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OTC_MN  
#21 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 4:46:21 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post


We’ve been f*cking over the genetics of most species for 200+ years, and people have the gall to say, “They don’t run as big as they used to. Damn DNR.” No Clyde, it’s your stringers of 8 Walleye over 27 inches every spring for 30 years that did it. Unless they’re directly harming a fishery as an exotic, we have to start protecting trophy fish.

I wouldn’t mind a bait ban on some trophy waters. I think bait fishing is a great way to learn how to Trout fish. It’s what I did. But for those systems that can produce true giants, I think we should protect them.


This is very very true, and still not widely understood by too many anglers.

The logic used to be 'let the little ones go so they can grow up' but that just doesn't work. It's like each fish has a recipe for its offspring. Remove all the fish with a recipe for growth to maximum size-at-age, and all you have left are little fish, even though they're 'mature' from a development standpoint. There was some research done on Atlantic Silverside Minnows a few years ago, where they removed the top 25% by size from a controlled population. Within just a couple generations, the maximum size-at-age had dropped by almost half. Think of how many generations of top end harvest pressure a lot of our fisheries have had. It's especially acute in high harvest species like panfish (part of why Metro MN lakes are full of potato chip crappies), and northern pike, where mature adults are a critical predatory control on juveniles. Eventually, with enough harvest on the top end, forage suppression comes into play, and fish expend energy foraging, not growing. At that point fish populations get into a cycle of suppressed year classes, and the top size potential really starts to drop. I talked to a MN biologist once who saw 'mature' pike spawning on a lake with high forage suppression, and the spawning pike were 12" - 18" long. In a healthy fishery, those are juveniles, not mature adults.

The bait thing... I'm constantly of two minds about it. On most MN trout streams live minnows are prohibited, but worms and leeches are allowed - even though it's probably easier to safely fish minnows without hooking fish deep than it is either leeches or minnows. Most of the bait fishing I see is on streams stocked with rainbows, and I couldn't care less if someone dunks worms and bonks some stockers. That's why they're there. Problem is, some native brookie streams get hammered by bait fishermen. I'd love to see the native brookies protected a little more. But then you get cries of elitism, and all that...and that's not an altogether unconvincing argument.

It's like anything else I suppose - not the method that has inherent problems, but how it's applied.

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
thanks 1 user thanked OTC_MN for this useful post.
Pete on 2/21/2019(UTC)
trapper  
#22 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:39:24 PM(UTC)
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Fact:
You need to release upper 20's fish to get to 30
Get Reel
thanks 1 user thanked trapper for this useful post.
shebs on 2/20/2019(UTC)
NBrevitz  
#23 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 7:19:20 PM(UTC)
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Gurth, excellent and well thought out response.

I’d put those numbers for Brookies and Browns right about where you put them. Rainbows, I’d split the difference and call it 16.

It’s not just protecting trophies for the pleasure of catching them, it’s the genetics too. The offspring of a 16 inch Brookie will have a higher survivability, and are more likely to get big, than those of an 8 incher.

There’d be essentially no negative on releasing big fish. The stories of one big Pike or Brown eating out a stream are just stories people tell to justify keeping Giants.


There’d be plenty of opposition to a rule change like that, especially from the Amish and anywhere north of Hwy 8. But I really don’t care at this point. There used to be 6 lb Brookies in a ton of Driftless streams, plenty of them, and now a 3 lb Brookie is insanely big. We need to rectify that.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
thanks 3 users thanked NBrevitz for this useful post.
Gurth on 2/20/2019(UTC), Life of Riley on 2/21/2019(UTC), Pete on 2/21/2019(UTC)
shebs  
#24 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 10:59:03 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post


The bait thing... I'm constantly of two minds about it. On most MN trout streams live minnows are prohibited, but worms and leeches are allowed - even though it's probably easier to safely fish minnows without hooking fish deep than it is either leeches or minnows.



FWIW, I agree with everything else you said, but it IS legal to fish with minnows in MN trout streams (except the ones that allow no live bait at all). The minnow ban only applies to 'stream trout lakes' (i.e. lakes stocked with stream trout) to prevent invasives from taking over, since most of those lakes had be to be rotenone'd to remove competitor species and allow for long term trout survival and reproduction.

The exact wording (emphasis mine) is: "Possessing live minnows or using them for bait on designated stream trout lakes is prohibited."

It is, however, illegal to seine/trap minnows in trout streams - so you pretty much have to hook and line a chub, then fish with it, or drag a minnow bucket around on trout water. Seems like it would be difficult to keep your minnows alive for very long.

Edited by user Wednesday, February 20, 2019 11:04:10 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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rschmidt  
#25 Posted : Thursday, February 21, 2019 1:07:45 PM(UTC)
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Interesting idea that I would support - C&R only slot on browns >18 and brookies >15 or perhaps Only 1 brown >18", 1 brookie over 15". The issue for my satisfaction is that nothing as dumb as the 5 under 12" rule occur. IMHO, the latter simply discourages fishing on streams that likely already have a majority small trout structure. My guess is that the lack of harvest reinforced by the this rule will further contribute to the downward spiral of too many small trout limiting the forage needed to produce bigs. Also, I think many anglers do not harvest trout anyway. If that is true, than any rule makes very little difference.

At least with one allowable large trout only, I'd be able to mercy harvest the occasional big that gets severely hooked. This is infrequent, but it does happen.

Also, I think 18-22 inch large browns and 15+ brookies may be older fish close to the end to life in most streams, but I have not been purposely keeping these size fish on inland streams for years. Video capture is great for these fish! Fish another day!

And last, screw this freaking' weather!!

Happy Fishing!

Ron
NBrevitz  
#26 Posted : Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:03:50 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post


We’ve been f*cking over the genetics of most species for 200+ years, and people have the gall to say, “They don’t run as big as they used to. Damn DNR.” No Clyde, it’s your stringers of 8 Walleye over 27 inches every spring for 30 years that did it. Unless they’re directly harming a fishery as an exotic, we have to start protecting trophy fish.

I wouldn’t mind a bait ban on some trophy waters. I think bait fishing is a great way to learn how to Trout fish. It’s what I did. But for those systems that can produce true giants, I think we should protect them.


This is very very true, and still not widely understood by too many anglers.

The logic used to be 'let the little ones go so they can grow up' but that just doesn't work. It's like each fish has a recipe for its offspring. Remove all the fish with a recipe for growth to maximum size-at-age, and all you have left are little fish, even though they're 'mature' from a development standpoint. There was some research done on Atlantic Silverside Minnows a few years ago, where they removed the top 25% by size from a controlled population. Within just a couple generations, the maximum size-at-age had dropped by almost half. Think of how many generations of top end harvest pressure a lot of our fisheries have had. It's especially acute in high harvest species like panfish (part of why Metro MN lakes are full of potato chip crappies), and northern pike, where mature adults are a critical predatory control on juveniles. Eventually, with enough harvest on the top end, forage suppression comes into play, and fish expend energy foraging, not growing. At that point fish populations get into a cycle of suppressed year classes, and the top size potential really starts to drop. I talked to a MN biologist once who saw 'mature' pike spawning on a lake with high forage suppression, and the spawning pike were 12" - 18" long. In a healthy fishery, those are juveniles, not mature adults.

The bait thing... I'm constantly of two minds about it. On most MN trout streams live minnows are prohibited, but worms and leeches are allowed - even though it's probably easier to safely fish minnows without hooking fish deep than it is either leeches or minnows. Most of the bait fishing I see is on streams stocked with rainbows, and I couldn't care less if someone dunks worms and bonks some stockers. That's why they're there. Problem is, some native brookie streams get hammered by bait fishermen. I'd love to see the native brookies protected a little more. But then you get cries of elitism, and all that...and that's not an altogether unconvincing argument.

It's like anything else I suppose - not the method that has inherent problems, but how it's applied.



I'm so in agreement. With Pike, medium to large fish tend to get overharvested quickly. Those medium to large Pike are the only major predator of Pike much larger than fingerling size. When small Pike are overabundant due to overharvest of big Pike, the hammerhandles eat too many Perch. Walleye get outcompeted for their primary food source and disappear. Without Perch to keep the panfish fry numbers in check, the number of Bluegill and Crappie Fry explodes far faster than Bass can clean them up as they reach their ideal size. The Bass will do a decent job at keeping it from getting way out of control, but if Bass start to get harvested out too? Yikes.

So lets review. Small Pike get out of control, Perch and Walleye will get whacked hard, and Bluegill and Crappie will become very very stunted, all because the "good eater" and "wallhanger" Pike got overharvested
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
NBrevitz  
#27 Posted : Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:09:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: rschmidt Go to Quoted Post
Interesting idea that I would support - C&R only slot on browns >18 and brookies >15 or perhaps Only 1 brown >18", 1 brookie over 15". The issue for my satisfaction is that nothing as dumb as the 5 under 12" rule occur. IMHO, the latter simply discourages fishing on streams that likely already have a majority small trout structure. My guess is that the lack of harvest reinforced by the this rule will further contribute to the downward spiral of too many small trout limiting the forage needed to produce bigs. Also, I think many anglers do not harvest trout anyway. If that is true, than any rule makes very little difference.

At least with one allowable large trout only, I'd be able to mercy harvest the occasional big that gets severely hooked. This is infrequent, but it does happen.

Also, I think 18-22 inch large browns and 15+ brookies may be older fish close to the end to life in most streams, but I have not been purposely keeping these size fish on inland streams for years. Video capture is great for these fish! Fish another day!

And last, screw this freaking' weather!!

Happy Fishing!

Ron


Around us I think you're right, there's very little harvest. But I've seen some horribly ignorant practices in NW and NE Wisconsin, the UP, and even N Lower Michigan.
I'd be all for the one over rule, but a LOT of people abuse that on inland lakes, especially for Pike. If you own land, it'd be awfully easy to bonk a 15 inch Brookie anytime you felt like it.
Personally, if a good fish dies, I'm taking it out with me regardless. I know in my heart I didn't want to keep it, and I'm only trying to make use of it. Only done it once or twice and felt if anything less guilt, as I knew they were getting used.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
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