I think we'd all like to hear from some local DNR professionals who manage these area waters, walleye and other species. What does the data say? What are the fishing guides seeing with respect to the drop-off in the walleye population on Lake Namakagon, in Cable, Wisconsin? The posted advisory on walleye fishing sounds grim! Is it just cyclical, environmental, overfishing, over spearing, disease? Thank you.
Lake Namakagon, 'Attention Walleye Anglers notice!'
I think the spearing and ice fishing season should be limited to the month of August.
We had a group of eight guys several years back fishing for a week. Zero walleyes were caught.
I never fished Nammy but my experience on the big Sawyer CO lakes goes something like this, I'll start picking up walleyes while smallmouth fishing in June. That tells me the walleye population is decent, and I'll start targeting walleyes and do half-way decent until the lake gets speared. DNR responds with reduced bag limits and stocking efforts then in a few years walleyes make a come back and the process repeats itself. I think this cycle will continue regardless of the stocking of larger fingerlings and liberal LM Bass regulations.
I think the "systems" in Wisconsin that have natural reproduction are doing okay. Most of the other lakes are only put and take fisheries.
I think this has been overthought for way too long. WI has historically liberalized harvest moreso than others. In MN, I believe the regulations still only allow one line in summer, and only 2 lines in winter. In Ontario, 1 line is it. Where I fish in Ontario, depending on the license, you can only keep 1 or 2 walleyes per day and only possess up to 4. These lakes don't have the population base where they get flooded with fishermen like WI lakes do, yet there limits are much tighter than WI.
Some of the lakes I go to in WI...it is incredible in winter. Cities set up on the ice with each guy with 3 tip ups, or 2 tip ups and a jig pole. With the historical 5 fish limit, 10 fish possession limit, 3 lines per angler, electronics introduction, introduction of spearing, and CPR of largemouth bass along with warmer lakes/low lake levels through the 1990s....it is no wonder why our lakes have suffered. I am hopeful the new walleye regs, removal of many LM bass size limits, and the stocking of extended growth fingerlings will help.
I still think the limits are too high, and I especially believe WI simply allows too many lines. MN, in my opinion, has that part right.
I spent 2 days on Namakagon jigging for eyes about 15 years ago and got nothing even back then. I guess things haven't changed much.
Crappies and pike were plentiful though...