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Would you like to see sauger reintroduced to its historical range in the Lake Erie watershed?

  • I would like to see sauger reintroduced

    Votes: 27 57.4%
  • I would not like to see sauger reintroduced

    Votes: 20 42.6%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've read a few articles about the historic abundance of sauger that lived nearshore and in the tribs of lake Erie.
I understand the catch rate was massive,(like most historic catch rates).

I understand that the only small remaining population of lake erie strain sauger remains in the Maumee river and are often confused with " maumee resident walleye".

I also read that the ODNR was looking into the possibility of trying to bring the sauger back to the lake erie tribs and I would think with water quality improvement and many dams coming down that it would be super awesome.

With the ODNR trying to bring back Lakers and sturgeon, I believe sauger would be a valid choice also.
Although I imagine they would have to impose catch and release regulations on all the stocked tribs on "eyes" for a few years to let the population try to take off as an eye is an eye to most fishermen without a keen eye ;)

Would Ohioans be willing to give up "the run" for a few years to let these tough little eyes gain hold back in their natural watersheds?

Looking forward to a discussion about this and what info you folks have to impart.
 

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I like the idea of reintroducing native species to native habitat. I haven't read anything about a remaining population of sauger anywhere..., if you could provide a link/source for that, I would like to read about that. (Not doubting, just interested.) I haven't (knowingly) caught a sauger, but would like to someday. This topic brings to mind previous OGF discussions about "resident vs. escaped/released saugeye" in the Grand Rapids area.

I don't think the walleye run would have to be shut down for their successful reintroduction. First of all, I doubt catch rates would be high enough for young sauger to be removed from the population. There are a lot of fish in the river during the run, and most of them are not caught.

Secondly, I think the current 15" minimum size limit would protect them well enough to establish a successful breeding population. That is if they can naturally survive anyway. Perhaps their native areas are still not similar enough to their original conditions for them to make it; hopefully they are.

Lastly, if regulations need to be changed for their successful survival, they could be protected by an annually shifting slot limit. For example, if 3rd year sauger average between 15 and 17 inches, the minimum size for walleye/saugeye/sauger could be changed that year to 18 inches. Once the sauger is reestablished, these limits could be removed again.

Interesting topic! I did find a story from 2012 that indicated this was going to be attempted. I did not find any resulting information though.

https://www.outdoornews.com/2012/04/12/ohio-attempting-sauger-re-introduction-in-lake-erie/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I like the idea of reintroducing native species to native habitat. I haven't read anything about a remaining population of sauger anywhere..., if you could provide a link/source for that, I would like to read about that. (Not doubting, just interested.) I haven't (knowingly) caught a sauger, but would like to someday. This topic brings to mind previous OGF discussions about "resident vs. escaped/released saugeye" in the Grand Rapids area.

I don't think the walleye run would have to be shut down for their successful reintroduction. First of all, I doubt catch rates would be high enough for young sauger to be removed from the population. There are a lot of fish in the river during the run, and most of them are not caught.

Secondly, I think the current 15" minimum size limit would protect them well enough to establish a successful breeding population. That is if they can naturally survive anyway. Perhaps their native areas are still not similar enough to their original conditions for them to make it; hopefully they are.

Lastly, if regulations need to be changed for their successful survival, they could be protected by an annually shifting slot limit. For example, if 3rd year sauger average between 15 and 17 inches, the minimum size for walleye/saugeye/sauger could be changed that year to 18 inches. Once the sauger is reestablished, these limits could be removed again.

Interesting topic! I did find a story from 2012 that indicated this was going to be attempted. I did not find any resulting information though.

https://www.outdoornews.com/2012/04/12/ohio-attempting-sauger-re-introduction-in-lake-erie/

Great commentary and I like your ideas. I suppose they wouldn't have to shut down the run fishery and a 15" size limit would be fine for the growing sauger.
 

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I think it is:
dumb
pointless
waste of resources
waste of money
complicated
and unwanted

There are NO anglers calling for, wishing for, wanting more sauger fishing opportunities ESPECIALLY on Lake Erie! Is it a noble idea, maybe. That doesn't make it a good idea. Maybe ask Ohio anglers what they would like to see. I bet less than 1% would say more sauger in Lake Erie and it's tribs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think it is:
dumb
pointless
waste of resources
waste of money
complicated
and unwanted

There are NO anglers calling for, wishing for, wanting more sauger fishing opportunities ESPECIALLY on Lake Erie! Is it a noble idea, maybe. That doesn't make it a good idea. Maybe ask Ohio anglers what they would like to see. I bet less than 1% would say more sauger in Lake Erie and it's tribs!
I'm not even sure how else to respond to such a comment other than the ignore button.
To many folks have truly lost the ability to have a civil and meaningful discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
If the strain of the true walleye were to be compromised over time through breeding i would not be in favor of this in any tributary of lake Erie.
Considering that lake Erie was historically abundant with a very large and native sauger population, I find it highly doubtful it would compromise the walleye stock any more so than it was historically over thousands of years from the sauger population that was there and depleted within the last century.

It could also provide some great shore fishing and river fishing opportunities for many.
 

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My dad used to talk about Blue Pike but never mentioned Sauger that I can remember.

If it’ll eat invasive’s I say go for it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Interesting idea, but it will be difficult to do. In order to preserve the genetic diversity of Lake Erie fish, the brood stock will need to be developed from resident sauger. Introduction of Ohio River sauger would probably be detrimental to the resident Lake Erie sauger.
 

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We used to catch Sauger in the Maumee years ago at Grand Rapids in the fall. Havent seen one in a long time As far as giving up the run, I dont see why you would have too. I started fishing the run when I was 8 , 55 years ago, and never saw a sauger caught. I dont think it would be an issue, especially with the size limit Maybe I just didnt pay that mush attention to what they were, and some were caught, but Ive never heard of it. Sounds like a great idea to me.
I dont know if they could co-exist in Erie with a dominant walleye population tho
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah,after others opinions I dont see fishing the run being a problem,especially with the 15" size limit.

Also considering that the sauger were more nearshore and trib fish and coexisted successfully for thousands of years since the great lakes were created, I dont see it being a problem once the population is able to gain a steady foothold.

And to the blue pike, walleye were considered a much less desirable fish until those were wiped out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We used to catch Sauger in the Maumee years ago at Grand Rapids in the fall. Havent seen one in a long time As far as giving up the run, I dont see why you would have too. I started fishing the run when I was 8 , 55 years ago, and never saw a sauger caught. I dont think it would be an issue, especially with the size limit Maybe I just didnt pay that mush attention to what they were, and some were caught, but Ive never heard of it. Sounds like a great idea to me.
I dont know if they could co-exist in Erie with a dominant walleye population tho
Is imagine some are caught as an eye is an eye to most and many of those we catch at the maumee already have a dark hue during that time
 

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I'm not even sure how else to respond to such a comment other than the ignore button.
To many folks have truly lost the ability to have a civil and meaningful discussion.
What makes my reply meaningless? Maybe it was a bit trite, but you're being awfully dismissive. I gave reasons. If you don't like them, then that is fine. You, of course, are entitled to your opinion on the subject.
 

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To Karl's point, your response could have been interpreted as rude and dismissive. Maybe that wasn't your intent, but I digress...

Crittergitter, you still make some good points for the conversation. There probably aren't a lot of NW Ohio anglers (or Ohio anglers in general) looking for more sauger opportunities at the moment, and it could be an expensive proposition.

On the other hand, it may not be all that complicated. If there is indeed a residual population still around, net them, breed them, release them. As was previously mentioned, walleye and sauger coexisted in the area for a long time before humans decimated their ranks. Increased native biological diversity is almost always preferable to less. The stocking infrastructure for musky, hybrid striped bass, saugeye, etc. already exists, so it shouldn't incur significant additional costs.

I also wonder what criteria the ODNR considered in the decision to reestablish the sturgeon. It probably wasn't angler interest or program complexity. If anybody knows, please chime in.
 

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In the 70’s, me, my dad, and grandfather were drifting around Mouse Islam and my grandfather caught a sauger. Last one I seen from Lake Erie. Be nice to have as an addition, however, time and effort and cost to establish a population with no lack of support would doom it. Walleyes are fantastic, and abundant. Steelhead stocking is done because of the huge call for it. Tell you what, speak to the Ohio River fishermen on here, I and they are catching less and less sauger than ever, and that was a huge fishery for us below the dams, but no one is calling for stocking them in there. Can’t be overfishing, something is causing less of them!! They are going the same as the sauger in Lake Erie.
 

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I'm not even sure how else to respond to such a comment other than the ignore button.
To many folks have truly lost the ability to have a civil and meaningful discussion.
you ask for opinions, he gave you his :rolleyes: and he's not wrong, seems like wishful thinking which is OK but likely unrealistic, there's a lot of things that those funds could better serve ... opinions are like underwear ... everybody has them and most of them stink to somebody :p
 
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