Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Late ice-out could hamper Fond du Lac fish harvest

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 4/19/18

REGIONAL— The Fond du Lac Band has issued its declarations for spring spearing on lakes in the 1854 Treaty area, although the late warm-up this year could significantly alter the planned harvest on …

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Late ice-out could hamper Fond du Lac fish harvest

Posted

REGIONAL— The Fond du Lac Band has issued its declarations for spring spearing on lakes in the 1854 Treaty area, although the late warm-up this year could significantly alter the planned harvest on area lakes.

Birch Lake, near Babbitt, could see the largest harvest in the region, with a total declaration of 5,837 pounds of walleye. The west end of Vermilion is also on the list, with the usual limit of 2,500 pounds. Other area lakes subject to walleye harvest include Crane Lake (1,418 pounds), and Bear Island Lake (1,248 pounds).

Whether band members actually reach those limits remains to be seen. Tribal conservation officials select certain lakes each year, but that does not mean that band members always take advantage of the opportunity, particularly if conditions are difficult. This year, anticipated late ice-outs could also impact the harvest according to Brian Borkholder, inland fisheries biologist for Fond du Lac. During late ice-outs, Borkholder said walleye will frequently spawn under the ice, making it difficult to effectively net or spear fish.

And once the fishing opener arrives, tribal officials prefer to leave the public accesses available for the non-native angling public.

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Shaking my head

Treaty or not, leave the darn fish be until they are done spawning. Please?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018