Population puzzle is vexing at Mille Lacs

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  • Updated: November 17, 2012 - 6:12 PM

DNR, Chippewa researchers are reviewing surveys that find walleyes in very low numbers.

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sjfellegyNov. 17, 12 6:40 PM

"Tribal needs to harvest fish"? NOW THAT IS "VEXING"!! No one, Tribal or Mn. DNR can justify the "needs to harvest" via gill-net during the spawn for anyone-let alone the Tribal side. No way, no how is there a modern day need for food/fish at the cost of bringing down a crown jewel of Minnesota. If the DNR signs onto anything of the like from now on...there will unprecedented legal ramifications aimed squarely at how they are representing the best interests of the public--per the Constitution. "needs to harvest fish"? The Mn. Tribal regime can offer to build a Viking stadium( for $400 million) and not be able to afford to feed themselves( $200K worth of walleye fillets netted at Lake Mille Lacs every spring during the spawn)? Will our DNR sign onto a joke like that again? BAN THE GILL-NETS during the spawn!

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sheflandNov. 18, 12 7:44 AM

what steve says X2. Tribes are netting because they can, not for anything else, certainly not for survival.

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jackpinesavNov. 18, 12 8:54 AM

Need to follow the science. Netting may be PART of the problem. Zebra mussels may be large part also. Given the economic impact, wise heads have to decide this. Putting the Mille Lacs local economy on "welfare" as the extremists call it may be a big step for our fishing guide. Leech Lake came back with strong coalition of supporters. Don't start shooting until you know who you're aiming at. Good to have a solid group of legislators in the capital who will not dump state responsibilities on Heritage Fund. Need tax dollars to fix this economic problem.

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sjfellegyNov. 18, 12 9:53 AM

I am not proposing "welfare" for anyone. In fact, if there is a way to NOT close the fishery and make a positive impact on the well-being of the walleyes, in a TIMELY fashion, I am all for it! Show me that plan. That said, if the lake/walleyes/sport anglers are regulated more so than now and the past few years, in the next 2-4 years, to bring it back, the businessmen will go broke. So millions of $$ would be lost and jobs gone. If one were to close the harvest down now for that same span of time, spend the same $$ that would be lost if not closed down but more regulated, and get the recovery done in a shorter span of time--who looses then? No one? THAT is what I am saying and all need to realize. So--put us on "welfare " now or later? Or wait and do nothing until it gets worse....Red Lake levels from the neting days?

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ironweedNov. 18, 1210:46 AM

Oh the horror! Save Steve's walleyes!

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JRBNov. 18, 1211:37 AM

A few honest questions, because I do not know the answers: (1) Do the tribes consume all of the fish they net each spring? How many pounds are netted to feed how many tribal members? (2) How is it that their nets tend to catch the smaller males and not larger fish? You would think it would be just the opposite, that the smaller fish would slip through (3) When I fished Mille Lacs in the warmest part of the summer, I saw many large, but dead, walleyes floating in the water. If the DNR decides to allow some larger fish to be kept (i.e. liberalize the slot) maybe it makes sense to do so in mid-summer only, when the fish mortality is highest? (4) If we are going to retain the slot in mid-summer wouldn't it make sense to require barbless hooks? When you see those nice, plump walleyes floating on the surface, going to waste, it's a very sad site. >>>Again, I'm just asking.

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fishanhunt2Nov. 18, 1211:50 AM

What isn't said is how miserably the DNR and Tribal Management has failed up until now. We would not be where we are today on the Mille Lacs Lake Issue if that weren't true. On all our other MN inland waters walleyes are protected during the spawn. That IS proven sound fisheries management!

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ironweedNov. 18, 12 1:35 PM

Steve loves the publicity!

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raylottieNov. 18, 12 2:05 PM

At one time Minnesota had a number of market hunters and commercial fishermen. Later we determined that the resource could not stand that kind of pressure, so market hunting and most commercial fishing was eliminated. It's time for the tribes to exercise the same type of restraint and eliminate the netting. The resource just can't stand the pressure.

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opalesqueNov. 18, 12 6:54 PM

If you want fat walleys throw in a trillion fathead minnows.

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