Agree 100% Lonewolf. That muskie will not be replaceable for 10-15 years. Not to mention that it is probably one of the only prolific spawners in that stretch of river. The article states how uncommon they are in those waters. There are also numerous pictures of smallies on the pictures pages that were obviously killed as they are shown back at the outfitters camp or in front of their logos. I can understand keeping a few smaller/slot walleyes/crappie to eat but the keeping of large walleyes doesn't make any sense and certainly depletes the fishery of its primary spawners and severely decreases the trophy potential. In addition, I can't EVER see the justification to keep a fish from a fishery as fragile as the muskie fishery is where 1 ADULT FISH PER ACRE is considered prime muskie water. The smallmouth fishery is VERY susceptible to overfishing as they are incredibly aggressive ,and a good live bait fisherman who knows the seasonal progression of the species and the waters he is fishing, can deplete the smallmouth population to such a low level in just a year it no longer is worth time trying to pursue them there.
IF YOU FEEL YOU MUST KEEP A FEW TO EAT--then keep a few small/slot walleyes, small/slot pike, crappie or sunnies, and let the rest go. For the sake of quality fisheries I would plead for folks to also PLEASE RELEASE ALL MUSKIES AND SMALLMOUTH.
Jason "The Fisher" Pence JustNorth Outdoors Columnist JustNorth Outdoors Pro Staff www.justnorth.com
Hey Jason, I agree with everything you said. I posted a comment on the Mankato Free Press website stating that the muskie should have been released and not many people agree with me. Here's the link. Maybe you can talk some sense into these people.