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

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  • AvatarBob Er
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    Post count: 487

    Quote by: dsmav8r

    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.

    Water quality has something to do with it but I think size of the fishery is the biggest factor. Lakes and rivers that have good sustainable reproduction of walleyes are typically very large bodies of water. Lake erie is a great example. Probably the best walleye fishery in the world and gets huge harvest rates yet still produces every year. Iowa just doesn’t have those types of bodies or water. Our rivers are small and so are our lakes.

    AvatarLarry Richard
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    Post count: 449

    Look what has happened to the famed walleye factory at Mlle Lacs. Has historically had natural production second to none, but now reduced to catch and release unless you are a first nation netter. Got to be a lot of factors included and needed for individual lakes and fisheries. Pay the increased fees and figure it is still a good per hour investment. I have a lifetime license and may just donate some extra if everyone else gets to pony up and pay more. They really ought to figure out a way to get pleasure boaters, picnickers and the like to help as well, certainily to get them to quit criticizing us that do the fishing and the paying. doc

    Avatarfowl_attitude
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    Post count: 602

    As several have pointed out, the growth of fish depends primarily on forage. I have done a lot of research on this as we have a farm pond and our bass were relatively stunted at one time. One thing I learned about bass and I am going to assume it somewhat applies to walleye is that their first year year and a half they can grow fast. In our pond we put 6 inch bass in and with in a year they were 10-11 inches and about 3/4 of a pound. I found out it takes about 10 lbs of forage to gain 1 lb of mass after that first year to year and a half. Now, the bass in our pond have a pretty much never ending supply of forage with the blue gills and crappies spawning and they don’t have to work as hard to feed on that forage and use up those calories. A fish in a river system like the Iowa River or Wappsi does not have that same luxury. They have to search much harder and use a lot more energy to consume the forage they do. They do have the benefit of not having as much pressure as they can move up and down the river to get away from pressure which is what usually happens when you find an extremely large fish, but for the most part, they don’t have the same advantage of having as much forage as a fish in a lake or pond would have and there for will have a more difficult time putting the weight on. 13-15 inches might be what you get based on the availability of food to them.

    AvatarSADIEHAWKINS
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    Post count: 198

    I love it when the people who have no clue try to talk like they do when it comes to fish and wildlife. the state does net surveys throughout the year and has a good idea of what the population is. A fish removed from the system whether it is 13 inches or 30 inches is gone. Also a 13 inch fish might be there limit on angler skills. Why deny these anglers the chance for a fish fry. If its legal keep it if you want. If you want better fishing get rid of all the lowhead dams and ask our government to clean up our waters.

    AvatarBob Er
    Participant
    Post count: 487

    Quote by: SADIEHAWKINS

    I love it when the people who have no clue try to talk like they do when it comes to fish and wildlife. the state does net surveys throughout the year and has a good idea of what the population is. A fish removed from the system whether it is 13 inches or 30 inches is gone. Also a 13 inch fish might be there limit on angler skills. Why deny these anglers the chance for a fish fry. If its legal keep it if you want. If you want better fishing get rid of all the lowhead dams and ask our government to clean up our waters.

    Sorry but I respectfully disagree. The state does not have a good handle on river populations. They do shocking on a limited basis but the sample size is small. If limited skill anglers want to have a fish fry, then keep some pan fish. Or be patient and wait for a bigger walleye. If everyone throws back the 13″ fish, there will be more 15″ + fish.

    AvatarSADIEHAWKINS
    Participant
    Post count: 198

    Quote by: Bob+Er

    Quote by: SADIEHAWKINS

    I love it when the people who have no clue try to talk like they do when it comes to fish and wildlife. the state does net surveys throughout the year and has a good idea of what the population is. A fish removed from the system whether it is 13 inches or 30 inches is gone. Also a 13 inch fish might be there limit on angler skills. Why deny these anglers the chance for a fish fry. If its legal keep it if you want. If you want better fishing get rid of all the lowhead dams and ask our government to clean up our waters.

    Sorry but I respectfully disagree. The state does not have a good handle on river populations. They do shocking on a limited basis but the sample size is small. If limited skill anglers want to have a fish fry, then keep some pan fish. Or be patient and wait for a bigger walleye. If everyone throws back the 13″ fish, there will be more 15″ + fish.

    With that logic if everybody threw back everything under 25 inches then we would catch limits of fish above 25 inches. There are fish species that can be over fished because of there aggressive nature smallmouth bass northern maybe muskies. fish get spread out over 100 mile area in rivers unlike lake fish. Probably most wall eyes in Iowa rivers see very little fishing pressure do lack of public access on rivers. I’ll defer to the DNR on what is right for a particular body of water. Don’t know your age but remember when we caught very few walleyed north of marble rock. Now not a big deal to go out and catch a few.so I think the DNR has a good grasp. Maybe you should improve your angling skills to catch the 15 to 20 inches because there are plenty of them in are rivers.

    Avatarjereseib
    Participant
    Post count: 441

    You guys are eating walleye from the interior rivers? Yikes! This is one area Im practicing catch and release, especially since this state has some of the worst water quality in the entire country.

    Avatarmskursh
    Participant
    Post count: 1173

    here in the eastern part of the state, its hard to take anything the IDNR says as gospel when we have so many mismanaged fisheries in scott county. west lake, scott county park, banner marsh, etc etc.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: jereseib

    You guys are eating walleye from the interior rivers? Yikes! This is one area Im practicing catch and release, especially since this state has some of the worst water quality in the entire country.

    If you read what the IDNR says on the topic, there are only a select few areas in the state in which consumption of a certain fish species is cause for concern. Yeah the Iowa river may look muddy and nasty and in the last month 2 bodies got pulled out of it 😯 but honestly interior river fish aren’t as bad for you as people make it out to be.

    AvatarSADIEHAWKINS
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    Post count: 198

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: jereseib

    You guys are eating walleye from the interior rivers? Yikes! This is one area Im practicing catch and release, especially since this state has some of the worst water quality in the entire country.

    If you read what the IDNR says on the topic, there are only a select few areas in the state in which consumption of a certain fish species is cause for concern. Yeah the Iowa river may look muddy and nasty and in the last month 2 bodies got pulled out of it 😯 but honestly interior river fish aren’t as bad for you as people make it out to be.

    . This is very true. Take clear lake for example. The DNR dreched the little lake and did a marsh resttoration and now clear lake has become a multi species lake. So yes the DNR does have a grasp on things. It comes down to money and resources to improve some of the smaller bodies of water. If the Iowa legislators would implement what was passed by the people of Iowa in 2010 . the 3/8 cent tax we would have cleaner water and a better funded dnr. You can thank the republicans for not implementing it. It was passed I believe by 62 per cent of Iowans.

    Avatarwalleye jim
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    Post count: 311

    well a 15 to 17 inch walleye is prolly less than 4 years old and has not been in the polluted environment long enuf to have all the bad stuff leach into it…what gets me is that catfisher people will eat a 40-60 pound flathead out of the river that is at least 30 plus years old and has been swimming around in the mud/muck for that long.. IMO i think they shud put a length limit on cats so the trophy fish can still swim and while they are at it why not close the season on them when they go to wintering holes and only get snagged?? throw them back?? how about we dont fish for them same thing …

    AvatarAgronomist_at_IA
    Participant
    Post count: 367

    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?

    Well, look at it from a different point of view. Most of these lakes and many rivers are stocked. Basicly a put and take type of deal. Now, I can see your frustration. I’ve seen a number of people with stringers of fish around 12in. Which is really a dissapointment IMO. Personally I wish the DNR would put a Minimum length limit of 14in for a walleye. Maybe I am wrong but I think 14in is a fairly common legth that people consider an eater.

    What really sucks is that here in NW Iowa the shallow prairie lakes have close to zero natural reproduction. So the lakes have basicly man made cycles. The DNR stocks the lake…..about three years later the walleye are eater size and people fish the lake out….process repeats. Nice thing is the Man made DNR cycle also seems to be made with the different lakes. So we kinda have it down where there is about a 3yr cycle and have 3 lakes that cycle one after the other.

    The problem with this is people catch on to these cycles and when the walleye hit that eater size cycle year for a lake , people hammer the lake. It seems anything 14in or bigger is going in the live well & then the pan with most these anglers. Then so people can get limits & have the fish fry they want they keep a fat 13.5in……then a 13in…..Pretty soon you can’t catch over a 12in…. When you start just catching 12in and smaller, you know the lake has been pretty picked over.

    For the most part I have come to accept that this is fishing in NW Iowa. I don’t expect to go out and get limits of 17 or 18in fish for the livewell. I pretty much figure a good day on the water might get a guy a limit of 14in eater fish with an occasional 17-18in depending on the slot.

    So I mean I’ll admit it. I keep 14in walleye. We consider them eaters. If we put them back, I feel it is slim to no chance that many if any will get to 15in. with the harvest pressures we see on the lakes I fish. Put & take is exactly what is occuring……..so might has well take the 14in eaters or some one else will. If your putting them back waiting for 16-17in fish good luck, unless the DNR puts a min size limit they’d be gone before they got that length. I’ve actually come to prefer the 14in fish over the larger ones. Mainly because they cook up so nice and even when broiled in the oven or on the grill. I’ve even released 17in fish since I had 14-15 in eaters ehich cook up nicer…….figured it put a smile on someones face when they caught it.

    AvatarTrapCyclone
    Participant
    Post count: 2552

    Quote by: Agronomist_at_IA

    Well, look at it from a different point of view. Most of these lakes and many rivers are stocked. Basicly a put and take type of deal. Now, I can see your frustration. I’ve seen a number of people with stringers of fish around 12in. Which is really a dissapointment IMO. Personally I wish the DNR would put a Minimum length limit of 14in for a walleye. Maybe I am wrong but I think 14in is a fairly common legth that people consider an eater.

    What really sucks is that here in NW Iowa the shallow prairie lakes have close to zero natural reproduction. So the lakes have basicly man made cycles. The DNR stocks the lake…..about three years later the walleye are eater size and people fish the lake out….process repeats. Nice thing is the Man made DNR cycle also seems to be made with the different lakes. So we kinda have it down where there is about a 3yr cycle and have 3 lakes that cycle one after the other.

    The problem with this is people catch on to these cycles and when the walleye hit that eater size cycle year for a lake , people hammer the lake. It seems anything 14in or bigger is going in the live well & then the pan with most these anglers. Then so people can get limits & have the fish fry they want they keep a fat 13.5in……then a 13in…..Pretty soon you can’t catch over a 12in…. When you start just catching 12in and smaller, you know the lake has been pretty picked over.

    For the most part I have come to accept that this is fishing in NW Iowa. I don’t expect to go out and get limits of 17 or 18in fish for the livewell. I pretty much figure a good day on the water might get a guy a limit of 14in eater fish with an occasional 17-18in depending on the slot.

    So I mean I’ll admit it. I keep 14in walleye. We consider them eaters. If we put them back, I feel it is slim to no chance that many if any will get to 15in. with the harvest pressures we see on the lakes I fish. Put & take is exactly what is occuring……..so might has well take the 14in eaters or some one else will. If your putting them back waiting for 16-17in fish good luck, unless the DNR puts a min size limit they’d be gone before they got that length. I’ve actually come to prefer the 14in fish over the larger ones. Mainly because they cook up so nice and even when broiled in the oven or on the grill. I’ve even released 17in fish since I had 14-15 in eaters ehich cook up nicer…….figured it put a smile on someones face when they caught it.

    I think the Agronomist nailed it. Catch and release only works if everyone does it, but this basically does not happen on public bodies of water unless there are regulations specifically for it.

    Avatarspeng5
    Participant
    Post count: 2928

    Quote by: TrapCyclone

    Quote by: Agronomist_at_IA

    Well, look at it from a different point of view. Most of these lakes and many rivers are stocked. Basicly a put and take type of deal. Now, I can see your frustration. I’ve seen a number of people with stringers of fish around 12in. Which is really a dissapointment IMO. Personally I wish the DNR would put a Minimum length limit of 14in for a walleye. Maybe I am wrong but I think 14in is a fairly common legth that people consider an eater.

    What really sucks is that here in NW Iowa the shallow prairie lakes have close to zero natural reproduction. So the lakes have basicly man made cycles. The DNR stocks the lake…..about three years later the walleye are eater size and people fish the lake out….process repeats. Nice thing is the Man made DNR cycle also seems to be made with the different lakes. So we kinda have it down where there is about a 3yr cycle and have 3 lakes that cycle one after the other.

    The problem with this is people catch on to these cycles and when the walleye hit that eater size cycle year for a lake , people hammer the lake. It seems anything 14in or bigger is going in the live well & then the pan with most these anglers. Then so people can get limits & have the fish fry they want they keep a fat 13.5in……then a 13in…..Pretty soon you can’t catch over a 12in…. When you start just catching 12in and smaller, you know the lake has been pretty picked over.

    For the most part I have come to accept that this is fishing in NW Iowa. I don’t expect to go out and get limits of 17 or 18in fish for the livewell. I pretty much figure a good day on the water might get a guy a limit of 14in eater fish with an occasional 17-18in depending on the slot.

    So I mean I’ll admit it. I keep 14in walleye. We consider them eaters. If we put them back, I feel it is slim to no chance that many if any will get to 15in. with the harvest pressures we see on the lakes I fish. Put & take is exactly what is occuring……..so might has well take the 14in eaters or some one else will. If your putting them back waiting for 16-17in fish good luck, unless the DNR puts a min size limit they’d be gone before they got that length. I’ve actually come to prefer the 14in fish over the larger ones. Mainly because they cook up so nice and even when broiled in the oven or on the grill. I’ve even released 17in fish since I had 14-15 in eaters ehich cook up nicer…….figured it put a smile on someones face when they caught it.

    I think the Agronomist nailed it. Catch and release only works if everyone does it, but this basically does not happen on public bodies of water unless there are regulations specifically for it.

    Exactly. There’s zero point in telling folks they “should” do something, because 99% of people aren’t going to do something unless some law/superior/agency MAKES them.

    AvatarAgronomist_at_IA
    Participant
    Post count: 367

    Quote by: speng5

    Quote by: TrapCyclone

    Quote by: Agronomist_at_IA

    Well, look at it from a different point of view. Most of these lakes and many rivers are stocked. Basicly a put and take type of deal. Now, I can see your frustration. I’ve seen a number of people with stringers of fish around 12in. Which is really a dissapointment IMO. Personally I wish the DNR would put a Minimum length limit of 14in for a walleye. Maybe I am wrong but I think 14in is a fairly common legth that people consider an eater.

    What really sucks is that here in NW Iowa the shallow prairie lakes have close to zero natural reproduction. So the lakes have basicly man made cycles. The DNR stocks the lake…..about three years later the walleye are eater size and people fish the lake out….process repeats. Nice thing is the Man made DNR cycle also seems to be made with the different lakes. So we kinda have it down where there is about a 3yr cycle and have 3 lakes that cycle one after the other.

    The problem with this is people catch on to these cycles and when the walleye hit that eater size cycle year for a lake , people hammer the lake. It seems anything 14in or bigger is going in the live well & then the pan with most these anglers. Then so people can get limits & have the fish fry they want they keep a fat 13.5in……then a 13in…..Pretty soon you can’t catch over a 12in…. When you start just catching 12in and smaller, you know the lake has been pretty picked over.

    For the most part I have come to accept that this is fishing in NW Iowa. I don’t expect to go out and get limits of 17 or 18in fish for the livewell. I pretty much figure a good day on the water might get a guy a limit of 14in eater fish with an occasional 17-18in depending on the slot.

    So I mean I’ll admit it. I keep 14in walleye. We consider them eaters. If we put them back, I feel it is slim to no chance that many if any will get to 15in. with the harvest pressures we see on the lakes I fish. Put & take is exactly what is occuring……..so might has well take the 14in eaters or some one else will. If your putting them back waiting for 16-17in fish good luck, unless the DNR puts a min size limit they’d be gone before they got that length. I’ve actually come to prefer the 14in fish over the larger ones. Mainly because they cook up so nice and even when broiled in the oven or on the grill. I’ve even released 17in fish since I had 14-15 in eaters ehich cook up nicer…….figured it put a smile on someones face when they caught it.

    I think the Agronomist nailed it. Catch and release only works if everyone does it, but this basically does not happen on public bodies of water unless there are regulations specifically for it.

    Exactly. There’s zero point in telling folks they “should” do something, because 99% of people aren’t going to do something unless some law/superior/agency MAKES them.

    I do wish the dnr would put a statewide minimum length limit for walleye. The harvest of 12in walleye just seem like such a waste. I think more people would follow a min length limit then the slot laws.

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