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BP Swing

Sad state Walleye at Henderson

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I was at Henderson Harbor Sunday driving through so I stopped at Henchens to see how the fishing was going. I asked the guys cleaning fish how the Walleye was going this year and they said horrible. They said there was only 3 walleye entered in the derby last week and they were just not around. I mentioned that years upon years of the charters there keeping huge stringers of big female walleye was taking a toll and they agreed. This topic has come up before and I realize they have paying customers but what about the rest of us? These "hero" shots of 7-10 huge walleyes kept and on a board for a dock picture is a F### joke. Well they can thank themselves now for the huge decline. Its sad, it really is. These guys cleaning fish had 10 large buckets of fish heads and guts from all the fish they kept and killed every day. Granted most of them were trout and those are replaced over time by stocking but there were bass, pike, etc. too. In the past I have seen large walleye too being cleaned. What ever happened to catch and release? What about catching fish for sport and for personal bests? What about catch, photo and release? Somebody ought to tell the Henderson guys to wake up or it will be too late if it isn't already. I don't feel like the DEC is getting the message out there about the importance of catch and release. If it wasnt for In-Fisherman magazine, there would be no discussion at all of C & R except for some of the Musky clubs. Hats off to them but thumbs down to the Henderson charters and rest of the killers.

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I was at Henderson Harbor Sunday driving through so I stopped at Henchens to see how the fishing was going. I asked the guys cleaning fish how the Walleye was going this year and they said horrible. They said there was only 3 walleye entered in the derby last week and they were just not around. I mentioned that years upon years of the charters there keeping huge stringers of big female walleye was taking a toll and they agreed. This topic has come up before and I realize they have paying customers but what about the rest of us? These "hero" shots of 7-10 huge walleyes kept and on a board for a dock picture is a F### joke. Well they can thank themselves now for the huge decline. Its sad, it really is. These guys cleaning fish had 10 large buckets of fish heads and guts from all the fish they kept and killed every day. Granted most of them were trout and those are replaced over time by stocking but there were bass, pike, etc. too. In the past I have seen large walleye too being cleaned. What ever happened to catch and release? What about catching fish for sport and for personal bests? What about catch, photo and release? Somebody ought to tell the Henderson guys to wake up or it will be too late if it isn't already. I don't feel like the DEC is getting the message out there about the importance of catch and release. If it wasnt for In-Fisherman magazine, there would be no discussion at all of C & R except for some of the Musky clubs. Hats off to them but thumbs down to the Henderson charters and rest of the killers.

how about you look across the border and the Res, where they net walleyes by the 1000's before you blame a dozen guys trying to make a living.......

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I agree with Adams, those Canadians are relentless with the nets for walleyes, those A-holes don't care about anything but the all mighty dollar, They sell walleye in the supermarket at a good buck, and they don't care about conservation at all. When we used to go to Canada, I watched the French guys fillet a walleye they cut from the top down to the ribs and then strait across only taking a 4 inch piece of meat and throwing the rest in the lake, what a waist, I dipped them out and finished the job for table fare for us guys to eat, they don't bother removing the rib bones, basically there is a 4 inch piece of meat cut out of the fish and then discarded. They don't care unless they can ruin your trip buy ripping your truck apart and fining you for stupid stuff like one to many cans of chew or what type of worm bedding you have, anything to get their mits in your pocket. It's been 10 years since we last were to Canada, we always took 10 guys at $1000.00 a piece, and the outfitters were complaining that the US. people were not coming in the numbers they used to, we explained what was going on at the boarder and they couldn't believe it. I was told that the Bay of Quinte isn't was it used to be either, been wanting to go there for years also, but I'm having second thoughts on that also, maybe just go to western lake Erie in the spring.

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Its important to stay together as fisherman, but catch and release is a personal choice in most waters.  If a person buys a license and follows the rules set by the DEC he/she has every right to eat their catch.  As far as charters go its hard for me to believe that they limit everytime and for the lucky fisherman that have great days you cant expect them to release them.  I know I should release more walleye in Otisco, but then I add up the countless hours it takes to catch 1 and the countless dollars it takes to fish from a boat every weekend from april to October and Im sorry walleye are delicious.  I respect the size restrictions and the limit and I can tell you if the DEC changes either I will happily follow the rules.  Then add that to the fact they are NETTING them in the same body of water, and Im surprised anyone releases them.  I do agree with conservation but that MUST start with DEC here in NY.  My family wont eat the walleyes from the Susquehanna so that's easy for me, they go back, but the big girls from Otisco they love as they have confidence in the water quality so we eat them.  Maybe if I was a better fisherman I could catch enough that I could pick and choose which ones were most socially acceptable to eat. I would never ask someone to keep and eat a fish anymore than I would ask someone to put a legal fish back...its a personal choice.

justin

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I don't want to start a bunch of arguing on here but all due respect Adam, I find lots of holes in this theory. I believe you experienced everything you just said but the reasoning behind it I disagree with. I fish this end of the lake exclusively, year round, almost always for walleye. Granted maybe not as long as others but for the better part of a decade it has been my passion. I entered only one fish in the last derby in henderson, there were only 4 fish on the board and fishing was tough. It was also the opening weekend of bass so not alot of attention was put into walleye fishing by the majority of anglers. My friends and I have had our fair share of "hero" shots but to say that us and charters have caused a population decline is crazy. Ask those same people how many charters even attempt to fill a board of walleyes for their clients outside of the month of May. Who wants to pay $500-800 a day to not be able to guarantee their clients fish. These are walleye after all, not salmon that put on 30lbs in 4 yrs eating almost everything they can track down. I believe there are plenty of fish around still, heck even got a report this morning of a catch of 8 eyes from yesterday. I do however agree the DEC needs to step up, maybe for starters they should have been more cautious when dumping a bunch of lampricide into a known spawning creek in April a couple years ago trying to kill lamprey, which in turn also killed a dump truck load of spawning eyes. That has to cause a bad year class or two I'd think. Or do something about the guys on the ice in mud bay or chaumount walking away with at least their limit or more of big, egg laden spawners. And a side note, the 4lb eaters eveyone preaches about keeping are actually the more successful spawners in the system, not the 8lb+ fish. Some of these big fish never drop eggs at all anymore.To close this rant I'm not picking at you, or anyone for that matter. Walleye fisherman are notorious for being tight lipped, just because you don't hear it or see it doesn't mean they aren't being caught. I'm all for tighter restrictions and a healthier fishery, but for now I'm just gonna keep dragging lines and hope to catch, and eat, my favorite fish that swims.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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The DEC stocks a pile of lakes in NY with Walleyes from then Oneida Hatchery. Does anyone know why they are not including several streams from eastern shore of Ontario?

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I don't want to start a bunch of arguing on here but all due respect Adam, I find lots of holes in this theory. I believe you experienced everything you just said but the reasoning behind it I disagree with. I fish this end of the lake exclusively, year round, almost always for walleye. Granted maybe not as long as others but for the better part of a decade it has been my passion. I entered only one fish in the last derby in henderson, there were only 4 fish on the board and fishing was tough. It was also the opening weekend of bass so not alot of attention was put into walleye fishing by the majority of anglers. My friends and I have had our fair share of "hero" shots but to say that us and charters have caused a population decline is crazy. Ask those same people how many charters even attempt to fill a board of walleyes for their clients outside of the month of May. Who wants to pay $500-800 a day to not be able to guarantee their clients fish. These are walleye after all, not salmon that put on 30lbs in 4 yrs eating almost everything they can track down. I believe there are plenty of fish around still, heck even got a report this morning of a catch of 8 eyes from yesterday. I do however agree the DEC needs to step up, maybe for starters they should have been more cautious when dumping a bunch of lampricide into a known spawning creek in April a couple years ago trying to kill lamprey, which in turn also killed a dump truck load of spawning eyes. That has to cause a bad year class or two I'd think. Or do something about the guys on the ice in mud bay or chaumount walking away with at least their limit or more of big, egg laden spawners. And a side note, the 4lb eaters eveyone preaches about keeping are actually the more successful spawners in the system, not the 8lb+ fish. Some of these big fish never drop eggs at all anymore.To close this rant I'm not picking at you, or anyone for that matter. Walleye fisherman are notorious for being tight lipped, just because you don't hear it or see it doesn't mean they aren't being caught. I'm all for tighter restrictions and a healthier fishery, but for now I'm just gonna keep dragging lines and hope to catch, and eat, my favorite fish that swims.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

last yr I had over a 100 20 lb kings landed outta oz and Mexico at this time . This yr we have 4. Is it the charter capts fault? No, they just aren't here yet. Same thing up there, there is plenty of walleyes up there but maybe the fish found a different spot to hang. hint hint

The amount of walleye fishing up there wouldn't hurt the fish population. How many walleye charters are outta Henderson? 15 maybe. Don't blame poor fishing or bad numbers on fisherman when 50 miles North they net them by the 1000's

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PAP... I take offense at your comments about the Canadians. Where are all the nets you are talking about? For the most part I love you Americans but comments like this are just stupid. I just got back from Port Clinton Ohio and saw more nets there than I have seen in Ontario for years.

Sent from my GT-P5113 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Definitely disagree. Keeping 10 year old mature females day after day can not help the fishery and it's not just the charters. Nets don't help either and that is a huge concern if true. Does anybody even care about being a sportsman and conservation anymore or is just catch and kill for meat like the 50's? I have no problem keeping a nice walleye to eat but just not the big girls.

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PAP... I take offense at your comments about the Canadians. Where are all the nets you are talking about? For the most part I love you Americans but comments like this are just stupid. I just got back from Port Clinton Ohio and saw more nets there than I have seen in Ontario for years.

Sent from my GT-P5113 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

I used to commercial fish Erie right out of Sandusky Bay on a very large operation and it is illegal to net and keep any sport fish (trout/salmon/bass/walleye/etc). None of those nets target those fish, and if they are caught up in the nets 'livewell', they are returned to the lake unharmed. Those nets are purely for Perch, and at the discretion of the owner, they can also keep catfish, carp, and drum. Would definitely encourage you to make an educated comment if you do no know what you're talking about.

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Fleet Tracker,....I was not pointing a finger at the people netting and did not make any accusations. I simply pointed out I had ran into a bunch of nets while fishing in Lake Erie on the American side. I simply did not like his comments about the Canadians. I will tell you I defend the stupid comments I hear about Americans (from Canadians) about their fishing practices in Canada. For the most part its usually petty jealously. I fish with lots of Americans and think the world of them. I simply don't like the petty bashing on any side.

Sent from my GT-P5113 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Edited by Yellow Fever

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Taken strait from Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources website:

Here are some highlights of Ontario's Great Lakes commercial fishery:

In any given year, Lake Erie’s commercial fishery, primarily made up of yellow perch and walleye, accounts for about 80 per cent of the total value of Ontario’s Great Lakes commercial fishery.

Lake Huron produces the largest volume of lake whitefish in the Great Lakes. It is sold primarily in U.S. and Ontario markets. Lake trout, walleye and yellow perch contribute to the commercial fishery as well.

The principal commercial fish on Lake Superior is the lake whitefish. Thunder and Black Bays on Lake Superior also account for 90 per cent of the lake herring commercially harvested in the Canadian waters of the lake. Lake herring are primarily harvested for their roe, which is shipped mainly to the U.S. and Europe.

Lake Ontario supports a locally important commercial fish industry. The commercial harvest comes primarily from the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario east of Brighton, including the Bay of Quinte and the St. Lawrence River. A variety of species are fished, including yellow perch, walleye, and sunfish.

Over 80 per cent of commercial fishing in Ontario occurs in Lake Erie, the warmest and most productive of the Great Lakes. The fishing industry predominantly uses gillnets to catch walleye (Sander vitreus), yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) (see Figure 3.1.2). Most of the industry is in Canadian waters, as U.S. state governments have eliminated or tightly restricted most commercial fishing in favour of the recreational fisheries.

....this can confirm the topic being discussed that Canada back doors the recreational fishery and promotes commercial walleye netting in its waters. The US however, strictly restricts these harvests.

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Taken strait from Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources website:

Here are some highlights of Ontario's Great Lakes commercial fishery:

In any given year, Lake Erie’s commercial fishery, primarily made up of yellow perch and walleye, accounts for about 80 per cent of the total value of Ontario’s Great Lakes commercial fishery.

Lake Huron produces the largest volume of lake whitefish in the Great Lakes. It is sold primarily in U.S. and Ontario markets. Lake trout, walleye and yellow perch contribute to the commercial fishery as well.

The principal commercial fish on Lake Superior is the lake whitefish. Thunder and Black Bays on Lake Superior also account for 90 per cent of the lake herring commercially harvested in the Canadian waters of the lake. Lake herring are primarily harvested for their roe, which is shipped mainly to the U.S. and Europe.

Lake Ontario supports a locally important commercial fish industry. The commercial harvest comes primarily from the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario east of Brighton, including the Bay of Quinte and the St. Lawrence River. A variety of species are fished, including yellow perch, walleye, and sunfish.

Over 80 per cent of commercial fishing in Ontario occurs in Lake Erie, the warmest and most productive of the Great Lakes. The fishing industry predominantly uses gillnets to catch walleye (Sander vitreus), yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) (see Figure 3.1.2). Most of the industry is in Canadian waters, as U.S. state governments have eliminated or tightly restricted most commercial fishing in favour of the recreational fisheries.

....this can confirm the topic being discussed that Canada back doors the recreational fishery and promotes commercial walleye netting in its waters. The US however, strictly restricts these harvests.

the natives do whatever they want doesn't matter what side of the border.

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Definitely disagree. Keeping 10 year old mature females day after day can not help the fishery and it's not just the charters. Nets don't help either and that is a huge concern if true. Does anybody even care about being a sportsman and conservation anymore or is just catch and kill for meat like the 50's? I have no problem keeping a nice walleye to eat but just not the big girls.

you buy a license, you can legally keep fish. Don't blame capts. If there is a major concern the DEC would step in. My buddies aren't having any trouble catching them up there maybe you gotta move around a little and not fish the same hot spot everyone fishes for the last 10 yrs

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Are you seeing a lot of Bait?  That's why the fishing sux.  I am refraining from finger pointing and I am not having any Legend (wait for it) dary outings since last spring.  I know the fish are there.  It's like asking a guy leaving Old country Buffet if he wants to head down to Apple Bs for a burger.  Walleye bite is super late or non existent around here right now.  I will wait til late August before I even try again.  No guarantees then either.  I'll still go because I am a fisherman.   I spend of few hours "getting" dozens of bullheads and countless hours "fishing" for several walleyes.

 

 

A lot of what is said above is true but this (lack of fish) is the consequence of last years early spring.  Everything will be fine.  I just don't know when.

 

To the experts:  Don't be afraid to keep learning.  Change the patterns.  3rd year in a row I have changed my patterns for large mouths.  It is logical that "goto" would work every year, but it doesn't.  Not for my haunts anyways.

 

The only netting I have ever seen in Canada was at Sundowners.  Now that was Legen (wait for it) dary!

 

Tight lines, Joe

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Yea i belive that the fishing has defintly gone south. The word has got out about ice fishing. In the north country there are alot of locals that live off the land. I spoke to a guy that claimed not to be a fisherman but said that he kept 35 eyes this winter betwen 7 an 13 lbs out of those bays. He said that he's planin on hitin it a lot harder this year. :doh:  Sad to say that some locals abuse the waters up their and profit from them, I have family up there and they have admited to fishing some of the small lakes dam near rite out. Shame on them! Not all norherers are like that. IT would be great if the dec would stock some walleys, they seem to stock many small waters around the state. Over the years i have seen less and less visitors up that way and the local economies are showin that. I agree that if you "sportsman" fish that water weekly they shouldn't be keeping all the eyes they catch. Wen i start taking my children fishing up ther will they realy wana go back fishin with dad if all we do is wash lures. I mite have to takem to erie and spend my money their. They seem to have things under control with their walleye program.

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I have been fishing 51 years avidly. I have seen the trends go from catch and keep (that was the norm in the 60s, 70s and most of the 80s to catch and release in the 90s and 2000s, now I think the trend is going backwards towards catch and kill. The exceptions are for Muskies. In the North country of NY, it is all catch and kill like the dark ages. I see it all the time. Is there anyone out there who just enjoys the fight, the sport, a light tackle challenge, personal bests, catch, photo, and release, graphite reproductions??? Or is it all selfish catch and kill and dont care about the fishery and future generations? I just heard about a small lake North of Watertown where the DEC caught some guys red handed at night with gill nets. So selfish.........

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Yellow Fever, I apologize if I offended you I know you can't help what your country has done to thousands of Americans, as for as coming to fish your great fishery. By far there is no place on earth better than Canada for walleye and northern pike, the walleye I have mounted 32inches 12.5 pounds and a northern 48inches came from a lake called O'sullivian which we fished for 25 years, But we have been put through the ringer with the French and the border patrol, which you have no control over. I have been on lakes in Canada where they are targeting walleyes and have seen in person the net set in lake Ontario where they were targeting walleyes, I have relation in the US. coast guard and NY fish and game and they told me where they are and it's in the migratory route towards the Bay of Quinte, there is nothing the US. can do about it :devil: I have been fishing Canada for 40 years and have stories and memories that will stay with me forever!! As far as the nets in Erie they can't set those nets till the walleye migrate towards Vermillion and they are targeting perch and white fish and they must release any walleye caught in those nets, I have been to Erie when the nets were set and it's a pain in the but to get around them. I can tell you when we go to the Harrisburg sport show and visit the outfitters we used to go to they say the US. folks just don't come in numbers like they used to, so we explained why and they were going to look into the problem, because it's hurting them also. I don't have a problem with the Canadians themselves, just the way they do things, like the lack of conservation, which affects lake O in a sence

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Definitely disagree. Keeping 10 year old mature females day after day can not help the fishery and it's not just the charters. Nets don't help either and that is a huge concern if true. Does anybody even care about being a sportsman and conservation anymore or is just catch and kill for meat like the 50's? I have no problem keeping a nice walleye to eat but just not the big girls.

I think all of of us here consider ourselves sportsman and practice some level of conservation and if someone has a problem with the walleye restrictions take it up with the DEC. The few individuals that are good enough and dedicated enough to catch big walleyes in numbers still have the right to eat their catch. NY would like to take your guns, do you really want them to take away your right to eat the fish you catch. Ive always been in favor of limiting catches of mature gamefish, but until that happens there are so few days we get more than 1 big walleye per person that when it happens I make hay when the sun shines. I say again this is personal choice take it up with the DEC. Anybody have a guess the average number of hours a person has to fish catch just 1 8 lb walleye. Ill bet for the average guy who doesn't make a living with walleyes it has to be at least 50 man hours. Ill tell you anyone using rod and reel earns every big walleye they catch!!! Everyone of us has the same opportunity to catch these fish, so if anybody wants to catch one stop complaining of poor fishing and better years and go earn one like everybody else then put yours back if you want. Somebody start a new thread lets talk about catching walleye or trying who cares what you do with em just follow the rules!! Sorry bout the rant

justin

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Doesn't do much good either to argue with the Canadians they are entitled to fish as their country sees fit.  Its not the average persons fault...even in Canada.

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Its not the Charter Captains or the Ones that catch there limits. There is so much bait on this end of the lake they are just gorging themselves causing poor fishing for the walleye. Browns are on fire, go to other end and see how they are doing on them ,Not good.

I have been fishing them for over 20 years up here and this year is slow but the water is different, the temps are lower, and you have to spend your time searching for them. Maybe in a diiferent location or 2 compared to normal. You pay for a license that entitles you the fisherman to keep your limit. There is a Limit for a reason. Just because some spend more time maybe a lot of miles searching for them and then catching them when they do is Not wrong and Is not hurting the fishery. My self i troll 90 percent for walleye. to this date i have over 950 miles on my gps from this time last year ( New unit last July )  Thats alot of Time, Gas and  $$$$$$$$$$$ , and when i find them Yes I do keep my Limit and we Eat every single one of them.

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You do what you want. Your $29 bucks entitles you to kill what you have to (if you say so). I will do what I want (release the big girls so you have Walleye to catch a few years from now.) The Canadians do have the right idea with their conservation license which allows you to fish for them and keep only a limited amount. Whatever pal.

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If you want to exact conservation measures.....start a club and get involved.  The DEC has partnered with club interests up and down the lake.  It is hard for me to believe that 15 charters could put a dent in a population of fish in an area so vast.  Perhaps, as others have suggested the fish are in a different area.  I can tell you on Erie the gobie has helped to move fish closer to shore the last few years.  Now there are some great locations where you can cast near shore for 'eyes.  Try fishing a little closer to shore?  You also may want to hear feedback from our Canadian friends about the fishing in Quinte before deciding fish numbers are down.  I would think you would see a decrease in population there first as evidenced by returning spawners numbers in November. 

Edited by Gill-T

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Gill-T is right on.  I was beginning to think that I was the only one who doesn't think the sky is falling.

 

I do not disagree with any of the comments about what is happening or has happened.  I just do not see the cause and effect logic that the walleye population is doomed.

 

BP, are you thinking slot limit?  The Canadiens did this and I refuse to go there now.  The DEC may be thinking about the license sales ramifications too.  While not a put and take fish, it is part of the economics which does entail that some fish will be harvested.  BTW, I too believe in letting the big girls go, but I also believe that it is a personal decision for each fisherman that is following the fishing syllabus rules.  Those that cheat deserve stiffer penalties.

 

Joe

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Quinte numbers are down from 2000's time frame. I experienced fishing unparalleled in 2004 to 2006. I saw a camp owner flip out over the large filleted bodies from one days fishing. I took smaller fish to fillet and pictures for trophies. The Internet was a large reason that the fall fishery got exposed. Fast forward to 2013 and friends of mine don't troll anymore there cause they blank most days and jig for 2lb fish, lots of them , but the 8 to 11 lb fish are not at the numbers they where in 2006.

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