SE WI regs changes?
He told me that he is in favor of helping protect the larger size walleyes for spawning and unfortunately the way the regulations are that does not protect them. He told me that he believes the reason we don't see a big recruitment of larger walleyes is because of the harvesting of those fish. It sounds like LaBelle is going to be the "test" lake to get more larger fish from being harvested. I would highly recommend contacting him on your thoughts about protecting the spawner walleyes. It can't hurt to give him your feedback.
email@example.com is his e-mail
It is unfortunate to see the proposals were tuned down. Will be even sadder if the current proposals don't go anywhere. I'd be for any measures to protect gamefish. Why would someone ever need to keep a 14" Bass?
I personally like this proposal better, and I think the slot rules should have been expanded to cover all lakes in Waukesha county that weren't covered by the trophy regulations.
Unfortunately, this proposal went over with a resounding "thud." Until the "meat hunter" mentality changes in this corner of the state, the pressure will be on the DNR to make the regulations less restrictive, not more.
And that's one of my points....in the vast majority of pike fisheries in this state, the pike fisheries are indeed in trouble. We can go catch hammer handles all day on so many different lakes its ridiculous....the ones where you can go and catch good size ones, or trophies, can be counted on your fingers. I find this troubling, because it wasn't always like this.
Problem is that while we were improving the musky and bass fishing, which btw has been a resounding success, we completely ignored the pike...they get about as much attention and positive publicity as a dogfish. They are viewed as a second rate fish basically because their importance and significance has largely been ignored for decades.
High size limits are reactionary, which is a huge issue for me, they signify a last ditch effort and desperation...slot limits on the other hand are preventative, yet will still have a positive effect for troubled fisheries. If slots would have been implemented for pike in the 90's, we would have significantly better pike fisheries by now, there's little doubt about that. The biggest issue I have with pike in this state is that no one cares about the pike fisheries until its nearly too late, forcing limits so high that harvest becomes impossible...also forcing a very long term comeback (if any).
Big pike and WI should go hand in hand, just like WI and musky do...we shouldn't have to drive 14 hours to Canada to catch a fish we should have in abundance right in our back yards.
very high size limits should be reserved for fisheries in trouble
I'm talking in general... some lakes managed for trophies is ok as well
If they're gonna raise the pike limit, 40" should be a starting point...better yet, no fish in the state would benefit more from slots than would the pike. Its perfect for the species actually, as it allows for the harvest of the more abundant (and better eating) small fish and restricts the harvest of those larger, less abundant fish, leaving only 1 over the slot. I've had talks with fisheries biologists that admit this very fact, but don't feel the public in WI deals with accepting slots well.
Ontario is the example we should follow. They have had slots for pike as long as I can remember, yet even on very heavily fished Canadian waters with booked up lodges all over their lakes (and many there strictly for the harvest), the pike fishing has maintained its health across Ontario that it had BEFORE it became a popular destination.
Yes our lakes are different, but the fish and how it breeds and responds to slot harvests remains the same. Smaller pike are almost always abundant and IN NEED of being thinned out for the good of the population. Those 30-40" fish desperately need protection in WI, there is no reason why our pike fishing isn't a ton better than its current state, other than the consistent harvest of seemingly every large pike unlucky enough to be caught.
Winter is an especially bad time in this state for large pike as they are strewn about the ice like they were dime a dozen pan fish. I can't even look at the picture thread in the winter, it just breaks my heart to see seemingly every large fish caught through the ice die.
I'd even go as far as to close pike season along with musky for the winter, but we all know that would never fly in this state.
Those bigger fish are not even as good to eat health wise as the smaller a pike is, the larger its prey, which in turn expodentially increases the various toxins within the fish and they also are fattier, which is where toxins are held....smaller pike are absolutely better for you to eat, they are leaner...and IMO, taste so much better its not even funny.
I'm all for the harvest of pike, I just wish we, as a whole, would choose the right pike to harvest and the right ones to protect.
When I lived on Labelle, I found my best walleye spots while musky fishing. Big girls would come up and smash glide baits. It was crazy. So, out there, big bait=bigger fish.
And when I used small jigs and minnows on those spots? All I got were 13-16 inch walleyes. Fun? You bet, but the bigger fish wanted bigger baits.