The Future of Northern Wisconsin Walleye Fishing Declining?

1/2/17 @ 1:13 PM
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Red Eagle
Red Eagle
USER since 12/17/16

I just read an article/study and found it very interesting of the future of Wisconsin Walleye fishing. And the article does not bode well for the foreseeable future of Northern WI Walleye.

/http://www.twincities.com/2016/09/09/study-predicts-global-warmings-effect-on-wisconsin-walleyes/

Personally, I remember Walleye fishing in Vilas County in the late 80's and early 90's when I was in my teens and being able to catch at least 3 legals in an outing. Back then I was much more of a novice then with inferior equipment. I made different 5 trips to Vilas county in 2016 at about 4 days per trip and caught a total of 9 legals!!! That averages to about a .5 legal per day. We can't put all the blame on the tribes which has been beaten to death but I'm also seeing less people Walleye fishing too. 

Spending $40 in bait and then gas and equipment just doesn't make sense for an occasional legal. I release all Walleyes over 20 inches too. How many people have made the switch to a different species or just fed up with Northern Wisconsin Walleye fishing all together? 



Edited on 1/17/17 12:16 PM
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5/22/17 @ 2:43 PM
Red Eagle
Red Eagle
USER since 12/17/16

I am the original poster of this thread and I came on here to change my tune.  Another fellow lake linker came on here and really opened my eyes to new techniques and locations of Northwoods Walleye fishing. After applying these techniques and spots 2 weeks ago. I became humbled real fast after I had my best walleye fishing in years in Northern Wisconsin. To put it bluntly, I wasn't as good as I thought I was when it came to walleye fishing.

The fish are are out there and it takes a little "thinking outside of the box" to find them and then to get them to bite. After that weekend I had to really sit down and think on why I did what I did and what I need to change moving forward. It really comes down to knowledge and nothing else and just applying it. 

With knowledge at the forefront. I would seriously hire a guide that would teach me on how to attack a certain body of water and never actually fish over hiring a guide to just catch a ton of walleye and learn nothing. 

My eye opening experience has just fueled my passion more for Walleye fishing and looking forward to applying more of the unique techniques to the waters of Vilas county this weekend!

3 little tips I came with from the many that I learned is:

1. Know your temps and weather, and exactly what male and female walleye are doing during each temp phase "right to the degree" and weather pattern. 

2. I would've never thought of catching male walleye on the 2nd weekend of May in 40+ ft of water.

3. A small jig is probably not small enough.

And finally, to the fellow lake-linker, who opened my eyes to the eyes. (You know who you are) I sir tip my hat to you. Thank You.




Edited on 5/22/17 2:56 PM
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5/12/17 @ 7:41 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

Here is an example.  Last weekend I fished 1 day with the family and we got our limit of walleyes (12).  That was one day.  I think of all the other boats out there and how many they took home.  Might be fair to say 50-100 the first day.  Now many of those boats fished 2-3 days and probably kept everything they could.  I don't pack the freezer but I'm sure many of them do.  Opening weekend alone put a decent dent in the walleyes on that lake.  Still have the rest of the year plus ice fishing to go.  Hook and line can take a lot, its just spread out.

Then look at some of the bodies of water with numerous guides.  Many times you see the customer limit plus the guide's limit in the pictures.  Do that a few days a week all season long.  Just those couple boats take a lot of fish and that's not counting the rest of the people.  No possession limits threatened there, all fish are given to clients.

Spearing doesn't help matters any, but one thing I believe in is that for WI the regulations are designed to slow people down.  Its easier for wardens to catch people with too many fish in regards to a daily limit.  Possession limit takes a lucky break.  So to slow people down, they reduce daily limits.  I think if possession limits were actually followed, things would be a little better.  Not saying everyone has 100 walleyes in their freezer, but 15 may not be a stretch.  Especially after a good opening weekend.

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5/12/17 @ 7:14 AM
Publiclandhunter
Publiclandhunter
USER since 8/31/11

Same lattitude, same lake characteristics.  More like apples to apples.  Fishing is still good on the smaller <1000 acres lakes in northern MN.  Even after SMB were recently introduced in the past 15 years.  These smaller lakes don't get speared.

Sure MN has issues with angler overharvest and netting on Mille Lacs and lake of the woods.  But it beats the ol chip in WI.

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5/11/17 @ 8:41 PM
jkb
jkb
USER since 6/25/02

The lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin are not comparable.  Most lakes in Northeastern Wisconsin are 200-800 acres.  Minnesota has many lakes over 3000 acres.  It is like comparing apples to oranges.

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5/11/17 @ 1:10 PM
Publiclandhunter
Publiclandhunter
USER since 8/31/11

Based on what I saw this year I'd say 35% of the adult walleye population by our cabin was speared in a single night.  But spearing doesn't hurt the population.... ummm okay.  Nothing like picking off spawning fish in a posted fish refuge.

The good walleye fishing line is the same as the ceded territory line.  Stay south you'll be fine.  I've seen crappies take a dive from ice fishing pressure.  Not the case with walleyes in the northwoods.  Global warming and bass..... chuckle.  Same issues in MN but I won't have any issues catching walleye there this Saturday.

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5/10/17 @ 11:48 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

I agree, its like the guys who say its okay to shoot a doe in September but not in December because it was bred.  Same end result.   Increase the limits and end spearing, people will just take more fish.  People are really good at exploiting resources if given the chance.

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5/10/17 @ 11:18 AM
Fishsqueezer
Fishsqueezer
USER since 5/19/06

If there were no tribal spearing and we had a five fish limit would the walleye fishing be any better? In most cases I'd bet no. The bag limit changes occurred in response to tribal harvest declarations to prevent a total harvest above 35% of the adult population. If we're still harvesting 35% of adult walleyes by hook and line what would be the difference? A female walleye in a live well is a dead female walleye that won't spawn, the time of year is really irrelevant. 

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5/10/17 @ 10:29 AM
PimplySwede
PimplySwede
USER since 1/6/09

There has been a direct corellation between spearing and hook/line harvest.  Over the past 15 years, lakes that had a 5-walleye bag limit steadily dwindled to 1-3 fish in direct response to how many walleyes were speared out of it, or bag limits were dropped in expectance of spearing totals and adjusted after declaration.

Only recently have efforts been made to keep that number at 3 fish regardless of spearing.

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5/3/17 @ 8:54 PM
Plmlk
Plmlk
MEMBER since 12/18/07

For us Walleye fishing remains consistent in Vilas.  I don't believe your going to catch many wall mounters, but lots of little guys, with a fair amount of 16 to 20 inchers. 

Also, although I'm not thrilled with it, many of the lakes that we fish have been speared in recent years.  I agree, It certainly does not help the fishery, but I have not noted a noticeable decline either.  I believe much of it has to do with how and where you fish.

Also, we fish for Smallies in the same place as the eyes, with the same rig, and it is close to a 50/50 split.  Also, a 5 pound Smallie fights harder than any Walleye you'll ever catch.  I think stocking Smallies was a good move by the DNR. 


Edited on 5/3/17 8:55 PM
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5/3/17 @ 6:57 PM
jkb
jkb
USER since 6/25/02

Here are a few studies and dissertations on the bass/ walleye relationship.

ftp://ftp.dnr.state.mn.us/pub/fsh/dastaple/SLICE/FayramDissertationECOpath.pdf 

http://www.mnmuskie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/MUE_ImpactOnWalleye.pdf


Article on topic

http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/outdoors/2017/01/29/study-planned-walleyes-predators-northern-wisconsin/97090302/


http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2010/06/fishery.htm


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