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eyepatrol

Eating Fish On The Ice

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There may be a number of you who already know this, but I contacted the DNR in Bemidji to discuss the laws of eating fish while out on the ice in a perm. ice house (sleeper house). Me and a buddy are headed up to LOTW in 2 weeks and I wanted to have a clear understanding of what the laws are pertaining to this...no ambiguities. Here's the response I received:

Quote:

The deciding factor is whether or not the lake in question is designated as a lake with "special regulations". If the lake is

NOT a special regulation lake with size restrictions you can legally have a fish fry on the lake, as long as you do not exceed your limit for the day - all fish, even those consumed, apply to your limit.

Now, if the lake is a special regulation lake with size restrictions, then the situation is different. On page 10 of the 2006 Fishing Regulations book, at the very bottom of the page it says "While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins, and skin intact and be measurable . . . ." Since Lake of the Woods has size restrictions on both walleye and northern pike (see page 44 and 45 of the Fishing Regs), you would NOT be allowed to have a fish fry with either walleye OR northern. However, a fish fry with sauger or perch would be acceptable, as long as the skin was available as proof of species, which of course it would be since depositing fish parts into public waters is prohibited (page 13). Remember that the daily/possession limit still includes the consumed fish.


So, as you can see, on LOTW we can certainly eat saugers and perch, but not walleyes and pike. However, a follow-up question I had for them in a phone conversation was....since the laws require us to keep the skins of the fish we eat, how are we to prove the following day that those fish were eaten the day before? Would the skins of the fish we ate the day before still be counted as part of our daily/possession limit?

The response I got was this: when the fish are cleaned and left in bones/skins, then they are no longer considered a part of your possession limit as long as the fillets have been eaten. If you keep the fillets, then by all means, the fillets are part of your possession limit. But, if all you have left are the bones and skins, then the day after you've eaten the fish, you can replace that part of your limit.

Hope this is helpful/useful info!

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I am still confused, I have taken this from your conversation,

"If the lake is

NOT a special regulation lake with size restrictions you can legally have a fish fry on the lake, as long as you do not exceed your limit for the day - all fish, even those consumed, apply to your limit."

So if all fish consumed apply to your limit that would make a lot of us catch and release for the rest of the season real quick does it not? But I see in your next conversation with them they contradicted themselves saying consumed fish do not apply. confused.gifconfused.gifconfused.gif

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Orlip,

I believe what it means is that if you have a daily limit of 6 walleye and you eat 3 on the ice, you can only bring home 3 walleye. This would be on all lakes except for LOW, Mille Lacs, etc that do observe slot restrictions with Pike and Walleye.

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Orlip - not sure if I fully understand your concern, but the consumed fish apply only to the limit for the day you ate the fish. Say for example you were fishing lake "x" that had no special size restrictions (except of course for the state-wide size reg). And you catch your 6 fish walleye limit. That evening in your perm house you eat 2 of them. The next day you can catch and keep 2 more 'eyes. The fish that you cleaned and ate in the house are no longer a part of your limit....on the day after you caught and ate those fish. So, let's say Saturday you caught 6 'eyes, Saturday evening you ate 2 of them...then on Sunday you could catch and keep 2 more....the 2 you cleaned and ate on Saturday are no longer a part of your limit. It would be illegal though to catch 6 on Saturday, eat 2 Saturday evening, then catch and/or keep 2 more Saturday night. That would be considered taking 8 fish in one day.

A perm ice house is similar to your home. You can bring home your limit, eat however many you want, and the next day replace those fish that you ate.

Does that make sense and answer your question?

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Quote:

Say for example you were fishing lake "x" that had no special size restrictions (except of course for the state-wide size reg). And you catch your 6 fish walleye limit. That evening in your perm house you eat 2 of them. The next day you can catch and keep 2 more 'eyes.


Couldn't you catch 6 more the next day? Isn't the posession limit 12? Then the third day if you did not eat any more you would be allowed only 2 as that would bring you back up to your posession limit? Or am I missing something? Have a good one and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

ADDED: Never mind, the daily limit IS the posession limit on Walleye and Sauger I just went and looked. Sorry about that././Jimbo

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Quote:

Orlip - not sure if I fully understand your concern, but the consumed fish apply only to the limit for the day you ate the fish. Say for example you were fishing lake "x" that had no special size restrictions (except of course for the state-wide size reg). And you catch your 6 fish walleye limit. That evening in your perm house you eat 2 of them. The next day you can catch and keep 2 more 'eyes. The fish that you cleaned and ate in the house are no longer a part of your limit....on the day after you caught and ate those fish. So, let's say Saturday you caught 6 'eyes, Saturday evening you ate 2 of them...then on Sunday you could catch and keep 2 more....the 2 you cleaned and ate on Saturday are no longer a part of your limit. It would be illegal though to catch 6 on Saturday, eat 2 Saturday evening, then catch and/or keep 2 more Saturday night. That would be considered taking 8 fish in one day.

A perm ice house is similar to your home. You can bring home your limit, eat however many you want, and the next day replace those fish that you ate.

Does that make sense and answer your question?


That is what I was assuming they meant but the way the first CO said it I was a little confused.gif

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Last weekend we got checked by a C.O. and he asked us if we had a fish fry and what we had eaten. We told him that we had a couple walleyes the night before. He told us that since there is a slot limit you can't eat any of that specie on the ice. Luckily this C.O. was in a good mood and didn't ticket us.

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Glad to hear the CO was in an understanding mood. That pretty well reflects exactly what the DNR had responded to me about. If there's special size regulations on a specie of fish (i.e. - slot limit), then you are not allowed to fry them up on the ice. The bodies must be left whole/in tact. If there's no special size regulations (no slot), then you're okay to eat whatever specie of fish.

This has been a question/concern that has always been on my mind and I know it's been discussed in other posts in other forums. I'm glad the DNR stated exactly what the rules are.

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