Home Forums Fishing Walleye Fishing Throw them BACK!!!!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 62 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • AvatarWill999
    Participant
    Post count: 1267

    I wish they would do more research on the walleye population in the interior rivers. I see the DNR reports it as:
    The Walleye is distributed statewide. It is abundant throughout the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. It ranges from occasional to common in all of Iowa’s major interior river drainages

    So the scale is, Abundant, common and occasional but that’s about the extent of the information that can be found. (besides occasional surveys for lakes) There is some old research on Clear Lake that shows a major decrease year after year and I recall seeing something for the Cedar river years ago where they were trying to get an estimate on the population. My take from talking to the DNR, taking every fisheries class you can take and reading everything about the interior rivers and lakes in Iowa is that Iowa unfortunately has all of the odds stacked against it having a walleye fishery. (almost no natural bodies of water, mostly flooded farmland, extreme fertilizer runoff, excessive eutrophication, etc..)

    I think the DNR sees it as put and take because it’s a dismal fishery. They would tell you that the regulations are what they are in a number of places because mortality is so high and they actually want you to keep whatever you can because it makes such little difference.

    It’s funny because after years of fishing in Iowa, I’m always in shock and awe of places that do have walleye fisheries, last year I took a 2 hour boat ride on Mile Lacs lake with a bunch of non angler types, young kids, tourists and they caught more walleyes in two hours than I had seen in years of walleye fishing in Iowa, basically as soon as they could get a leech on a slip bobber over some rocks.

    TLDR, I don’t know man, I don’t think it makes much difference.

    AvatarWill999
    Participant
    Post count: 1267

    This got me wondering, what kind of fishing effort do walleyes take in Iowa? It would be really neat if you had some information on the interior rivers from tournaments but like musky tournaments at Big Creek, I’m not sure they would even be worth having.

    So I started thinking about the top fisheries and if they had tournaments, like the Iowa State Championship-Okoboji, two day walleye tournament, surely some experienced anglers in nice boats that definitely know what they are doing in arguably the top walleye fishing lake in Iowa.

    http://www.walleyecentral.com/pdf_files/05gnwc_iowa_champ.pdf

    So 29 Teams of 2, fishing for two days, so 928 dedicated man hours of walleye fishing for 85 fish. So that’s 11 hours of fishing per walleye? (only one team hit a limit both days) and the average weight was ~1 lb.

    The bottom 10 teams picked up 4 walleyes in 320 hours of fishing… (sounds more like my luck 😛 )

    Then you think about a place like Devils Lake: http://masterswalleyecircuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Devils-Lake-Final.pdf?x48874

    So the top 2 teams caught as many lbs of walleyes with the same 10 fish limit as the entire Okoboji tournament? 145 Limits caught, nearly every team. (and really that doesn’t do it justice right because if nearly every team had a 10 fish limit they would have been culling like mad to get top weight!) The top team’s average weight would have been around 6lbs per fish on day one, all of which would have been bigger than the largest fish caught at Okoboji in 928 hours of fishing. A 5 fish limit of walleyes weighing 30 lbs is basically inconceivable to me as an Iowan. We only ‘kind of’ have walleyes here. 🙂

    stick500stick500
    Participant
    Post count: 457

    So when someone catches a walleye in the Iowa, Wapsi or Maquoketa, chances are high that it’s a stocked fish?

    I always figured they were naturally reproducing just like in the Mississippi by where I live.

    alan_50501alan_50501
    Participant
    Post count: 1499

    Quote by: TJHIA84

    Im sure if happens everywhere, but there are some of the same guys coming to Greene to fish the Shell Rock and keeping little fish. Im talking 13-15″ skinny little walleyes. They are not the only ones, but have been around and seen it happen. Why doesnt the DNR slot these small rivers too?

    This has been going on for years just wonder how many do not have a license.. I’ve seen the same done with bass out of river under 12″ it goes on stringer…Had a guy do this last year until I told him it had to be 12″ the bass was only 8″

    Fort dodge

    Avatarducksandbucks
    Participant
    Post count: 697

    I will throw my hat in the ring of failure…. fished 16 hours this spring for the elusive eye and am batting 0. And yes i would like to think i know how to catch them. I have seen a whooping 3 caught this year by other anglers in those 16 hours.

    Avatarkenhump
    Participant
    Post count: 12769

    Quote by: Will999

    I wish they would do more research on the walleye population in the interior rivers. I see the DNR reports it as:
    The Walleye is distributed statewide. It is abundant throughout the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. It ranges from occasional to common in all of Iowa�s major interior river drainages

    So the scale is, Abundant, common and occasional but that’s about the extent of the information that can be found. (besides occasional surveys for lakes) There is some old research on Clear Lake that shows a major decrease year after year and I recall seeing something for the Cedar river years ago where they were trying to get an estimate on the population. My take from talking to the DNR, taking every fisheries class you can take and reading everything about the interior rivers and lakes in Iowa is that Iowa unfortunately has all of the odds stacked against it having a walleye fishery. (almost no natural bodies of water, mostly flooded farmland, extreme fertilizer runoff, excessive eutrophication, etc..)

    I think the DNR sees it as put and take because it’s a dismal fishery. They would tell you that the regulations are what they are in a number of places because mortality is so high and they actually want you to keep whatever you can because it makes such little difference.

    It’s funny because after years of fishing in Iowa, I’m always in shock and awe of places that do have walleye fisheries, last year I took a 2 hour boat ride on Mile Lacs lake with a bunch of non angler types, young kids, tourists and they caught more walleyes in two hours than I had seen in years of walleye fishing in Iowa, basically as soon as they could get a leech on a slip bobber over some rocks.

    TLDR, I don’t know man, I don’t think it makes much difference.

    I have caught more walleyes from rivers and stream in Iowa than IGLS, which I have fished many years.

    huntersafehuntersafe
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    Quote by: alan_50501

    Quote by: TJHIA84

    Im sure if happens everywhere, but there are some of the same guys coming to Greene to fish the Shell Rock and keeping little fish. Im talking 13-15″ skinny little walleyes. They are not the only ones, but have been around and seen it happen. Why doesnt the DNR slot these small rivers too?

    This has been going on for years just wonder how many do not have a license.. I’ve seen the same done with bass out of river under 12″ it goes on stringer…Had a guy do this last year until I told him it had to be 12″ the bass was only 8″

    Fish grow big and fat when they have lots to eat. Habit and food limits how many pounds of fish in the water. If you have skinny little fish they stock too many so they do not grow.

    Avatarbryan
    Participant
    Post count: 937

    Quote by: Ifish

    Why is it that I can catch 20 plus 13″ eyes for every 15″er and release all of them thinking next year they will be keepers. Next year comes and its the same ratio, I changed my thoughts on eaters, I found that the one time a year I keep about 3 fish to eat I prefer the 13″. Fry up evenly and quickly and fit perfectly in my pan.

    You must fish big creek!

    AvatarFishingAddiction
    Participant
    Post count: 110

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: Brad+Phillips

    Quote by: Will999

    I’m pretty sure we don’t have walleyes in Iowa.

    There are days that I have thought that very thing 😀

    I’ve thought that this very SPRING.

    Im with ya on that one. This spring/late winter has been terrible for me.

    Avatarmskursh
    Participant
    Post count: 1173

    Quote by: stick500

    So when someone catches a walleye in the Iowa, Wapsi or Maquoketa, chances are high that it’s a stocked fish?

    I always figured they were naturally reproducing just like in the Mississippi by where I live.

    correct. most of these fish come out of the miss. the nuclear plant in cordorva, ill has a huge stocking program. so does the fairport fishery office. there is almost 0 natural production going on in the the iowa interior rivers. Ia treats it like stocked trout fishing essentially.

    stick500stick500
    Participant
    Post count: 457

    I can’t believe I never knew this about walleye stocking all this time

    I always find it incredible how the state gathers enough funds to stock as many trout as they do, much less walleyes

    the way this country is heading budget-wise, I wonder if our days are numbered for having such programs, especially since the numbers of the next generation of anglers don’t appear to be too high

    AvatarBob Er
    Participant
    Post count: 487

    Quote by: stick500

    I can’t believe I never knew this about walleye stocking all this time

    I always find it incredible how the state gathers enough funds to stock as many trout as they do, much less walleyes

    the way this country is heading budget-wise, I wonder if our days are numbered for having such programs, especially since the numbers of the next generation of anglers don’t appear to be too high

    I agree that budget cuts leave the future of a lot of fisheries programs in question.

    What I question is this notion that next generation angler #s are down. Seems to me there are more people out fishing than ever before. Maybe Im wrong but I though Iowa has had continued growth in license sales. They would probably sell even more if they actually enforced the laws and people didn’t think they could get away with not buying one.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: stick500

    I can’t believe I never knew this about walleye stocking all this time

    I always find it incredible how the state gathers enough funds to stock as many trout as they do, much less walleyes

    the way this country is heading budget-wise, I wonder if our days are numbered for having such programs, especially since the numbers of the next generation of anglers don’t appear to be too high

    I actually had this thought a few weeks ago believe it or not. As a result, I joined Trout Unlimited. They had a deal going on then (maybe still do) where you could get a good chunk off the membership and you also get some trinkets and stuff. With a discounted membership you also gogt a year subscription to Trout Magazine, a knife, and I think there were about a dozen flies and stuff in a pretty basic fly box. Not a bad deal as I think altogether it cost $26 and I had to do a quick survey about my trout fishing habits. Not a bad deal for $26 IMO, the knife and magazine together probably cost double that.

    stick500stick500
    Participant
    Post count: 457

    Quote by: Bob+Er

    Seems to me there are more people out fishing than ever before. Maybe Im wrong but I though Iowa has had continued growth in license sales.

    that’s great news if that is the case

    I am just going on some national trends over the last decade or so that indicated hunting and fishing license numbers were down compared to earlier times

    it would be awesome if Iowa could continue to generate enough revenue to keep stocking programs strong

    I sure enjoy trout fishing in NE Iowa every year

    Avatardsmav8r
    Participant
    Post count: 286

    Quote by: stick500

    I can’t believe I never knew this about walleye stocking all this time

    I always find it incredible how the state gathers enough funds to stock as many trout as they do, much less walleyes

    the way this country is heading budget-wise, I wonder if our days are numbered for having such programs, especially since the numbers of the next generation of anglers don’t appear to be too high

    I will use the upper North Raccoon as an example…From what I understand, that section of the Raccoon has not been stocked with Walleye for several years due to an attempt to protect the Topeka Shiner population. Since that subsided, a fishery that (in my opinion) was top notch for Walleye (especially for size) has been reduced to virtually zero. There are still Walleye in that stretch that sneak up from other places, but it just goes to show how important the DNR stocking is. I remember many years ago, fishing rivers like the Upper Iowa and the Turkey and NEVER catching a Walleye from those rivers past the first dams before the Mississippi, but now I catch them almost as frequently as Smallies and Pike. So yes, it very much is intended to be a “bonus” resource for fishermen.

    I would love to hear more insight from the experts as to why Walleye reproduction is so low in the state, outside of the obvious water quality reasons. I have a home on a lake in southern Iowa that I would argue has the best water quality in the state, is deep and has the proper substrate, yet I’ve been told no reproduction occurs…..So, there has to be other factors determining this.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 62 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.