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Support for Minimum Walleye Size

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I'm sure this has been discussed here before, but just wondering how much support there is for a statewide minimum walleye size limit of at least 14" and hopefully 15".

I can't imagine a reasonable argument against it! Cleaning anything under 14" is essentially a waste of time. I think some people too often keep shorties just to say they "got their limit".

I'd be interested to here others' opinions.

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I don't think a statewide walleye size limit is the way to manage the fishery. On certain lakes it would be a very good idea, but there are some river systems that have very healthy walleye populations, yet to catch a 14" walleye can be very difficult. My hunting shack is on a river system like that, and alhtough I usually won't keep a walleye under 15" on most lakes, I will keep smaller ones than that on the river. These are not immature fish - they just have very slow growth rates.

I think the best way to manage a quality wallleye fishery is on lake by lake basis, focusing on maintaining healthy populations of breeding females. Unfortunately an in-depth analyis of every walleye lake is not very cost-effective, which is why you usually only see slot/length limits on bigger, well-known walleye lakes.

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I have to agree with the both of you. I worked at a resort on Gull Lake many years ago, and people would keep darn near anything. I worked the marina part of the resort, and had to clean customers fish. I consider myself an experienced fish fillet'er, and to see such rediculous scraps of meat after I had cleaned the fish, was to say the least pathetic. Also, on opening weekend, when we do get fortunate enough to catch fish, you see many puny carcasses in the cleaning shack. And people wonder why the population is low, and why there aren't so many fish.

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14's and 15 inchers are about my favorite size to keep, so I'm hoping there isn't too much support for it. If I am lucky enough to be having a good day, I will always keep a 14 or 15 incher over an 18+. On lakes with any sort of natural reproduction I would think this is better for the fishery anyway. Those 18"ers are spawners and they are that much closer to maybe being a 30 incher someday. I know some people may prefer a limit of 20" fish with 1" thick fillets, but not this guy.

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Beckman sounds good to me. Here in Illinois all lakes and rivers have a 14" min on wally's and sauger unless posted otherwise, and on the Mississippi. give me the 14 to 16'rs to eat all day long. We always put the 20 and bigger back unless they are foul hooked

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I agree with LOWE. As a resort owner on Otter Tail Lake, (Great for Walleye if you didn't know, DNR rated #1 Last year.), I used to get embarassed for guest who would come in with 6 12-14" eyes. They were Happy, but I had an issue. Then I went to an informational meeting to discuss a possible vollunteer slot on the lake. The DNR was convincing that Otter Tail had too many smaller walleye. He Stated that one of the best ways to increase the number of larger walleyes was to decrease the number of smaller ones. This is a major factor in the 30+ inch limit for Northern, so they will increase in numbers and help to decrease the number of small walleyes. Too many Walleye, not too bad of a problem huh?

Come help us catch a few of them!

------------------
Paul Ness
Three Seasons Lodge on Otter Tail Lake

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I agree with the guys that say keep the smaller walleyes to eat, let the bigger ones go to spawn or be caught again (and hopefully released again). I personally don't keep walleyes above 17"-18".

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I would 100% agree with the idea of putting back anything over 18"...I, myself, always do this. However, I would argue that most do not. Most love limits of 18-22 inch fish because they get larger fillets out of the same 6 fish. They don't realize that these are the primary spawners in the watershed.

What is the definition of a "mature" fish? Even if a "mature" fish is 13", it is still going to grow into a 15-17" at some point. By releasing it, the opportunity is there for another angler to keep this fish in a year or two when it is a worthwhile keeper. If a fish under 14" is kept, it never has the chance of being a 14 or 15 or 18 or 32!

It is embarrassing to see little fish get cleaned, and it has to have a material impact on the fishing quality of the lake involved. All of the lakes that I fish that are excellent walleye reproducers and get fished HARD have many, many small fish to sort through....mostly because as soon as the fish reach 13", they go into the pail. By throwing some back, you would think more 14" would replace the 10-12's that you catch.

Good discussion. Interesting to hear what others think.

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Doesn't Waconia have a 15 inch limit? All everyone posts from that lake is that they catch dinks all the time.

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Perhaps lake home owners are the only ones worried about fishing quality??? Others can always bounce to a different lake and take their limits of 12-13 inchers!

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yourresort -

Did the DNR mention anything about Ottertail having slower than normal growth rates in the walleyes?

I read and/or heard that somewhere, but I can't recall where.

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I think there has to be more "easy acess" info for fisherman. Many people don't even think about selective harvest and what kind of impact it has on lakes. I've never seen Ron Schara or Babe Winkelman do a story on selective harvest. Havent seen an article in walleye insider about it either. Star Tribune?? yeah, right. Maybee the DNR should post signs at public accesses with info on selective harvest or a blurb on the backside of your license or something. I've learned a lot from this site over the last few years that a lot of people don't get a chance to see.

Unless it's on a lake by lake basis, I don't want to see a statewide minimum.

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There is no perfect solution. There are to many varible to control in order to impose a state wide min. Nice idea but I don't think that it will be effective on all lakes. I think the DNR need to keep doing what they are doing and only managing certain lakes.

------------------
Grip it and Rip it

IFFWalleyes
I Fish For Walleyes
[email protected]

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Here's my 2 cents worth. Do you ever fish in Wisconsin? They're are no 15 inchers because they are all kept at that size lots of 13.5 fish. I'd vote for a slot from 13 to 21 statewide.

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The only thing I would vote for is lowering the limits/possession from 6 to 4, and also only be able to keep 1 walleye over 22".
Its not a big change but I think its something that needs to be considered.

------------------
AKA PikeEye 300

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I'm all for keeping the smaller fish for a meal. Living on a small above average Walleye lake makes it easier to do. I keep 13 to 16 " for supper, everything below or above is fair game for later.

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More than a statewide minimum I would rather see a statewide max or a statewide slot limit. That will keep everything in balance. I know this is not possible on some lakes. I would rather see somebody keep a smaller walleye because it takes a smaller amount of time to reproduce a 13 inch walleye as opposed to a 25 inch walleye.

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with the different growth rates and different reproduction rates, i dont ever see a state wide slot ever working.if a perticular lake is having problems with numbers of fish, impose a slot on it. leave the rest alone. let the people do there own slot limit till then. most people who take small fish are ones who dont fish much and really want that meal.those who catch alot normally release the big ones.theres always one person out there that will go overboard and ruin it for the rest.

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I'd rather have the limit dropped statewide before imposing a size limit. Like several have mentioned, every lake is different, and there is no simple way to impose an effective slot limit or minimum size statewide.

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I would also support a decrease in the daily limit. Most people fish becouse they enjoy it, not to support their family so a little less table fare wouldn't hurt most. Then again, people might keep bigger fish if the limit was lower so they could have a bigger meal.

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I fish almost everyday in the winter. Still haven't got a limit of anything. Bigger eyes (20 and over) go back as they don't taste like 14 to 20. I've got 2 walleye's in the freezer and 1 crappies. The bigger eye's lay more egg's . Like they say every lake is different. I've watched out of stater's keep everything they pull out. Common since 4 all should be used. Will that happen. No. Just like money. Poeple are to greedy and no one really cares. U make a trip and u don't want to go home shunked. Or else u got cats to feed. Just my thought on the subject.

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I fish almost everyday in the winter. Still haven't got a limit of anything. Bigger eyes (20 and over) go back as they don't taste like 14 to 20. I've got 2 walleye's in the freezer and 1 crappies. The bigger eye's lay more egg's . Like they say every lake is different. I've watched out of stater's keep everything they pull out. Common since 4 all should be used. Will that happen. No. Just like money. Poeple are to greedy and no one really cares. U make a trip and u don't want to go home shunked. Or else u got cats to feed. Just my thought on the subject.

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Reducing the limit would have little impact unless it went down to two, because most fishermen rarely catch a limit of walleyes.

------------------
simul iustus et peccator

><}}}("< ---><!>

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I'd like to see the lakes managed for biologicly sound reasons rather than as per someones opinions. The only way that will happen is to get polatics out of the DNR. Good luck aye?

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hey fishface! whats a polatic? is that those ticks that can bite ya in da winter? hope they don't carry lymes disease!

------------------
simul iustus et peccator

><}}}("< ---><!>

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