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Walleye size restrictions

by , Posted to on 12/23/2006 01:14 AM | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/11/2006
Location: ND
I have saw and heard of many people who have kept a limit of 4lbs. and up size walleyes, I have watched shows of fishing in Canada and they may only keep one big fish a day and at many of the places up there many people give you a bad look for keeping a big fish. A result of such a regulation is a great number of huge fish along with an overall huge population, which means unparalleled outstanding walleye fishing. I believe that you dont need to keep such big fish.
Am i right? The smaller ones are tastier anyways. I believe you only need to keep one whopper size fish only if you are going to mount it.

Should the ND G&F put into effect a size restriction on walleyes for the betterment of the quality of the walleye fishing?
-Team Flightstoppers ND
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 07:32 AM | Reply #1 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2002
Location: ND
I wouldn't mind some size restrictions. Most guys do a good job policing themselves but there are exceptions. I cringe when I go to the cleaning station to see the guy with a limit of 6 and 7 pound walleyes - especially during the spawn. I also cringe when I see the guy with a limit of 12 and 13 inchers. It would seem that some people need to have restrictions because they just don't have the common sense. On the other hand, with restrictions in place, you end up in situations where you are forced to release a badly hooked fish that you know will die. That doesn't make sense either and the size restrictions don't allow for that.

Although I am in favor of the restrictions, I know that most of the people on this site are not. Where is Allen? He is usually pretty vocal when this topic comes up.
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Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 09:32 AM | Reply #2 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 09/17/2004
Location: NE
I think the best thing you'll do is to practice your own management and encourage and teach others the benefits of doing so.
Gregg H. Kathol
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 09:37 AM | Reply #3 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/27/2006
Location: ND
I also cringe when I see a limit of 6lbers taken out of a system. It would be nice to see some slot limits on certain lakes, not all but certain ones. It would also be nice to have a few lakes out there that are managed for size rather than numbers. People need to be voiceing there concerns to the G&F if they want to see some changes. They really are concerned about what we sportsmen think and want as far as quality and size. The more people that come to them wanting a few quality, rather than numbers lakes, the more they will consider it. Once again I myself would love to see some trophy management.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 10:26 AM | Reply #4 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/24/2006
Location: ND
I am all for stricter fishing regulations. I love eating fish as much as anybody but I love catching them even more. You can still get all the enjoyment out of catching a fish and taking a picture and letting it go. Lower limits and tighter slot limits would benefit everyone. You can still catch all the fish you want. Bring a camera and take some pics. Every year game and fish spends alot of money and time stocking new and existing lakes and every year many of the new lakes get fished to the point of extinction. That slough up by Hurdsfield is a perfect example of overfishing.I agree that not all lakes should be restricted but I do think that the entire state should have a tight slot limit in the spring from March until May.
 
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 12:01 PM | Reply #5 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 09/11/2002
Location: ND
manitoba has barbless hook fishing. it is much easier to unhook your fish without injury and if you keep a tight line, very few fish are lost. also up there you are only allowed to keep one large fish over a certain length. i hear a lot on here about releasing the larger fish over 4 lbs. i will start releasing my big walleyes when i hear the tournaments start using a different method to judge the winners by the weight of the walleyes they bring in to the weigh station. how about weighing them when they are caught and released immediately? none of them are returned to the lake to spawn or for someone else to catch. let's not have rules for some and not for others.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 4:41 PM | Reply #6 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/16/2001
Location: ND
Yep you got my vote on slot limits but lets not get carried away like Minnisota,over there they over did it,you don't know what to keep as alot of thier lakes have diffrant rules.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 9:07 PM | Reply #7 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/12/2002
Location: ND
I'am in favor of a slot limit and for a minimumn size limit, I would like to see it on both Sakakawea and Audubon. A 14 inch minimumn size and only one fish over 24 inches. I really believe this would improve the quality of the fish in these lakes.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/23/2006 9:09 PM | Reply #8 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
Allen's on vacation in the land of excessive slot restrictions. He'll chime in when he gets back.

This has been an autoreply that has viciously targeted your computer with a virus. Please stop what you are doing now and unplug your computer for the holidays.

Thi svirus will self-destruct on January 2nd with no ill effects.

Merry Christmas everyone!
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/24/2006 00:43 AM | Reply #9 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/08/2006
Location: NE
They used to have the 14 inch min on Sakakawea about ten years ago. Not really sure why they lifted it, but I'm sure they had a good reason too. After all, they are the ones in charge and it's there job to keep the fishery in top shape. I think they are doing a pretty good job with all the situations they have had put infront of them.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/24/2006 11:18 AM | Reply #10 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/04/2002
Location: ND
Too many large predators in the system is not good either. Especially when there are forage issues. I don't get bent out of shape seeing people take large fish for eating. I also don't see taking one to mount is any more ethical than taking one to eat.
I do not like seeing size restrictions unless it will benefit the fishery. There seem to be plenty of nice fish in Sak right now, maybe too many for the smelt population at least.

You can't aim a duck to death.

Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/24/2006 4:19 PM | Reply #11 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/14/2002
Location: ND
I agree with steve. When the baitfish are down, you don't want too many big fish in the system I don't believe. I think steinwand has the fishery under as good a control as he can considering the COE's insistance on destroying the fishing.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/24/2006 5:13 PM | Reply #12 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/12/2002
Location: ND
I would have to disagree with not enough forage base, Stock more smelt or siskos or whatever if you think that it's needed. Besides that there are a ton of small perch and whatever else in Sakakawea. Audubon I think really needs some serious help.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 07:59 AM | Reply #13 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/14/2002
Location: ND
why would you stock smelt or cisco's right now in sakakawea. They are a cold water species and we are loosing all of that right now. That would be a total waste of money. I'd be more for stocking more perch, etc. However, I do believe the fish will transition to other types of forage when put under these conditions so I'm not too worried about it.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 08:03 AM | Reply #14 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2002
Location: ND
There are instances where you would want the restrictions removed if they were in place. That could be done on an "as needed" basis. Kind of like the higher limits on walleye on Oahe that they had in SD a few years back when the smelt population crashed. The limits were temporary and removed once everything was back in check again. I think the same would work with size limits. They could be lifted temporarily if the system got out of whack. Like I said, I have just seen way to many stringiers of 6 pound fish and way way to many stringers of 12 inch fish.

I must admit that if I am hungry for walleye and all I can catch is 13 inchers, I have been known to keep a couple just for the frying pan, but I don't do it all the time and I don't take the family fishing and keep a family limit of them either. I will always keep a small one if it is bleeding or hooked in a manner that makes survival unlikely. It is just plain stupid to release a "dead" fish. Same with the big ones - one for the pan maybe, or if it is hooked deep, but not a whole stringer of them. I just wish some people could use a little more common sense and we wouldn't be having this discussion.
.
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 10:10 PM | Reply #15 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
chadk66, I don't believe the G&F are actively stocking the ciscoes right now any more than before. It's just a matter of the ciscoes are taking over as the smelt decrease. Apparently, the smelt predate young cisco.


Sporstman, it's interesting that in a time of unprecedented good fishing on many of our lakes that the concept of size restrictions keeps coming up. What that tells me is that it's not a biological issue. It's an "I want" issue. And for you it is apparently bigger fish. The NDGF has time and time again shown its willingness to implement size restrictions and adaptive management for all species of fish.

Anyone remember when pike had to be 24 inches to be kept? How about 14 inch minimum for bass and walleye on some lakes? The plain answer to your question is that it is not currently in the fishery's best interest. I would strongly encourage you to attend the NDGF advisory meetings this coming spring. They are more than willing to lay out the science of fishery management for you and to discuss the lakes in which you have an interest.

You and I agree on many topics. This just isn't one of them.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 10:47 PM | Reply #16 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2002
Location: ND
Allen: I do remember the 24 inch minimum on pike and the 14 inch minimum on bass and walleye in several lakes. It was frustrating when all the fish in the lake seemed about an inch shy of the minimum, but was well worth it when there was an abundance of 15 and 16 inch walleyes in a lake that historically had nothing but dinkers in it. I do realize that most lakes do not need the restrictions right this instant, but I can't help but thinking being pro-active would be a good thing. I know of a few lakes right now that were stocked only a few years ago that are getting quite a bit of pressure - everyone out there catching the 12 and 13 inch walleye. I just don't want them all caught out before they get any bigger. Is that such a bad thing?

I remember well Green lake. 3 summers ago, you could catch all the walleye you wanted - many in the 3 to 4 pound range, with a 7 plus pounder not being uncommon. The size of the fish ranged from 8 inches to 8 pounds. Word got out that they were biting and people from all over came to catch them. I watched in horror as everything from 8 inches to 8 pounds ended up at the cleaning station. Ever since that summer, the walleye on Green lake are scarce. You can catch a few here and there but the population is definitely down. To many people taking every fish they catch no matter what size. Now there is almost nothing. I have seen this to many times. I just wish it didn't have to be boom or bust. A more controlled stable population would be nice.
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Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 11:13 PM | Reply #17 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
Stable populations in most of ND's small lakes is but a pipe dream. I am not familiar with Green Lake, but if it is as most of these small lakes, Horsehead, Alkaline, Golden, etc, etc. Boom and bust is all a part of being a prairie lake. Regardless of human influence.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 11:18 PM | Reply #18 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2002
Location: ND
Why is it a pipe dream? If the fish can live in the lake long enough to get to 8 pounds, why does the population have to be boom or bust? Green lake is in South central ND. It had a good population of walleye of all sizes for many years, but when the population got really hot, the hords of people came and kept every fish they caught. Now the fishing is slower than it has been in the last 10 years or longer. All size classes of fish were present in the lake for a long time. Only after the big bite caused people to come flocking to the lake did that change. If there had been size restrictions on the lake, not all the walleyes would have been caught. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 11:28 PM | Reply #19 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/12/2002
Location: ND
Hey, What about Audubon here, I believe this lake needs some help, stocking or whatever. What do you think?
Re: Walleye size restrictions
by on 12/25/2006 11:45 PM | Reply #20 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
Sportsman, because that's the way a prairie lake is defined. It is one that goes through extremes. The hordes probably didn't help. But even if there had been size restrictions in place, the lake would have been emptied of "slot fish" and since all fish must go through the slot to get to be trophy fish.....well, you get my point. Minnesota has seen this many times over the years. And they very seriously micro-manage their lakes now. I kind of prefer to not have to learn a new set of rules every time I go to a new body of water.


eyewonder. Audubon has an active stocking program and a capable natural reproduction. If I remember corectly, the NDGF fisheries biologists stated at the Bismarck Advisory Meeting that Audubon is a lake that is forage limiting. That is, they only like to see a good class of fish from about every other year or they fish will run out of food. Right now there was a stocked year class from 2003 and a strong natural reproduction year class from 2004 (someone can correct me on the years if I got them wrong). And this has led to an overabundance of similar aged fish that are going to stress the forage base as they get bigger. So they held off on stocking one year to get the cycle back to every other year. Also, curly leaf pondweed is taking over on Audubon. This is presumably helping the natural reproduction of pike in Audubon. So please clean you boat after you pull it out of their to prevent the spread of this stuff!

BTW. Back in the early 80's I worked for a commercial fishery that went onto Audubon after carp. The size and number of walleyes back then was pathetic (although theoccassional 25-30 lb northern was to be seen). The lake is a heck of a lot better fishery now than it was 20 years ago. Back then I would see people with a two person limit of eyes stuffed into their minnow buckets. I for one am impressed with the difference in the lake between then and now. It just shows me that NDGF is doing a great job of studying the lakes and what they need to become better fisheries.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
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Posted On: 12/23/2006 01:14 AM
1682 Views, 23 Comments

Tags: size, walleye, fish, restrictions, fishing, walleyes, people, one, 4lbs, canada
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Region: North Dakota

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