January 22nd, 2014

Today the wind went nuts out on the ice.  With only an inch and a half of snow,   30 mile an hour plus winds  pretty much made whiteout conditions out there.  Thankfully we didn’t get 10 inches of it,  That is one good thing about cold weather.

Fishing was spotty for the few that braved it.  Some decent Perch were in the mud in 30 plus feet of water, and small Walleyes were caught on areas of 16 feet.  But nothing too impressive. I’m beginning to think that the shallower rocks are going to be  the place to be for Walleyes at night, and for Northerns during the day. Still are lots of baitfish in shallow.

I was very disappointed with our new DNR Fisheries Chief so far after reading his comments about Mille Lacs.  His ideas of more studies to “really know” what is going one to me is an poor excuse at best. For those that don’t know, Mille Lacs has been the most studied lake in the State for the the last 20 plus years and we are still in decline…so I’m not impressed with his statements. His idea of a “new committee” is good though, especially to get fisheries people from Canada to participate.  There is so much knowledge out there from them that maybe they can get advice from past experiences instead of waiting to study Mille Lacs more for a few more years.

I honestly believe that there are changes that can be made now instead of later. The MN DNR could make changes based on examples from other lakes in the State with smallmouth bass, and with the Canadian’s experiences with the changes of some of their lakes when the bass took over.  I’m not a “bass hater”, but there were NOT the populations of small and large mouth bass in the lake 20 years ago as there is now.

Also the Mille Lacs and Wisconsin Bands need to step up change their way of harvesting too.  Even if the MN DNR says reproduction rates are “sufficient” despite netting and spearing during the spawning time for Walleyes.  Anytime spawning areas are disturbed the reproduction rates will drop compared to if they weren’t disturbed, and that alone might help the survival rate for Walleyes after the one year mark that they are talking about by having that excess from an undisturbed spawning period. That is why our own MN DNR closes some areas in the State during opening of the Walleye season in the spring and have done so many years…. So why is Mille Lacs “OK” if they do?  “Treaty rights” or not is doesn’t have to be done that way, and if they cared both the Bands and the MN DNR wouldn’t let it happen!!  it wouldn’t hurt to try……..

Keep a Tight Line!