Green Bay slot limit???

6/2/14 @ 7:28 PM
ORIGINAL POST
eye's r us
eye's r us
USER since 3/3/09
Well as some of us know the lower Green Bay thread always heats up with this topic. (currently!) So I thought why not start the discussion here. I believe the limit for Green Bay should be 5 walleye 15-22 and 1 walleye over 30. The reason I say this is because I grew up fishing Castle Rock. In the eighties we all were hammering mid to upper 20's and keeping 5 all the time. We never thought we could fish them out. Well we did and all of the nineties you had a very hard time catching any fish over 13 inches. Since there was a slot limit put in place the bigger fish are making there comeback and Castle Rock and Petenwell have returned to there trophy fish status. I hate to see pics of limits of 22-28 inch fish coming out of the bay because I do believe the same result will be the outcome. I could see a time when we are catching loads of 14 inch eyes and struggling to get one over 20inches.
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 10 Posts
6/4/14 @ 8:48 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
Best chance would be during the spawn. 30-32" fish are very old already, older than most think. They don't just grow forever. A 14 pound fish with no spawn still takes a special fish, even in GB. A typical 30" fish is maybe 9.5 pounds, 10 if its really fat.

The lower bay gets pounded a lot more than the rest of the bay though I think.

Edited on 6/4/14 8:49 AM
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6/3/14 @ 4:17 PM
eye's r us
eye's r us
USER since 3/3/09
Also as big as the bay is every weekend it seems that the entire shoreline is getting fished. And I work on houses along the east shoreline almost every day and I'm always amazed at how many guys fish during the week. It is a constant flow of trollers when the weather permits. At least the lower bay. I do believe that fisherman could effect the size of the fish on the bay. Believe me I'm not blaming them for fishing and even taking some home to eat. In fact I am jealous. I just think the bay could be even better!!

Edited on 6/3/14 5:04 PM
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6/3/14 @ 4:08 PM
eye's r us
eye's r us
USER since 3/3/09
I get the fact that they are two different fisheries. Also don't get me wrong, the bay will most likely be great walleye fishing ,baring some kind of catastrophe, for a long time. I just would love to see the upper 20's fish protected. How many of us have seen a true gaint come out of the bay in the last 5 years? I'm talking a 14 pound or better? I'm just asking.

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6/3/14 @ 1:52 PM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
Agreed. The Fox gets a lot of attention but its only a small fraction of the fish in the Bay. The fish travel a lot too. I've caught tagged fish that have traveled over 35 miles.

As far as growth rates, I know I had a tagged 24" that was 7 years old. Have heard of people getting 30" fish that are over 20 years old per tag data. So they grow fast to a point and then slow way down. I think those 20-24" fish aren't real old in general, they just get there fast compared to an inland body of water.

The perch fishing took a crap it seems more from all the invasive species, but the game fish are really adapting well to them. Anyone who tries to perch fish knows how many gobies are around. Walleyes that I do clean seem to always have them in their stomachs. I'm sure the bass are gobbling them up too.

Edited on 6/9/14 7:39 AM
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6/3/14 @ 12:56 PM
CazTrait
CazTrait
USER since 6/15/01
Walleye fishing doesn't get much stronger anywhere in the country than Green Bay. Comparing Green Bay to any inland water in Wisconsin is apples and oranges. The forage, the growth rates, the different structure, and just the sheer size of the water body. Even though the parking lots are full, how much of the bay goes virtually untouched by fishermen all year?

Serious question. If guys were taking limits of 15-22" fish daily, would those same people on the reports page still be complaining? Tough to tell male or female at that length, just food for thought.

Total walleyes and total harvest numbers were brought up on the reports page. 300k fish come up the Fox to spawn. Fishermen catch 250k throughout the entire year on the entire system. 90k of the 250k are kept. If looking at just the Fox numbers, less than 1 in 3 adult walleyes are dead at the end of the year. Now, throw in the amount of fish that run the Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee, plus all the fish that spawn in the bay proper. I would bet that harvest rate falls well below 1 in 10 adults are harvested Bay-wide. Do people honestly feel that is not a sustainable rate for Green Bay walleyes? I would argue much like the Winnebago walleye population, the Green Bay walleyes are far more affected by annual spawning conditions and recruitment than angler harvest.

This over harvest debate is exhausted every spring on the Wolf River threads and yet the fishing on the Winnebago system continues to improve year after year with no minimum size limit and no closed season system-wide. I'm just offering the Wolf River/Winnebago example for all you guys who are pro-slot and simply say "well it worked here so it will work there." Remember, apples and oranges?

If there is anything the state biologists can thump their chest about, I would say without a doubt it is the Winnebago sturgeon population, followed closely by Winnebago walleyes and Green Bay walleyes. With all the water quality improvement projects on the lower Fox/lower Bay in the last decade, I highly doubt the Green Bay walleye population is flying under anyone's radar. There is just too much focus on Green Bay from several different angles to let the Green Bay fishery slip through the cracks. We are living the "good old days" right now.

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6/3/14 @ 9:42 AM
thechief
thechief
USER since 5/2/05
slots work!!!. Lake Wisconsin has a slot 15-19 I say 19 because if it measures 20 its in the slot. 20-28 are slot fish and must release. the walleye fisherman love it, and the fishier is strong.

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6/3/14 @ 8:46 AM
lakeshiner
lakeshiner
USER since 7/20/09
Quite a difference between Castle Rock and Green Bay. The Bay trumps it in forage, acreage, growth rates, etc. Hard to compare the 2 easily.

Even parts of the Bay are different than others, being so big. I mean where I typically fish, 22" is the average low end fish we get. Been that way for 20-25 years that I fished walleyes on the Bay. We'd catch one under 20" once in a while and joke about it ("Do we even net this?"). For years we wondered where are the smaller fish but we never saw them, obviously they are somewhere else. If you go to the southern part of the Bay, you'll probably find some smaller fish mixed in though. You'd almost have to be able to define boundaries.

My guess is if the DNR gets worried about it they'll lower the limits. They used to be 3 for a long time, then there was a boom in the population and they upped it to 5.

I do get it though, I mean there are a ton of people fishing walleyes compared to years past. Parking lots are full and most are taking fish home. Has to be a lot of fish, but I would think the DNR must know a little of what they are doing. I hope at least.

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6/3/14 @ 8:13 AM
RodBend'r
RodBend'r
USER since 5/19/04
I totally agree eyes.... Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior has a 5 fish daily limit with a 15" min. But, only 1 fish can be keep over 20". I really like this size rule, and would like to see the WI DNR consider something much like this here. You can still keep your 5 fish "limit" of walleyes and you can keep 1 for a trophy. And still protect the bigger fish from over harvest. Which I feel is the real issue at hand here. You guys would not believe the massacre that went on this spring out of Marinette and places south on the opener. There were hundreds and hundreds of 28"plus fish that went under the knife. Ya, it's legal..... but it doesn't make it right. I asked 3 guys who came in with 15 fish over 28" why they didn't throw any back for the future and why not practice cpr?.... my answer was "we don't live here" "who cares" "we did throw some back, the smaller ones" "there's more meat on the bigger ones". And I bet they will come back next year and be the first ones to piss and moan about not catching fish and how poor the fishing is.

on a side note, I did however hear there are a couple huge year classes of small fish coming up. So the future hopefully looks bright here on Green Bay....with smaller fish that is.

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6/3/14 @ 7:55 AM
SJB
SJB
USER since 7/16/01
I agree - love the idea of a protected slot of 22-30".

But it will be an uphill battle for a few reasons. 1 – Tournaments. The # of big tourneys, like the NTC, will not come to Green Bay if there is a slot in place. Just simply won’t have the draw for the big stage events. Like it or not, the tourneys bring in some big money to the area, and money talks. Do you think Jim Schmitt doesn’t want to see that money come in?

2 – This is a social issue, and not a biologically issue. I was involved in changing the Wisconsin River system to a slot (I personally worked on the portion from the Dells dam down to the Sauk Dam). In working with the biologist at the time, even without the protected slot, there was no risk that fishermen could even out fish that system, much less Green Bay. There would always be enough female walleye to drop eggs, and recruitment has so much more to do with conditions (level of water, temp and 1st summer after hatch), than anything else. However, what a slot does do protects a certain size structure so you catch more above that size – in this case, more fish above 22”.

3 – This is shared water with Michigan. Making any changes that much harder to work through. Just look at how confusing the Menomonee River is. When I take people fishing up there and they ask to keep a fish, the answer is simply no – just not worth the hassle you get at the landing from a warden, telling them you now have to put your rod down if one is in the livewell, etc.

If there is support to make this happen, starting with the conservation congress is the 1st step. If that is approved by the congress, it can be placed on the congressional congress ballet for the spring hearings the following year. If that is approved, and the local DNR agrees, then it can be placed DNR ballet year 2. If passed there, then onto the state congress for approval.

Edited on 6/3/14 7:56 AM
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