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2008 Fishing Changes - - - 14 messages. Showing 1 through 10. Go to page: 1   2 
sportsnut218
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 01:14 AM 12/20/07 (CST)
Maybe this belongs under controversial but I'll let 'The Dude' decide.
Todays News Tribune

Changes to walleye season proposed
John Myers Duluth News Tribune
Published Thursday, December 20, 2007

A key state lawmaker on Wednesday unveiled plans to move Minnesota’s beloved walleye fishing opener a week earlier and impose a statewide limit of four walleyes per day, down from six daily.

The proposed changes were relayed in a letter from State Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, to state Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Holsten.

The proposals still must pass both the state House and Senate and be signed by the governor to become law. But they signal potentially major changes in the state’s storied outdoor heritage.

Chaudhary wrote that “we will be considering legislation to begin [the] fishing opener one week earlier than the present schedule.”

“Doing the opener a week earlier, with our warmer springs now, shouldn’t have a biological affect on the spawning. Most of the spawning is done by then,’’ Chaudhary told the News Tribune on Wednesday. “We could avoid the conflicts I’ve had with deciding between the fishing opener and Mother’s Day. And it might help the resorters out a little to give them an extra week … The conflict with Mother’s Day is almost a family crisis for some people.’’

If the rule was approved and ready for 2009, the fishing opener would be held on May 2 instead of May 9. The earlier opener would match Wisconsin laws.

Chaudhary met with Holsten and top DNR officials Tuesday to discuss his plans. He’s expected to meet today with state Rep. Dave Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, chairman of the House Game, Fish and Forest Division.

“I want to let everyone involved in the outdoors in this state to know I think we should talk about these issues,’’ Chaudhary said.

Lawmakers begin work on Feb. 12.

Bob Meier, assistant DNR commissioner, said Wednesday that some of Chaudhary’s ideas already are under consideration by the agency.

“We’ve already looked at lowering the limit to four walleyes, with one fish over 28 inches.’’ Meier said. “About the earlier opener, we haven’t discussed that one at all. That’s probably more a social issue, but we’ll have to take a look at the biology as well.’’

Chaudhary also said lawmakers will consider a statewide slot limit, or length limit, for walleyes. Currently, on some lakes, only walleyes between 16 and 28 inches are legal to keep; on other lakes, all fish between 17 and 28 inches must be released. The rules are aimed at letting more fish grow to larger size depending on the biology of the lake or river.

While many of the state’s top walleye fishing lakes and rivers already have lower possession limits and more-restrictive size limits, this would be the first time those limits were imposed statewide.

Biologists have said that lowering the statewide limit to four from six will do little to reduce the number of fish caught because so few anglers catch even four walleyes per trip.

Chaudhary also informed Holsten that he would support a plan, emerging from the DNR, for the state to pay farmers to allow hunters access to their land for free. Many Minnesota hunters have complained of having too few places to hunt, especially for birds such as pheasants. North and South Dakota have similar programs. Meier said the DNR will submit a study on the issue in February.

The letter also expresses support for a new conservation fishing license, similar to an option offered in Ontario, where anglers agree to keep fewer fish each day in exchange for a less-expensive fishing license.

Moreover, Chaudhary raised the possibility of eliminating all license fees for anyone under age 18 in an effort to bolster youth participation in hunting and fishing. Currently, anyone age 16 and over must purchase a license for fishing. Teens age 13 and over generally need hunting licenses.

DNR officials have said that change for fishing licenses alone would cost the agency $2 million annually in lost revenue.

“I believe the Legislature has the ability to compensate this short-term loss, and that the costs are outweighed by the long-term benefit of recruiting youth who will become adult’’ license buyers, Chaudhary said. “This is an inexpensive investment in our future.”

Meier was less optimistic the money could be made up.

“With the budget issues they face, I don’t now if they could find an extra $2 million that easy,’’ he said.

Other issues likely to be raised during the 2008 legislative session include raising the limit for pheasants, possibly from two to three birds daily; expanding requirements for the use of steel shot and fishing tackle instead of toxic lead; and new rules for fish farming, especially raising minnows in public waters.

DNR officials and Gov. Tim Pawlenty are expected to reveal their conservation and outdoor priorities for the coming year at their annual roundtable event in St. Cloud the first week in January.




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PierBridge
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 01:56 AM 12/20/07 (CST)
Thanks SN....

I personally don't have to much of a problem with the changes.


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WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 11:58 AM 12/20/07 (CST)
I really don't have any problem with the changes either. I rarely keep more then four 'eyes on any outing anyway. Not sure about raising the minimum for needing a license. Chaudhary states that "the Legislature has the ability to compensate this short-term loss," but you know what this means. They will find a way to fill the $2 million loss - and we will end up paying for it one way or another... we always do. Another point is what the biologists said... "few anglers catch even four walleyes per trip." Is that true? Wow, I must be a lot better then I thought I was. This brings up a point... who are these bioligists, what exactly are they studying and where do they study? When I read this, I flashed to all the studies done on Mille Lacs and was wondering if they take results from just a few lakes and try espouse theories to fit the state as a whole. Something to consider...



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sportsnut218
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 12:10 PM 12/20/07 (CST)
I'm betting that it was mis-spoken and should have stated something along the lines of '4 "legal" walleye.'... maybe anyway.



Even a BAD day of fishing is better than a good day of work; paydays excluded!

My Photography Website, includes sports and outdoors pictures

My Photos Blog, I update my website in blog entries.

Bkchero
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 05:45 PM 12/20/07 (CST)
It was probably "keep" 4. Figure you throw back the dinks and perhaps the hogs.
Scrunch
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 11:14 AM 12/21/07 (CST)
I also see no problem with this...
fishin'w/dan
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 07:17 PM 12/21/07 (CST)
More restrictions...never good. It'll keep people from driving 3-5 hours for a trip to bring home that many. It'll pressure the local lakes a lot more, at least I will. I'm not saying I'm that hungry, but I'm not that well off to go for a meal to LOW or Winni and spend $$$ on gas and lodging. Wish I could....
walldigger
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 07:50 AM 12/31/07 (CST)
fishin'w/dan

I know what your saying about driving 5hrs LOW. I stayed a Mille Lacs this spring because the fishing was so good on opener. I figured I would save some gas $ instead of driving up to LOW. That being said I don't feel driving all that way for 6 little "pine island Walleye's" is worth the drive. I would rather keep 4 quailty fish and make the drive. A difference of 2 fish is just not going to keep me away from a great fishery.

If we were all after meat you could go to LOW in the winter get yourself a 10lb "pout" throw it in a fish boil and you won't know if your eating Walleye or Halibut.

If these proposed restrictions will increase the quailty of fishing in this state, I'm all for it. Between the nets and all the Idiots cutting up 26inchers on Mille Lacs it has worked OK.

Good luck Ice fishing @ stay DRY!!!

Walldigger
walldigger
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Daily Subscription Msg 9 Posted: 07:55 AM 12/31/07 (CST)
One more little rant to add. If we all kept only what we need for a good meal or two, we would not need any restrictions. I must not be that good of a fisherman, I seldom catch my limit, only what I need to keep me eating fish.


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jj
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Daily Subscription Msg 10 Posted: 07:57 AM 12/31/07 (CST)
Shouldn't this say 2008 Fishing Changes?


jj
2008 Fishing Changes - - - 14 messages. Showing 1 through 10. Go to page: 1   2 
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