Eric Jacobson does a great job of challenging the DNR’s inexplicable self-defeating tactic of preserving (rather than conserving) the Mille Lacs 2013 year class of walleyes. How good does the fishing have to be? Mille Lacs Messenger, July 2, 2021.
Jacobson points out that while walleye fishing on Mille Lacs lake has been “nothing short of phenomenal,” the DNR continues to jigger slot limits to always exclude the 2013 year class of walleyes. That same slot limit exclusion also denies most anglers their preferred size walleye to eat, generally anywhere from 15-17 inches.
He points out that intentionally protecting that class of fish creates a giant eating machine that will cannibalize small walleyes whenever there is a shortage of forage. It also restores the cycle of failed class years Mille Lacs has experienced many times in the recent past. We can count on this coming again despite all the costly studies–and the DNR’s own admission–that slots and cannibalism are the problem.
Finally, Jacobson asks, why is the DNR spreading the propaganda of declining walleye stock to justify “drum-tight regulations”? “It’s not the Band – they take less than their allocation most years. It’s definitely not the anglers, so who?”
PERM suggests Jacobson add to his insightful analysis with a look at the ever-present politics driving Mille Lacs “co-management.”