1. WA liberalizing walleye limits ‘cuz of “orca crisis?”
If I’m reading this right, it sounds like folks THINK walleye are hurting the salmon population…and killer whales love them some salmon dinners…so less walleye is supposed to = happier whale populations:
> The new rules, which will go into effect mid-Feb, remove size limits and daily limits on rivers and streams throughout the state — the rules also double the daily limits for most species on 77 lakes….
> According to a WDFW presentation to the commission Saturday, 500 people supported liberalized bass and walleye limits. Those in favor were concerned that the nonnative fish were killing salmon and hurting endangered native species, like orca. They also believed broadly that protecting native fish and wildlife is more important than protecting nonnative predators.
2. SD: 2019 license sales down $1.5 mil.
Fishing and hunting are part of a billion-dollar industry in SoDak. License sales were down $1.5 mil in 2019 [!] which is a trend Game & Fish for sure isn’t about:
> “Surveys and reports show that the number of nonresidents — those who pay higher license fees to hunt, fish and trap — is declining.”
Guess that might be one negative of being too tight-lipped when good bites are happenin’.
3. ON: What’s happenin’ w/ Lake Scugog’s walleye pop.
MNRF banned walleye fishing there back in 2016 to help boost the population…4 years later, it’s still in its “very early stages” and “may take many years to see improvement of the walleye population.”
This write-up talks about a bunch of different factors going on with Scugog, ‘cuz it’s not just recreation fishing that’s impacted (or impacting) the fishery..
4. ND: Record-high water levels a good thing.
Can make the accesses a mess, but fisheries chief Greg Power says the high water might’ve saved 30-40 lakes from winterkill this year.
5. MN: LOW walleye numbers way up.
According to the fall population survey, Lake of the Woods had an average of 18.3 walleyes per net…well above the management goal of 14.
What’s that mean? I’d say it’s a dang good winter to plan a roadtrip.
6. Some custom-painted goodness.
Phantom Tillys come in some awesome stock colors, but how fish-sexy are these treats done-up by Matthew Fairbank? #Dibs
Matt’s a walleye-nut and combat vet — hit him up here on IG.
7. MB finally getting e-licensing in Apr.
One of the few places I even know of where you need to get the old-school handwritten paper licenses ‘stead of being able to buy one online. Nothing wrong with that — and always like to support stoppin’ in local businesses — but made it super tough for us out-of-towners coming through after business hours.
8. WY: $10K reward for catching a burbot?!
Burbs were “illegally introduced” to Fontenelle and Flaming Gorge Rezs, and area fisheries biologists are concerned ‘cuz they:
> “…compete with sport fish for food and are a voracious predator. Burbot eat prized sport fish like kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass and trout that would otherwise be available for anglers to catch.”
So they hold several derbies each season to help wipe ’em out.
Couple of those are the Burbot Bash set for Jan 24-26 on Flaming Gorge Rez, and the La Barge Ding-the-Ling happenin’ Feb 7-9 on Fontenelle. Folks compete for most, biggest and smallest burbot, and have a shot at catching a couple of tagged-and-released burbs worth $5K and $10K.
> “Anglers are encouraged to take advantage of improving ice conditions and do their part for the sport fisheries by removing as many burbot as possible from local waters. Every burbot removed is a savings in sport fish.”
So get your burbot on and maybe get your payday on.
9. G. Loomis’ Bruce Holt is retiring after 34 years.
10. Fish stress hormone could accumulate in scales.
Not sure that this is gonna change how any of us do anything, but it’s an interesting new area of research:
> “The finding means measuring cortisol levels in scales could offer a simple, minimally invasive glimpse into fish well-being, allowing scientists to better understand how they are coping with agricultural, industrial or biodiversity changes.”
11. IL/MI: Asian carp making their way to Lake Michigan.