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Minnesota Fishing Reports



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Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
12/01/2014
From West Fargo, ND
Posts: 165
Just saw this and read through it. I would be curious to know what those of you that have had the opportunity to fish the lake over the last 5-10 years have noticed with the firsh you've been catching.
http://www.grandforksherald.com/outdoors/4236437-brad-dokken-column-problems-loom-lake-winnipeg#.WMwxmDOlYpF.twitter

Posted on: 3/17 14:30:43
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Re: Interesting Read
Staff Team
Joined:
09/22/2007
Posts: 4200
Great read and Brad always does a great job with his articles. Can't believe that great lake is in danger because of idiots just don't care about what they leave behind. I will leave my opinion at that. Great lake and good friends up there and the commercial fisherman are going to ruin that great place...........Kirk

Posted on: 3/17 17:30:48
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Re: Interesting Read
Hunting Field Staff
Joined:
02/04/2008
From Iron Range.
Posts: 1925
in reading about the lake, it appears that it is an extreme example of a boom/bust system for eyes. Good year classes every several years appears to be the norm.....with lean yrs between. Sad state of affairs.

Posted on: 3/17 17:58:34
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
11/23/2015
From Minnesota
Posts: 549
I am currently up here now. I have been making this trip for 16 years and always in mid to late March. First time on the lake I never saw a fisherman obviously not the case anymore. Just giving you an idea of my experience on the lake. I am not saying I am a guide by any means but am a pretty decent stick and know the south basin pretty well. I can say this year has definitely been my worst year up here and not by small amount. I have never seen so many nets down in the south basin of the lake. Netting has been going on for 100 years up there, but never to this extent on the south basin. It is almost hard to get away from them and they are much longer than I have ever seen. From what I have been told by some local friends is the commercial netters are getting desperate to I hit quota. They are also in areas that many rec anglers fish as in right out in front of major launch points in front of the creeks and the red river. I have never seen this before in 16 years. There are many factors that may end up causing a crash. Pollution which is leading to bad algae blooms invasive species and the smelt crash which is going to play a big part as it is there main food source. There is an abundance of 15 to 18 inch fish right now but huge voids and missing year classes of fish over 20 inches. Used to be not uncommon to catch 50 fish in a day over 22 inches with many over the years over 28. Just not the case this year and not just for me and my group. Been doing some research and this has been a tough year for most people and for most of the year. We have caught a couple over 28 this year but hardly any 20 to 26 inch fish. The lake almost seems void of them this year and in my opinion is a little scary for the future of the lake.

Posted on: 3/17 19:44:42
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
08/21/2009
Posts: 111
It's my understanding that most of the commercial walleye we eat in the US comes from Lake Erie and Lake Winnipeg, I wonder how many pounds are commercially harvested out of these bodies of water? The water draw down on the rivers in the Midwest to support barge traffic on the Mississippi River has always upset me also. Someone needs to crunch the numbers recreational VS commercial $$$ and see if netting even make economic sense.

Posted on: 3/18 7:31:51
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
08/08/2015
Posts: 161
There are several different things going on here. First if the 2001 year class was the one that was carrying the lake, then those fish would be almost 16 years old. That is about the maximum age for the majority of Walleye. There will be a few that get older, but not the numbers that people are used to. That's where those 28" fish went. Secondly, from the sounds of it fishing pressure out there has really gone up. That's the quickest way to decrease your individual catch. The fish learn quick.

Now it sounds like netting does need to be reigned in a bit. It's been largely unchecked. That is not the proper management that we've seen on our lakes with netting.

We'll have to see, but Minnesota and North Dakota might have to take some responsibility for the lake due to our farming practices. A lawsuit by Manitoba is not out of the question.

Posted on: 3/18 12:28:29
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
12/14/2014
From Duluth
Posts: 182
Quote:

otter wrote:


We'll have to see, but Minnesota and North Dakota might have to take some responsibility for the lake due to our farming practices. A lawsuit by Manitoba is not out of the question.
. Interesting,I did not know that . Thanks

Posted on: 3/18 15:22:16
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
11/23/2015
From Minnesota
Posts: 549
2001 class may have been carrying it recently but never had a problem when I started going there around the same time. Angling pressure sure but was not a problem last five years..Not that many more people out here this year....the amount of anglers person square a mile is minute....The worries some part is just the amount of spawning fish that are not present this year even compared to just last year I'm talking the 20 to 25 inch fish...I don't know if a crash is happening but the lake sure seems to be changing...Never had to fish as deep as we have been to find fish...Time will tell I guess...Maybe just an odd year but locals don't seem to think so.

Posted on: 3/18 15:32:59
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
02/12/2006
Posts: 174
I fish the Red River and Lake Winnipeg in the winter about twice a week and yes there has been a change in the size of fish caught this year. I do not think there was one single reason why the change but a combination of several.
The previous Provincial Government cut the Fishery department so badly that they really do not know why or what has happened. I believe there is 2 fish biologists for the lake and it is huge. Yes there are zebras and agelea blooms and other pollutants and increased angling pressure but I do not think any of these caused the drastic drop in the number of big fish being caught. Myself and most anglers I know have never killed one of these master greenbacks.
This past fall and up until mid February we did not see any decrease in finding big greenbacks but after the full moon in February it was like light switch went off.
Presently the government only restricts the minimum size of fish nets used on Lake Winnipeg (77 or 76 mm which is just over 3 inches) There is NO maximum. Most commercial fishermen normally used 4 or 4 1/2 inch mesh. Most large fish are not caught in small mesh but get turned. The Freshwater Marketing Board which has the monopoly of fish in Manitoba found a market for roe about 2 years go. They said they were going to target jumbo whitefish for the roe but there are very few if any jumbo whitefish in the south basin,
To catch jumbo whitefish commercial fishermen would need 6 inch or larger mesh, so you can guess now what they are catching, yes the large greenbacks. The past month or so one I had no trouble catching eaters which I believe could swim through these large mesh nets without being caught.
These large greenbacks are the prime breeders. Pressure is being put on the present government to MANAGE the fishery by sports groups and individuals.
Unless a stop is put to the killing of the breeding fish this fishery will drop drastically.
The tourist that come to Manitoba could be a big help if they expressed their opinions with the Manitoba government tourist department via email etc about this abusive act on our fishery.

PLEASE express your opinions to our Manitoba Government.
(Jim alias Canuck)

Posted on: 3/21 11:16:26
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Re: Interesting Read
LSF Member
Joined:
07/31/2007
From central mn
Posts: 4372
I posted this last month on a different thread,but here is the short answer from the question above,how many walleyes taken...

From a manitoba MNR bio guy;

did the quick research and the Manitoba quota is roughly 30 million pounds a year. They claim 70% of that quota comes from lake Winnipeg. So that means 21 million pounds of fish come out of lake Winnipeg a year. Figuring at 4 pounds of meat per fish (which is just a guess), 5.2 million walleyes are netted from Lake Winnipeg annually.

And where is this going boyz -n-girls?


BUT surely,netting does'nt hurt a fishery...Yeah right!

Another walleye factory crash...Sad deal.

Posted on: 3/21 12:28:01
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