Recent Tournaments Results suggest all is Not well with the system ! 225 Boats and 450 of the (Best) walleye fishermen in the country and over 1/2 cannot catch one fish In a 3 day tournament! Only a handful of angler Teams reported a 5 fish limit, and this is with NO size limit! Weather conditions were very good every day, with just a few wet conditions! Wi.DNR should do a re-evaluation and maybe some honest answers about this system!
Winnebago system Walleye fishing
Bago eyes taste fine to me. Cooked up two the other night that were very tasty. I kept one at 18" and all the rest were 15-16". They tasted fine.
With all due respect, I disagree. I've eaten Erie walleye's. I don't even care for a 18 inch fish out of bago. They get thick, they start tasting fishy. Walleye's have very little taste to begin with, when they get thick, you get that taste. That said, people like channel cats, whitebass and sheephead .....to each his own.
Although tough at times to even catch eaters, we still try to keep the smaller fish at Erie. We don't go there to fill up 5 freezers and back date hotel rooms just to keep more. We go for fun and bring a couple meals home. Erie, the meat mongers dream destination.
Deep fried with fish batter, I doubt you can taste the difference between a 12 inch fish and a 26 inch fish.
no offense, but unless you've tried some 26" from Erie, you may not know that they do indeed taste good... reason is they're relatively young fish due to the fantastic growth rate, they're not some 26", yellow finned gramma or grampa from most WI inland waters, that would probably ( I'd be guessing, always released ) not be as good due to their age and possibly any contaminants stored in their flesh from whatever waters caught in. I have had fillets from big Erie walleyes and they were delish,,,
I may have already posted this, but I have been following this study for many years, and they are adapting to some of the user requests based on studies and data collected...worth a read
sort of the preamble to the report:
"The Winnebago System walleye population has been a focal point for fisheries management for decades. Two major staples in Winnebago walleye management were the formation of the Winnebago Walleye Workgroup in 1988 and implementation of the Winnebago Walleye Management Plan (WWMP) in 1991. The Winnebago Walleye Workgroup, now referred to as the Winnebago Fisheries Advisory Committee (WFAC), consists of over 25 citizen representatives from local conservation groups that focus on non-sturgeon fisheries management issues on the Winnebago System. In 1991, DNR fisheries staff worked closely with the WFAC to develop and implement the WWMP. The group recommended management actions in five core areas including: Regulation/Management, Physical Habitat, People/User Conflicts, Water Quality, and Fish Populations/Communities. As a result, there have been 4 major actions taken since implementation of the 1991 WWMP, including:
• Reduction of carbon monoxide emissions into the Fox River in Oshkosh, thus mitigating potential impacts on walleye fry survival during spring drift events to Lake Winnebago.
• Implementation of a 15 inch walleye minimum length limit from 1992-1997 to provide greater protection of the strong 1990 and 1991 year classes and improving their potential for recruitment to the adult population.
• Increasing walleye spawning habitat on the system via purchase or lease of suitable marsh habitat adjacent to the Wolf and upper Fox Rivers, conducting marsh maintenance to restore or enhance functional walleye spawning areas, and creating “No Entry” zones on walleye spawning marshes to allow walleye to spawn and eggs to develop undisturbed.
• Implementation of an intensive walleye tagging program (1993-Present) to track angler exploitation, estimate population abundance, monitor trends in size/age distributions of the adult stock, observe general movement patterns, and create working relationships with anglers throughout the Winnebago System.
As a result of these actions, the Winnebago System currently supports a healthy self-sustaining walleye population. However, proactive fisheries management will continue to be needed to manage the Winnebago walleye population and maintain a strong self-sustaining recreational fishery. Many of the issues outlined in the 1991 WWMP have since been addressed, but some reoccurring issues still remain and new issues/concerns are emerging. Therefore, it is crucial to update the goals, objectives, and tactics that will help guide future Winnebago walleye management."
I suppose catch and release would work too.
I wouldn't want Winnebago to turn in to Erie. People keep talking about it, "oh those 26 inchers taste great" no they don't, stop lying to yourself.
I'd hate to see April CLOSED, but would love to see April Catch & Release. That way all the local businesses and investments people have are not lost. You can continue tradition and enjoy fishing, you just can't take anything home. If less participate because of that then chalk it up to management of the system.
Sure, poaching may be a problem, but it always is, open or closed season.
You will never turn the Winnebago system into Lake Erie, if that is what you want, just move.
Very simple, close the spawn. The WI DNR has no balls, they'll never do it. Even if it just closed all of April that would help.
Erie also has more spawning habitat because of the Zebras, at least that is the theory.
In recent years, the high water.
As others said, the comparison is not even fair. It's like comparing Colorado's Elk population to WI.
Lake Erie is Lake Erie. Why does Lake Erie as awesome as it is have a size limit, and Winnebago does not??????
Lake Erie has nearly 10,000 square miles of surface area, is 210' deep, and has about 95 million walleyes.
The Winnebago system (Winnebago, Poygan, Winneconne, Butte Des Morts) combined, only covers 257 square miles, and is drastically shallower - 21', 11', 9', 9' respectively.
That's not even apples to oranges. That's apples to toothpaste. The only real similarity there is that water is wet.
Now consider Lake Erie's fishing regulations - 6 fish a day over 15" - NO possession limit. If you stay a week and fish all 7 days, you can take home 42 walleyes (make sure you keep evidence of your Ohio license, proof of how many days you stayed there, and label your fish packages with every detail imaginable). An Ohio resident can legally have 2190 walleyes in their freezer at the end of the year per licensed person.
And STILL they pump out 30" fish like crazy.
That's not the result of a 15" size limit.