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Sturgeon

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by Forest Meister, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Forest Meister

    Forest Meister

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    I am trying to find out what the fishing regulations from years past have said concerning catch and release sturgeon in the "Great Lakes and Connecting Waters" (other than LSC and SCR). I tossed all my old booklets a couple weeks ago but I did locate one from 2011 which clearly indicated there was a season. If anyone has some newer regs and would be willing to give them a quick check it would be appreciated.

    Also, a question for you folks that do the catch and release of that prehistoric fish in LSC. Are the fish normally easy to release or are the hooks normally so deep the line needs to be cut? I have not caught a sturgeon in decades but every one taken was hooked in the outer lip. FM
     
  2. Tryin2

    Tryin2

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    I have never had one that was not hooked in the outer lip and the release is normally quick and easy the longer the fight the longer it takes for a proper release imo
     
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  3. piketroller

    piketroller

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    I think the St Mary’s system that may or may not have been only for Lake George has had a catch and release only season for a while now. The Menominee River may have also had catch and release but I’m less certain about that. You should have posted this last week because I was doing some spring cleaning over the weekend and found an old hard copy of the 2008 Fishing Guide and threw it away. It was around a third as thick as the current one.
     
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  4. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    5/0-7/0 octopus and/or circle hooks is what I use and have never had a hook anywhere but those tough lips. I suppose if they were allowed to swallow it you could have some issues, but you'd really have to not be paying attention.

    I haven't fished them with water temps over 60F, but on musky type gear, I have had no problem with good releases. Even the bigger fish are only 20 min fight. That is plenty of fight for me! No need for 30# line. 65-80 is fine and put the screws to em.
     
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  5. Forest Meister

    Forest Meister

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    Thanks guys. The reason I am seeking input is that Fisheries Division has seen fit to close the St. Mary's River catch and release season. The first reason I was given for doing so was that it had never been open and the rules were merely making a clarification. When I pointed out that the rules specifically stated there was a C&R season in the past I was then told that hooking mortality was too high for a C&R season. I then suggested barbless hooks, as are required even for catch and keep season on the Columbia River out west but that was blown off and the mortality thing was again brought up.

    Not sure where the info came from for basing the hooking mortality stance but I aim to find out. I do not fish Sturgeon in the river but this has turned into a principal's thing for me. If there is science I'm good with it, if it is a feel good thing based on hearsay then I want as much hearsay to back me up as they have.

    Piketroller, the Menominee River has a catch and keep season in September. Boated a lot of sturgeon from there as a teenager. The minimum size is a lot higher now than it was then and the season is a bit shorter. FM
     
  6. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    I can't say what delayed mortality is but for heavier gear it can't be too bad... Unless people are dropping them on their heads or holding them by the gills, which is common of novices.
     
  7. piketroller

    piketroller

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    Reading between the lines tells me they might be closing the CIR season up there to open some sort of a limited catch and keep season for one or more tribal entities. Either that or there is so much poaching going on that they want to be able to bust anyone who looks like they are trying to catch sturgeon.
     
  8. Forest Meister

    Forest Meister

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    That crossed my mind until I pointed out a loophole in the Consent Decree wording as it related to tribal possession of sturgeon, which was pointed out to me by a person married to a tribal member. Shortly thereafter I was assured my concern would be forwarded to the group presently preparing for the next round of negotiations.

    As far as busting people looking like they are trying to catch sturgeon. Honestly, if a person is fishing suckers, catfish, or bottom fishing for walleye i seriously doubt it could be proven a person was targeting another species. FM
     
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