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Good News/Bad News (MN Muskie Announcement)

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DNR to expand Muskie Fishing Opportunities

MN DNR News

March 15, 2011

Roosevelt Lake in northern Crow Wing County and the Sauk River chain of lakes in Stearns County southwest of St. Cloud will be stocked with muskellunge this fall in response to growing angler interest, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“This decision is a positive step consistent with our long-range management plan for muskie and northern pike,” said Dirk Peterson, DNR fisheries management chief. “Many people representing a wide variety of interests helped create that plan, and the desire to develop new muskie fisheries was clear.”

Results of the DNR’s extensive public comment process in 2010 showed that about 80 percent of the 25,000 comments received supported stocking muskellunge in additional lakes. The substance of all comments, regardless of support or opposition, were factored into the DNR’s decision.

Muskie will not be stocked this fall in three other lakes the DNR was considering. Upper and Lower South Long lakes near Brainerd will not be considered further for muskie management. Stocking in Lake Tetonka west of Waterville has been put on hold indefinitely pending resolution of local issues.

“Although physically and biologically suitable for muskie management, the lakes initially proposed in the Brainerd area have public access issues that raise public safety concerns,” said Tim Goeman, northeast regional fisheries supervisor. “Their combined 2,100 surface acres also would not meet muskellunge fishing demand in the Brainerd area, so we will continue to look for a larger, yet-to-be-identified lake for future consideration.” No new lakes are currently under consideration, he said.

DNR will collect additional information on recreation use and user attitudes in the Lake Tetonka area and expand its public outreach efforts before re-considering stocking muskie in Tetonka.

Stocking muskie in Roosevelt Lake and the Sauk River chain is a step toward fulfilling a goal in the long-range management plan that calls for up to eight new waters to be stocked by 2020, focused on areas of the state without nearby muskie fishing opportunity.

The muskellunge is one of Minnesota’s largest fish, growing to more than 50 pounds and more than 50 inches in length. Anglers have become increasingly interested in the so-called “fish of 10,000 casts” now that 50-plus inch fish can be caught in Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Vermilion and other waters that have been stocked since the 1980s.

“As muskie have grown in size and abundance, so has interest in catching them,” Goeman said.

Muskie anglers are the fastest-growing segment of Minnesota’s fishing population. About 14 percent of Minnesota’s licensed anglers target muskie, and the quality experiences Minnesota offers attract muskie anglers from across the nation.

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About 14 percent of Minnesota’s licensed anglers target muskie,

Proud to be part of the statistic! Can't wait to fish these waters come 2020...Gives ya something to look forward to in the future. Glad to see Musky ont he rise

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The bad news is Brainard and their hard working Muskies inc chapter got turned down again first Gull now n/s long and they need more water in that area

the sauk chain everybody agrees is going to be a monster producer those first generation fish have got great pickins to get fat on,,

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Thats two more lakes that we didn't have before. Its disappointing not to get all. Some people work there buts off donating there time to help get these on the stocking list. Not to mention driving all over the state attending meetings. For the people that help get Roosevelt and Saulk River chain on the stocking list thank you.

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im glad to here about this and good deal,but im alittel steamed that we have been turned down twice in the brainerd area both gull and southlong would have been great lakes to put them in gull being the better choice. Im afraid theres just to many cry a$$es around here for this to happen and it truely [PoorWordUsage] me off. Alot of these people dont even live around here all year long just summer people no offence,but they really shouldnt have a say IMHO.This is the Brainerd Lakes Area a part of the state that has some of the best fishing in the state and not one MUSKIE LAKE within 30min somethings wrong with that. Now that iv blew a bunch of steam cant wait to fish these new waters in the future. GoodLuck

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As a resident of the Brainerd Lakes area and a member of the Brainerd Muskies Inc Chapter, I know there are a lot of disappointed people that Upper and Lower South Long didn't go through. But my biggest disappointment is that Tetonka got shot down. Of all the waters on the list, this one should have been the biggest slam dunk. And it's an absolute shame that it's not happening.

The Brainerd area has far better options than Upper and Lower South Long. Would they have been quality musky waters? Absolutely. But it's my opinion that they should have never been proposed because of the many better options in the immediate area. I personally think that Gull should have been proposed a second time because the public support was there in a big way the first time and it should have gone through already. I was happy to see the following in the press release regarding South Long and the area in general.

“Their combined 2,100 surface acres also would not meet muskellunge fishing demand in the Brainerd area, so we will continue to look for a larger, yet-to-be-identified lake for future consideration.”

It indicates that the DNR also realizes there are better options in the Brainerd area and there is a need. Now we just need to hold them accountable to get one of them stocked.

Aaron

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Would've been very nice to have tetonka on the list to take off the pressure on french frown there is atleast one in the lake that I know of...

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more lakes the better! as time moves forward, people will start to realize that Muskies don't hurt a fishery and only add more opportunities for them to expand thier fishing horizons!

What do we need to do to get N and S Long some state of the art accesses??? Premium lakes like those and the good people down there deserve at least 4 accesses on each lake with 6 lanes each and parking for overflow RVs and busses.. jeez, what a bunch of [PoorWordUsage]... NO LAKESHORE OWNER SHOULD HAVE ANYMORE SAY THAN THE NEXT TAXPAYER!!! Maybe we should propose stocking of some Long Nose Gar down there, I gurantee there accesses are big enough to accomadate all the Gar fisherman in MN and the last time I checked, they don't carry invasive species around like everyone else...

BTW, I am just kidding.. Except that part about being equals.. Lets work off the positives and build on what we have going!

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Disappointed that Tetonka didn't go through as well, not many options in this part of the state. frown

We definitely owe a big thanks to all the people who've put their time and money into advocating for this!

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I agree that the Brainerd lakes area could use one of the large bodies of water stocked with muskies, gull would be chioce one but that seems dead for quiet some time.

However, walleye365, to say there are no lakes within 30 min is misleading, within 30 min you have Alexander, shaminuea, Fish trap(although not stocked, come from Alexander), miles and miles of Mississippi River, Mille lacs, Borden, and Round (near Randall, ok that is 36 miles away). Although not a lot there are bodies of water with muskies, some are very good as you probably know. With that said i hope the DNR finds the right fit for the Brainerd area muskie guys.

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ANYFISH2 its not that misleading alex is exatly 28mins from my house same as sham and mille lacs by the time you get there and everything its over 30mins. iv timed them all,but im sure iv got it better than some so im done crying about it. I was just saying this area should have one lake out its back door and hope it happens as i do for others as well. you got me on the river.

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The Brainerd Lakes area is a big area. I live in Breezy Point and the closest water is 35 mins away and that's Wabedo.

Either way, the south side of the state needs it worse imo.. Those guys have to drive 4 hrs and theres no reason for that..

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Tetonka not getting it is pathetic...

However Sauk Chain will be amazing! Pretty cool system with tons of potential!

Now how bout another lake in SW MN besides Fox...

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Walleye365, I completely understand your point and truly agree.

Unfortunatly the Brainerd lakes area has such a very diverse group of intrests that there are going to be road blocks at every lake proposed. I like public input as it the way it should be. However, maybe the DNR needs to pick best fit for muskies and just get it done. In the end reguardless, the people that hate muskies are going to hate muskies, those that don't care still won't care, and the muskie fisherman will have added opportunities.

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Agree 100% and after readin the article in the Brainerd Dispatch to day im fine with it because they can and will find a better choice. I talk to a Gentelmen (forgive my spelling) today im not nameing him here,But after what he had to say im pretty confedent for the future of muskies in the BLA and the rest of the state.Gull should of happened it almost did,But it got political at the end. So yes the DNR is going to have to pull the triger here and just do it sooner or later it will.GoodLuck

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Another good lake choice would be the whitefish chain in the Cross Lake area. Agree the Suak will be good.

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I always wondered if they'd low to moderately stock any of the connecting lakes meaning like East Battle to blanche, irving to schoolcraft, mina, lida, Irene, upper bottle, lake itasca, fish trap etc. Those that already have some from migration anyway. 2 is better than none, I understand how long it takes to develop and for me it wasn't all about muskies in the late 80's, it was more about catching a large pike which were being way overharvested, as that became less of a reality or chance, I turned to muskies that at least had a 36" minimum plus those mid-summer walleyes looked pretty sick by the time we were done fishing for the day, so what better fish to catch and release, the muskie.

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I guess at least Tetonka has some already.......I would really like to see more southern MN lakes nominated. I really think Madison lake would be a good candidate. Washington would be a possibility, but not sure as far as forage goes. As Muskie fishing devolops and grows, spear chucking slows and will eventually fall to the wayside. Keep trying everyone. We could get some southern lakes yet. Pretty sad that the DNR has done little to nothing about lakes in the south till recently, and that went a long ways smile Guess French and Fox it is........

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I know how you feel smeese, its hard to live and breathe musky fishing here in southern MN. This year I even decided to break down and buy a Iowa license and head across the border to Spirit and Okoboji.

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Just drove past roosevelt lake the other day. Looks like a good lake to try...maybe by the time I end up fishing that lake the muskies will be big enough to catch smile Those are always a fun bonus while bass fishing. Too bad the lake trout aren't working out in that lake anymore, talk about a multi species lake! shocked

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I think Roosevelt will be a trollers paradise with those deep sharp banks. Haven't fished there in a number of years, but I always liked that lake when I was a kid.

Primarily fished the east end of the lake because that was where my uncle had his cabin. There was always a lot of fallen timber on the steep banks which I always loved to fish. Don't know if it's still like that, because I'm sure there are many more cabins there now than when I was a kid.

"Ace"

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I like the look of Roosevelt too.. I've never fished it but driving around the area and from what I've heard, it could be a home run and should produce #'s and size that we Minnesotans have come to expect..

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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