Msg 11 Posted: 07:53 PM 06/28/08 (CST)
I sent this to the Star Trib just thought I would add it since I just found the topic here|
For the past few years Ive been involved with the Esocide Workshop along with Mr. Schnitcker, Kellett, Carper and Goeschel. Its been a great pleasure and a great disappointment considering the relentless anti Muskie, anti Muskie stocking agenda that some continue to push with unfounded opinions to gather fear amongst those that don't have all the available information, Ill attempt to clear up and answer some of these opinions with the facts as we have learned and our position we have stated repeatedly.
It was Sportsmen for Responsible Muskie Management that wanted the Long Rang Plan along with wanting more studies, continually stating study first then stock, we all agreed with this and Muskies Inc the Minnesota Muskie Alliance and the other non affiliated Muskie and Pike members of the group wanted the same, we also wanted to have an idea about how many were perusing Muskie and make a plan to create a great fishery with more opportunity for everyone not just Muskie Anglers.
We got the study from MN DNR in June of 2007 they made two presentations showing that Muskies had a negligible effects on all of the 41 stocked lakes concluding in their Draft, "The lack of any consistent trends across species, lakes or lake classes, combined with the tendency for most lakes to be within or above the lake class interquartile range suggests that the fish species considered in this study have coexisted well with muskellunge in the types of lakes and at the densities the MN DNR manages muskellunge".
It was stated that MNDNR is ignoring facts from WI studies, these are not studies, they are items taken out of context from notes taken from a WI biologist, he and the WIDNR have denounced all of this information in a formal letter to the fisherman of MN, its not a study by any stretch of the imagination, here is impart the WI DNR response to the use of these notes, Skip and I feel that some of the statements in his unpublished management reports and draft manuscripts have been taken out of context and used to promote the agenda of a few folks in Minnesota who have expressed the unfounded fear that any number of muskellunge in a lake are bad for the rest of the fish community. That is a misuse of Skips data and a misrepresentation of his opinions.
The MN DNR is not stuck in the middle, we anglers are accepting of their recommendations and respectful of their continued work on our resources no matter the species, MN has some of the best fishing opportunities on the planet and possibly the best Muskie fishing in the world due to their efforts, they are not on the wrong track this is simply anti DNR rhetoric.
The University of Minnesota did a angler survey to determine the number of Muskie anglers and their level of involvement in Muskie fishing, they presented their facts and findings to us in September 2007, this was in no way influenced by anyone or by outside involvement, what makes it so important is that it shows this genre growing faster than any other in our State.
Research has shown Muskies eat less that 5% walleye in their diets despite the fact they inhabit the same structure and areas, some of the greatest Muskie fisheries are the best Walleye as well as Pan fish and Pike, research shows Muskies have a positive impact on the number of adult Walleyes, and any other talk is merely opinionated misdirection research from Wisconsin shows this result, "While muskellunge and walleyes can be spatially segregated at times, we frequently found walleyes and muskellunge in close proximity at night; yet when fresh prey in muskellunge stomachs was examined in these cases, walleyes were rare. It appears that walleyes are either not preferred by muskellunge or are capable of avoiding muskellunge".
Another study reports this finding,Muskellunge abundances were positively correlated to walleye abundances, direct competition or predation is unlikely to be occurring between these two species."
Our Muskie lakes are being pressured at record levels from all anglers due to the fact that these are the most sought after fisheries due to the overall great fishing they provide for all of us, there is much need for new lakes in our state.
We have stated repeatedly and to much extent that Muskies Inc and the MMA will not endorse or seek spearing bans on new Muskie lakes, which will be our continued policy.
There is no evidence Ive seen or that has been shown that would indicate Muskies cause a Hammer Handle situation, the fact is that Cedar lake in Aitkin Co. once considered a Hammer handle lake is now a great Pike fishery and the DNR expects it to just get better, as a matter of fact Northerns Inc holds a gathering on the lake now that occurred June 21st despite the fact it has Muskie, it has become a fine fishery since the introduction of Muskie in 1994 with the MN DNR stating this in their report of the lake. Northern pike angling traditionally has been good on Cedar Lake and is likely to get better. There are two notable changes in the northern pike population observed since the last survey. First, the northern pike have decreased in abundance and second, the northern pike length frequency distribution has shown a shift toward larger fish. For many years Cedar Lake, like many lakes throughout central Minnesota, had an over abundant northern pike population that was dominated by small "hammer handle" northern pike. In 1997 only twenty-five percent of the northern pike sampled were 20 inches long or longer. In 2002 almost one-half of the northern pike sampled were 20 inches or greater in length."
If anyone would like the studies and research that MN has conducted and would like to form an educated opinion free from speculation and the bias of Anti Fishing agendas please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and Ill make sure you are given the Facts as they stand from MN and WI DNR.
Vice President Muskies Inc Chapter 54
Co- Chair Minnesota Muskie Alliance