Best Walleye fishing lake in northern Wisconsin?
From my understanding, LM bass prey on walleye fry, which leads me to believe that LM bass inhabit the same areas as fry throughout spring and summer. For whatever reason, SM bass have not been shown to significantly impact walleye reproductive success. In lakes nearby the Chip area, LM bass populations have exploded to the point where their growth rates have plummeted resulting in some fish never to even reach 14" in length which compounds the problem as fishermen kept few bass. Smallmouth growth rates have shown slight decreases in these lakes, but not nearly what LM bass have experienced. Walleye growth rates appear to be mostly unaffected although numbers have decreased noticeably. I was also told that oligotrophic lakes in the area would almost be unnoticable for aging in a person's lifetime to a more eutrophic lake. I would suspect that the flowage would be somewhat different, but being the Chip has stained water and a lot of rock and sand to begin with, I don't know if we could notice a significant change during the span of our lifetimes. I would suspect too high of LM bass populations is the problem on the Chip as well. Just a guess.
I don't know how spawning competition and growth rates effect the populations. I don't know either how the aging of the flowage plays in.
I like catching the smallmouth, and am not complaining. I think the flowage is healthy. I do think they should stop protecting the bass population with the CR-only early season and 14 inch limits. The population just doesn't require it.
The spots where a smallmouth was a rarity went to a 50-50 mix for a few years and have now gone to where the walleye is rare.
My senses could be a bit off, because I know that over the years my rigs and presentations have changed more toward the smallmouth as I learned what they wanted.
Chippewa really has to come off the list. Smallmouth have been squeezing them out for 15 years now. I think the process is about complete. Walleye are getting to be a surprise.
Regardless of your level of happiness with the bag limit regulation, science shows that it's working perfectly as the walleye population in the TFF has been and continues to be very consistent at or above 4 adults per acre during the spearing era. The average for walleye lakes in Wisconsin is about 2 per acre.
Anyone that perceives the walleye fishing to be bad on lakes that get speared are completely free to instead fish any of the 700+ walleye lakes within the ceded territory that have never been speared in the modern era. That's the beauty of Wisconsin ... many choices of where to fish based on each individual persons criteria of what they expect out of a fishing experience.
If that's true, why was the daily limit reduced to just two walleye per day when the limit is typically five on most Wisconsin waters?
Average size of all fish speared in the TFF over the past 5 or so seasons has ranged between 13.5" and 15.3". Largest fish speared there each year has traditionally been around 24" - 26".
Wisconsin Tribes gill net heavily in Minnesota where approximately 100,000 pounds of walleye are netted each year, much of it by the Wisconsin Tribes.
The walleye fishery is very much alive and well on the TFF regardless of the amount of spearing and recreational pressure it gets.
Please note that this thread was started in 2011. Hopefully, the original poster has caught his limit of walleyes on all of the bodies of water suggested.
As far as the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage, it is alive and well with a very healthy walleye population. There is also a healthy population of trophy smallies and Musky. The panfish population of crappies, perch and gills has come back gang-busters with many slabs being caught each year.
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