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> Is the walleye population decreasing?
 
yes or no
yes [ 10 ]  [16.39%]
no [ 30 ]  [49.18%]
hard to tell [ 21 ]  [34.43%]
Total Votes: 61
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FishBio
Posted on Feb 07, 2019 - 06:26 pm


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https://www.canr.msu.edu/qfc/publications/p...ts/T2016-02.pdf

A more robust evidence-based review of the Lake Nipissing Walleye population and fisheries management can be found in the publication from the Quantitative Fisheries Centre.

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tjames
Posted on Feb 08, 2019 - 09:41 am


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QUOTE (fishfearus @ Feb 06, 2019 - 07:34 am)
QUOTE (Longshank @ Feb 05, 2019 - 10:40 pm)
QUOTE (fishfearus @ Feb 05, 2019 - 08:24 pm)
Fishing on your own?
We have always caught walleye, not much keepers though,

If referring to me. yes that is correct.

My better half comes up with me, but rarely fishes, maybe 1 of the 3 days

Used to go with larger groups, just find it more fun and peacefull with 2 of us.


Deal with fishing clients all spring, summer and fall, so nice to get away once in a while on our own

Sorry was asking tjames where he was fishing?

we go out with a hut operator, hence 16 guys and 3 days.

I believe the operators are setup closer to South Bay. There is a lot of huts where we go (permanent ones).

We've used the same operator each time.

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Longshank
Posted on Feb 08, 2019 - 01:10 pm


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no worries tjames…….fishing seems to be either hot or cold this year based on reports to date here.


spent some time reading the report link. quite interesting....I see some clear messenging there.


3 basic issues not quite resolved yet for the fishery. I will leave it at that

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landonfish
Posted on Feb 09, 2019 - 10:31 am


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I see it possible between a couple guys as me and 3 buds did it back in the end of January over the course of a weekend. Some of us had 10-15 fish days (eyes) x4 people is believable.

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Northhunter
Posted on Feb 10, 2019 - 06:01 pm


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Don't believe the population is decreasing. Fishing was outstanding last winter, all winter.. just not for perch. Re; 70 fish weekends... it's not "fake news". Our trip last year we did 60 between Fri eve and Saturday. 2 guys. I caught the bulk. Could only fish 1 line at times.. it was that steady. This year 3 guys.. 3 'eyes. We were in one of the better huts apparently. Just the way she goes...

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Chevy
Posted on Feb 10, 2019 - 07:51 pm


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So bottom line, what do you guys think about the season. Lack of fish ? Weather ? With the way the past few seasons have gone I was quick to think banner numbers with much more keepers being reported this year. Not so. I've personally gone 4 seasons ( 5 trips) with not a single keeper. Although I've been fortunate to catch some decent numbers.
Maybe this yo yo weather is to blame. What do you guys think.
Also, with all that being said, I've found the number of reports/ success down across this entire board.

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Backroadsfishing
Posted on Feb 10, 2019 - 08:08 pm


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I personally think the NFN netting is catching most of the larger fish (net size is 3.75") and the smaller 17" and under walleye are able to get through the nets. That's why we are catching a large numbers of eyes but very few keepers. I could be wrong but that's what I believe. I live in Callander and I have a fishing trip planned north of here were the limit is 4 eyes and only 1 over 46 cm.

I happy to hear that everyone is still coming north to support out local outfitters. After all, it's about the weekend getaway with the boys/girls with some fishing. A few keepers would really be nice though.

Cheers

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ldub
Posted on Feb 10, 2019 - 08:24 pm


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QUOTE (Backroadsfishing @ Feb 10, 2019 - 08:08 pm)
I personally think the NFN netting is catching most of the larger fish (net size is 3.75") and the smaller 17" and under walleye are able to get through the nets. That's why we are catching a large numbers of eyes but very few keepers. I could be wrong but that's what I believe. I live in Callander and I have a fishing trip planned north of here were the limit is 4 eyes and only 1 over 46 cm.

I happy to hear that everyone is still coming north to support out local outfitters. After all, it's about the weekend getaway with the boys/girls with some fishing. A few keepers would really be nice though.

Cheers

NAILED IT

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Northhunter
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 12:26 am


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QUOTE (Chevy @ Feb 10, 2019 - 07:51 pm)
So bottom line, what do you guys think about the season. Lack of fish ? Weather ? With the way the past few seasons have gone I was quick to think banner numbers with much more keepers being reported this year. Not so. I've personally gone 4 seasons ( 5 trips) with not a single keeper. Although I've been fortunate to catch some decent numbers.
Maybe this yo yo weather is to blame. What do you guys think.
Also, with all that being said, I've found the number of reports/ success down across this entire board.

I made a post last year stating more or less that this years fishing would be back to normal, as that's just how this lake seems to work. Last year was a banner winter. The fishing has been very good this year too, January was hot and the perch are back. But we are in February now and have had some wicked cold stretches. January wasn't first ice either, as when the season opened it had been froze over for 6 weeks.That's gonna play a role. Overall I am hearing of more legal fish being caught by guys using operators this year. They are always being caught, but not so much by guys that put all their cards on a couple days a year and don't have the liberty of picking their spot. It's like playing the lottery.

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Grumpa
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 12:27 pm


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Everybody take a breath...relax. The fishery looks like it's recovering fine.
Most of the posted studies and data reviews identified here have already been heavily discussed and debated, on this board, upon original release. They're already a couple years dated, old news...no new revelations..nothing new to see here...move along.
The fact we haven't seen any big uptick in 'new' spawning females during the spring spawning assessments has everything to do with the species growth and maturity patterns. Female walleye generally take 2+ years longer to mature and reach spawning age, then the males. Female fish growth dynamics start to exceed their male counter parts over time. An increase or over abundance of spawning males each spring at the spawning sites on Nipissing is exactly what would be expected at this point in the current 10 year recovery cycle that began in 2014.
The spring spawning assessments are the most critical data collection period in the overall measurement of the walleye population.
Mature aged spawning fish are heavily concentrated in historically known locations, during a narrow time window, where they can be easily sampled and analyzed.
If the fishery is fully recovering, the OMNRF should start seeing increased numbers of new spawning females, each year now, going forward. A good number of the spawning female fish that we're previously showing up each spring, were fish already in the system when the current regulations and recovery was introduced in 2014.
The agreed upon 'reduced' commercial fishing quotas are being maintained (at least according to the monitored results collected). Early cessation of commercial fishing is 'voluntarily' continuing each year when the commercial quotas are reached. For the most part everyone is sticking to the agreed upon recovery program.
I take some confidence in the fact that the OMNRF is staying the course, hasn't deviated or altered the recovery process/regulations since implementation back in the spring of 2014. Prior that, the regulations were changed 4 times in 8 short years...evidencing a fishery in trouble and under stress.
As Northhunter is suggesting...we shouldn't excessively judge the state of the walleye population based solely on hard water results....particularly from the commercial operators. General hut location and movements are based on the operators input, experience and knowledge. Fish movements aren't static...they can vary year to year dependent on forage movements, water levels, dissolved oxygen content, extreme weather and barometric changes, fishing pressure....numerous factors. It's time consuming and labour intensive to drastically and repeatedly move hut locations. If the commercial operators get their locations right, throughout the season...could be a banner winter...but even slightly off...the results, maybe not so good, one year to the next.
Spawning assessments (and to a lesser extent, Fall index netting results) plus open water creel results (where all fishermen can easily, freely and frequently move anywhere on the lake in search of fish) are probably a better indicator how the overall fishery is progressing.
The anecdotal evidence from those of us on the lake heavily fishing every summer, in all conditions, throughout the open water season...is very positive. Total walleye numbers up...larger fish from the pre (and post) 2014 population rebuilding spawns....are starting to slowly appear.
IMO the fishery looks fine....clearly much improved since 5 years ago. Nipissings' specific walleye growth patterns should start producing more fish in excess of 18" over the next several years.
Patience for a few more seasons should provide the evidence necessary to assess how successful the recovery has been.

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FishBio
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 12:57 pm


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Just one slight correction. Spawning assessments were conducted from1968 to 1998 with the longest time series from the Wasi Falls site (every year from 1974 to 1998). No Walleye sawning assessments were conducted on Lake Nipissing from 1999 to 2012. Assessments at Wasi Falls were started up again in 2013 and ran until 2017. No Walleye spawning assessments have taken place over the last two years.

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kenster
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 01:37 pm


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One aspect of the assessments on Nipissing walleye may be overlooked.In all my years of fishing the Lake I have never seen a Big male fish.Likewise with perch,if its big its female.
So what that tells me is there may be a serious shortage of female to male ratio's.If that is the case the present slot will not work and will eliminate the good breeding stock.I tend to think males outnumber the females drastically and always did.Is there any data that looks at male numbers versus female.We may very well have a lake full of small male fish.Perhaps pollution or genetics present reproductive issues obscuring or clouding true results.
Hopefully present day fishing restrictions are beneficial and reviving the fishery although I remain skeptical.

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Northhunter
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 02:05 pm


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Kenster - walleye experience something called sexual size dimorphism. Males grow significantly slower once they reach sexual maturity. Has to do with energy/reserves expelled during spring spawning runs. My understanding is when it comes to male walleye anything much over 20 inches is pretty well a trophy. Those 30" fish are all females.

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kenster
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 03:10 pm


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Northhunter> agreed,I figured as much,same with the perch.What i'd like to know is of the 99% small walleye caught what the ratio of females are.I would guess they don't carry eggs until mature so in a creel census can they tell how many are female without killing them because very FEW make it big.

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FishBio
Posted on Feb 11, 2019 - 03:17 pm


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Walleye sampled during the winter and open water creel surveys are measured for length (total length) with scales and a spiny dorsal spine or two are collected for later age interpretation.

Sex ratio data is collected during the fall index netting survey.

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