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> Nip sustainability, Size of Walleye in Nip
FishBait
Posted: Jun 26, 2018 - 09:39 am


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Now that another season of walleye fishing is done for me, this is my observation:
1) I have been fishing the Nip for twenty years, specifically in Callander Bay
2) Dating back for the past 10 years- The catch rate, in terms of numbers, has significantly increased from an average of about 3-5 per day to well over 10-20 per day.
3) The average size of the walleye has increased but not at the same rate.
4) Six years ago when I first experienced the new slot requirements I caught 1 keeper. The average size was about 31 cm. About 10 a day.
5) Four years ago I caught 2 keepers. The average size was about 36 cm. Incredible numbers of walleye- 300 plus between 4 people but only two keepers.
6) Two years ago I caught 2 keepers. Average size was about 36 cm. Not as many walleyes per day as the last trip but still a lot.
7) This year: 4 keepers. The average size was about 38 cm.

Observation: while the catch rate has increased significantly the size has not. You would expect the year class from 6 years ago to have matured well over the 40 cm mark but they have not.
My opinion is that the gill netting and commercial fishing is taking out the walleye at a faster rate than they can mature.
No amount of angler fishing is going to significantly impact the mature walleye population.
The walleye population may recover; however, it will never reach 40 plus with the current non angling actions.

Drastic as it may seem, if you really want the lake to truly recover then ban all netting, commercial and native, for at least a year, if not two.

My opinion based off of my personal experience fishing the Nip.

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Warlock
Posted: Jun 27, 2018 - 05:59 pm


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IMO netting of any kind(except smelts) needs to be banned on any inland body of water.Good to see some improvement over the years in size/numbers though.

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kenster
Posted: Jun 28, 2018 - 07:35 am


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Unfortunately Natives have first rights and the needs of a few out way the needs of many.Twenty years of conservation by anglers has not worked but at least finally acknowledged by Band Council.Ontario Liberals helped financially endorse the commercial aspect with cash and open market [ Mpp Smith ]at a time when anglers limits were cut.
Also there are a large number card holders living off Reserve,Metis and Native alike who have no restrictions and do not follow any rules.
This topic has been beat to death and don't usually comment anymore as it seems futile.
I only winter fish for perch and realize exploitation by some will only stop when the species is gone.

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remi
Posted: Jul 02, 2018 - 07:00 am


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It's only made worse when abandoned 1000 ft nets are found full of keeper size walleye as well as other species of fish. We try to be responsible anglers, but others don't give a crap.

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Fossy47
Posted: Jul 02, 2018 - 09:46 am


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Let us all hope it does not come down to that (Walleye stock eliminated).

We need all 'the stewards of the land', on both side (anglers and FN) to be proative to
protect & grow a tremendous fishery we both enjoy. If we don't, once it is gone it is gone and it isn't coming back.

IMO, legality really has nothing to do with it, is common sense...for common good & benefit right? Common sense can't be legislated.

We'll see what happens,

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Sterling
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 09:52 am


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Folks, let's keep in mind the progress Nipissing has made in the last 5-6 years. Sports angling pressure on the lake has been alleviated tremendously thanks to new regs and the 95% of anglers who follow its slot rules.

Nipissing First Nations has done a great job curtailing commercial netting and in fact most of that has stopped aside from 2-3 parties. The inside scoop is that NFN is no longer split down the middle on the issue. It's not 50/50 anymore or even 90/10, more like 99/1.

It is my belief that once those groups are done there will be no more commercial netting on Nipissing. The occasional seasonal and cultural netting will continue but this has virtually no impact on a lake as productive as Nipissing. Commercial netting on the other hand is shameful and IMO its practitioners are spitting in the face of their ancestors who signed treaties to protect the cultural and spiritual rights to fish. What would their ancestors think were they alive and witnessing supposed stewards of nature gill netting tens of thousands of fish to sell to white man for cash money? And then throwing out bycatch, which is, by the way, mostly composed of perfectly edible but not commercially viable fish...

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Longshank
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 01:50 pm


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For original poster.

I agree with you 100% years and years of hard work and still we are not there

sustenance fishing is within treaty rights. commercial could and should be argued to highest levels of courts till they are gone

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kenster
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 02:32 pm


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Sterling: I believe you are mistaken but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.Commercial fishing is still ongoing and will continue as such by about 30 registered Native fisherman.The Council is trying to mandate restrictions on amounts and timelines around spawning.The problems are the unknown fishermen and the ones who disagree.Perhaps shutting down the commercial aspect of the availability of Nipissing walleye would be a start.

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Grumpa
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 04:58 pm


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I absolutely hate now when this topic resurfaces every year...and I'd decided not to chime in this year...as I've done every year since the topic of commercial fishing and sustainability reared it's ugly head on this board.
But it seems like this thread just won't die and fade away.
It's a topic that draws excessive negative comments and feedback each and every year. This message board is better suited (IMO) for positive input and discussion, and a platform for proud anglers to display fishing accomplishments...then for finger pointing and accusations of fault and blame, or the rehashing of old wounds. I'm quite sure the board Moderators would more than agree with that assessment.
Nipissing has made huge strides forward since the current sportsfishing regs were introduced in May 2014.
We are now finally seeing the results of a well thought out and implemented recovery plan. Walleye numbers are skyrocketing. The fisheries current management plan worked off of a population rebuild starting with the very productive 2011 & 12 spawns. The fish from those years are now increasingly showing up in anglers 'keeper' catches and the OMNRF's creel surveys.
Every 'healthy, self sustaining' fish population basically resembles a pyramid, for lack of a better description. A few larger older fish at the top....and many smaller, younger fish at the base. Nipissing' walleye population is just now starting to show that type balance and those dynamics once again.....after many years in a spiralling decline.
My own 'personal' observations this summer and last, for what they are worth, are that the catch rates are up (we are averaging 15-20 pickerel an hour based on two anglers...and about one 18" fish, or bigger, now every 10-12 fish caught). And some anglers, camp operators/charters are doing much better then that....I think the numbers posted on this board recently by Cranman exceeded those averages by quite a bit.
The current chief of the NFN has done a tremendous job in rallying the native commercial fishermen and establishing the need for a controlled sustainable fishery. This is the first time that I can recall in 50 years that there was a willing and dedicated effort do so. The majority of stakeholders are now finally on the same page.
In conjunction with the OMNRF commercial fishermen have agreed repeatedly to curtailing commercial fishing activities (as early as late August) each and every summer now, when the established 'agreed upon' commercial quotas have been reached.
As has been stated, there are fewer commercial fishing licences on the lake then in the past. I was told as few as 18...maybe I'm wrong on that number, but it certainly isn't many.
Yes...we still have problems with the amount of commercial by-catch being dumped and wasted each season....and yes, we still have isolated reports of unmarked ghost nets full of fish being found and reported. But there's also still sports fishing violations reported and prosecuted every season as well.
There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides....irrespective of which activity is the most harmful to the fishery.
Commercial fishing on Nipissing, in one form or another, will continue into the future....it's guaranteed by treaty rights....end of story. If it's done strictly from a jointly agreed sustainability perspective, there shouldn't be a lot of beefing from anyone on either side of the equation.
Sooo...let's rejoice in the current state of the Nipissing fishery. It's finally showing positive results and trends after many failed corrective measures over the last 15 years.
If everyone sticks to the script, we'll all get the fishery back to where it was in the 1970's and 80's. There's no reason, based on the progress we've made to date, that we can't get there.

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Neil
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 06:24 pm


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Well said Grumpa!

Neil

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Cranman
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 07:54 pm


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QUOTE (Grumpa @ Jul 03, 2018 - 04:58 pm)
I absolutely hate now when this topic resurfaces every year...and I'd decided not to chime in this year...as I've done every year since the topic of commercial fishing and sustainability reared it's ugly head on this board.
But it seems like this thread just won't die and fade away.
It's a topic that draws excessive negative comments and feedback each and every year. This message board is better suited (IMO) for positive input and discussion, and a platform for proud anglers to display fishing accomplishments...then for finger pointing and accusations of fault and blame, or the rehashing of old wounds. I'm quite sure the board Moderators would more than agree with that assessment.
Nipissing has made huge strides forward since the current sportsfishing regs were introduced in May 2014.
We are now finally seeing the results of a well thought out and implemented recovery plan. Walleye numbers are skyrocketing. The fisheries current management plan worked off of a population rebuild starting with the very productive 2011 & 12 spawns. The fish from those years are now increasingly showing up in anglers 'keeper' catches and the OMNRF's creel surveys.
Every 'healthy, self sustaining' fish population basically resembles a pyramid, for lack of a better description. A few larger older fish at the top....and many smaller, younger fish at the base. Nipissing' walleye population is just now starting to show that type balance and those dynamics once again.....after many years in a spiralling decline.
My own 'personal' observations this summer and last, for what they are worth, are that the catch rates are up (we are averaging 15-20 pickerel and hour with two in the boat...and about one 18" fish, or bigger, now every 10-12 fish caught). And some anglers, camp operators/charters are doing much better then that....I think the numbers posted on this board recently by Cranman exceeded those averages by quite a bit.
The current chief of the NFN has done a tremendous job in rallying the native commercial fishermen and establishing the need for a controlled sustainable fishery. This is the first time that I can recall in 50 years that there was a willing and dedicated effort do so. The majority of stakeholders are now finally on the same page.
In conjunction with the OMNRF commercial fishermen have agreed repeatedly to curtailing commercial fishing activities (as early as late August) each and every summer now, when the established 'agreed upon' commercial quotas have been reached.
As has been stated, there are much few commercial fishing licences on the lake then in the past. I was told as few as 18...maybe I'm wrong on that number, but it certainly isn't many.
Yes...we still have problems with the amount of commercial by-catch being dumped and wasted each season....and yes, we still have isolated reports of unmarked ghost news full of fish being found and reported. But there's also still sports fishing violations reported and prosecuted every season as well.
There's plenty of blame to go around on both sides....irrespective of which activity is the most harmful to the fishery.
Commercial fishing on Nipissing, in one form or another, will continue into the future....it's guaranteed by treaty rights....end of story. If it's done strictly from a jointly agreed sustainability perspective, there shouldn't be a lot of beefing from anyone on either side of the equation.
Sooo...let's rejoice in the current state of the Nipissing fishery. It's finally showing positive results and trends after many failed corrective measures over the last 15 years.
If everyone sticks to the script, we'll all get the fishery back to where it was in the 1970 and 80's. There no reason, based on the progress we've made to date, that we can't get there.

As always Grumpa, you articulate the situation perfectly. I am sorry for not posting more often - my home and biz down south keep me busy, along with lots of golf. I must publicly apologize to Fishchaser as we have not fished together since the end of ice fishing, but he did get that hawg on one of my spots and front page of the newspaper....I think every resort and restaurant has his picture up,....I hope he is getting some free drinks

The walleye fishing this spring has been incredible, like the winter. Ridiculous really. Double and triple headers non stop. Those not catching keepers - my thought is that there are so many 15-17 inchers that they grab a bait very quickly before the big mamas have a chance. My suggestion, use something different - not the typical jig and minnow or worm....scare the little one's off. But release those 18+ when caught if we all want this fishery to continue to boom. Personally I hope the slot changes shortly - maybe one below 18, one above....
And please remember the musky slot.....and what can/cannot be kept with conservation license. Killing a musky is a sin in my books unless it is 60 inches get a replica made

I go way up to Ontario north every year for musky with a little walleye thrown in - Nip is more productive.

My hope - Grumpa runs for govt! I have met him as he stopped by my place a few years ago. He has the looks and lingo. Grumpa for PM!

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Sterling
Posted: Jul 03, 2018 - 09:26 pm


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QUOTE (kenster @ Jul 03, 2018 - 02:32 pm)
Sterling: I believe you are mistaken but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.Commercial fishing is still ongoing and will continue as such by about 30 registered Native fisherman.The Council is trying to mandate restrictions on amounts and timelines around spawning.The problems are the unknown fishermen and the ones who disagree.Perhaps shutting down the commercial aspect of the availability of Nipissing walleye would be a start.

I see the 30 number circulated here and there but that's just how many people joined the lawsuit vs the MNRF. This might be wrong. According to my source within the NFN there are 2-3 parties (I suspect these are families) commercially fishing the lake. Of these a few are challenging the nation itself.

This small contingent indeed consists of a tiny minority of the NFN. As grumpa pointed out, I agree that the lake has a bright future and that we're headed in the right direction.

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Fishchaser67
Posted: Jul 04, 2018 - 08:40 am


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No need to apologize Cranman i understand your biz keeps you very busy im shure and growing every day ... I still get exited when i think of the walter we got last ice season .i framed the pic and look at it every day . your the best guide a fisherman can have 100% in my books ..Tight Lines ...Jacques

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Longshank
Posted: Jul 04, 2018 - 12:00 pm


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Yes, I agree on the point of that I swore to myself not to get into this particular topic again and failed. when I do, I usually just put out bullet points....like em or leave them, up to you.

will do my utmost not to get involved again on the site

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FatRap
Posted: Jul 04, 2018 - 12:32 pm


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QUOTE (Grumpa @ Jul 03, 2018 - 06:58 pm)
This message board is better suited (IMO) for positive input and discussion, and a platform for proud anglers to display fishing accomplishments...then for finger pointing and accusations of fault and blame, or the rehashing of old wounds. I'm quite sure the board Moderators would more than agree with that assessment.

I agree 100 per cent

Well written as usual Grumpa, your words are always appreciated on here.

If you decide to take Cranmans advise to run for PM you will have my vote for sure

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