Mille Lacs walleye limit slashing looms

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 23, 2013 - 5:12 PM

A historically low walleye population is likely to prompt restrictions on the size and quantity of keepers at the popular lake.

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  • Comments

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joseph59Feb. 24, 13 2:37 AM

This report falsely implies equal pain. You know, state-licensed anglers and the tribal side have quotas cut in half. But equality ends there. The Mille Lacs sport-fishing community will likely have to release most or all walleyes caught, face other extremist rules, and be penalized big-time for estimated “hooking mortality.” Meanwhile, unless there’s big change, tribal gill-netters can take about what they took last year, and keep their catch without penalty. While an angler might be denied a walleye sandwich, highly-paid employees of taxpayer-funded tribal governments and of the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) can subsistence-fish (?) on the spawning grounds with 100-foot gill nets and bring in all walleyes caught. And for years they’ve been able to “release” tons of unwanted and often-doomed northern pike entangled in gill nets—without a pound of release-mortality assessed! So goes Treaty Fisheries Management.

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Douglind33Feb. 24, 13 8:34 AM

Good to see that real fighting game fish (pike and smallies) are coming on srong in Mille Lacs. One-to-two pound walleyes are a great high protein food source for big gators, so it's important to keep these bait fish around in good supply.

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qvanminnFeb. 24, 1312:48 PM

Mandatory use of barbless hooks on Mille Lacs would be an excellent way to reduce mortality and to thereby increase angler catch quotas in the future.

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ironweedFeb. 24, 13 7:56 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that the 1837 Treaty tribes have the right to harvest free from State regulation. The State is NOT in charge of any of this - get that out of your head first, then you'll see the high court never prohibited netting, set seasons, or announced that treaty haters can somehow bring this back to court anytime a fisherman or resort gets the urge. Small slot comin' your way.

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sjfellegyFeb. 25, 13 6:06 AM

Ironweed, you again seem to neglect to read and admit in the high court rulings,the treaty harvest can be above state regs UNLESS accpetable levels of "conseravtion", "public safety" and "public health" are not met. Obviously, long held acceptable levels of "conservation", in the sense of harvest spawning fish by the use of gill-nets, have not been met. Read the court docs and tell us again the state has no standing to take this back to court...

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langstonFeb. 25, 13 8:16 AM

The problem is, you cannot unequivocally prove netting has caused whatever problem on Mille Lacs that you are concerned with. That is something you cannot prove to any court. Assumptions, videotape and wild accusations won't carry your case very far.

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thx1953Feb. 25, 1310:48 AM

Regardless of the "cause" if the MNDNR was any sort of an effective manager of the State's waters they would simply close the Walleye season on the lake............period. To do ANYTHING else is playing politics with the lakes future. If the netters do not agree to this, then it is time for a State referendum on closing tribal gaming down in this State. Then their netting will truly be of a subsistence nature.

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jfroniusFeb. 25, 13 1:10 PM

It would seem the restrictions placed on anglers is not helping. Doesn't it make sense to suspend netting and Native 10 fish angling limit to see if that has an effect? I know that would need to be a volutary action on their part, but it would sure help to identify the root of the problem.

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langstonFeb. 25, 13 1:40 PM

I net walleyes. I don't know where this idea of subsistence netting comes from. I could go buy them, and so could sport anglers. Like them, I choose to harvest mine and eat them or have a big feast or two. Even my non-native friends enjoy the bounty. Why all the hate?

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ironweedFeb. 26, 13 5:14 PM

Not to worry, Steve says he's gonna shut 'em down. Then everything in the world will be good and right again, just like the 1950's. But seriously, calling the Indians 'the Regime' has lost your case already. The 'Regime' IS the tribal members, many who also net. It's obvious the regime is the educated, higher-income, professionals who learned to lobby the Congress in the same manner as the non-Indians, but those Indians are somehow bad, or wrong for playing a little catch up? That's ethnocentric (don't judge others by your standards, Steve!) Signed, a proud Regime member.

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