The Future of Northern Wisconsin Walleye Fishing Declining?

1/2/17 @ 1:13 PM
ORIGINAL POST
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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TODAY @ 10:09 AM
Peterskeeter
Peterskeeter
USER since 2/6/11

There's no size limit on Walleye on Bago. What could go wrong? White Bass catches declined after years of hundreds of people lining the river banks for miles. Keeping cooler after cooler of fish with no possession limit. People were taking fish to Illinois and getting $1 per WB just 2 years ago. Last year it was up to $2 per fish. EVEN THEY knew there was a problem! Now the White bass don't even run in SOME rivers anymore. Same thing goes on in the fall. Cooler after cooler of fish removed from the system. With less and less White bass caught every year. Now people have targeted other species to make up for the spring and fall "HARVEST". Community buckets of 6" eyes, and 8 person limits picked up every hour and tossed into coolers. Wives returning every hour to pick up another 8 person limit. All to be taken to the house for processing.  I wonder what could have happened to the walleye population? Same thing with Crappie and Perch now that the 'harvest' of eyes has declined. Bucket after bucket, limit after limit  picked up and taken away to be 'processed'. They grind all species up. Adding them together later. Fish are processed immediately after they pick them up. They make Fish Patties out of them for year round meals. How do you know who's fish are who's in the bucket? Especially when they are emptied every hour. How do you know the number of fish, or species in the freezer, when it's just batch after batch of ground up fish divided up between families? No DNR response when we call the 'tip line' to catch them in the act.......... I wonder what happened to the fish populations? I wonder why there is more and more bait fish in the system every year???? Gee, I WONDER! "Heeeeeere's Your Sign".

Edited on 4/28/17 10:27 AM
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3/4/17 @ 8:13 PM
ihookem
ihookem
USER since 11/29/01

Of course the walleye numbers are  declining. The first time I went fishing in Woodruff area, there were a fraction of the houses on the lakes. Getting to northern WIs. was not so easy in our 1/2 ton Dodge van with no air, or radial tires. Now, I have a 3/4 ton diesel ,/ cruise/ air and a nice ride and it is cheaper to get there too with very nice roads. 20 yrs ago , HWY 51 north of Merrill was a county hwy.  Now We have 100 horse outboards with  18' rigs with the best rods now. Back in 1978 we had a 14' alumacraft with a 15 horse Evinrude and still using Mitchell 300's with fiberglass rods. Who had extra money when ya had 16% interest on your home loan? Now  We have maps, GPS, depth finders that you can even see the fish.  So yes, there is no doubt more fishing pressure on the lakes up there especially for walleye . Now we have walleye mania. Walleye rigs, walleye lures, walleye rods. Catching walleye became an obsession  cause of very good advertisement . No doubt it took it's toll. Up north if I catch one, good, but it will be on accident while "smallmouthin" .

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3/4/17 @ 12:15 PM
ayeFeesh
ayeFeesh
USER since 5/17/11

Walleye fishing is declining in northern Wisconsin? Could of fooled me. 

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1/19/17 @ 9:35 AM
.Long Barrels
.Long Barrels
USER since 12/9/14

Perch pop is down in certain areas,  but from what I saw,  i'm not convinced it's lake-wide.  I did well,  I didn't see any difference in numbers from the last few.   I just don't jump on the internet and tell people I don't know. People beat up the south side of the lake,  that is a fact.  Same with the crappies.  thousands a day I bet

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1/19/17 @ 8:25 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

I remember Big Arb, that guy was crazy.  Posting exactly where he was and what he was catching.  Looked like a hobo village out there.  The worst is when they are easy to access spots.

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1/18/17 @ 5:18 PM
stl ken
stl ken
USER since 2/22/10

Sorry LongBarrels, fairly new to the Northwoods, never been on 'Bago.  Going by what I read on lake link guys saying the fishing is great and it will always be, no need for slot limits or reduce harvest.  Several years ago , stacks bay on lake Minocqua must of had 50+ shacks and bunches of other portable shelters. Everyone was loading up on 'Gills.  a year later, they were on Big Arb loading up on crappie.  So I know what you mean Lakeshiner, word gets out, fish get hammered. 

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1/18/17 @ 3:43 PM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09

Don't forget the perch.  Few years ago everybody and their brother was hammering on them.  I didn't go this year but people I talked to said its not close to what it was.

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1/18/17 @ 2:55 PM
.Long Barrels
.Long Barrels
USER since 12/9/14

"soon" over-harvest will happen on bago???  It did three years ago.  The last 2 years and been very poor for 14-18 inch fish.  Three years ago a crackhead could catch a walleye.  Shad population plummeted,  less food in the lake,  clearing water,  the walleye's took an absolute beating.

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1/18/17 @ 11:05 AM
stl ken
stl ken
USER since 2/22/10

One word, "overharvest" !   Sooner or later it will happen, even on 'bago .   The number of anglers has doubled in the last 40 years or so, but fishable acres hasn't changed.  Fishermen migrate to the "hot" spots, then move on when it cools to the next "hot" spot.  More people live on or near lakes.  Not enough anglers practice C & R, no where near bass and musky anglers.  Soon, most lakes will require annual stocking to maintain a fishable population. Look at the lakes receiving extended growth walleyes, most notably Minocqua/Tomahawk chain. Hopefully the DNR can keep up with the need.  Would like to hear other opinions or ideas, important subject.

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1/17/17 @ 10:48 AM
vegas492
vegas492
USER since 5/21/03

Lakeshiner...the best walleye guide up there, for decades was Tom Newcomb out of Boulder Junction.  He taught my dad how to fish and although I was really young when I fished with him, he also taught me a lot.

Tom wouldn't fish the same lake in consecutive years.  Except for one lake, Trout Lake.  

He said exactly what you typed....guides needed to respect the lake and allow it to replenish itself.

Come to think of it, my dad has about two dozen lake maps that Tom marked up for him.  I should probably try to grab those before they sell the house....

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