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Pre spawn and spawning walleye

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Old 02-24-2014, 01:23 AM   #61
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Another point is that the food supply in Erie is at a really low point. Doesn't help with the zebra muzzles and Gobbies consuming every thing. Leaving little for the smaller fish and clearing the water so much. Cover has disappeared quite fast over the years. With out the small bait fish large populations just wouldn't survive today. With the Asian carp moving in I see the walleye and perch getting a lot worse. As a stock-able population is predicted to be unobtainable. The future of lake Erie is debatable. Some even are suspecting walleye boats will be fishing for the Asian carp in the not to far off future. Now im just speaking opinion here. But with the uncertainties of today I believe its all we got.
Only suggestion i could make is lots of prayer and support for ODNR and other agencies working on the problem. Because when the limit drops again, and the gas and things get higher. It will be tough for even the best charter captains we got to survive.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:12 AM   #62
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Delete this thread
Wait, you asked for people's opinion on this subject. People used facts to point out why their opinion is different from yours. So now you want the thread deleted. That's not how an open discussion works.

I think eliminating commercial fishing on the lake altogether would be a better measure to improve walleye fishing. There are many adult walleye killed as by-catch and wastefully discarded. Though, good luck getting Canada to go along with that.

I just don't think closed seasons would make much of a difference and that seems to be the popular opinion in this thread.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #63
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Here is the way I see it. If it makes you feel better releasing a big fish, by all means release away. If not, that is ok too. All the information I have seen over the years, says those big girls have already given their best and it is perfectly fine to harvest them. Let's just pray that we don't see an infestation of the Asian Carp, and that we can continue to have these types of debates.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #64
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Close the season on Walleye till after the spawn, put up a sanctuary on Western Lake Erie untill after June 15th. Impose a slot limit of 18-23 must go back.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:43 AM   #65
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Spike, The dealers, marinas, motels, restaurants, gas stations, Charters, condos and city governments would never allow that to happen.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:04 PM   #66
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Close the season on Walleye till after the spawn, put up a sanctuary on Western Lake Erie untill after June 15th. Impose a slot limit of 18-23 must go back.
The spawn is pretty much done by the end of April and a slot size of 18-23 would pretty much be useless. Most of the fish jigged up in the spring are this size but they are all males.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:24 PM   #67
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Guys


This is turning into one of the better discussions in some time. Some great info.
I'm a new school guy and wasn't around for the glory days. Sounds like it was pretty awsome. Keep the info coming....
Catch rates in the past few years are very similar to "the good 'ol days" of the 1990s.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:41 PM   #68
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Spike, The dealers, marinas, motels, restaurants, gas stations, Charters, condos and city governments would never allow that to happen.
It happens all over the world to protect the species. The Cod industry in the Northeast was completely wiped out 100 years ago because of over fishing. My comment was more tongue and cheek but not beyond possibility. Just closing the season from March 15 till the first Saturday in May would work too.
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:01 PM   #69
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You're thinking like the species is in a crisis right now. We have more sexually mature walleyes right now then we had prior to 83 when a huge hatch occurred. If the population numbers were half of what we have now, I may understand, but ....we have plenty of mature females.

It's not a problem of too few fertilized eggs.

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Old 02-24-2014, 03:23 PM   #70
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Just as an aside, you don't actually have to close the season. You can make it a catch and release season. Bass anglers don't give a rip when they turn the seasons to catch and release, walleye anglers need to get over the idea that they have to fill a cooler in order to have a good time.

Of course, the biggest thing they could do is limit the commercial take out of Ontario, but that's where the big money and international relations come to play.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:10 PM   #71
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If there wasn't a problem, this wouldn't be a thread. It would be wrong for me to completely support a season shutdown because I don't make a living on the lake. All we here is the hatch this year and the population that year. I don't think anyone is questioning the walleye population now. I think the question is where is the population now compared to where it used to be and more importantly, what will the population be in 2024 when our children and grand children will be fishing. The people that are concerned are proactive, not tree huggers. And we all want the same thing, we just have different theories on where we are now. I believe the population continues to shrink each decade. Is that 100% true? No idea, but I am catching less walleye now than in the 90s and way less than the 80s. Maybe I'm a worse fisherman?
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:06 PM   #72
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If there wasn't a problem, this wouldn't be a thread. ?
Not at all true. This comes up every single year about this time of year by the ones that don't really understand the history or dynamics of the walleye population in Lake Erie and they ALWAYS go to the same solutions without even remotely understanding the process.

Ever see the movie Groundhog Day?

Well intentioned, for sure, Ill informed, absolutely
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #73
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We buy them books and they tear the covers off and throw them in the fire. Then scream for a closed season.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:52 PM   #74
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It happens all over the world to protect the species. The Cod industry in the Northeast was completely wiped out 100 years ago because of over fishing. My comment was more tongue and cheek but not beyond possibility. Just closing the season from March 15 till the first Saturday in May would work too.
Could you also tell us what type of regulations were in effect to prevent the Cod population crash that happened 100 years ago. What type of scientific studies were performed and how the biologists involved were wrong about the crash. That crash was caused by greed, there were no regulations in place to help prevent what happened to the cod population. The same thing happened to the lake sturgeon, there were no regulation in place to protect them and they were killed by the thousands to be used as fertilizer. More examples would be the American Bison, passenger pigeons these species were wiped out or almost wiped out due to greed, and the unregulated harvesting these species for profit. Without the regulations we have in place today we would already be out of walleyes.
My point is that what happened 100 years ago in the unregulated harvesting of a natural resource can not be compared to what is now happening to lake Erie which is highly regulated. Example would be that walleye limits went from as many as you could catch to 10 either in the late70s or early 80s to what we have today which is 4 during the spawn and 6 the rest of the year. And a size limit of any size you wanted to keep to a minimum size of 15". Where did these regulations come from? They came from the recommendations of wildlife biologist who believe it or not have the best interest of our natural resources at heart. In the 60s and 70s we would fish hard the whole summer for what we now catch in a couple of days now those were slim pickings. The commercial guys were still netting walleyes, and then along came those life saving regulations and that is how we got to where we are today.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:48 PM   #75
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There is one other thing that for the last several years I have kept to myself when this topic came up. It was related to me by a fishery biologist and I have heard unsolicited supporting statements from current biologists as well.

During the 60s and 70s there were few walleyes to be had and the population was very low. During this same time span you could go to Point Pelee in Canada and seine smelt during the April spawn. The smelt were so thick that 2 guys, one on each end could use a seine of 8 ft. long and 4 ft. high and get enough smelt in one dip to fill a 48 quart cooler. Been there and done that! It was not a matter of if they would come in to shore but when they would come into shore every night during their annual spawning run. The point is that due to the low walleye population there was an over abundance of smelt as well other species the walleyes used as a food source. When the walleye population increased into the 80 to 90 million walleyes during the 80s there was a reliable food source to support all of those fish with the over abundance of the smelt and other species the walleyes relied on for food. But since the depletion of that food source to a more realistic figure our beloved lake Erie may not be able to support that many walleyes on a constant and continuous basis. The consensual wisdom is that a population of about 1/2 those high numbers would be sustainable on a constant and continuous basis and that theory is based on the yearly average available food supply in any given year.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:41 PM   #76
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To continue on the smelt, the run is in late March. we always went to Erieau. 5 full size galvinized garbage cans was what we usually brought back.
A year or 2 ago there was enough smelt that the die off after the spawn, frightend people because they thought they were last years walleyes. In the 70s this die off was a std operating proceedure, so I took it as a good sign.

I always blamed the Portuguese trollers for the smelt disappearance. They had factory ships in the Canadian ports and took 100s of thousands of tons back to Europe with them. They'd work a school until they wiped it out.

Don't know why they don't come any more....but I'm glad they don't.

COME ON SPRING !!!
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:00 PM   #77
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To continue on the smelt, the run is in late March. we always went to Erieau. 5 full size galvinized garbage cans was what we usually brought back.
A year or 2 ago there was enough smelt that the die off after the spawn, frightend people because they thought they were last years walleyes. In the 70s this die off was a std operating proceedure, so I took it as a good sign.

I always blamed the Portuguese trollers for the smelt disappearance. They had factory ships in the Canadian ports and took 100s of thousands of tons back to Europe with them. They'd work a school until they wiped it out.

Don't know why they don't come any more....but I'm glad they don't.

COME ON SPRING !!!
Dug out what is left of an old smelt licence it is dated April ?/1979 sold in Leminton! The day is no longer readable! Lol that seems like a lifetime ago. I will second your "Come on spring." I believe Peelee is no longer an option.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:23 PM   #78
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The last time we went we borrowed Gordon McCormick's (VJ fish) purse sein (100' w/ a bag to hold fish), and it took us 2 hours with that beast to get 2 garbage cans full. I give on the April thing... I know it was always brisk.

We'd take a boat and go across to the sand bar, to get away from the crowd. Haven't been there in years ...maybe the sand bar is gone.

Good times except for the cleaning.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:13 PM   #79
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So in the 70's there was a limit of 12 or 10 then it dropped because odnr seen a reason for it then it dropped again then it dropped again to what is now our limit of 6 and 4. I'm not saying a spawn fishing freeze is a population answer for everything I understand the commercial fishing and other states laws but over the decades the limits have dropped along with the population but how bad would it be to try something so simple even if just in our state a try. Just for a few years. These biologist would have something else to look at as to maintaining population. If it started to make an impact great keep doing it if it didn't try doing something else.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:59 PM   #80
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So in the 70's there was a limit of 12 or 10 then it dropped because odnr seen a reason for it then it dropped again then it dropped again to what is now our limit of 6 and 4. I'm not saying a spawn fishing freeze is a population answer for everything I understand the commercial fishing and other states laws but over the decades the limits have dropped along with the population but how bad would it be to try something so simple even if just in our state a try. Just for a few years. These biologist would have something else to look at as to maintaining population. If it started to make an impact great keep doing it if it didn't try doing something else.
Actually there was no limit on the walleyes during the worst of the population decline and the commercial fishing of walleyes was still allowed in Ohio Waters. The first limit on walleyes was 10 and then it went to 6 sometime in the 80s. The reason why they installed the limit of 10 and then lowered the limit to 6 is something I do not know the answer to and I will not venture a guess on. But I am glad that they did put a limit on them and then lower it for whatever reason they deemed necessary, it showed that they were serious about keeping walleyes a sustainable sport fish. I still can not agree with you about closing the season. Just last year the matts that the state place on the reefs and are marked with black flags were full of living fertile eggs but the survival of the fry did not materialize after hatching. That is where the problem is, The survival of the larvae and then the fry after hatching and growing into adult hood. A couple of years ago I solicited Travis Hartman about stocking walleyes in the lake and why it was discontinued and his reply was that if conditions are not suitable for the survival of naturally hatched walleyes then those same conditions were not suitable for hatchery hatched walleyes either. Those few stockings were from eggs and milt from Erie caught walleyes to keep the Erie strain pure and were hatched in the hatchery on SBI.
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