Anderson: Readers sound off on Lake Mille Lacs walleye population

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 2, 2014 - 8:44 AM
hide

Marlin Levison• mlevison@startribune.com Fishing from a 50-foot launch boat operated by Twin Pines Resort on Lake Mille Lacs. IN THIS PHOTO: Some of the anglers fishing from the launch. At left is Tim LeGrande from Lincoln Ne. ORG XMIT: MIN2014013111263214

Last Sunday I asked readers to offer ideas about how to reinvigorate the Mille Lacs walleye population. I suggested anglers should be limited to catch-and-release walleye fishing for at least a year, and that the Chippewa should suspend netting as well. Meantime, on Friday, the DNR announced a record-low 60,000-pound Mille Lacs walleye quota for the coming year, beginning in May — 42,900 pounds for state-regulated anglers and 17,100 pounds for the Chippewa. The DNR will discuss the quota with a Mille Lacs area advisory group later this month. Meanwhile, a sample of readers’ Mille Lacs suggestions follows.

I concur with “No nets for the Chippewa, no keepers for the rest.” Beyond that, my solution is simply two words: barbless hooks.

Considering that the majority of walleye fishermen still do not know how to catch and release walleyes without causing hooking and handling mortality, the simplest way to counteract their inability is to make it easier to unhook the walleye to be returned alive to the lake. I see way too many anglers who still hoist the walleye into the bottom of the boat where it bounces around and almost guarantees its death when returned to the lake. Then there are those who rip the barbed hook out of the fish’s throat or gills to, again, ensure its demise. Education of the walleye angler apparently takes too long so it is not pursued. Let’s take away the mortality problem by changing the regulation on Mille Lacs to barbless only. This approach works very well in many fly-in Canadian lakes. It can work here as well.

J. Baker, Eden Prairie

 

•••

 

Why does the DNR always look to target a very specific length of fish with their slot limits? This practice as well as netting has the potential of wiping out entire year classes of fish. Would it not make sense to set a two-walleye limit and have a maximum length of fish to be 40 inches? That would allow fishermen to take any combination of fish to equal 40 inches. The biggest benefit is that fish would then come from two to four year classes and not target a particular year class as the slot of 18-20 inches does.

Michael P. Klein, Twin Cities

 

•••

 

Cutting walleye mortality would help the situation. How about requiring circle hooks for live bait fishing? They work well for me. Florida requires their use in a number of saltwater situations.

Ivert Anderson, New Brighton

 

•••

 

I believe that both catch and release and suspending netting are worth a try. Why not? By the same token, we are focused on “Save the Walleye” in the Mille Lacs area when we should promote what a great overall resource the region is, close to the metro, that has trophy walleyes, muskies, northerns, smallmouth and perch surrounded by unique lodging, restaurants, guide services, golf courses, resorts, casinos and a whole lot of fun! As for suggestions that we should be killing more of the lake’s big fish: How often do I read, “Where are the big fish?” So killing big fish is a bad idea. I say, deal with the present and invite the crowd.

  • related content

  • Mille Lacs walleye quota for 2014 will be lowest ever

    Sunday February 2, 2014

    The popularity of the state’s premier walleye fishing lake, Mille Lacs, will be tested this summer.

  • 7/23/03- Members of the Minnesota Depaprtment of Natural Resources pull in the anchor as they prepare to move to a new spot while fishing for walleye on the southeastern part of Lake Mille Lacs. The DNR has been catching the fish and releasing them into nets for several days as part of the Hooking Mortality tests they are condcuting this year on the lake. By hooking and releasing the Walleye, they can learn how many fish that anglers release actually survive when thrown back. MNHISTLAKES ORG XMIT: MIN2013022117302298

  • Netting by the Mille Lacs band of Chippewa (above) and the Supreme Court ruling that reaffirmed the band’s harvest rights are among the complicating factors in reviving the Mille Lacs fishery. It’s Minnesota’s most popular walleye lake, hosting all manner of angling visitors, from single boats fishing right up to sunset (left) to crowds hanging lines over the gunwales of launches sent out by resorts. Friday’s announcement of very restrictive quotas this year was one step by the DNR toward a Mille Lacs fix.

  • Susan Sipper of Waconia caught and released this 25.5-inch walleye on Lake Mille Lacs. She landed a 27-incher a half-hour later. ORG XMIT: MIN2014013111305217

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 8 1st Qtr 5:54
New Orleans 18
Indiana 19 1st Qtr 3:39
Orlando 16
LA Clippers 15 1st Qtr 4:04
Phoenix 10
Minnesota 14 1st Qtr 4:20
Atlanta 15
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 5 2nd Prd 19:28
Team Foligno 5
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 47 2nd Half 5:09
Albany 65
Niagara 43 2nd Half 11:35
Iona 57
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 53 2nd Half 6:38
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 56 2nd Half 3:30
Wichita State 73
(15) Duke 28 2nd Half
(12) North Carolina 38
Miami-Florida 34 2nd Half 14:02
(4) Louisville 40
(21) Minnesota 31 2nd Half
(25) Rutgers 37
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close