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Fish Evolution Study

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I read an interesting study a couple of days ago which is a very good argument for releasing big fish. I'll post a link when I can find it again.

Essentially it said this: Within four generations fish that have the biggest ones kept and the small ones thrown back evolve so that the smaller fish are dominant, and this can happen in four generations.

What this means of course is that if we keep the big ones and throw the rest back, there won't be any biggers ones after the current living ones and their descendents (an ever dwindling number) die off.

If you think about it, a big walleye grew 1 pound a year. So if you consider a 5# walleye, which is big but not huge, it would only take 4 generations of the same size of its descendents being killed off to make this change happen. Since that is only 25 years, it might explain why so few lakes have big fish.

So anyway, harvest carefully, and throw back the big ones! And it only works if we all do it.

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That is an interesting theory, but then can you explain to me why 80% of the walleyes I catch out of ely lake are 18 inches or bigger. I am just curious. You should post that link though or email it to me.

Ely lake expert

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It's probably due to poor recruitment (reproduction) from the last several years age classes. If that is the case you have a fishery that is in a bad stage. Or maybe it is that you are just a big- fish-catcher-person. wink.gif

Kevin Neve's Devils Lake Guide Service
e-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 701-473-5411 or 701-351-4989
Minnewaukan ND

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