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Renneberg

New regs for '05

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I want to know what everyone thinks about these new reg?

Do you think there a bad idea or a good idea? Why?

The draft proposal, as its currently written, would provide angling opportunities under three tiers or headings: trophy trout, wild trout and catchable trout. According to Mark Ebbers, DNR trout and salmon program consultant, special regulations for various streams will be capped at 175 stream miles.
For trophy trout, the draft proposal calls for a 12- to 16-inch trout slot limit and no-kill restrictions for an undetermined number of streams. Those regulations will be posted on streams beginning next spring, with public input meetings to follow next fall. According to Ebbers, the agency will make a decision on special regulations next November, with implementation in spring of 2005.
In addition, the DNR will conduct habitat improvement work on targeted streams to help bolster trout size structure. “We will be working on a habitat improvement list throughout the winter,” Ebbers said.
Ebbers estimates the agency can improve roughly two miles of stream per year under the six-year, long-range plan. “That’s about the average of what we can do,” he said.
Under the draft proposal, the DNR also will establish a “dedicated habitat improvement crew” in the southeast. That crew will work with cold-water fisheries officials from the Wisconsin DNR, specifically one of its trout habitat specialists, Dave Vetrano, who invented lunker structures and is considered a leading innovator in trout habitat improvement.
“That’s something we intend to do this coming summer,” Ebbers said. “I’ve talked to Vetrano and he’s agreed to help us. We will send our crew over there.”
The momentum from last Wednesday’s meeting comes on the heels of September’s trout stream tour at which the DNR, TU and MTA discussed several issues facing southeast Minnesota trout fisheries. The tour, MTA and TU officials say, went a long ways towards opening up the lines of communication with the DNR and smoothing some long-held disagreements. Prior to the tour, in August, MTA and TU boycotted a southeast Minnesota trout stream roundtable meeting hosted by the DNR, saying in part that too many “constituents” were invited.
“The stream tour was the start,” Broberg said. “DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam was there, and he provided the leadership we all needed to get this thing going in a positive direction. He stressed that we need to build on our strengths, that we have to put past disagreements behind us, and that we have to look towards the future to improve our trout resource. I think we now have a real opportunity here to build a strong trout program.”
Duke Hust, Minnesota TU vice chairman for governmental relations, agrees. “I thought the meeting with the DNR last week went extraordinarily well,” he said. “I now think the two trout organizations and the DNR are singing on the same page.”
Under the draft proposal, wild trout waters would be managed for sustainable populations of naturally reproducing trout. Stocking likely will be reduced or suspended on some streams that have solid, naturally reproducing brown trout, Ebbers said.
Traditional or catchable waters will include those that depend heavily on stocking. The streams would cater to anglers who want to “catch a meal,” or who want to increase their odds of catching a fish. Under traditional management, current regulations would likely stay the same. “We will keep stocking catchable-sized rainbows in some waters,” Ebbers said. “Anglers want that, and we will continue it.”
Under the draft plan, the DNR also would put no-kill regulations on 40-miles of nondesignated trout waters — a move that’s supported by MTA and TU but could garner criticism from some quarters. “This is something that many, many anglers and groups wanted,” Ebbers said. “But I’m sure will hear about it from some.”
Said Broberg: “Nondesignated waters have big fish, and I think it’s wise to protect them. Once the word gets out on a stream, a lot anglers target the big fish.”
The good news, according to the DNR, is that the southeast trout population is healthy. Population surveys indicate that are more trout in southeast streams than anytime in the last 30 years. In fact, the trout population of mostly browns, but also of brookies and rainbows has tripled since 1970. In addition, the average number of browns more than 12 inches long increased from 26 per stream mile in the 1970s to 55 in the 1990s.
The DNR also plans to hire a new cold-water fisheries coordinator in the southeast, replacing Mark Heywood, who retired in October. The interview process will likely start this month.

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"Study to be quiet"

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A couple things I would like to commento n.

If the numbers of fish (brown over 12 inches) have dramatically increased, why change things?

Maybe keep a close eye on things? Not sure I agreee with the the 12-16 slot restrictions.

There are streams in SE MN that have these regs in place and have witnessed actual decrease in larger fish?????

To me it is the 15%(or less) of the over all population of fisherman, influencing the habitat for all!

Good information Steve...Thanks!!!

Jim W

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One thing they forgot to say is on streams with the 12-16 slot the number of trout over 16 inches is way down.

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"Study to be quiet"

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I'd like to see a no kill policy on certain streams. The Vermillion for one, if it could be combined with some sort of public easement. I think this would benefit the Farmington area economy bringing in people from the metro who are more interested in catch and release than catch and kill. Maybe it could be a no kill for browns with a take em for rainbow stockers. The slot limit is a odd thing. There is one on a section of the N. Branch of the White Water and you would think there would be large fish in this area but not so. More fish of a certain size competing for the same amount of food. The regs on this stream apply for only browns but they do stock the area with rainbows that can be kept.

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WOW! I'm suprised how few anglers care about what's going to happen to trout streams in Minnesota.

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"Study to be quiet"

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I guess I'm neither a biologist nor a CO so my opinion is really more speculation than anything else...but it seems that no-kill regs and slots can really bolster native and wild trout populations. The rivers in Wisconsin that I fish have really benefitted from similar policies.
This past summer an old angler I ran into while fishing told me that the trout population on this particular river had never been better. And he had fished it for nearly two decades. His theory was that slot limits nearly single-handedly attributed to the population of healthy, fat browns. I understand these have to be observed in order to be effective but if it benefits the wildlife and allows larger, healthier fish then I'm all for it. Trout fisherman are supposed to release their prey and opt for baloney sandwiches anyways :-)
Bring on the winter season. I'm getting cabin fever and I'm itching for cold camping on Whitewater. I absolutely love that area of Minnesota.

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I'd agree with you wade22. Wisconsin has been taking better care of it's rivers then Minnesota. I've always told people that Minnesota should change the regs. to something simular to Wisconsins.

Hopefully one day Minnesota trout fishing will be better then Wisconsins.

------------------
"Study to be quiet"

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And last summer was the first time I've ever fished 'sconnie. A guy at a flyshop convinced me when he said, "You just get the feeling that the general sentiment with Minnesota is that if it's not walleyes, then it's dump".
Sadly, I sorta agree with him. I don't think it would take a lot to produce trout fisheries on a comparable scale. But the funding isn't there, the public awareness isn't there, and the regulations aren't really there either.
But you take what you can get, and I crave those fishing trips when I'm the only guy on an entire stream. Which doesn't happen in Wisconsin. And listening to the Twins on the walkman as dusk approaches doesn't feel right unless you're fishing in Coulee Country.

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Your right Spindoctor. At lease the DNR is trying to do something to improve the fishing.

Jim W, you bring up a good point too. SEMTA and TU represent a small number of the anglers that fish for trout in Minnesota, but they were the main group of anglers the DNR talked to about improving trout fishing in Minnesota.


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"Study to be quiet"

[This message has been edited by Renneberg (edited 12-04-2003).]

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Wait a second Jim! The DNR did invite other groups to join in. In fact it was 90 groups. They included some southeast Minnesota landowners, state agency staffers, and representatives from groups unaffiliated with fishing.

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"Study to be quiet"

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Although there are some things about this that I don't totaly agree with, there is nothing here that I see that would hurt. The DNR will never be able to satisfy all of us, the most they can do is try. If we get behind these plans and try to follow them to the letter, than we can observe and document what works and what doesn't. I feel that the records and documents need to come from the anglers not just the DNR. From this we can develope a foundation on witch to further build.
John

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Wade22,
One of the driving forces behind my Trout Day is as you mentioned "Public Awareness"!

Have to start somewhere! SPindoctor brings up vaild points as well. I believe that relates to certain organized interest groups that represent a very small percent of all torut fisherman, but continue to have the largest impact.

We need more representation from the general public! (on all gov't)

Keep the rods bendin'!!


Jim W

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Can't wait 'til Trout Day. I have a few questions that I'd like to pique Jim's brain for, as well as MANY other FM trout fishers. I've considered joining MTA and TU but need to know more about local chapters and what they want and intend for MN streams and rivers.
All that said, I think Jim's idea to spread public awareness is a really noble idea. Shogren's (?) book on WI and MN streams attributes the work of one man for single-handedly returning Hay Creek to a productive fishery and it's this sort of effort that will ensure some great trout populations for SE MN for years to come. Imagine what a group of people could do if one guy was able to make Hay Creek a place we can all enjoy?

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Here's what I could find on MTA and where they stand.

MISSION

The mission of the Minnesota Trout Association is to preserve,
improve and promote trout

fishing for sport in Minnesota.

PHILOSOPHY

* MTA supports a fish management concept which has the goal of providing optimum sustained yield in all trout waters of the state.

* MTA recognizes that almost all trout populations in Minnesota have originated from hatchery stocks and therefore are classified as a renewable resource.

*MTA is convinced that most anglers "Fish For Fun" regardless of the angling method used or whether they eat or release the fish.

*MTA knows that gathering bait, creating arificial lures and eating of fish are extensions of the angling experience.

* MTA wants all law abiding cirizens to have free access to fish in all public trout waters in Minnesota


APPROACH TO FISH MANAGEMENT

*MTA realizes that trout habitat protection, habitat improvement and sound conservation-minded angling regulations are the main keys to good trout fishing.

*MTA encourages wild trout management in waters which consistently have good natural reproduction.

* MTA desires trout stocking programs which provide additional good quality fishing opportunitiesin suitablewaters that lack adequate natural reproduction

* MTA promotes trout management practices which encourage family type fishing, recognizing that not all anglers can afford to buy or effectively use artificial lures and equipment.

* MTA recommends that anglers should voluntarily release part of their catch especially trout larger than 12 inches to benefit natural reproduction.


Here's what I could find about TU. It's not much I know, but that's what I could find on their site.

Mission:
Trout Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.

TU accomplishes this mission on local, state and national levels with an extensive and dedicated volunteer network. TU’s national office, based just outside of Washington, D.C., and its regional offices employ professionals who testify before Congress, publish a quarterly magazine, intervene in federal legal proceedings, and work with the organization’s 125,000 volunteers in 500 chapters nationwide to keep them active and involved in conservation issues.

I doesn't say this, but TU is unoffically a fly fishing club. If your not a fly fishermen TU's members (from what I've seen) aren't going to like you very much regardless of how you feel about trout.
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"Study to be quiet"

[This message has been edited by Renneberg (edited 12-05-2003).]

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wade22,

"pique" my brain? Is that French?lol

I would attend one of the said groups informally, not letting on your intentions.

Mill around, ask questions, take notes, look at past and present projects then make a judgement on what best suits your needs and interests.

From my worm hole in the wall, I have witnessed certain groups operating under an ideology driven for their own means/outcomes.

Granted, I have not been a member of such groups, nor do I wish to. However, if at such a time certain legislation needs passing etc., I would sign or join in the ranks of any group if it's true goals represented the direct needs of our resources in the present while demonstrating strong forsight.

Research things thoroughly!!!!

If a "club" is all your looking for when actually you want to be politically proactive, then a club is not for you.

I don't want to be mistaken as bashing any organization, I'm not. They all have plaid a positive role in one way or another.

I believe positive change can come while never stepping foot into "a club".

Trout Day is one such method. Awareness and education with a strong dash of fun mixed in.

I have said this before and will again.

If a day comes where I feel comfortable enough, knowing the "MAJORITY" of trout fisherman understand key elements in the balance of trout habitat and the imortance "selective harvest", I will give out all of my "secret" spots or sections of stream to anyone who inquires.

As recent as last season, I have been watching a favorite non-designated stream literally get pillaged! It saddens me.


Take care, Happy Holidays &

Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

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I am in favor of the proposed regulations and welcome progressive trout management to our Minnesota waters. In addition to producing a healthy trophy fishery, the plan has the potential to develop a variety of waters for the variety of anglers they must host.

People pursue trout for their own unique experience. Some want to bring home a creel- or bucketful of fresh trout for the pan—or grill. Others want to wade in solitude while catching numerous virile trout and return home with a morsel. A few anglers dream of the perfect hunt, and will sneak through a mile of wait-a-minute bushes for the chance to place a cast just upstream of a cut-bank under the willow on the bank under which that monster brown undoubtedly lurks.

In all likelihood most people who see themselves in the third group of trophy fishers once fished for a creelful of tasty trout. There is nothing wrong with any individual’s ideal trout outing—as long as it takes place on the right body of water and employs the legal methods. The point is that there should be opportunities for all that are clearly communicated to the public.

The best case for every trout angler is a sound education on behalf of the DNR regarding its policy. It seems to be pursuing feedback from the public, which will hopefully translate into better communication all around. The department must follow through upon implementing new regulations to communicate with anglers and enforce regulations.

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Thanks Jim. Chances are we haven’t met.

I’m from Duluth and have only fished the Whitewater twice (I assume you’re from the SE). I made my first trip last spring and subsequently found myself sleeping in a frozen car last January at the river’s edge.

Boy these winters are long when the North Shore rivers freeze solid.

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tie flyer,

Your writing looked "familiar".
Sleeping in the car in January????

Geeez, there are better times to be fishing in SE MN than in January??

Welcome and thanks for poppin' in!!!

Keep the rods bendin'!!!

Jim W

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Well I fell off the face of the earth for awhile but I'm back.

Heck I'm just happy they are still trying to new ways to improve the trout fishing in this state of Walleye Chasers. I would really like to see No Kill on alot more waters, well actually I would like to see No Kill on all trout waters but hey that’s just me.

The DNR has a tough job I must say. They have to balance everyone’s needs and wants while also trying to improve on the fishery as a whole. Even in the past 10 years that I have fished SE Mn I have noticed the fishing has gotten better or maybe I just have. Either way there has been increased pressure and the fishery is still doing very well.

In my opinion I think the DNR is doing a good job and I just have to put my trust in them that they are doing the right thing.

Fly Flicker
Rob
PS - Trout Day....I'm so there this year!

[This message has been edited by rushing (edited 12-09-2003).]

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Yeah, I gathered that. But what’s a poor northlander to do when there’s three feet of ice and all he’s got is a hand auger?

Last summer I missed what should have been my second annual Memorial Weekend Whitewater trip. My buddy strategically asked me to be in his wedding just to ensure that I’d attend. Tough call when it's between a friend and fishing.

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One thing I would like to EMPHATICALLY add is that ANY stream with a protected slot should be artificials-only. I don't care if barbless hooks are required, but there should be NO worm-dunking. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with worm-dunking. Baitfishing is a legitimate way of trout fishing for some people. It's just that when a person goes down to the river to catch a meal of trout with bait, they will kill far more fish with a slot limit in place, as a large portion of their gut-hooked and released fish will die, in addition to any legal fish they keep.

I realize that catch-and-release flyfishing also kills a lot of trout. I once fished below another flyfisher on a cold WI stream and kept a limit of trout that he had caught on flies and released, but ended up dead. I caught a lot of fish myself but didn't kill any of them; I wasn't looking for a meal but this guy killed more than two limits of trout in two hours and left them in the stream to rot. I picked up a limit of large, freshly dead brookies and put them to good use in my intestinal tract. But even this doesn't compare to pools I have seen after worm-fishers have "released" every slot-sized trout in the pool. I'm talking fifteen or twenty nice big browns rotting in a pool. I have nothing at all against bait fishing, but if you want a slot limit, you'd better make the stream artificials-only. Otherwise you are making the problem worse, because more trout get killed and their carcasses pollute the stream.

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All Valid points! I do know we have some fisheries folk who read this site. SO I am sure your comments and questions are being resad and heard!

Anymore on the subject.

I agree that a slot stretch should be artificial only.

Keep the rods bendin'!!

Jim W

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I just wonder when the cycle will end. Now most people think a 20 incher is a trophy, what would they think in 5-10 years? A 30"+? Trouts may grow to that size in Root but not in the streams we are talking about here. What would you do then?

I am a 'Worm-Dunker' and I release 99% of what I catch. The 1% I kept are those that were bleeding, hence no sense to put them back. Otherwise, I cut the line. Don't mean to point fingers but I have seen quite a few flyfishers mis-handle the trout and put the dying trout back and still claim it's a "Catch-n-Release". To me, it's more like "Kill-then-Release".

One thing maybe most of you overlooked. As you get older, it's harder to tie on small hooks. I now use #2 hooks. Also it's tough on my shoulder to cast all day. Believe me, the day will only come too soon before you
realize it. Don't look down upon those oldtimers dunking worms. And, please, none of
those 'artificial only' rules.

About winter fishing, why not go down to Iowa instead of stomping the redd, unknowingly destroying future generation(s) of nice trouts?

If anyone want a razor-sharp pocket pencil knife. Just say it. Maybe I can drop off a couple dozens at Hook-on-Fishing, although
I've never been there.

Whether you agree with me or not, thank you for going through this piece(peace) of my mind.

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