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ghotierman

Fish farming stock ponds

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Perhaps some of you saw this story in Outdoor News. Below is the story that ran in the Alex paper. There has been some letters to the editor in response. Not favorable toward the fish farmers. Just wondering what you all think of this issue?

ghotierman.


From 3/20 Echo Press
Fish farmers face threat: greedy anglers


By Hollan Lommen, Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 3/20/02


In the last days of this year’s walleye fishing, Phil Goeden of Alexandria knew that fish he had raised were being pulled from Shauer Lake.

The Grant County lake has been a licensed private fish hatchery for 11 years. It has been stocked with walleyes annually and fish are raised as brood stock. So every fish caught represented the potential loss of hundreds of dollars.

Fish of all sizes were caught and kept, and mixed in was an occasional trophy up to 10 pounds.

And there was nothing he could do about it.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) "No-Fishing" signs had been posted but they were ignored.

Law enforcement officials were contacted, said Goeden, but they were unwilling to stop the fishing.

High water levels have expanded the size of the lake, so the shoreline now reaches the nearby road right of way. Fishermen park alongside the road near Herman and walk onto the lake without stepping on private property, thus they are not trespassing. In some cases fishermen drove out onto the ice and erected fishing shelters.

Goeden pled his case to some fishermen, and some left the lake, but he avoided confrontations because he had been warned that they might claim harassment, and he could be ticketed.

The types of problems faced by Goeden are shared by fish farmers elsewhere, and they are seeking legislation to get some protection of their livelihood.

It’s all a big frustrating mess, said Jim Bosek, who lives near Garfield and raises walleyes in several private lakes in Douglas and Grant counties.

Bosek raises fish on Church Lake north of Hoffman. He also lost buckets full of fish in the weeks prior to the end of the fishing season.

Goeden and Bosek said the lakes they raise fish in were considered fair game by local fishermen and they lost countless fish.

Goeden said there were 200 people fishing on Shauer Lake in the last three days of the walleye season, and he estimates his losses over the last month of the season could be $100,000, when figuring the loss of eggs and fish.

Trophy-sized walleyes can be worth hundreds of dollars each, he said.

Both Bosek and Goeden have worked to maintain the health of the lakes and keep fish thriving for over 10 years.

The DNR encourages the projects, because thousands of fingerlings — raised from eggs collected by Bosek and Goeden — are now being placed in fresh water lakes throughout the area.

The DNR’s inability to protect the mature fish that were used for egg production and fingerlings, however, has spawned the need for a law to protect fish farmers.

Bosek and Goeden not only suffer losses from fishermen who put their own interests of catching a few walleyes ahead of what’s morally right, but Bosek said he has spent thousands of dollars to install aeration systems to keep their fish alive.

Goeden is concerned that the 11 years spent building up brood stock may destroyed by greedy anglers, and that could spell the end to his family business.

"It’s pretty outrageous that people would do that," he said, adding that it’s equally "ridiculous that we can spent all that money and somebody can come along and take it away from us."

Fish like those taken from Shauer Lake enabled Goeden to donate over two million walleye fry to area lakes last spring when the DNR had a shortage.

Just over two years ago, he said, people were fishing the pond so he contacted the DNR in St. Paul. The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office then determined that the lake could be posted: "No Fishing."

"So then everything went away," he said, "but the same people came back and pushed the issue this January." Goeden said a conservation officer from Grant County was called, but he said he would not go out there since the fish were considered private — not public — property.

Goeden contends that because the no fishing signs were issued by the DNR, that the officer should at least have enforced them.

The problem was brought to the attention of the Grant County attorney, said Goeden, and he determined that due to the way the existing state statues are written, that charges might be hard to prosecute and so tickets should not be written.

"It’s not right that because of a glitch in the law that people are free to go out and take our fish," he stressed.

Goeden pointed out that counter to arguments raised by some people, that all of the fish in Shauer Lake were planted there.

Bosek emphasized that "where the problem lies is in the public eye. They don’t understand that game fish can be owned by a farmer."

Both the Minnesota House and Senate have bills in process that are designed to provide better protection to aquaculturists.

Legislators and law enforcement officials want to have the issue resolved prior to the opening of this year’s walleye fishing season.

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Northeast Outfitters
915 Hwy 29 N NE
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 763-9598

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g-man, I read that article when it first came out and I'm still ticked! I hope someone took pictures of the people fishing out there so they can put a billboard and call it the "wall of shame"!! Sportsmen? Not!! I hope they can resolve this issue quickly.

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Just when you thought that you had seen and heard it all. Along comes something like this, the stupidity and greediness of some people never ceases to amaze me. Not only are they not sportsmen, but I don't think that you can call them fishermen either.

------------------
Paul
[email protected]

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Definitely some bad apples here. But I see the same thing for other farmers as well. Christmas trees stolen, sweet corn picked, watermelons and pumpkins taken. You name it. It gets taken, vandalized or killed.

Some people are just greedy and steal or destroy what they want to.

[This message has been edited by Borch (edited 04-05-2002).]

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I read this story a while ago. Read it again closer. It is inacurate,exagerated and one sided to make it new's worthy.
I'm going to say it's right or wrong.
Just dont got a knee jerk reaction without concidering a few thing's.
There is no privite water. Its all public.
There are no privite fish in public water. Should our DNR be giving our public water's to privite fish farmer's?

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I can see both sides in this issue. Duck hunters have the same option; if you can reach a slough from a public right of way then you are not trespassing on that body of water. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that they lase so much money. The anglers on that lake could just as easily drive the 20 miles and go to Big Stone or Traverse and fish but instead they toke the easy route and catch the fish that have never seen a lure. It's akin to shooting elk in an enclosed pen. I have relatives from Herman and it was a big deal in town. I know many anglers who didn't fish there simply because it was disrespectful to take the fish that one man had put in there and made his living off of. It's not like the DNR put the fish in there for the public to catch, they were put there as a private enterprise. The same thing happened this year at the Elk Lake Heritage Preserve fishing ponds. Maybe these people will have to put a system in which controls the level of the water in their lakes so they are ot accessible from the right of ways. These people should have known the risks of their business when they started so an expense in controlling the water level should have been expected. After all, many people are greedy and will do almost anything to catch many and larger fish.

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Wow, there is an interesting point that I have to support. Unless it is a man-made pond or lake constructed on private property for the sole prupose of fish farming, how can the DNR "give" the fish in it to a private owner?

If there are signs posted though, people should respect them. But for that to happen, someone has to enforce it. This farmer guy needs to realize that the DNR uses this program to reduce the costs of its stocking program. If this guys wants the DNR to spend more money to "enforce" the legality of the issue, then guess what???

Now the farmer is out of a job cause the truly farm raised fish just got cheaper to the DNR.

This guy should do the best he can without making a deal of it. Otherwise the "cost" of his publically raised fish will suddenly go up in the eyes of the DNR and he is now jobless.

------------------
John K., a.k.a. wastewaterguru
Prior Lake, Minnesota

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Let's see if I have this straight. Some of you think it is ok to take fish from a "posted" lake, because all water is public. And that all game fish are public property? So when the plane landed on Lower Red Lake he couldn't have been tresspassing because he was on water only. We all need to respect the rules not just keep bending them to fit our needs. Blandin and other big companies lease a lot of land for privite enterprize doesn't give me the right to spike trees to prevent their harvest. I guess there is only TWO for sure things in "our world" , TAXES AND DEATH.

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So Suface Tension: If you live by a river, and it floods around your house. We can come steal everything you have because it is in public waters? Nutts!

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First off this isnt a stock pond!!!!!!
These are our LAKES that some how someone got our beloved DNR to issue a permit to privitize. What's next, high bidder take's over your favorite lake?
Rod and Reel you must be emotionaly involved or just a fool. There's a reason the sheriff didnt do any thing. You know why?
Public water, Public fish.
Now who is on favor for more public water's going to privite?

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Well, since I posted this topic, I'd better weigh in myself.

This is indeed an emotionally charged topic with many issues: private vs public waters, sportsmanship, legislation....

I guess what upset me about this issue, is the gluttony. Late in the season many of those fish were loaded for spawn. Let's stipulate it public water....such pressure on brood stock can ruin a fishery. I don't think it should be a problem to have the DNR post small waters like these. Many spawning areas in larger lakes and streams are closed for part of the season to protect spawning fish. Those areas are still public water, but closed to fishing for a portion of the year.

In a small shallow lake that would normally freeze out and not support any gamefish...where is the harm to post it off limits to angling so someone (dnr or individual) can manage it and raise game fish? I don't think this will send us down a slippery slope of privatizing public waters....

just my two cents.

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I personaly wouldnt fish this lake. That's my decission to make. I dont keep any walleye over 19in for my own reasons.
My point is I dont like the idea of the DNR giving our lakes away and posting public water No Tresspassing.

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I agree with Surface Tension on this one. The farmer was taking advantage of the 'private' lake for his advantage. When mother nature created a situation to make the lake 'public' he wants the DNR to make 'his' lake 'private' again. I don't think it is right to go out and take the fish, but I don't think it is right for people to claim waters as their own either.

We had a similar situation near us. A small lake by my parent's place is surrounded by about a dozen land onwers and there is no public access on the lake. Only about 3 people have access where they could get a vehicle on the lake easily. The DNR stocked the lake with walleyes, but it froze out that following winter and they never came back to the lake. There was also a stretch on the east side that that one of the locals would plow durning the winter for snowmobilers to race on. It worked fine since nobody ever fished the lake. The effect was year round weed growth that was noticeable from the air durning the summer.

Well, about 3 years after the lake froze out one of the neighbors tried fishing the lake and caught a couple of walleyes. Within a week they had been targeted and about a dozen shelters popped up. A week later there were nearly 50 people fishing this lake. Well, the person who 'found' the fish didn't like all of these people out their, and practically threatened the landowner with the best access to stop letting people onto the lake.

He also called the sherrif on 'those **** snowmobilers racing' all hours of the day and night. The season came to an end and the summer access is not practicle, but everybody figured they would come back next year. But because there was no snowmobilers, the nearly mile long track didn't get plowed anymore. . .and the fish froze out without the weed growth.

This guy didn't want to share 'his' lake and because of it the fish died off. He didn't want the snowmobilers on the lake, but it is ok for him to use his watercraft all summer, and shoot trap over the lake. Hey, then you don't have so may clay piegons to pick up. . .

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KGM, why would the DNR stock a lake without
a public access? When I was a kid we lived on a lake that was private owned all around
by several people ,there where many attempts to get the DNR to stock walleyes and the response was always the same they would not stock a lake without a public access,
or thats what I remember,as I was pretty young at that time (just a ?)

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They probably didn't stock the lake persay but probably used the lake as a rearing pond and some of the fish were left after they removed the fry.

------------------
A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work.

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The point here is NOT public waters designated as private, it is the land AROUND the lake is private with no public access. The level of the lake rose to the point that the surface of the ice was accessable from the roads Right Of Way. In essence it is a private rearing pond "For Profit" maintained by the land owner.

Now,if you can't fathom why the guy is PI$$ED then I gotta figure you been swimmin in the shallow end of the gene pool.

Speakin of pools, that water in your swimming pool? stop gripin when the kids from next door are peein in it, after all, all waters public, right?

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Labrat I know the guy is pissed. I wouldnt fish there. But nobody has claim to public water or it's fish. I dont care how the fish got there there still on public water.
I live on a lake surrounded privite land. Are you telling me I can plant fish and run anyone off that gets on the lake from high water meeting public land? No I cant. What's the differance other then I'm not making money selling fish. None.

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Right or Wrong?

Most people with any love for the public resources of the state wouldn't fish in a lake posted "no fishing".

THe simple fact is that the DNR isn't gonna do squat to enforce it. This is where the problem lies. The whole practice of raising fish on public water is questionable to begin with. Add in the DNR's refusal to support the paople it employs for this, and the whole thing sounds pretty shady to me.

If it was my job and my boss left me out to dry like that.......

I'd find a new job.

------------------
John K., a.k.a. wastewaterguru
Prior Lake, Minnesota

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I looked a little more into this Shauer lake. It's round in shape and it's half a mile across. Does that sound like a pond to you?
I fish lake's smaller then that. The road would slice through the east end of the lake if it wasnt deverted around it. Looks like the lake is on the right of way.

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labrat,

I agree....if its posted "no fishing" by the DNR, then they should enforce it like they do other places.

My opinion!
JC

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I've taken a look at the aerial photo of the Lake/Slough. I can see where the road goes to the east side of it and with high water could come in contact with the ROW (Road Right of Way). If it did not come into contact with the ROW this is not Public Water (if he owns all surrounding land). So my question is why doesn't the individual (if he owns all the surrounding land, except the road) just build a levee/dike across it where the old line fence is/was located? That fence line can be seen on the aerial photo, (running straight North and South). If he did this it would not be accessible by public right of way. Still, without knowing information such as what land he actually owns, type or road, county or township, (important to know because that can affect the distance from the center point of the road to establish ROW) it's hard to come to a conclusion. Just my thoughts on it.

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S.T. No pun intended; but your arguement won't hold water. The DNR restricts fishing on public water all the time. Go wet a line in a DNR run rearing pond and see how fast your butt ends up in the klinker! Fish closer than 100' from the mouth of the French River up north.. bang, there ya go to the klinker again! Go up to Upper Red and take a limit of Wallies... oops, back to the klinker! Yeah Yeah Yeah "Public Waters". The only difference is this guy isn't part of the state run bureaucracy, so their letting him get stuck with the bill for a bunch of a-holes.

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