergus Falls at the Otter Tail Power Community Room. 215 South Cascade Street. The meeting is from 6:00-8:00 pm. It is extremely important that we have a very strong presence of muskie supporters at this meeting. The Pelican Lakes association is aggressively promoting attendance by anyone opposed to muskies. We need to show them, the DNR, and the Legislators that we support muskies.  Please pass this information on, and ask everyone who can to attend the meeting. Lastly, please call and/or email the two involved Legislators, as well as the DNR Commissioner, letting them know you support muskie stocking, and proactive muskie management statewide. As always, be polite and courteous. We win these battles because we take the high road and stick to science, facts, and common sense. 
Tom Landwehr (DNR Commissioner
tom.landwehr@state.mn.us 

Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen 
sen.bill.ingebrigtsen@senate.mn 

Representative Bud Nornes 
rep.bud.nornes@house.mn 

Please make those phone calls, send the e-mails, and try to attend the meeting! Thank you. 

MN Muskie and Pike Alliance co-chairs Aaron Meyer and John Underhill 

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Thanks for posting RK.  I fish in Ottertail County frequently to target muskies and I'm heading there tomorrow.  I stay at a cabin on Pelican and the following quote is from an email the cabin owners sent me with regard to the attached article.

"Thanks for passing along that article. We've been hearing a little bit about it and will not be joining the Pelican Lake Owners Association again next year. It doesn't make sense to us either. Our "leisure vacation renters" that end up doing some fishing always tell us that they catch tons of walleyes, bass, and northerns."

The people that sent me the email own very little fishings gear, no fishing boat, but somehow they catch walleyes and bass without much difficulty.  

 

From MPR.  

Muskie-walleye war on NW Minnesota lake snags DNR

  1. Listen Story audio

    4min 22sec

"Basically, it's the 800-pound gorilla in the room."

That may seem an odd way to describe a fish swimming in a lake. But Dave Majkrzak believes it's spot-on when talking about the muskie population in Pelican Lake and the problems he says the fish — and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — are causing.

For 37 years, the DNR has stocked Pelican with small muskie, helping turn the lake into a kind of muskie paradise. A cousin of the northern pike, the muskellunge has a passionate following among anglers. Muskie grow slowly, but 48-inch catches are not uncommon and Pelican has a reputation as a trophy lake.

Majkrzak and other lake homeowners, however, say it's gone too far. The stocked muskie grow into monsters that eat all the food and damage the walleye fishery, he says. Many of his neighbors agree. The local property owners' association has hired a lawyer to seek an environmental review before the DNR's next muskie stocking in October.

DNR officials and some fishing guides say the lake is healthy and there's no evidence that big muskie are destroying walleye or any other sport fish. The continuing questions, however, have pulled the agency waist deep into another Minnesota fish fight. 

Majkrzak said the homeowners group will sue if the DNR doesn't agree to the study demand and stop the October stocking. He said residents are frustrated and angry.

 

"Our people are talking about selling their lake places," he said. "We had one couple say, 'We can't catch a walleye on this lake anymore, we're going to sell our lake place and move someplace else.' We've had people that have talked about protesting at the landing page."

Fishing might be more difficult because Pelican Lake has changed in the past five years. 

Zebra mussels make the lake clear because they filter algae from the water. That makes it easier to see fish, but it also make fish like walleye more wary. And with more light penetrating the water, more plants grow.

As conditions change, so does fish behavior, says DNR area fisheries supervisor Jim Wolters.

"If people are fishing in the spots that let's say they fished, back in the 80's, and not getting fish, it doesn't mean the fish aren't there," he said. "The fish have obviously adapted to the conditions and I think anglers need to adapt also." 

Wolters says DNR data shows Pelican Lake is a healthy fishery. 

"We've seen no negative impact of muskies on Pelican Lake through the course of our surveys," he said, noting a "record number of yellow perch in our nets" this year.

The walleye gill net catch rate was "right at the historic average for the lake over time," he added.

 

The DNR now manages 116 lakes for muskie. (That doesn't include connected lakes where muskie have moved.) The DNR long-range plan calls for adding muskie to eight new lakes across the state by 2020. 

In Pelican Lake, the agency stocks about 800 muskie each year, compared to 1.6 million walleye every other year. State law says anglers can only keep muskie longer than 54 inches. Wolters says a growing number of anglers are chasing the elusive trophy fish.

He concedes the DNR doesn't have good population data on muskie in Pelican Lake, but adds that a study underway now will provide answers next year. 

Majkrzak isn't satisfied with any of answers the DNR provides. "They've gotta use scientific data and they've gotta use facts and they have to be straightforward and honest with people," he said. "We just don't believe they've been straightforward with us." 

Majkrzak says for years local residents have joked about carrying a hammer in the boat to kill any muskie they catch. But he says the fear is real for a growing number of lake residents.

"We have people reporting a muskie laying under a dock. Sitting there like an alligator under a dock," he said. "And with the clear water you see 'em under there. Ask your granddaughter to go dangle her toes in the lake when you've got a 5-foot fish under the dock." 

Fishing guide Jerry Sondag said interest in muskie fishing on Pelican Lake has increased significantly over the years.

 

He says he doesn't let clients keep any muskie they catch and that most are satisfied to take pictures and measurements, then pay for a taxidermist to make a replica fish they can hang above the fireplace. So far this year, his clients have only caught two muskie on Pelican bigger than 54 inches.

Sondag accuses those who oppose muskie stocking of fear-mongering. Wolters says the walleye-muskie dispute involves "hysteria based on false information."

Sondag, who grew up on the lake and now makes his living guiding anglers in search of trophy muskie, says he's heard all the complaints about how muskie are damaging fishing in the lake and dismisses them as ridiculous.

"Here's what it is," Sondag said. "You have a bunch of retired guys who have nothing better to do. Because they're terrible fishermen, they're going to sit on their butts and persecute another group. (If) they want to learn how to fish, I'll take 'em fishing. It's $500 a day. Jump in my boat and I'll teach you how to catch a fish."

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/09/28/muskie-walleye

 

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Some of those people and or others are already and have been killing muskies for many years now, stomachs slit, kill em in the fishhouse and float em out and under and away.

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PS. It's really unfortunate the White Earth nation isn't putting that casino on the shores of Pelican Lake instead of Star because I highly doubt any of the anti-musky crew around Pelican is giving a rip about that cuz it's not going up on "their" lake. They'll fight the musky tooth and nail and sit on their hands that the native mob casino is moving into "their" county.

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Here is a good source to cite when discussing effects of muskie stocking:

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fisheries/species/mue/mue_stocking.pdf

The Abstract:

The popularity of sportfishing for muskellunge Esox masquinongy in Minnesota has increased substantially during the last 20 years and has resulted in a call for creating more fishing opportunities. As new waters are considered for muskellunge management, some anglers have expressed concern over the effects on other popular game fish species of adding a top-level predator. We evaluated the responses of seven fish species to muskellunge by comparing gill-net and/or trap-net catch per unit effort (CPUE) before and after muskellunge were stocked in 41 Minnesota lakes composed of 12 lake-classes. The species examined were northern pike Esox lucius, walleye Sander vitreus, yellow perch Perca flavescens, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus, white sucker Catostomus commersonii, and cisco Coregonus artedi. We found no significant decreases among the lakes in the mean CPUE of any species after muskellunge stocking, either for the stocked lakes as a whole or within lake-classes. There was a significant increase in the mean CPUE for bluegills over the entire group of lakes and within lake-class 24 in addition to an increase in the mean CPUE for black crappies sampled by gill nets in lake-class 25. Nevertheless, there was large variability in the changes in CPUE among lakes, and several individual lakes had significant changes in mean CPUE for some species following muskellunge stocking. The trend in CPUE increased for yellow perch and declined for white suckers over the entire group of lakes after muskellunge stocking. Because Minnesota follows established, biologically based guidelines for selecting new muskellunge lakes, the study lakes were not chosen at random and therefore the study conclusions most appropriately apply to lakes chosen in this manner. The lack of consistent negative changes in CPUE after stocking suggests that these fish species have generally coexisted well with muskellunge in these lakes at the densities that have resulted from stocking.

Edited by Deet

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RK and others a quick google Perham focus and you can read about the city council drafting a letter to stop OTC stocking. Funny read kinda, they kill wood ducks and their babies etc. This main guy said something to the effect about Ottertail walleyes now idk if he was talking about Ottertail Lake itself but there are muskies in Ottertail lake already and have been for 20 years now or at least my uncles reported way back then already muskies there and last winter they had several different sized muskies swimming through their spear holes. Not saying they're in fishable numbers but they are seeing quite a few of them. In 1989 I was spearing suckers on the river by Bal Moral golf course and the CO told us come down here, please don't spear this musky, we didn't and wouldn't but that was in 1989 so they made their way from West Battle, some did anyway. There is a shortage of walleye water in the county :).

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Let's put it another way...  Say I am a local person who lives in the area and fishes lake X.   What, if any, is the benefit to me in having lake X stocked with Muskies, assuming I am not a muskie fisherperson?  

If I and my neighbors like me get no benefit, why should we support such stocking?

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Let's put it another way...  Say I am a local person who lives in the area and fishes lake X.   What, if any, is the benefit to me in having lake X stocked with Muskies, assuming I am not a muskie fisherperson?  

If I and my neighbors like me get no benefit, why should we support such stocking?

I'm a muskie enthusiast but I don't expect everyone to support my wishes. Still, I don't appreciate opposition without any legitimate basis.

If you and your neighbors like you are not hurt by it, why should you oppose such stocking? (Not saying you DO oppose it)

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If I don't fish for Walleyes, what is the benefit to me when  stocking them in almost 300 Lakes across MN?

Does that mean you can't think of any benefit?  

As for walleye stocking, I think the same question is certainly legitimate, but because Joe local can eat walleye, and can fish for them with the gear that he already has it is less likely to draw opposition.

As for the "hurt by it", look at it this way. A bunch of money gets spent by DNR stocking a fish that is of little interest to a big majority and could upset the existing situation, both fish and fishermen wise. Why would the local folks support it in "their " (quotes deliberate ) lake?

I mostly fish Vermilion, and like the muskies and occasionally catching one by accident.  But I also run into a fair number of folks who don't like them, even after all the time since they were first stocked.

 

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Delceechi, do the people you talk to that are anti-Muskie have any legitimate reason they don't want them in 'their' lake?  Anything scientific?   

 

 

Does that mean you can't think of any benefit?  

As for walleye stocking, I think the same question is certainly legitimate, but because Joe local can eat walleye, and can fish for them with the gear that he already has it is less likely to draw opposition.

As for the "hurt by it", look at it this way. A bunch of money gets spent by DNR stocking a fish that is of little interest to a big majority and could upset the existing situation, both fish and fishermen wise. Why would the local folks support it in "their " (quotes deliberate ) lake?

 

You do realize that our state manages many fish species other than walleye and muskies right?  Many of which can be caught with 'walleye' gear,  many of which are for the most part, not targeted by most people for consumption and many of which have less people targeting them than muskies.  Should we stop managing those fish because they have little interest from walleye fisherman?  I'm failing to see your point.  

 

Where has it upset the current situation as you worded it?  There have been lots of studies about this if I am understanding what you are trying to say.

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A significant addition to the ecosystem, stocking muskies for example, seems likely, at least to the unschooled observer, to have some kind of an impact to the fish population and distribution.  In fact it is a hard sell to convince folks that it will improve or even not hurt their "cpue" as the scientists say.  And to have the guide guy who makes his living off muskies say

Sondag, who grew up on the lake and now makes his living guiding anglers in search of trophy muskie, says he's heard all the complaints about how muskie are damaging fishing in the lake and dismisses them as ridiculous.

"Here's what it is," Sondag said. "You have a bunch of retired guys who have nothing better to do. Because they're terrible fishermen, they're going to sit on their butts and persecute another group. (If) they want to learn how to fish, I'll take 'em fishing. It's $500 a day. Jump in my boat and I'll teach you how to catch a fish."

irritates me and I don't even have a dog in this fight.  

And, the DNR has lost most of their fish management credibility on Mille Lacs the last few years.

And read this, from that DNR article.  Here is money quote....

We found no significant decreases among the lakes in the mean CPUE of any species after muskellunge stocking, either for the stocked lakes as a whole or within lake-classes. There was a significant increase in the mean CPUE for bluegills over the entire group of lakes and within lake-class 24 in addition to an increase in the mean CPUE for black crappies sampled by gill nets in lake-class 25. Nevertheless, there was large variability in the changes in CPUE among lakes, and several individual lakes had significant changes in mean CPUE for some species following muskellunge stocking.

Who here is naive enough to think that "significant changes in CPUE" means it got better?  And "some species" is not bullheads and suckers.  Crappies and gills got better and are called out. You guys can speak bureaucrat, right?  

 

Edited by delcecchi

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I am naive enough to believe that significant changes in cpue means it got better, some of the time.

If there are billions of small pike, and introducing a large apex predator such as musky to the system significantly lowers the cpue and increases quality, I am all about that

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Been reading some of the stuff here and other sites... I am an "on the fence" guy when it comes to should we be stocking lakes in general. If a lake has a native species that we are trying to keep active in a lake I get it... I am not sure how we decide that introduction of a non native species is good/bad for each lake (and IMO using results from different lakes with differing variables increases the chances of being wrong both ways)... Walleyes Muskies Pike Trout whatever... We spend MILLIONS on fighting invasive species but we also spend MILLIONS again introducing new species to lakes that they were not native. Now how is that logical? But, I like to catch walleyes so stocking them is a boon to me. So why can't we stock muskies? 

I fish a lake that has recently (last 5 years) been infected with Milfoil and now Zebes, so the introduction anything non-native has my alarm bells going off. Those new additions are changing the lake as we speak, so an introduction of apex predators like Eyes and Muskies (via stocking) can also have this type of effect especially on an already changing ecosystem. So this leaves me on the fence... 

I really think both sides here play with hyperbole (exaggeration for effect) when they describe their opposition, as with most issues be they political or personal it is way more effective to sensationalize the opposition, when the MAJORITY of both sides are much reasonable and only seem to get riled up except for being stereotyped and or marginalized by the other side... Speak your piece but speak it with respect and not talking down to get more people to listen IMO. Thanks off the soapbox now.

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Speak your piece but speak it with respect and not talking down to get more people to listen IMO. Thanks off the soapbox now.

These are wise words, ones I wish Mr Sondag would live by. They guy is very knowledgeable about muskies and their impact just based solely on living on a specific lake pre-stocking and then seeing it progress through the stages and now being a trophy fishery, but man, where is the filter?

He says things that many people think, but would never utter to another person. He comes across as crass and very egotistical.

If I was on the fence OR opposed to something like this and then I heard his comments it certainly wouldn't sway my opinion the other way. It would push me further from any middle ground.

The one argument I get tired of are the people who say muskies are an "invasive" species. Its more or less the word of the day because its forefront due to the milfoil, zebra mussels, etc,  but if people were really concerned about it then there would be no fish stocking efforts in MN. Walleyes would reside in a mere fraction of the lakes they do live in. There would be no stocking to "enhance" lakes either unless those eggs were first harvested for each body of water they were later put back into so as to not introduce a non-native strain.

As a musky angler I hope they are able to find some new lakes to stock them into. Gull would be an absolute blast to musky fish.

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Capt... the terminologies of saying "invasive" vs "non native" is a valid point as invasive brings to mind a problems/negative connotation as you point out, so I would definitely try to not use that term as a substitution. However that does not change the fact that stocking non natives species (nns) in any old lake is still something that I think would need be sure is safe for the ecosystem. And the constant change lakes are enduring with invasive stuff like you mentioned (the bad stuff) how can we be sure this is a good choice, once anything is introduced there is no getting it out again. Stocking of additional fish that are native to the lake to me is a lesser risk, but yes stocking of eyes in non native waters is just as reckless IMO... And I live to walleye fish. All I am saying is I don't know if we should be or not... but I could see that if you are a Musky guy you would want more opportunities because as a walleye guy I want the same (with eyes)... my point I guess if I have one, is we "know" that an introduction of non native species always changes the native ecosystem (I mean look at what happened in Jurassic Park... sorry... had to put that in there), but we also are being told introduction of muskies has little/no effect on current fish populations. Now, I am not a scientist/biologist/zoologist whatever but to me that does not pass the smell test. 

Capt I think if you could get your average joes sitting around a table having a beer and talking about these choices (among other things in the world) with out the zealots on each side, there could be some meaningful compromise or get something done.

Not sure if I wish your project well or your opposition but carry on the good fight sir.   

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my point I guess if I have one, is we "know" that an introduction of non native species always changes the native ecosystem (I mean look at what happened in Jurassic Park... sorry... had to put that in there), but we also are being told introduction of muskies has little/no effect on current fish populations. Now, I am not a scientist/biologist/zoologist whatever but to me that does not pass the smell test. 

Capt I think if you could get your average joes sitting around a table having a beer and talking about these choices (among other things in the world) with out the zealots on each side, there could be some meaningful compromise or get something done.

Not sure if I wish your project well or your opposition but carry on the good fight sir.   

You raise some very valid points and concerns. The main thing I can say about that, contrary to popular belief is the DNR does do a very good job of evaluating lakes as candidates prior to even setting forth a proposal for stocking. MN Musky fishing is an international success story. The quality fishing we have brings people from all over the world to target fish here. That brings big dollars to MN.

In comparison there are under 100 lakes in MN that have muskies in them compared to thousands with walleyes. Not saying you are doing this, but it really isn't fair to compare stocking of other fish (walleyes, etc) to stocking of muskies simply because muskies are stocked in VERY low densities.

To the point of "little/no effect" on the current fish populations? That isn't completely true, but in the sense it should say little to no NEGATIVE effect. Reason being? Again, the very low population densities. The other fact is that the majority of the musky lakes being stocked are supported solely by stocking. No reproduction.

When many people think muskies they think they are "just a bigger northern". Well, that is not even remotely true. Northerns are aggressive and voracious feeders while muskies are not nearly as aggressive. Many of MN lakes have an overabundance of small northerns so they put a savage beating on the forage base. As a comparison you would probably have something like 1,000 pike under 24" for every musky in a given lake. Those 1,000 pike would have a much more significant impact on the lake than the musky will.

Typical forage for a musky are soft-spined fish tullibees, suckers, bullheads, etc. They do help improve the pike population too.

The common misconception of people seeing a "musky guy" hoping for more lakes to be stocked is that they are just a musky guy. Well, I fish about 95% of my time on the water for species other than muskies. I care about the health of the overall fishery vs just catching muskies since I spend more time targeting everything else, but I certainly enjoy going after the biggest predator in most lakes.

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This issue is still being fought in the legislature. Even for those that don't likeep or want muskies, you should be troubled by the precedent that will be set if this effort to ban musky stocking is successful. 

What's next, a Lake Association deciding duck hunters are dangerous so they should be banned from "their" lake? Water skiers and jet skiers are annoying them, so get your legislator to kick them of "your" lake? Decide the Walleyes being stocked, into "their" lake which never historically held them, have harmed the pan fish population so the Walleyes must go?

Where does it end? We as anglers either want scientists making decisions on our fisheries or we want legislators doing it. I know which I'm in favor of!

 

PLEASE if the idea of legislators doing the jobs of fisheries biologists troubles you contact your Representatives and Senators and encourage them to vote no.

If you feel giving those who choose to purchase property around a lake a louder voice than other residents of the state, to whom those waters belong to just as much, is troubling then PLEASE contact your legislators. 

This is about more than just Muskies. It's about allowing private land owners more influence over PUBLIC resources.

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Whether or not to stock muskies in a lake which presently does not have them is inherently a political decision.  It is not a science or biology question. So please don't be holier than thou with respect to stocking.   The people who fish the lake and live in the area are certainly stakeholders and should be heard.  

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      Bluegill - Fair: As water continues to warm, look for bluegill nest colonies along the west and east shorelines; the highest concentration are likely in the southern end of the lake. Use a small tube jig tipped with a piece of crawler. Black Hawk Lake
      Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. Water clarity is 5-6 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Fish for bluegill just about anywhere along the shoreline. The fish average 7-8 inches. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber off the floating fishing pier, the west stone pier, and the inlet bridge. Look for bluegills to start moving closer to shore, sitting on nests; you can easily target the males. Walleye - Fair: Anglers are picking up walleye from shore and by boat. Town Bay, the shoreline along Ice House Point, and near the inlet bridge are producing fish. Use leeches fished under a bobber and twisters on the downwind shoreline where walleye are feeding. Black Crappie - Slow: Anglers are still picking up fish from Ice House Point, the floating dock, the stone piers, and the inlet bridge. Catch fish up to 11 inches with crawlers and leeches fished under a bobber. Largemouth Bass - Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using the traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline,and the lake side of the inlet bridge.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Water clarity is 3-4 feet. Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye - Fair: Much of the walleye action has shifted to the boat anglers. Boat anglers are doing well trolling shad raps or ripple shads or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are picking up suspended crappie out mid-lake in the dredge cuts while fishing for walleye. White Bass - Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.  Swan Lake
      Water temperature is around 70 degrees. Water clarity is 3 feet. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties. Most of the fish are 6-7 inches. Look for fish to move closer to shore and the males sitting on nests. Yellow Smoke Park Lake
      Bluegill - Fair: Find bluegill spawning in the arm north of the swim beach and in the coves along the south shore. Yellow Smoke is known for its big bluegill consistently reaching 9 inches or more.  Water temperatures in Black Hawk District lakes are around 70 degrees. Bluegill are starting to move close to shore in many lakes and ponds. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Clear Lake
      Surface water temperature is 67 degrees. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies are biting. Use a small jig or a minnow in the rush beds and areas with vegetation. Walleye - Good: Try a slip bobber and leeches fished in the rocky reefs. Yellow Bass - Fair: Yellows bass are on the rocky areas to spawn. Use a small jig in the early morning. Channel Catfish - Fair: With recent rains, any spot where water is entering the lake is worth trying for catfish. Fish a dead chub or crawlers on the bottom. The best bite is late evening.  Crystal Lake
      Channel Catfish - Fair: Use nightcrawlers fished from shore. Walleye – Slow. Black Bullhead - Fair: Try nightcrawlers fished from shore. Bluegill – Slow: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  Lake Smith
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill – Fair. Rice Lake
      Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in the edge of the vegetation.  Silver Lake (Worth)
      Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth bass are biting on plastic baits. Bluegill - Fair: Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.  For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  Center Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Cast mini jigs in shallow water wood habitat.  East Okoboji Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Use traditional baits in the evening. Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers report a panfish bite of bluegill and crappie from docks; sorting is needed. Walleye - Good: Report of anglers catching fish from the south end; best bite during the evening hours.  Five Island Lake
      Channel Catfish - Good: Use traditional baits during evening hours. Walleye - Fair: Action is picking up with numbers of angler acceptable size and larger being caught.  Lost Island Lake
      Walleye - Good: Walleye are being caught close to shore. Try fishing from a dock or wader fishing after dark. Black Crappie - Good: Reports of crappie and yellow perch being caught. Yellow Bass - Fair: Report of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Report of large fish being caught during the late evening hours. Cast a white twister for the best action. Black Bullhead - Good: Good action reported of angler acceptable sized fish. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some activity reported.  Spirit Lake
      Marble Beach campground, including the boat ramp, is closed for the season for renovation. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Use a jig tipped with a minnow in shallow rock structures. Action is best during sunny, calm days. Black Crappie - Good: Fish the bulrush on the lake for spawning crappie. Cast a mini-jig and swim the bait slowly back to the boat to find active fish. Walleye - Good: Best action is during the night off the docks. Fish leeches under a bobber or cast a twister tail. Black Bullhead - Good: The bite has slowed at the north grade; persistence will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Fish traditional baits on the bottom. Trumbull Lake
      Northern Pike - Fair: Use casting spoons below the spillway.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Wooden docks in deeper water and new aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.