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B-man715

Why is it Illegal to dump Fish Guts?

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unless a lot of people are doing it (which is probably why it's no problem to do this in Alaska).

I'm going to guess you've never been to public fish cleaning stations during a salmon run.

There are LOTS of fish guts dumped all at the same place by lots of people, and there have been a few times where I've had to wait because there were too many people.

That said, these are flowing rivers that churn oxygen into the water, are fed with clean snowmelt, and flow pretty strong to wash guts and carcasses downstream so they don't pile up and overload any single area.

I've never been fishing anywhere in Alaska where I did not see other people fishing, and we go to places where you need ATVs and/or float planes sometimes.

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In Alaska most of the ocean bays, many which are 10 to 15 miles long, exchange a 15 to 20 foot tide which pulls any fish guts that are put into the water out to the open ocean. It is suprising how strong the tidal current is.

Alaskan rivers can get very crowded when the public hears about a strong salmon run. I think the reason we dump the cleaned fish into the water is that the 5 to 6 knot current pulls the guts down stream and they don't want the shorelines lined with grizzly food.

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I camp in Voyageur's National Park several times each year. The park is completely within Minnesota. On the Voyageurs web site, they specifically state to "Dispose of fish entrails in deep water."

This has always contradicted Minnesota law. I suppose National Park regulations trump Minnesota regulations.

National Park Bear and Food Storage Tips

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I camp in Voyageur's National Park several times each year. The park is completely within Minnesota. On the Voyageurs web site, they specifically state to "Dispose of fish entrails in deep water."

This has always contradicted Minnesota law. I suppose National Park regulations trump Minnesota regulations.

National Park Bear and Food Storage Tips

But there's no fish up there anyway. No one should fish there....

Shhhhh.......

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But there's no fish up there anyway. No one should fish there....

Shhhhh.......

My bad. It's just the law, I've never actually caught enough fish to practice the NPS regulation wink

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When fish guts are thrown into a lake, they will decompose, which will consume oxygen and release ammonia (ammonia is toxic to fish). This similar to what would happen if a fish died in your aquarium at home. In the summer, this shouldn't be a huge problem (in the sense of "the solution to pollution is dilution"), unless a lot of people are doing it (which is probably why it's no problem to do this in Alaska).

But if we didn't catch any fish, wouldn't they all die sooner or later anyways and be in the lake?

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But if we didn't catch any fish, wouldn't they all die sooner or later anyways and be in the lake?

They would, but not at the rate at which people would catch a certain number of fish over a year then dump the guts in the lake.

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Can't compare AK salmon rivers to MN lakes. On AK salmon rivers/streams the salmon carcasses are the life blood of the ecosystem. These systems have depended upon the nutrients of the salmon for as long as salmon have been around and it actually hurts the system if there are not enough salmon dying.

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...... the salmon carcasses are the life blood of the ecosystem. These systems have depended upon the nutrients of the salmon for as long as salmon have been around and it actually hurts the system if there are not enough salmon dying.

Would you think that carcasses in the lake would help the ecosystem too??

Or would it create a negative effect because of the lack of moving water??

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The carcasses would get eaten quickly by small fish and invertebrates no question. The smell of decay will draw them to the area. It's most likely that they want to keep you from re-upping on your limit.

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I think its a waste of nutrients that would help the food chain. A lot of states dont have any laws against it and they have no problems.

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I just emailed the DNR about this issue.

The 2012 fishing regulations on page 10 states, "Depositing fish entrails or fish parts into public waters or onto lake or stream

shores is prohibited." Voyageurs National Park "bears and food storage" brochure states "Dispose of fish entrails in deep water". What would you suggest to someone camping in the park?

"The best method of disposal would be to bury the remains away from the campsite."

1LT Greg Payton

DNR Enforcement

District 5, Eveleth, MN

218-744-7446 ex 227

I swear I read somewhere they didn't want you to bury them? Whatever.. Dropping them in the lake seems like a great idea to me. You know how stinky the campsites would be if everyone buried there guts. I bet people would do a poor job of burying them and then you got bears. I think the DNR is trying to stop people from taking an overlimit or non slot fish but if your gonna break the law you'll break another one to hide it...

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I would imagine the 100% if the reasoning for this would be the enforcing of limits ice fishing. Every year I hear of people catching 100+ fish on LOW or URL and filleting them as they catch them and dumping the evidence. They need to know the lengths for the slots in these cases as well.

I heard a story a while back of a group of guys that did this very thing on LOW, but instead of hoarding them for home, they ate and ate and ate. One guy was catching, one filleting and one cooking. Then they'd switcheroo. One major problem is this though. In one spot for a weekend, dumping waste produces.......eel pout chum.

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Would you think that carcasses in the lake would help the ecosystem too??

Or would it create a negative effect because of the lack of moving water??

Really depends on the fertility of the lake. Hard to really paint Minnesota lakes with a wide brush, think about a deep, clear Boundary Waters lake compared to a shallow lake in an agricultural area in the south-central part of the state.

Those salmon rivers, the salmon coming in are the main influx of nutrients. Otherwise they are very nutrient-poor. Some studies have even shown that the trees in the riparian corridor have their growth impacted (negatively) when salmon runs are reduced.

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When I was younger and unaware of the law, I would always go dump them in the little bay with lilypads where the turtles live by my parents house. It didn't take very long at all for all the guts to disappear and I'm sure those turtles loved me for it.

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When we fish in Canada, they tell us to take the fish guts across the lake and place them on a big rock near shore. They evidently have told the gulls and eagles this too. You should see the gulls and eagles soaring overhead when we head across the lake with a pail with guts. Somehow they know we aren't going fishing. And when it comes to "pecking order", an eagle trumps a gull every time!

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we did the same thing in Canada and Minnesota. did that in remote lakes in Minnesota for the shorelunch fish. the gulls and eagles at times left no trace. good luck.

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After reading these posts I have to ask, does anyone else have the Dr. Dimento Fish Heads song in their head?

Fish heads fish heads

Rolly polly fish heads

Fish heads fish heads

Eat them up yum

Took a fish head out to see a movie

Didn't have to pay to get it in.

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I think the legality of this has changed, as far as I understand. I think I remember being given different instructions about what to do with guts in the BWCA--sometimes we're supposed to bury them far from shore, sometimes put them on a rock. Either way, I once camped on a site where someone had dumped a pile of guts right off the front rock of the site, and sure enough Mr. Yogi Bear made it his favorite site for a while.

And during ice fishing, I'm also sure it's partly to minimize people cleaning and dumping fish. Which happens, of course. One of my strangest feeling bites/fights one year on Mille Lacs was a recently (as in, just) cleaned fish carcass. This was in May pulling rigs on the sand.

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One of my strangest feeling bites/fights one year on Mille Lacs was a recently (as in, just) cleaned fish carcass. This was in May pulling rigs on the sand.

BINGO!

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Well evidently not for all folks!  

 

Piles Of Gutted Fish Along Shores Of Mille Lacs Lake Raise Concerns 

  4/3/19


  .....
Investigation determines fishing, disposal both legal within treaty rights
Conservation officials conducted an investigation into four piles of fish filleted and discarded in large numbers on the shores of Mille Lacs Lake’s Wigwam Bay.
A joint exploration of the issue Thursday, May 2, by state and tribal authorities determined the harvest and disposal were legal, as defined by treaty rights and the co-management plan for the lake.

“I understand there’s a treaty and they’re allowed to net, but to have that just sitting out there, it was just appalling,” said Gary Rambousek, who discovered the gut piles sitting by the water, near the junction of Highway 169 and Virgo Road, just south of Garrison. “I’m a big fisherman and I could not believe my eyes. I just could not believe it.”
In his estimation, the four piles account for roughly 300 gutted fish or more, mostly walleye with a couple northern pike in the mix. Rambousek, who lives in the area, first discovered two piles about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. When he later returned Thursday, two more had joined the first two.

050319_N_BD__WigwamBayFishDump.jpg

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