Kevin J Legg

Thoughts on slot limit on SLR walleyes

31 posts in this topic

In light of some disease fish being found and an increase in fishing pressure I would like to see a slot limit on walleyes to protect our great fishery. Perhaps 3 fish limit allowing one over 26" and a 18-26" slot. Better to error on the cautious side than to try to react to things after the population crashes. I have mentioned this to DEC and research biologist so perhaps if more individuals contacted them something would be done. We have a great resource but I want future generations to enjoy it as well. Better to error on the safe side.

 

 

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Absolutely we have to protect the prime spawners.  The question is what size range are those fish.  I'm all in favor of taking no fish in that range and definitely err on the side of caution.  The SLR is a world class fishery and we all need to think long term.  Everybody needs to use their voice now rather than rant later. I think this could be done statewide. What could it hurt to take a few less fish for a few years at least just be sure the fisheries remains sustainable.

 

Kevin,

Post the number you want us to call and I certainly will and will put the word out.

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I'm certainly no expert so don't know what the slot limit should be but anything is better than nothing. I would also encourage individuals that are culling fish to be vigilant of what they release as those caught from deeper waters often pop their stomachs and don't survive. Perhaps they should require that you take the first three legal fish and not allow culling as well.

DEC Region 6 and NYS Fisheries Research Unit have the same contact numbers.

Phone 315-654-2147

Email fwfish6dec.ny.gov

 

 

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Yes to a "slot limit"......Some additional measure to protect strong breeding fish is needed. Particularly during ice fishing.

 

 

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Per the NY fishing guide I believe culling walleye is actually illegal. There is a note stating that it is okay for bass.

Page 50 under Taking and Possession. Any fish caught once you have your limit has to be returned. Of course you could still cull with 2 fish in the box?

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/fishguide.pdf

I have only fished the river 4 or 5 times and I have only seen a handful of boats in all of my trips. I fish Oneida regularly and the pressure there is substantial. I assume there is heavy pressure in certain areas of the river?

A slot limit definitely can't hurt. Just remember that the older females will be less fertile so there is a sweet spot of the best breeders.

For example it might be best to actually release the 20" - 26" fish. So you would have a protected slot of 20"-26", keeping 2 or 3 fish from 18"-20" and only 1 fish over 26".

Here is an example of that in the Midwest.

http://www.lakevermilionresorts.com/fishing/walleye


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I'm sure based on what you're saying you guys self impose a slot. I personally make a lot of trips to the river in summer for walleyes and rarely keep any larger walleyes. Unless the fish is hurt on the fight or I cannot get it revived which has unfortunately happened before I release any walleyes over 8lbs. If I could pick and choose I'd take 3 just barely legal walleyes and catch one ten pounder for the fight a picture and a release. I have fortunately seen a few guys putting the big walleyes back this year. Love seeing it

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Not sure what the ideal slot would be but from my experience 18-20 inchers are not numerous and I've only caught a handful of sub 18" but 20-24 inchers are quite abundant. Research biologist also told me very large females (say over 10 lbs) are indeed less fertile than those somewhat smaller. Maybe protect the 24-29" fish. In many places with a slot you can actually keep walleyes under 18". One problem with a band on a certain slot is that some of the deeper caught fish won't survive if released. I'm sure the biologist have or can gather data on what would be best for the SLR and Eastern Lake Ontario. The point is let's see if something can be done to protect the resource.

One other issue is that charter captain that target walleyes in May and the fall likely wouldn't support this as most of their take is comprised of the big slob females.

 

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Slot limits never work.  Just look how they work in the Midwest. Not so good.  With the amount of fish caught below thirty feet in the river a lot of fish would never survive being released.

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Personally I like to put them back until I feel they have had a few spawns to replace themselves for the fish I eat. I don't have to fish below 30 feet for walleye here so that isnt a concern for me.  Here on Otisco the fish grow fast, but don't live as long, so the ideal breeder is prob 22-24 in my opinion.  I like to keep the 24+ as they aren't as viable as spawners here.  I also limit myself to 2.  A couple 7-8 pounders is perfect!  

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Personally I like to put them back until I feel they have had a few spawns to replace themselves for the fish I eat. I don't have to fish below 30 feet for walleye here so that isnt a concern for me.  Here on Otisco the fish grow fast, but don't live as long, so the ideal breeder is prob 22-24 in my opinion.  I like to keep the 24+ as they aren't as viable as spawners here.  I also limit myself to 2.  A couple 7-8 pounders is perfect!  

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Hopefully any change would also include lake Ontario. Many breeding fish are taken on Chaumont Bay, BRB, and other bays during ice fishing season. It would be nice to see more governance over harvested fish at that critical time when the fish stack up for spawning. Some percentage of the these spawning fish hail from the SLR.

 

 

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I catch many walleyes shallower than 35 feet and they seem fine when released. Much deeper does present major problems. In Bay of Quinte you are allowed 4 fish any size but only one over 25 1/4 ". One thing I know for sure is any kept fish has zero chance of survival and released fish have some chance. However, hate to see released fish that will die and are wasted.

 

 

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There is no such thing as a cake walk in walleye fishing, but as LakeO is on the rebound with the walleyes it would be nice to see some sort of preservation put forth to keep on the rebound!! But on the same note not all eye fisherman are as successful as some painting a picture it's easy to catch 3 eyes. Where maybe in the river some have it down to a science as we see with pics of limits. I just wonder how many are that successful in the on open water? Yes I would like to see more activity from the NY Fish Commission on the known areas on the ice. I icefished in Maine, 45 min on a snowmobile to get there and we got checked every day, so it can be done, without policing all of us. To me it's a double edge sword, again those that struggle and catch one in the slot has to put it back, while others freezers are full.  Well fire at will I'm about to push the send button:tmi: LOL

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Actually ,Irish Bouy, my sources say they do not stock walleyes in Quinte and I believe the population there has bounced back from low numbers and few years back after the size restriction on large fish was implemented. Also the SLR Walleye Association does stock fingerling walleyes in the Ogdensburg vicinity and down river.
Pap, perhaps as in Quinte you would not actually have a slot where you can't keep any but allow only one fish over a certain size (say 25-26") That way you could harvest 1 larger fish (trophy) and prevent a deeply hooked fish from being wasted.


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Actually Quinte stock of breeders came under great fishing pressure with the birth of social media.


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I've been fishing Quinty for about 30 years. Lots more fishing pressure than there use to be. A good friend ( Mr Walleye) has a camp there and we have fished spring ,winter, and fall. Zebra mussels and fishing pressure put a hurt on the walleyes but they appear to be bouncing back. Some of the biggest I've taken have been there in the fall and through the ice. These are likely migratory fish that spend much of their time out in the lake.
I may be wrong on original stocking but Mr Walleye said they don't stock and an article I looked up said the stocking wasn't very successful.


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Slot limits never work.  Just look how they work in the Midwest. Not so good.  With the amount of fish caught below thirty feet in the river a lot of fish would never survive being released.


With all respect I have to disagree. Slots can be quite effective. They seem to work well in places like Minnesota by way of example. Also, 70% of the walleye I catch on the river are 40fow and less. Most come from 25-35fow and all are eager to rejoin their fellow compatriots when released.


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The St Lawrence Valley sportsman club actually collects and hatches over a million eggs every year.SLR Walleye assc then raises some in ponds and the remainder of fry are released in Ogdensburg.

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I am very happy to see this thread!!  This particular forum always has multiple active threads with pictures of large dead fish, stories of multiple limits being taken, and stories of coolers getting stuffed night after night.  Of course that is all legal, but like the original poster said, a body of water can only sustain a certain amount of harvest.

 

Maybe the SLR can handle the current level of harvest, but maybe it can't.  You never know until it's too late.

 

Slot limits are great and I support them.  But even MORE important are lower creel limits.  I like the idea of 3, but I'd even support 2 and maybe even 1. 

 

Walleye, more than any other fish, are susceptible to over-harvest.  They are fun to catch and taste delicious.  They are also sensitive to spawning habitat disruption.  Countless lakes and rivers in the Northern US and Canada have had walleye populations crushed due to over-harvest.  Southern Ontario experienced this and it has taken over a decade of tough regulations to bring the populations back up.

 

The SLR walleye fishery is very solid right now.  It takes some figuring out and some dedication .... but once you dial it in there is no better place for quality fish in the entire US that I know if.  Heck, you have to go to NW Ontario to find so many big fish as far as I'm concerned.  I'd hate to see that ruined. 

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After discussion this with fishery biologists I find that they feel the walleye population is doing well with fish of all age classes present. However, they are unsure of where river fish are spawning. They also said if spawning site could be identified adding gravel to these sites can greatly improve spawning success. That type of habitat improvement has been shown to be very successful in other areas. He didn't believe any change in regulations was needed at this time and didn't believe that over harvesting was an issue with current regulations.


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