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Ice-King

A state minimum size for walleye

33 posts in this topic

Is there anyone else that believes there should be a state minimum for walleye? I just think its a shame when you hear of people keeping 12 and 13" walleyes.

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No.....

I know of some waters where it would benefit the lake a lot if people would keep the 12 & 13 inch walleyes. Where there is an over abundance of slow growing walleye year classes, removing them at that size increases their opportunity for forage, in turn, increasing their growth rates.

Just like any length regulation, there just cannot be a statewide slot like that.

Each lake is it's own beast.

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I certainly don't know what is exactly best for all lakes. I do believe that more restrictions would be beneficial. I think different fisheries might benefit from different restrictions.

Lots of confusion could come with that, but we're smart enough how to operate $2000 electronic gadgets to help us catch them, so I think we can read a rule and reg booklet and figure out what's legal for the body of water we're on that day.

I also think more education / positive views on Selective Harvest (releasing smaller fish to grow up and releasing most of the larger (breeding stock) fish (all species, panfish, walleyes,northerns, ect) to reproduce, and keeping a responsible amount of fish for the table) is as important, if not more, than state imposed regulations. It's gonna take changes in harvest "attitudes" in general, to make these regulations easier to swallow for most.

IMO, our harvest practices ought to change as much as our fishing practices (technology, improvements in ice fishing, GPS maps, ATV's, ect - which I am all for and have them all) have over the years. Good Luck.

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I agree with goose, each fishery is different and would require a different regulation to be successful.

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No.....

I know of some waters where it would benefit the lake a lot if people would keep the 12 & 13 inch walleyes. Where there is an over abundance of slow growing walleye year classes, removing them at that size increases their opportunity for forage, in turn, increasing their growth rates.

Just like any length regulation, there just cannot be a statewide slot like that.

Each lake is it's own beast.

Correct, maybe those lakes should be particularly managed then.

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Correct, maybe those lakes should be particularly managed then.

Exactly! Each lake should be managed individually. However, could you imagine the size of the reg book and the uproar form the fisherman. Apparently the regs are hard enough to understand, I would hate to see what happens if the resourse managers pushed for this level of management.

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i'll take 13 inch walleyes any day fair and away thebest eating

ya it depends on the lake

i live next to gull and think geez in 2 yrs the fishing going to be really should be lots of 16-18 fish but never seem to get there

sometimes i think the best is to leave mother nature do her thing

i dont think any body really has all the do and donts

mille lacs in the eraly 90 was great fishin

then the indians got in there and then the dnr is makin new rules every year and one yr the fish are comitting suicide over the next you cant get a bite they have ruined one of the best natural reproducing walleye lakes in the world

i fish winnie now way better bite and more consistent bite

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ever been to lotw?ever checked out the fish cleaning shacks at the resorts?ppl who come from all over keep anything they catch anywhere from 8 inchers to 12 inchers.granted the regs anything up to 19 1/2 but i set my own regs on what size i keep up to 19 1/2

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Exactly! Each lake should be managed individually. However, could you imagine the size of the reg book and the uproar form the fisherman. Apparently the regs are hard enough to understand, I would hate to see what happens if the resourse managers pushed for this level of management.

I agree each lake should be managed individually. I also don't believe the resources ($$), esp. now, are there to study each lake and come up with a plan for each of them. I believe, too, that there would be an uproar from us, but don't really know why.

I stated before, and still hold, it's way more complicated to figure out how to operate a GPS w/ Lakemaster/ Navionics chip, Hummingbird with SI, new Lowrances, heck, how to mix gas for our augers, than it is to read a reg book. I don't think we have to worry about large reg books, for a while, at least, but don't think that ought to be a legit arguement against it.

If individual lake restrictions aren't a feesible option, I think it's up to us to regulate ourselves, individually, and think twice about what size and number of fish we choose to harvest. I'm not gonna say what I do is what you ought to do. We all have different views and circumstances. I do think we all ought to think twice, though, for the benefit of our fisheries today and ours children's fisheries tomorrow.

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ya one needs to use alittle common sense

i dont just go out catch 13 inch fish lol\

but very seldom keep anything over 19

winnie is 17 so sometimes to get a meal you hafta keep a couple of 13 but we do get some 12 and under we dont keep those 8 inch is a little riduculous

but if you drive from chicago spose you dont want to go home hungry lol

again i'm no biogelist(cant spell it either lol)

but i think low can handle the pressure

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It drives me crazy when I see people keeping the dinks but it is much worse to keep the bigger fish. I can go with a 13 or 14 minimum but I would put on a 20 inch maximum and maybe one trophy fish over 25 or 26 per week. Anything over that can be prone to high amounts of PCB's and the meat is not as good anyway. Let the big girls go back to make more baby walleys!

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Goose heres one to think about How many questions do you see asking what the rules are? I see them all the time and wonder why they dont go to DNR site or read the booklet.

OK How many questions do you see on how to operate those confusing electronics? I see few, very few.

We have too many rules for most to even take the time to look up We cant create more!

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Good point, sparce. I think part of it has to do with the fact that we're naturally opposed to more rules / regs. Thus, we don't want to read the manual learn the rules as they change.

We do want to know how we opertate our new expensive gadget, because we've got our hard earn money in it, and they're FUN when we know how to operate them. Rules / Regs don't equal fun, but aren't that difficult to understand. I don't believe that should be an arguement against them though. That's all.

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Any new regs should have a sound biological basis. If someone wants to eat a 12-13"er, I don't see it as my business to tell him he shouldn't unless I can show that it is harmful to the resource.

The lakes up in Voyageurs dropped their minimum recently.

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Bruledrifter-raises a good point. There are some lakes out there with insanely high number of 10-14" walleyes and few larger fish. A somewhat remote lake I like to fish in NE Mn is like this. The DNR survey says the numbers of fish in the lake are extremely high with a low forage base. The smaller fish from this lake make a great meal.

We should have a minimum size of 8 or 10". I hate seeing people pull fingerling 4-6" walleye from metro lakes for the dinner table. I have seen it too often. Let the tiny freshly stocked walleyes grow to a respectable size.

Windy said- most importantly we should have a maximum size. Call it 20 or 22" with 1 over 28" per month or season. Let load up our lakes with bigger fish which will spawn more and create better numbers of walleye. I was in Canada this summer with some people who nearly ran me out of camp when they heard I released the 2 27" walleyes I caught. They would have tasted horrible, I got pics of both fish and I don't mount fish.

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It drives me crazy when I see people keeping the dinks but it is much worse to keep the bigger fish. I can go with a 13 or 14 minimum but I would put on a 20 inch maximum and maybe one trophy fish over 25 or 26 per week. Anything over that can be prone to high amounts of PCB's and the meat is not as good anyway. Let the big girls go back to make more baby walleys!

I agree with you I have seen too many people keep these small fish. by the time you fillet them, you end up with almost nothing for a fillet.

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4"-10"? You might just as well butcher the bait! I would agree to a 15" statewide min. Also believe the one over 20" is a good thing. I also feel that the fish one keeps for the table should be related to the amount of time spent fishing and amount of fish caught. If you only get out fishing once or twice a year and get into some smaller fish or a 25" eye, I see no problem keeping them for table fair as long as it's legal to do so. I would think the people that catch alot of fish thru the year would (hopefully) be more selective on what they keep.

Question- If you keep the bigger fish from a lake with limited or no natural reproduction, other than the fish you took out, are you actually damaging the fishery? How many fingerlings are these big fish consuming? Just a thought that came up. Interested to hear others thoughts on these type of lakes.

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Question- If you keep the bigger fish from a lake with limited or no natural reproduction, other than the fish you took out, are you actually damaging the fishery? How many fingerlings are these big fish consuming? Just a thought that came up. Interested to hear others thoughts on these type of lakes.

Interesting question, heatchecker. Especially in lakes around your area. I remember back in college years fishing on small lake in your area and catching (& releasing) a good number of big, fat walleyes. We were catching them on 6-9" chubs. I figured they were so well fed from all the bullheads in the lake. I never thought of how they might be canabalizing the fry/fingerlings the DNR was obviously stocking. Either way, I have a tough time taking and eating a 20+ walleye from a shallow, fertile late. Good food for thought, though.

BTW, Totally agree with rest of your post about responsible harvest. Good luck.

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i would love to see a state min, i would like to see a state min for a lot of things but eyes would be a good start, but again it would be base on each lake

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I think the biologists are more concerned with people taking breeding size fish instead of the little ones.

Personally, I think a 13 to 17 inch size limit would suit the majority of lakes pretty well.

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The 15" minimum was tried on Lac Qui Parle Lake a few years ago. It is a lake it should have worked on where fish are fast growing. It was a disaster. Just a lot of fish that were under 15". Some of them were dying of natural causes before they even made it to 15".

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Originally Posted By: heat checker
Question- If you keep the bigger fish from a lake with limited or no natural reproduction, other than the fish you took out, are you actually damaging the fishery? How many fingerlings are these big fish consuming? Just a thought that came up. Interested to hear others thoughts on these type of lakes.

Interesting question, heatchecker. Especially in lakes around your area. I remember back in college years fishing on small lake in your area and catching (& releasing) a good number of big, fat walleyes. We were catching them on 6-9" chubs. I figured they were so well fed from all the bullheads in the lake. I never thought of how they might be canabalizing the fry/fingerlings the DNR was obviously stocking. Either way, I have a tough time taking and eating a 20+ walleye from a shallow, fertile late. Good food for thought, though.

BTW, Totally agree with rest of your post about responsible harvest. Good luck.

I think that this is why you can't just use blanket rules. Walleye is king in Minnesota but the truth is that many, if not most, of the lakes that contain walleye really aren't capable of sustaining their populations. Many of these lakes never did have walleyes indiginous to them but have walleyes in them only because of stocking. In these lakes, it may not matter to keep the breeders because they don't have suitable habitat for breeeding anyway and so there are no or very few naturally born fish.

The only reason to refrain from keeping the larger fish in this situation is to promote a trophy fishery and now we are deviating from protecting the resource to supplying a fishery geared toward a certain small population segment's desires.

Bob

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Thankfully, the DNR knows that Minimum size limits don't work, that's why they have been dropped on most every lake they were ever put on. If you set the min at 14, you end up with lots of 13.75" fish, and can never get any to keep. The lakes end up with stunted populations of small fish and hardly any keepers.

Minimum size limits are bad for a fishery. In lakes with good natural reproduction, it's beneficial to keep smaller fish, because it means more food for the rest to grow bigger.

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Seriously? what next regulate the amount of beer and fun i can have in my boat? I follow the regs, but this is a little extreme. Use your common sense quit fishing so close to the other guy that you know about his 6 inch walleye.

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