April 28, 2014 at 8:10 pm #21565
Was shocked this past weekend to find out Lake Mohawksin – now including all the way to Kings Dam – is under the one fish walleye limit effective immediately as a result of the spearing quotas. It just isn’t worth the time or price to pay for bait to go back out on this stretch until after spearing is complete and the higher bag limits are hopefully restored. It isn’t just Lake Mohawksin, as I couldn’t justify spending any amount of time on any body of water where only one walleye can be kept. Call me a conservationist, but I like to put back the larger “20-inch breeders” and keep a few smaller fish for the frying pan. Now it would take a couple days to even get enough for a meal. I suppose I could fish multiple bodies of water and keep multiple fish in one day, but again, being conservation-minded, I would worry about the possibility of spreading aquatic invasive species, so for me that isn’t an option. Was also shocked to learn this weekend fish caught by hook and line do not count against spearing quotas. A group has been fishing down below the Spirit Dam now for the past week or so and from what I have heard and seen they have been doing pretty well. Anybody who fishes this stretch of water knows it doesn’t take much to catch 50 or more illegal size fish a day this time of year. Since the minimum size limit does not apply to some that means 350 fish per individual per week would not be an unrealistic estimate of what is coming out of this body of water. Times that by the four Native Americans who have been fishing it each day and that is 1,400 fish a week being kept that isn’t tracked as part of the spearing quota. And that is just below the Spirit Dam. Other area bodies of water with the one fish limit includes the Willow, Nokomis and the Spirit Reservoir to name a few. The stretch below Pride Dam, which ironically are the same fish being harvested from below the Spirit Dam, remains at five fish because that stretch is not being “speared.” Not sure if they spear the Jersey, but think about what that could do to a walleye population if they harvested hundreds by hook and line and then went back to spear hundreds more on top of that. Suffice to say I will be one of the many upset and disenfranchised anglers in the Northwoods come this weekend’s opener. Doesn’t really matter if there’s ice on the lakes or not come Saturday, as it will hardly worth the time or effort to bother when the walleye limit is just one fish. It is a real shame to see it come to this. And until it is resolved the common angler, the Northwoods economy and the tradition that was the season opener will continue to suffer as a result.June 25, 2014 at 4:25 am #32073
According to the folks from PARR back when I used to vacation here the same treaty that gave up game/fishing rites also had a limit to the number of native America males that could gather in public before being considered a war party that could be shot at. If true that points out how ridiculous & outdated that treaty is in current times.
If walleye spearing is an issue of heritage, fine. grab a canoe, a pine torch, & a wooden spear. Bass boats, LEDs, & multi-prong metal spears seem anti-cultural to me. The timing of the spearing is also an issue. Yes folks that visit the area renting cottages through out the season take many more walleyes than the tribes during spearing. However the majority of those fish are taken AFTER spawning. The spearing season appears to start at ice out. Each female walleye speared prior to spawning is thousands of eggs lost to the future population.June 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm #32074
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