Overfished and out of stability? Angler perceptions and DNR studies paint contrasting photos of Lake for the Woods seafood populations

Overfished and out of stability? Angler perceptions and DNR studies paint contrasting photos of Lake for the Woods seafood populations

A audience and avid Lake of this Woods fisherman took us to process last week for a recently available story we had written in regards to a Campbell, Minn., angler whom boated “at least 60” walleyes over 25 ins throughout a June day at the lake that is big.

TJ Harig, who copied their claim by sharing a few photos he may never experience again with me, said his two days on Lake of the Woods served up the kind of fishing. According to Lake of this Woods laws, which require fishermen to produce walleyes from 19ВЅ ins to 28 ins, Harig stated he circulated most of the big walleyes but additionally caught eater-size fish.

I am a sucker for a fish that is good, and element of my work is sharing the successes (and problems) of hunters, fishermen as well as other outside enthusiasts therefore I was fast to bite whenever Harig shared their story. It had been the absolute most browse tale on our internet site for at the least 2 days operating.

In addition, in all honesty, amongst the pandemic and storm harm from a recently available and ongoing barrage of serious climate at our property in northwest Minnesota, come early july it appears i am being forced to fish vicariously through the tales and experiences of other people.

My buddies will attest that this turn that is undesirable of has made me personally quite cranky, in certain cases.

‘Pretty disappointed’

My tale on Harig’s day at Lake for the Woods, which later on was included in WCCO when you look at the Twin Cities, had a comparable influence on a fisherman whoever household for many years has owned a cabin from the south coast of this Lake associated with Woods and fishes here often.

“Pretty disappointed,” was their reaction to the storyline.

“Not certain why anybody may wish to inform that tale, specially since bad as the fishing has gotten within the last several years as a result of the extreme force on the pond,” he had written. “Maybe you would wish to accomplish an account regarding the more side that is realistic of person that features fished the pond for approximately 50 years that can’t barely catch a keeper anymore between mid-June and September.”

Just the week that is previous he stated he’d spent more than 15 hours fishing Lake regarding the Woods and caught only two keepers.

“then when we see or read an account similar to this i recently bristle!” he published. “we wish his next 10 trips are just like mine so he defintely won’t be so fast to boast.”

He included: “One thing should be achieved to either decrease force or limits (or both), however a ‘one in a million’ tale such as this does not assist.”

Even though the harsh response caught me personally off-guard, We have had comparable issues, specially concerning the amount of cold weather fishing force on Lake associated with Woods. Throughout a mid-February snowmobile/ice fishing visit to Oak Island regarding the Northwest Angle, we saw plowed roadways and a town of wheelhouses most of the option to Garden Island, some 25 kilometers through the south coast associated with pond.

Time was, you aren’t a snowmobile had that right area of the pond pretty much to by themselves.

A few columns we penned concerning the boost in cold temperatures fishing force produced response that is tremendous other fishermen, the majority of who additionally had issues in regards to the amount ice fishing stress.

The figures are staggering.

Centered on sugardaddie review outcomes from the creel study the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conducted this previous cold temperatures, fishermen logged almost 2.8 million hours of ice fishing time in the big pond from December through March, smashing the prior record of 2.1 million hours during the cold winter of 2019.

This winter that is past number probably could have been also greater in the event that pandemic had not brought journey to a screeching halt into the last half of March.

Fishermen additionally kept a projected 243,803 pounds of walleyes and 461,240 pounds of saugers this previous cold temperatures. In contrast, fishermen through the cold weather of 2019 kept 370,000 pounds of walleyes and 479,000 pounds of saugers.

Therefore, harvest this winter that is past down, despite an amazing boost in fishing force, on the basis of the DNR creel study outcomes.

Away from stability?

Another longtime Lake associated with the Woods fisherman from my hometown of Roseau, Minn., this week said he believes the lake may be out of stability and has now way too many big walleyes, seafood that either autumn in the protected slot or are also bigger.

“It really is a phenomenon that is strange you are fishing and you also set the hook and you also state it seems too large and no body gets the internet very fast,” he stated. “then you definitely set the hook and state, ‘This is like a keeper.’ Guy, (they) have the net today as you’re finally planning to get anyone to consume.”

We shared the 2 anglers’ frustrations with Phil Talmage, area fisheries manager when it comes to DNR in Baudette, Minn. When I reported in December, the DNR’s yearly autumn populace survey on Lake associated with the Woods, which starts the Tuesday after Labor Day and continues for 17 consecutive times, yielded walleye and sauger figures that both surpassed DNR management goals.

The study produced good amounts of 13- to 15-inch saugers and above-average abundance of 15- to 19-inch walleyes; 13- to 14-inch walleyes had been somewhat below historic averages in final autumn’s study.

Expected this week just just exactly how he would answer the declare that Lake associated with the Woods is out of stability, Talmage stated current laws perform a job that is”great of protecting spawning-size fish, which means that the abundance of bigger walleyes just isn’t surprising.

“We do monitor the whole fishery very near, as well as this time around we’ve good variety of seafood underneath the protected slot,” Talmage said; “keepers” lower than 19ВЅ ins, easily put.

If fishermen are not getting keeper-size walleyes in time-worn locations, Talmage shows attempting areas that are different.

“they truly are on the market,” he stated. “Lake associated with the Woods is a big and lake that is dynamic and walleye can maneuver around a lot.”

Wherever you stay on Lake for the Woods, its fishing stress and present walleye populace styles, be good towards the messenger.

The time that is last caught a walleye, and even had a chance to catch them, was within my February ice fishing visit to Lake associated with Woods.

Maybe i am using this pandemic too really, but i have nearly forgotten exactly what a walleye appears like. And it is making me crankier each day.

That said, we’d be interested to listen to your ideas if you are A lake that is frequent of Woods angler; strike me up.

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