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2018 fishing change's ?

Discussion in 'Detroit River and Lake Erie' started by 50incher, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. 50incher

    50incher

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    Again, I truly appreciate the discussion !....but I am still on the fence....

    Outside of the mandatory harvest report, how will/could the impact of the new law be "monitored" ?....that would seem extremely difficult to impossible to me, except for a very long term "study" being ongoing and that would = years ?....

    I can not speak to inland lakes whatsoever....and not much on lake St. Clair, but I have spent a lifetime on the Detroit river....more hours than most would believe, I'm not necessarily very book smart, lol....but Musky numbers are in the tank on the Detroit river compared from the 80's thru the early 2000"s....pure and simple....

    Our laymen observation is that the Musky #'s were pretty much in step with the Walleye #'s.....Walleye was up and so were the Musky....but then we had "redspot" and now VHS.... and Walleye #'s have been low for several years during the summer compared to years past, ask any old handliner....and the Musky #'s have followed....many other changes also, with invasive species etc....

    I'm opening other cans of worms and it's complicated I know, and apologize for belabouring the subject....the last curious thing to me is.....was there no interaction with fisheries people from Ontario ?....especially when relating to great lakes inter connecting water.....

    On a side note, but also equals an unanswered and ongoing ????....I have not seen a Mudpuppy on this river in many years....they used to be pretty common....guess I have as many or more questions than answers, lol....

    Thanks again, cheers...and I guess if I get lucky, my 40 lb Musky might weigh 50 lbs if I catch her while still full of eggs....lol.....cheers....
     
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  2. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    We find many less mudpuppies at work than we used to... just in the course of 10 years.
     

  3. vano397

    vano397

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    I'm just a musky nut, so hopefully others can chime in on the other questions. There have been some Walleye studies and surveys done on LSC, etc. that have shown a direct correlation with water clarity and fish populations. Hint, fish like dirty water! I am sure that effects everything including mudpuppies, but it is a curious question! I'll do some digging, and also contacting Sara Thomas thomass35@michigan.gov might be the best option.
    As for the Ontario MNR, the regulations have always been different anyhow, so I am not sure they needed to. Though they are certainly aware! I do know that other states are watching closely to see how it goes, because they all have the same data used to make the CIR season that Michigan did. They all want to follow suit, but the social aspect and logical thinking people like you and I are a hard sell.
    For the concerns about monitoring, you are very fortunate in that LSC and the D river are as important as they are, and get the traffic they get. There are constant creel surveys being done. But in addition, there are teams of biologists doing tracking studies on multiple species including muskies. Also they are in constant communication with the guides and charter boat captains. Interestingly, the reports from those groups this year showed an increase in effort/catch. More hours per fish, basically, which is a good indicator of population decline and also in line with your observations. Also, for the last few years, the Detroit River has been the broodstock for the hatchery program, and they tag and keep track of a lot fish through that. Basically, they have it covered by compiling a bunch of info they already get anyhow. Now the addition of the mandatory harvest registration, they will get a better idea of harvest, where mostly people have been hush about that. They obviously take into consideration a portion of the population that will not follow rules anyhow. Compared to the inland lakes, where most biologists are happy to even see a musky, they have you all covered!
    It is also cool to see that state and local universities all share data, and equipment. There are some beacons in the river and lake for a sturgeon movement study that are now being used for muskie movement to try to nail down spawning territories and seasonal movements.
    Either way, I am also on the fence. I think the gains for inland lakes were huge, but added pressure on LSC makes everyone nervous. I hope it works out, and it's also a good thing that with their long lifespan, and increased age at spawn, any regulation change will take years to make a meaningful impact. According to the management plan, they say 7 years to notice a change and 15 years to have a steady outcome, or something like that. Basically, we will know a lot of info leading up to those points to make an educated guess in making sure there is no negative impact at those points...
     
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  4. 50incher

    50incher

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    Again I appreciate your in depth response....everyone involved with the Lake Sturgeon restoration have done an excellent job and I do have faith in the biologist's.....this is a tad different but it makes me very happy to see Musky getting so much attention....it's been a long time coming....I look forward to future data and learning more about these "fish of 10,000 cast's"....lol....

    For me, it's ALL about what's best for the fish, because in the end that's what's best for the fisherman as well !.....good fishing and cheers....
     
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  5. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Vano, if you don't mind... What was the % change in musky effort/catch? The concern for some of us after having such a mild winter and warm water temps even mid winter was VHS. Of course, there are other explanations possible like fish being more spread out. Curious about your thoughts there as well.
     
  6. vano397

    vano397

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    Sorry I didn't respond earlier, with a snow day the family decided to pack up and head north for a weekend of skiing. I am checking into a more scientific statement on the decreased angler success. It was mentioned as a general statement that a combination of creel surveys and data from the charter boat captains has shown an increase in angler effort over the last few years but the success rate has decreased. There are lots of reasons why this could be, like you mentioned a couple VHS outbreaks haven't been friendly. There is no telling what the next invasive will be... Populations of fish are extremely dynamic, and any time there is a niche fishery like there is in the rivers and lake in this system there is always more questions than answers. In addition to diseases, the other major contributing factor is bait fish. With clearer water there is less food for the food... basically. But like you said, there are dozens of factors, and by monitoring all of them, the DNR can get a good idea of what might happen and how things might change. I will again concur that this whole extended season thing is a concern and needs to be watched. My one hope though is that maybe more fish will be caught by people that know what they are doing now, and less by the walleye/bass anglers that catch them on light line without the proper release tools and methods!
     
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  7. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Thank you, Sir.

    Yeah, it seems I read an awful lot of complaining by some long time LSC walleye/perch fishermen, that the musky population continues to explode, but it contradicts the success of the folks targeting musky. There's got to be some sort of explanation. But, as you are saying, there are a LOT of variables in a very complex equation.

    Hope you had a great time with the family!
     
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  8. vano397

    vano397

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    So, basic data here... Reported charter hours increased from about 5000 to between 8-9000 from 2012 thru 2017. CPE (catch per hour of angler effort) decreased over that time from .24 fish to .16 fish. Trap net fish were all over the map, but from 2001-11 were consistently over .5 fish per lift, and ranged from .5 to 1.8 fish per lift. Since then has been lower than .5 fish, and as low as 0-.1 fish per lift in 2012 and 15. Conversely the secchi disc percentage of readings that were on the bottom of the lake went from 0% to 90% (water clarity). Electrofishing catch rates on the detroit river has dropped steadily from 2.75 fish/hour to 1 fish/hour from 2012-2015.
    So again, all indicators are that the population is declining a bit. I am not hearing any warning sirens yet though. Reasons are numerous. Water clarity seems to be a major part, but that could be effecting our ability to catch them (which would skew the above results a bit) as much as it is their ability to survive.
    In the end the goal is to maintain an annual mortality rate of 25% or less. This includes the natural mortality rate along with harvest and delayed mortality. When it becomes apparent that we are exceeding this, regulations have to change accordingly.
     
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  9. vano397

    vano397

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    And thanks, as always, skiing is a blast! I did realize that I am now too old to explore the terrain park with my 10 year old. Just hoping that the desire to be outside doing anything will someday translate into a desire to fish and hunt!
     
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  10. 50incher

    50incher

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    That is staggering....I do wonder how much actual weather may have affected the conditions at the times of it being measured....or that may be compensated for somehow....the Detroit river rarely gets super clean....

    I'm not saying it's not devoid of the same amounts of "micro-life"....zooplankton etc....just the visibility is usually not that great....be it current, wind and weather, weeds and even boat traffic....

    Personally, I have never stopped worrying ever since the introduction of the Zebra mussels on the food chain....and others still looming....
     
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  11. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Yeah I think the DR is generally lower vis than LSC though, when it comes to relative area of dirty water. The whole river can be messed up when only the south shore of LSC is mud.

    But I think maybe its more WHAT causes less clarity, than how clear it is. Would make sense that way.
     
  12. Jon Bondy

    Jon Bondy Sponsor

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    I've noticed
    All the life comes the little dirty creeks that dump in the farmland runoff. Food for the plankton and the gizzard shad. I would say a lot of fishing success ups and downs is cyclical, at least in this area where the migratory nature of these fish making overfishing tough. Movements and patterns change every year, as you hear of guys 'killing them' somewhere new every season.
     
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  13. vano397

    vano397

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    I should add this is mostly lsc data also, or a combination. So not as staggering considering lsc, but also with that being the primary source if water for the dr, you can infer the effects it would have in both places. Like jon said, still a lot of inlets carrying nutrients, but when the baseline nutrient level is so low its obviously going to change things.
     
  14. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Yes its the baseline I'm worried about, not necessarily runoff events. I would think most of LSC comes from SCR and Huron.

    The musky tracking data is interesting... as Jon mentioned, they're migratory and the data proves it. Could simply be spreading out.
     
  15. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    What is impressive is the huge increase in charter operations. Big jump in trips booked and also captains?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018