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

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  • Avatartbk
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    Post count: 108

    it is not doubt frustrating to see people keep a bunch of small fish. as stated by others, a 14 inch fish is acceptable to a lot of anglers….smaller than that? not much to them. However, I am not sure if a minimum length is the right answer. Many of you are a lot younger than me and maybe don’t remember this, but when the DNR put a minimum length of 14” on walleyes in the Iowa Great Lakes(think it was in 1987), some years you would catch countless numbers of 13.75” fish, many of them having heads that were bigger around then their bodies. tons of fish with little or nothing to eat. I think the slot limit improved the fishery…many will disagree with this. By thinning out some of the smaller fish, the remaining ones grow faster and are healthier. Now the last several years guys complain about only being able to catch slot fish. I would rather catch slots and take nothing home to eat personally. However, there are decent numbers of eater walleyes in big spirit and east/west Okoboji again. As asgrow mentioned, it is cyclical. I think the dnr has done a pretty good job of maintaining the fisheries…which is not an easy task with all the angling pressure. Sometimes I think some of the smaller lakes in the area should have length restrictions and a smaller daily limit(most are 5 fish), as they do get hammered pretty hard when the bite is good. However, they are put and take fisheries and most of them are at risk of winterkill during severe winters…I would imagine that is part of the reasoning for fewer restrictions. just my observations. not looking to stir the pot.

    AvatarBob Er
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    Post count: 487

    Quote by: tbk

    it is not doubt frustrating to see people keep a bunch of small fish. as stated by others, a 14 inch fish is acceptable to a lot of anglers….smaller than that? not much to them. However, I am not sure if a minimum length is the right answer. Many of you are a lot younger than me and maybe don’t remember this, but when the DNR put a minimum length of 14” on walleyes in the Iowa Great Lakes(think it was in 1987), some years you would catch countless numbers of 13.75” fish, many of them having heads that were bigger around then their bodies. tons of fish with little or nothing to eat. I think the slot limit improved the fishery…many will disagree with this. By thinning out some of the smaller fish, the remaining ones grow faster and are healthier. Now the last several years guys complain about only being able to catch slot fish. I would rather catch slots and take nothing home to eat personally. However, there are decent numbers of eater walleyes in big spirit and east/west Okoboji again. As asgrow mentioned, it is cyclical. I think the dnr has done a pretty good job of maintaining the fisheries…which is not an easy task with all the angling pressure. Sometimes I think some of the smaller lakes in the area should have length restrictions and a smaller daily limit(most are 5 fish), as they do get hammered pretty hard when the bite is good. However, they are put and take fisheries and most of them are at risk of winterkill during severe winters…I would imagine that is part of the reasoning for fewer restrictions. just my observations. not looking to stir the pot.

    I think it depends on the body or water. Lakes are different from rivers. For example, the Des Moines, Iowa and Cedar rivers are never going to have a shortage of food for walleyes. The fish wont get stunted in those rivers. Lakes on the other hand will have a limited carrying capacity.

    I don’t think the winter kill argument is valid unless it is a very shallow lake.

    Avatartbk
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    I agree bob. I forgot to mention the lakes I was thinking of are generally shallow and susceptible to winterkill. Silver lake at Ayrshire, Elk lake, etc are a few of the ones I was thinking of. Yes the rivers are always loaded with food

    AvatarAgronomist_at_IA
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    Post count: 367

    Quote by: tbk

    it is not doubt frustrating to see people keep a bunch of small fish. as stated by others, a 14 inch fish is acceptable to a lot of anglers….smaller than that? not much to them. However, I am not sure if a minimum length is the right answer. Many of you are a lot younger than me and maybe don’t remember this, but when the DNR put a minimum length of 14” on walleyes in the Iowa Great Lakes(think it was in 1987), some years you would catch countless numbers of 13.75” fish, many of them having heads that were bigger around then their bodies. tons of fish with little or nothing to eat. I think the slot limit improved the fishery…many will disagree with this. By thinning out some of the smaller fish, the remaining ones grow faster and are healthier. Now the last several years guys complain about only being able to catch slot fish. I would rather catch slots and take nothing home to eat personally. However, there are decent numbers of eater walleyes in big spirit and east/west Okoboji again. As asgrow mentioned, it is cyclical. I think the dnr has done a pretty good job of maintaining the fisheries…which is not an easy task with all the angling pressure. Sometimes I think some of the smaller lakes in the area should have length restrictions and a smaller daily limit(most are 5 fish), as they do get hammered pretty hard when the bite is good. However, they are put and take fisheries and most of them are at risk of winterkill during severe winters…I would imagine that is part of the reasoning for fewer restrictions. just my observations. not looking to stir the pot.

    Maybe I’m wrong. Isn’t the slot for fish pretty much on the lakes that the DNR uses to harvest eggs from for stocking. The slot is to protect the brood stock for egg harvest, and the 3 fish limit is to reduce harvest so smaller fish have a chance to reach the slot. I think the reason you caught endless 13.75in walleyes back then is because everyone kept the fish once they were over the length. So that’s all there was. I know limited forage can limit growth, But bigger fish also require more forage.

    One place I will give credit to the DNR (mn dnr) is in Northern Minnesota at upper red lake. They have managed that lake with regs about perfectly. between switching the slot size, fish limits, and allowing one slot fish to be kept exedra….I absolutley love my 3 day Dec. 19th fishing trip to upper red every year……just seems to get better every year.

    Avatardoubledrop
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    Post count: 315

    Length minimum produces slow growing fish. Fish that grow fast to harvestable size get harvested, but if a fish never reaches that length it could live to a ripe old age. That was what was learned about length limits on the IGL. Walleyes in Iowa lakes are a put and take fishery. A lake can hold more 14 inchers than 24 inchers. And that is the way that they are managed, the same with trout. just that the shelf life of trout is shorter. In many of these lakes putting walleye in them to begin with is putting a square peg in a round hole. They are just not a good fit, they can live there but the habitat is marginal. And walleye are sought after for one reason, table fare. Now how many people would clean a 12 in perch, what’s the difference?

    Avatarkenhump
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    Post count: 12769

    Quote by: doubledrop

    Length minimum produces slow growing fish. Fish that grow fast to harvestable size get harvested, but if a fish never reaches that length it could live to a ripe old age. That was what was learned about length limits on the IGL. Walleyes in Iowa lakes are a put and take fishery. A lake can hold more 14 inchers than 24 inchers. And that is the way that they are managed, the same with trout. just that the shelf life of trout is shorter. In many of these lakes putting walleye in them to begin with is putting a square peg in a round hole. They are just not a good fit, they can live there but the habitat is marginal. And walleye are sought after for one reason, table fare. Now how many people would clean a 12 in perch, what’s the difference?

    Sorry, but I don’t think can can agree. To compare a 12″ perch to the 8-10″ walleyes hen cleaned. You need to understand that most of us are talking about dink eyes that wind up in the trash at the cleaning station. As to the put and take, I don’t like it. Never will convince me a 12″ minimum won’t work.

    Avatardoubledrop
    Participant
    Post count: 315

    On any lake that I have fished, if there is a minimum length, there are a large number of fish just under that length, no matter what species. Minimum lengths produce minimum fish. Now personally I wouldn’t keep a walleye under 15- 16 inches, so I don’t keep many. I’m fine with that because I don’t look at a fishing trip as a trip to the grocery store, but many do. To those that do, telling them to throw back a fish that is harvestable is taking food out of their cart. As long as daily limits are followed, dink walleyes have less affect on a lakes population than 18 inchers do. The dinks can be replaced much quicker and there are many more of them. If you personally want to impose a length limit, great that’s your right. But to chastise someone for keeping a fish that you deem too small, telling to throw it back so it can grow to a size that YOU call harvestable so you have a chance to keep more fish, that won’t play well with grocery store crowd.

    AvatarAgronomist_at_IA
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    Post count: 367

    Quote by: doubledrop

    On any lake that I have fished, if there is a minimum length, there are a large number of fish just under that length, no matter what species. Minimum lengths produce minimum fish. Now personally I wouldn’t keep a walleye under 15- 16 inches, so I don’t keep many. I’m fine with that because I don’t look at a fishing trip as a trip to the grocery store, but many do. To those that do, telling them to throw back a fish that is harvestable is taking food out of their cart. As long as daily limits are followed, dink walleyes have less affect on a lakes population than 18 inchers do. The dinks can be replaced much quicker and there are many more of them. If you personally want to impose a length limit, great that’s your right. But to chastise someone for keeping a fish that you deem too small, telling to throw it back so it can grow to a size that YOU call harvestable so you have a chance to keep more fish, that won’t play well with grocery store crowd.

    I don’t buy the argument that a 14″ min. length on walleye in these stocked-put and take-lakes causes stunted walleye. Maybe I am wrong. Here is my thought process on it. The DNR is stocking the walleye and uses guidelines from studies on what the survival rates are, what the forage base would be, and the holding capacity of the lake. Now, I understand things happen and aren’t exact, but I doubt that the DNR would be dumping in so many walleye that they would over populate and stunt themselves. It would be a huge waste of money. I’m sure it can happen under the right conditions…..if it did they can change the length limit for a period to fix the problem…..in other words let the DNR manage it if the problem was over crowding leading to stunted slow growth.

    I can’t speak for every lake. However, from what I can tell the lakes here in NW Iowa have tremendous fishing pressure on them. The reason we aren’t seeing good numbers of larger fish on the lakes without a slot isn’t from over crowding. Its from heavy harvest of eater sized fish. One of the lakes we fish last year had a very nice year class that was producing nice 14-15 inch eaters and boat limits of them with a lot of 13-13.75 fish right behind them. Last few times we fished it we caught 1-20in 1-13.5in and a lot of 12in fish. So where did all the 13-13.75 in fish go? Don’t think they shrunk to 12in and there isn’t many 14-15in fish. My thought is that all the anglers harvested and kept about everything over 12in. Seeing stringers at the docks kinda reinforces that though. I have no issue with guys doing it if they want. I just think it would be nice that on the lakes that are managed for being put/take harvest lakes if the DNR would put a 14in min on it to establish a respectable harvest size. The mentality has seemed to be that people needed 5 fish limits and kept lowering their acceptable fish size down to about 12in……..I’m pretty sure its not an issue of too many 12in fish causing stunting. It’s just kinda like everything else has gone in our society. When you get mobs of People they tend to rape, pillage, and abuse the social programs we have and pretty much ruin it for everyone. It’s the mentality that they need to get their share before everyone else takes it, then we all get left with scraps…

    AvatarWill999
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    Post count: 1267

    ^lol, wow that got dark! 🙂

    Avatardoubledrop
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    Post count: 315

    I didn’t suggest that those fish were stunted, what I am saying is that the survival rate of slow growers was higher than normal walleye because of angling pressure. I agree that over harvest is the reason that there are fewer quality fish. Walleye are sought after for one reason, table fare. In order to keep up with demand, either harvestable size is reduced or stricter limits imposed. Stricter limits reduce angling interest( why fish for walleye if you can’t keep them) which decreases angler participation. If you are catching dinks with the occasional keeper thrown in the interest is still there. What I am saying is that these fish are managed this way as the goal , to put more catchable walleye per acre in a given body of water. In order to get a change, that goal has to be changed and that starts with the Dept. of Fishery. I was told by the head of the DNR Fisheries that,” All fish are trophys”. With that mindset quality fisherys for any species is not the goal. Change has to start from the top on way that fish are managed.

    AvatarAgronomist_at_IA
    Participant
    Post count: 367

    Quote by: doubledrop

    I didn’t suggest that those fish were stunted, what I am saying is that the survival rate of slow growers was higher than normal walleye because of angling pressure. I agree that over harvest is the reason that there are fewer quality fish. Walleye are sought after for one reason, table fare. In order to keep up with demand, either harvestable size is reduced or stricter limits imposed. Stricter limits reduce angling interest( why fish for walleye if you can’t keep them) which decreases angler participation. If you are catching dinks with the occasional keeper thrown in the interest is still there. What I am saying is that these fish are managed this way as the goal , to put more catchable walleye per acre in a given body of water. In order to get a change, that goal has to be changed and that starts with the Dept. of Fishery. I was told by the head of the DNR Fisheries that,” All fish are trophys”. With that mindset quality fisherys for any species is not the goal. Change has to start from the top on way that fish are managed.

    I agree with what you’ve said. Those slower growing fish will reach size. Walleye is table fair and the main target fish. So with what you’ve stated and what the goal is doesn’t a 14in min fit into the managed goal? I mean all the fish will still get harvested, its just the bar of dinks moves up to 13.75in instead of 12. And the fish gets harvested at a respectable eater size.

    Avatarkenhump
    Participant
    Post count: 12769

    Quote by: doubledrop

    On any lake that I have fished, if there is a minimum length, there are a large number of fish just under that length, no matter what species. Minimum lengths produce minimum fish. Now personally I wouldn’t keep a walleye under 15- 16 inches, so I don’t keep many. I’m fine with that because I don’t look at a fishing trip as a trip to the grocery store, but many do. To those that do, telling them to throw back a fish that is harvestable is taking food out of their cart. As long as daily limits are followed, dink walleyes have less affect on a lakes population than 18 inchers do. The dinks can be replaced much quicker and there are many more of them. If you personally want to impose a length limit, great that’s your right. But to chastise someone for keeping a fish that you deem too small, telling to throw it back so it can grow to a size that YOU call harvestable so you have a chance to keep more fish, that won’t play well with grocery store crowd.

    So then why the size limit on muskies?

    Avatardoubledrop
    Participant
    Post count: 315

    Muskies are a trophy fish. When was the last time you saw a Muskie angler keep one? With less than 1 per cent of angler targeting them why do we spend so much money stocking them? That money could be directed at species that have more interest. And as far as the minimum length for walleye, if they are being kept, they must not be too small to keep. I’m not saying that I agree with that philosophy, I don’t, but that is the mindset of the people in fisheries.

    AvatarAgronomist_at_IA
    Participant
    Post count: 367

    Quote by: doubledrop

    Muskies are a trophy fish. When was the last time you saw a Muskie angler keep one? With less than 1 per cent of angler targeting them why do we spend so much money stocking them? That money could be directed at species that have more interest. And as far as the minimum length for walleye, if they are being kept, they must not be too small to keep. I’m not saying that I agree with that philosophy, I don’t, but that is the mindset of the people in fisheries.

    What can you say some people live by the code……pirate code take everything throw nothing back. lol

    Avatargone bassin
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    Post count: 371

    People can keep their limit of 13″ fish, go home, and I’ll have no problem getting my limit of 16-18″ fish once they leave. My local lake has zero size restrictions and 5 fish daily limit on walleye, which is a clear statement through relaxed regulations, that there is a very healthy number of fish to be harvested. I am confident that if numbers dwindle, they will return to the 15″ minimum/3 daily fish limit.

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