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Atb
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01/13/2018 08:31PM
In case we needed more research To tell us to practice CPR with the big girls...
 
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01/13/2018 11:35PM
Couldn't agree more. I always think about the future generation when I catch a decent sized fish. For me it's my kids, but it could be a grandson, nephew, or the neighbors kids. What is a decent fish for you just might be the fish of a lifetime for a young angler.
01/14/2018 08:10AM
Very insightful article. Especially with taxidermy not even needing the actual fish anymore there’s no need to keep the big ones.
thegildedgopher
senior member (79)senior membersenior member
 
01/14/2018 09:41AM
I totally agree that big fish should go back, allow somebody else the joy of catching ‘em! The mercury mamas aren’t great eating anyway.

That said, it bothers me quite a bit when you see an article like this that offers no scientific data to demonstrate the issue. That would only bolster the case in my opinion. Too much opacity in the world of fisheries biology. There are other biologists at Ohio Sea Grant that claim the older walleyes on Lake Erie get, the less fertile they are. They say Fecundity, or the volume and size of eggs, keeps going up and up, but the viability of those eggs tapers off when the fish reach around 24 inches.

Regardless of the science I’m releasing them. I’m just not sure I totally trust the science behind either claim above.
bobbernumber3
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01/14/2018 11:58AM
I worked with a guy whose comment was, "Keep 'em... those big old fish are at the end of their life anyway. Fish don't live forever."

I don't often keep big fish, but don't feel bad about keeping a big one either.
01/14/2018 07:10PM
Anybody watching Monster Fish on Netflix? Some good science, some big fish.
carmike
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01/14/2018 10:16PM
I release 97.25% of what I catch, big or not. It's easy to be a "steward" when I don't particular like eating fish. :)

That being said, I do keep the big ones IF I'm fishing a stocked lake with no natural reproduction. Minnesota continues to dump millions (or billions?) of walleye fry/fingerlings into lakes where they have no chance of spawning. Same with trout (only fewer fish are stocked, I believe). In these lakes, if I happen upon a 'eye or 'bow or brownie, it just might end up in the neighbor lady's frying pan.
SkiYee
member (24)member
 
01/15/2018 11:32AM
I've read that size and age are not relative....big fish aren't necessarily old fish, it's all in the genetics. So releasing big fish will keep the genetics going in that body of water. Now, with that said I'm not totally against keeping a trophy fish. Personally I've set goals for a trophy fish that I would keep and mount...not a replica, but the actual fish that I fought and landed. Example, a 30"+ is going home with me, but only once. I don't need multiple 30" walleye on my wall.
Anything from say 22" to 30" would be CPR'd, and below that size...let's just say there's a frying pan in their near future.
missmolly
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01/15/2018 03:28PM
Remember fishing days like this?

Or this (fifth photograph)?=

I don't either. It wasn't just big fish that once abounded, but big fish genes too.

When I was a kid, my brothers and I fished recently minted freeway ponds and we'd catch 17 and 18-inch bass, but the more people who fished, the smaller the fish until even the small fish were rare.
WIMike
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
01/15/2018 06:29PM
I believe in letting the big ones go for a couple reasons—a big fish is old, maybe 20+ years old. That earns my respect and I release them. Also, fecundity may drop in older fish but they DO still reproduce. And they pass along genetics for size and survivability. Rather have those genes passed along to future generations.
01/15/2018 06:46PM
One more plug here for Monster Fish, every episode digs into studying the decline of the big 'uns in lakes and rivers around the world. Genetics, food supply, overfishing, migratory disruptors like dams, introductions of invasive species. The program really shines a light on the importance of big fish to a healthy population.
Atb
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01/15/2018 08:44PM
Checking out an episode of Monster Fish now...good suggestion!
Pinetree
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01/15/2018 09:54PM
thegildedgopher: "I totally agree that big fish should go back, allow somebody else the joy of catching ‘em! The mercury mamas aren’t great eating anyway.


That said, it bothers me quite a bit when you see an article like this that offers no scientific data to demonstrate the issue. That would only bolster the case in my opinion. Too much opacity in the world of fisheries biology. There are other biologists at Ohio Sea Grant that claim the older walleyes on Lake Erie get, the less fertile they are. They say Fecundity, or the volume and size of eggs, keeps going up and up, but the viability of those eggs tapers off when the fish reach around 24 inches.


Regardless of the science I’m releasing them. I’m just not sure I totally trust the science behind either claim above."


Talking about Walleye now and Minnesota:
As long as the female is healthy looking the older fish eggs are as viable as younger fish eggs. One example they strip eggs out of walleye from the Whitefish chain north of Brainerd and had walleye up to 37 inches(one) and many close to 30 inches(these fish are like 16 years old plus) or just under. Their eggs have our very viable and they been doing this for like 75 years there. Lot of data available. The hatch rate is excellent from thes eold fish. Even there a 5 pound walleye may be the more normal.
A good rule of thumb-for each pound a walleye weights you will get between 20,000 and 30,000 eggs. So a 10 pound walleye will produce about 250,000 eggs.
Usually in most lakes because they are more abundant your 3-5 pound fish produce the the most eggs total. Especially in lakes with excellent natural reproduction.

The word above it is healthy walleyes that can maintain a good condition. In the end it is all about good habitat.
Pinetree
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01/15/2018 10:09PM
You get into heavy fished waters your talking like 50% mortality of adult fish annually with the majority from angling the rest natural. Start with 100 fish-50-25-12-6 3. After 5 years you may have like 3 left. That is why catch and release does work if the proper size restrictions are in place. That is tough at times.
thegildedgopher
senior member (79)senior membersenior member
 
01/16/2018 08:51AM
Pinetree: "thegildedgopher: "I totally agree that big fish should go back, allow somebody else the joy of catching ‘em! The mercury mamas aren’t great eating anyway.



That said, it bothers me quite a bit when you see an article like this that offers no scientific data to demonstrate the issue. That would only bolster the case in my opinion. Too much opacity in the world of fisheries biology. There are other biologists at Ohio Sea Grant that claim the older walleyes on Lake Erie get, the less fertile they are. They say Fecundity, or the volume and size of eggs, keeps going up and up, but the viability of those eggs tapers off when the fish reach around 24 inches.



Regardless of the science I’m releasing them. I’m just not sure I totally trust the science behind either claim above."



Talking about Walleye now and Minnesota:
As long as the female is healthy looking the older fish eggs are as viable as younger fish eggs. One example they strip eggs out of walleye from the Whitefish chain north of Brainerd and had walleye up to 37 inches(one) and many close to 30 inches(these fish are like 16 years old plus) or just under. Their eggs have our very viable and they been doing this for like 75 years there. Lot of data available. The hatch rate is excellent from thes eold fish. Even there a 5 pound walleye may be the more normal.
A good rule of thumb-for each pound a walleye weights you will get between 20,000 and 30,000 eggs. So a 10 pound walleye will produce about 250,000 eggs.
Usually in most lakes because they are more abundant your 3-5 pound fish produce the the most eggs total. Especially in lakes with excellent natural reproduction.


The word above it is healthy walleyes that can maintain a good condition. In the end it is all about good habitat.
"


It's not that I don't trust/believe you, and like I said I release them anyway -- but again, I would just like to read the actual scientific studies. I want to know the methods, the margin of error. I want to know how these conclusions are being drawn. I read so many articles on the topic every year and there is never any source info or scientific data cited. Why?

We also need to differentiate between spawning in the wild and in a controlled hatchery environment at the DNR. Those eggs are carefully mixed with milt in a bowl, then combined with clay slurry to prevent them from sticking together, then finally placed in climate-controlled 3-quart jars where they have perfect circulation. Does the viability of those eggs translate to a gravel bed on your favorite lake? If the claim is YES, then I'd like to see the research behind that hypothesis.
Pinetree
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01/16/2018 09:15AM
The viability of the egg in those older fish has been proven with as much scientific data in the walleye egg take with a sample size over the years like 5 billion eggs and records were kept.
The fish were healthy also after hatching and years to come,no deformities. I see no problem with the older fish spawning naturally either. The sperm should be able to find the opening in the egg of older fish in nature as much as younger fish. The fertilization rate of eggs from young fish vs old fish is about the same and no detectable difference.

The DNR has records going back many decades and percent hatching rate etc..

Like I did say in many lakes it is a numbers game and lakes like Mille lacs it will be the 7-10year old fish and maybe around 20 inches will produce the most eggs.
A walleye female on average will be 5-6 years old before spawning and males a few at age 4,more at age 5. A 14 inch walleye is usually about age 4.

The Great Outdoors
distinguished member(5599)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/16/2018 09:59AM
Many ideas about C&R of big fish, but most are meant to be "feel good" and are not quite as successful as many think.
1st: Many fish that are CP&R don't make it, and return to the surface belly up attempting to recover from the ordeal. This can occur next to your boat, canoe, or hundreds of yards away where you cannot see it happen. The bigger the fish, the tougher recovery is, especially in warm water.
2nd: A large fish is normally an old fish. A 10 pound walleye, or 20 pound pike is every bit as much of prime breeding stock as a 70 year old, 250 pound woman.
Old and fat is old and fat, (humans, animals, fish, etc) no matter how much window dressing you put on it.
A former DNR employee that ran stripping stations in the Ely area for many years before retiring, said that the eggs from large pike are not very good.
And that's just the way it is, like it or not. :)
Pinetree
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01/16/2018 10:16AM
The only thing I could add and each lake is different,if you have a very large population of bigger and older fish you may suppress recruitment of younger walleye by the older population eating the smaller walleye. Nature abhors a vacuum and there are many different scenarios. Also how big a forage food base do you have out there.
Pinetree
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01/16/2018 10:43AM
Something else to think about. Depending on species etc.. Releasing a big fish which there probably few of,gives the chance of somebody else to catch it and enjoy the experience. Many lakes many places population size is cropped down.
Lake trout a 30 inch lake trout could be like 30 years old. Once its gone it is gone.
Yes there is so many different circumstances involved and so many water body types.
bassnet
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01/16/2018 08:29PM
Research from Oklahoma WD: 13-16 inch LMB produce the largest number of VIABLE eggs. The big old ones produce the least.

Not all fish have the genetics to get huge, same as humans. Very few humans are as tall as Shaq, very few bass COULD reach 10 pounds. If i kill that 10 pound bass, then I decrease the possibility of that lake producing a real trophy....might be a remote possibility, but there.

I don’t know for sure, but I’ll betcha it’s the same for SMB, probably the same for Walleye and Esox...smaller females actually produce the largest number of VIABLE eggs, only few members of a given species have the genetics for mega- size.

I’m going to eat the little ones, and carefully release adults. I’m right only for me.....i don’t need or want a skin mount.....but a 24 inch C&R SMB on the wall? Hmmm..........
The Great Outdoors
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01/16/2018 10:32PM
bassnet: "Research from Oklahoma WD: 13-16 inch LMB produce the largest number of VIABLE eggs. The big old ones produce the least.
Not all fish have the genetics to get huge, same as humans. Very few humans are as tall as Shaq, very few bass COULD reach 10 pounds. If i kill that 10 pound bass, then I decrease the possibility of that lake producing a real trophy....might be a remote possibility, but there.
I’m going to eat the little ones, and carefully release adults. I’m right only for me.....i don’t need or want a skin mount.....but a 24 inch C&R SMB on the wall? Hmmm.........."

A little Devil's advocate moment. I beg to differ that many humans could get as big as Shaq.
Not as tall, I agree 100%, but every human has the ability to become HUGE, and weigh the same or more than Shaq if consuming enough Whoppers or Quarter Pounders, followed by several quarts of ice cream on a daily basis!! :)
Pinetree
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01/16/2018 11:08PM
Michigan Research study: About 30,000 eggs were produced per pound of female Largemouth bass. Age had no significant effect, independent of length or weight, on fecundity(once maturity was reached). Much dependent on robust or health. Eggs per pound of fish was 20,000 up to 30,000 eggs per pound of bass.

Separate from the above study,many Centrachid or sunfish- bass family fish have a shorter lifespan genetically than many species, although smallmouth bass have been known to get in the 12 plus age range. Also as you go south in the country,fish may grow faster,but a higher metabolism in a normally warmer water their life span is shorter than northern fish of the same species.

Also like walleye in the first year of maturity the eggs will be smaller than a few years later. There is a optimum size for eggs to have a bigger yolk sac and fluid for embryonic growth.
Some of this is mute in fish populations majority of fish die from something else than old age. Maybe some of the large populations of smallmouth now present you may get a few senile fish.

I have seen summers of extreme hot weather on lakes in the Brainerd area large old walleyes die in fair numbers from stress of the water being to warm for too long and no oxygen in deeper water for them to go to depths where water is cooler.

Very good forum and discussion with a sincere concern what is best practice by all. Like I said before one regulation can not be a fix all for all lake body types and at times we over regulate just as much as maybe we should try to do more.
WIMike
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
01/17/2018 09:47AM
The Great Outdoors: "Many ideas about C&R of big fish, but most are meant to be "feel good" and are not quite as successful as many think.
1st: Many fish that are CP&R don't make it, and return to the surface belly up attempting to recover from the ordeal. This can occur next to your boat, canoe, or hundreds of yards away where you cannot see it happen. The bigger the fish, the tougher recovery is, especially in warm water.
2nd: A large fish is normally an old fish. A 10 pound walleye, or 20 pound pike is every bit as much of prime breeding stock as a 70 year old, 250 pound woman.
Old and fat is old and fat, (humans, animals, fish, etc) no matter how much window dressing you put on it.
A former DNR employee that ran stripping stations in the Ely area for many years before retiring, said that the eggs from large pike are not very good.
And that's just the way it is, like it or not. :)"


1st—any scientific studies you can cite to give us an idea what “Many fish that are CP&R don’t make it” equates to percentage wise?
2nd—is it your contention that female fish lose all reproductive ability at some point due to age? If so, that flies in the face of all scientific evidence I have seen. I would be interested in any evidence you can provide to support your position.
There are scientific studies that suggest fecundity is affected by age and there are others that suggest age has no effect. I’m not sure the opinion of some low level DNR employee is conclusive evidence.
Pinetree
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01/17/2018 10:59AM
Trouble is when taking eggs from large walleye some of the eggs may have not ripened enough so the eggs micropore will take the sperm,so if you could take some eggs from a fish who are not quite ready thus a poor hatch rate.
I will say I think in recent years the hatchery in Tower hatch rate has been pretty good with size of fish pretty large. That walleye run is usually pretty good in numbers.

I think one of the biggest reasons to let a fish go like I said before is so somebody else can catch them. Many waters we are over harvesting or cropping down size.

Bottom line it is condition factor if the fish at a older age and is not well conditioned its fertility could drop. If that lake has amble forage food that fish should be fairly productive. Yes a fish get older,stress at spawning naturally and even handling angling can effect them.

I do think Pike river in Tower in recent years has a fairly good hatch rate at their facility.



missmolly
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01/17/2018 11:06AM
"A large fish is normally an old fish. A 10 pound walleye, or 20 pound pike is every bit as much of prime breeding stock as a 70 year old, 250 pound woman.
Old and fat is old and fat, (humans, animals, fish, etc) no matter how much window dressing you put on it."

From an evolutionary perspective, your equation is wrong. It takes 9-18 months for a baby to even toddle. It takes decades to achieve the skill set that lets them acquire their own food and shelter. Mothering children is exhaustive and is thus a young woman's task, which is why fertility wanes as one's energy wanes.

Fry, on the other hand, can swim and feed themselves the very day they hatch.
Atb
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2018 02:18PM
The researchers interviewed for the original article suggest fertility does NOT decrease with age. They state that the volume of eggs is significantly greater in larger (older) fish, and these eggs are larger and more viable than eggs from younger fish.

Unlike 70 year old humans, a mature female fish can produce 100s of 1000s of eggs in a season, and pass the 'big fish' traits when they reproduce.

Pinetree
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01/17/2018 03:25PM
Atb: "The researchers interviewed for the original article suggest fertility does NOT decrease with age. They state that the volume of eggs is significantly greater in larger (older) fish, and these eggs are larger and more viable than eggs from younger fish.


Unlike 70 year old humans, a mature female fish can produce 100s of 1000s of eggs in a season, and pass the 'big fish' traits when they reproduce.


"

A walleye female averages 20,000-25,000 eggs per pound of fish.
The Great Outdoors
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01/17/2018 08:53PM
WIMike: "The Great Outdoors: "Many ideas about C&R of big fish, but most are meant to be "feel good" and are not quite as successful as many think.
1st: Many fish that are CP&R don't make it, and return to the surface belly up attempting to recover from the ordeal. This can occur next to your boat, canoe, or hundreds of yards away where you cannot see it happen. The bigger the fish, the tougher recovery is, especially in warm water.
A former DNR employee that ran stripping stations in the Ely area for many years before retiring, said that the eggs from large pike are not very good. :)"


1st—any scientific studies you can cite to give us an idea what “Many fish that are CP&R don’t make it” equates to percentage wise?
2nd—is it your contention that female fish lose all reproductive ability at some point due to age? If so, that flies in the face of all scientific evidence I have seen. I would be interested in any evidence you can provide to support your position.
There are scientific studies that suggest fecundity is affected by age and there are others that suggest age has no effect. I’m not sure the opinion of some low level DNR employee is conclusive evidence.
"


1st: Many fish that are CP&R are normally larger fish. They battle longer than smaller fish, so are a bit more exhausted. Many CP&R advocates really do not know how to properly handle larger fish, keep them out of the water far too long, and after release, many end up "idling" on the surface with their belly exposed, which is easy prey for an Eagle, Sea Gull, Otter, etc. As far as the %, not possible to compute.
The only thing close to a test was conducted several years ago when the DNR set up some pens at a C&R fishing contest, I believe on Mille Lacs??? After being weighed, they were placed in these pens and the loss was very high.
2nd: I do not say that all large fish lose ALL reproductive activity, nope! However, I say again, old is old. As far as some statement made you label a low level DNR employee is rather insulting as the man worked for close to 40 years, and ran the stripping station at Parent River for many years along with other places. I certainly will take the word of him about large Pike and the poor quality of their eggs as they get old.
I have seen suggestions that large fish pass trophy size to their off spring, but believe that the amount of feed available in the body of water they live in is far more important.
I live on Burntside Lake near Ely which is infested with Smelt. They have eliminated the Cisco population, stopped natural reproduction of Walleye and Whitefish by eating the eggs after the fish spawn. Every Walleye in the lake has been planted, and many are in the 10 pound or larger size because of the feed, not through hereditary characteristics.
There are several factors involved in size, but if you don't have a great food base, the fish will never get large.
Pinetree
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01/17/2018 09:42PM
TGO-Parent river Walleye stripping station? You mean Pike river? Also I know they took eggs from suckers by Parent lake by Snowbank in the 60- 70's.
Yes I agree no insult was necessary.
Pinetree
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01/17/2018 10:00PM
On the Mille lacs study in the 1980's on walleye tournaments: I could go into detail but the short of it was walleyes held in live wells for maybe up to 8 hours will have a extremely high mortality. Much of it delayed like 24 hours etc. Also tournament like that should be held only when the water is like 65 degrees F. or less.

Fast forward-just a couple years ago like a 3 year study on immediate release of walleye varies with water temp on Mille lacs. Mortality is extremely low when water temps are fairly cool and mortality increases as water temps increase,thus metabolism increases. Without having the number right in front of me I will say it is still less than 10% at the high end. This does include fish hooked in different locations etc.
Like hooks removed that are down in the gullet and than cause bleeding mortality is real high.

As long as I am typing TGO I think your smelt were first appearing in Burntside was around 1970 the heyday of smelting in lake Superior.
I know at present they run up a couple of tributaries,but unsure if any one nets them or maybe numbers up the stream is not that great? TGO do you know if anyone gets smelt out of Burntside?
WIMike
senior member (73)senior membersenior member
 
01/18/2018 12:12AM
The Great Outdoors: "WIMike: "The Great Outdoors: "Many ideas about C&R of big fish, but most are meant to be "feel good" and are not quite as successful as many think.
1st: Many fish that are CP&R don't make it, and return to the surface belly up attempting to recover from the ordeal. This can occur next to your boat, canoe, or hundreds of yards away where you cannot see it happen. The bigger the fish, the tougher recovery is, especially in warm water.
A former DNR employee that ran stripping stations in the Ely area for many years before retiring, said that the eggs from large pike are not very good. :)"



1st—any scientific studies you can cite to give us an idea what “Many fish that are CP&R don’t make it” equates to percentage wise?
2nd—is it your contention that female fish lose all reproductive ability at some point due to age? If so, that flies in the face of all scientific evidence I have seen. I would be interested in any evidence you can provide to support your position.
There are scientific studies that suggest fecundity is affected by age and there are others that suggest age has no effect. I’m not sure the opinion of some low level DNR employee is conclusive evidence.
"



1st: Many fish that are CP&R are normally larger fish. They battle longer than smaller fish, so are a bit more exhausted. Many CP&R advocates really do not know how to properly handle larger fish, keep them out of the water far too long, and after release, many end up "idling" on the surface with their belly exposed, which is easy prey for an Eagle, Sea Gull, Otter, etc. As far as the %, not possible to compute.
The only thing close to a test was conducted several years ago when the DNR set up some pens at a C&R fishing contest, I believe on Mille Lacs??? After being weighed, they were placed in these pens and the loss was very high.
2nd: I do not say that all large fish lose ALL reproductive activity, nope! However, I say again, old is old. As far as some statement made you label a low level DNR employee is rather insulting as the man worked for close to 40 years, and ran the stripping station at Parent River for many years along with other places. I certainly will take the word of him about large Pike and the poor quality of their eggs as they get old.
I have seen suggestions that large fish pass trophy size to their off spring, but believe that the amount of feed available in the body of water they live in is far more important.
I live on Burntside Lake near Ely which is infested with Smelt. They have eliminated the Cisco population, stopped natural reproduction of Walleye and Whitefish by eating the eggs after the fish spawn. Every Walleye in the lake has been planted, and many are in the 10 pound or larger size because of the feed, not through hereditary characteristics.
There are several factors involved in size, but if you don't have a great food base, the fish will never get large. "


I’m going to drop out of this discussion but would like to say I meant no disrespect to your friend who did fish stripping for 40 years. Poor choice of words on my part.
Guest Paddler
 
01/18/2018 04:17PM
I'll keep it real
if i catch a 33"+ walleye, im putting it on my wall
so you cant in a day/week/month/year if u catch it

shock
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01/22/2018 07:46PM
i/my clan does our best to CPR quality fish , but sometimes it's a gut swallow or i do want some fish at home ,i do love fresh fish and people who say big fish dont taste good might be catching them out of the minnesota river , out of my local lake there spectacular. was fortune enough to CPR this beauty sunday , 11;30am hit go figure,, , i have a #8-10 eye on the wall and a #3-8 brookie i'll never mount another fish a nice framed 8X10 makes a great memory too. short video attached , a couple F'nhiemers in there. waconia walleye
Pinetree
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01/22/2018 08:45PM
shock: "i/my clan does our best to CPR quality fish , but sometimes it's a gut swallow or i do want some fish at home ,i do love fresh fish and people who say big fish dont taste good might be catching them out of the minnesota river , out of my local lake there spectacular. was fortune enough to CPR this beauty sunday , 11;30am hit go figure,, , i have a #8-10 eye on the wall and a #3-8 brookie i'll never mount another fish a nice framed 8X10 makes a great memory too. short video attached , a couple F'nhiemers in there. waconia walleye "

Thanks for sharing,a good time by all there it looked like.
shock
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01/22/2018 08:54PM
when tip up fishing ,,have your needlenose-camera-scale/tape measure on you at all times for a quicker release with a nice photo. notice how she kicked off fast , always a good feeling :)
plittle
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01/29/2018 04:04PM
Fish are one of the few animals that never stop growing. They keep growing until they die. Obviously growth can slow or increase depending on conditions.

The bigger a female is the more eggs they can produce this is called fecundity. An old female fish is going to put that many more eggs back into the lake.

A fish always has a better chance of surviving in the water then it does in your cooler so the arguement that its probably gonna die anyway is stupid.

Let the big ones go and grow and produce more little ones. Eat the little ones.
The Great Outdoors
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01/29/2018 08:42PM
Pinetree:
As long as I am typing TGO I think your smelt were first appearing in Burntside was around 1970 the heyday of smelting in lake Superior.
I know at present they run up a couple of tributaries,but unsure if any one nets them or maybe numbers up the stream is not that great? TGO do you know if anyone gets smelt out of Burntside?"

Yes, they get them at Slim Creek on the north arm in the spring, but they're not very large for the most part.
I'm sure they run other places, but they are normally unreachable at that time of year with most of the lake being locked up with ice.
As far as the DNR employee, he did run the stripping station at Parent River, among working at other stripping stations.
He worked with many bait dealers in the state who wanted to strip Suckers for their rearing ponds. Parent River is one of, if not the last place in the state, where Suckers run in late May.
Pinetree
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01/29/2018 09:45PM
The Great Outdoors: "Pinetree:
As long as I am typing TGO I think your smelt were first appearing in Burntside was around 1970 the heyday of smelting in lake Superior.
I know at present they run up a couple of tributaries,but unsure if any one nets them or maybe numbers up the stream is not that great? TGO do you know if anyone gets smelt out of Burntside?"

Yes, they get them at Slim Creek on the north arm in the spring, but they're not very large for the most part.
I'm sure they run other places, but they are normally unreachable at that time of year with most of the lake being locked up with ice.
As far as the DNR employee, he did run the stripping station at Parent River, among working at other stripping stations.
He worked with many bait dealers in the state who wanted to strip Suckers for their rearing ponds. Parent River is one of, if not the last place in the state, where Suckers run in late May."


Thanks TGO on the stream name with smelt.
OSLO
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02/02/2018 12:09PM
plittle: "The bigger a female is the more eggs they can produce this is called fecundity. An old female fish is going to put that many more eggs back into the lake.ones."
Yes, fecundity continues to increase, but from what I have read, fertility plummets after a certain age (which varies depending on species and location). That means that huge, trophy females may produce an enormous number of eggs, but only a tiny fraction of them will likely be viable. The best balance of fecundity and fertility therefore is found in younger fish, although I don't have specific numbers for fish in the BWCA.

Edit: I should have read the whole thread before posting! I'll look into some of the studies mentioned above regarding fertility supposedly not decreasing with age.
plittle
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02/02/2018 04:06PM
OSLO: "plittle: "The bigger a female is the more eggs they can produce this is called fecundity. An old female fish is going to put that many more eggs back into the lake.ones."
Yes, fecundity continues to increase, but from what I have read, fertility plummets after a certain age (which varies depending on species and location). That means that huge, trophy females may produce an enormous number of eggs, but only a tiny fraction of them will likely be viable. The best balance of fecundity and fertility therefore is found in younger fish, although I don't have specific numbers for fish in the BWCA.

Edit: I should have read the whole thread before posting! I'll look into some of the studies mentioned above regarding fertility supposedly not decreasing with age."


plittle
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02/02/2018 04:08PM
plittle
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02/02/2018 04:11PM
There are endless scholarly articles in the internet on fecundity of fish.
Im not sure where this idea of large trophy sized female fish are past their prime came from, but there is zero evidence of that.
OSLO
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02/02/2018 05:09PM
plittle: "There are endless scholarly articles in the internet on fecundity of fish.
Im not sure where this idea of large trophy sized female fish are past their prime came from, but there is zero evidence of that."

I'm not sure where that was supposed to link to, but it doesn't lead to a specific article. Numerous articles do exist regarding fecundity of fish increasing with age, but the point I mentioned (and had been discussed earlier in the thread) was fertility. Fecundity is of little use if the eggs are not viable. I'm not finding much evidence to support either side of that debate--just people stating anything from fertility does steeply drop off with age, to eggs actually becoming more viable as the fish get older. I welcome any links to scholarly, published articles about the topic that you have!
Pinetree
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02/02/2018 05:27PM

Like I mentioned before,now speaking of Walleye only. I could give you 50 years plus and every year fertility of eggs from the Brainerd Walleye hatchery data that they have maintained. I can say walleyes even close to 20 years old(that is a real old walleye) and 12-15 pounds,the eggs are as fertile as 2-3 pound fish. Hatch rates are about the same. Your 2-3 pound female walleyes, the eggs are a little smaller than bigger fish. Also females usually mature at 5-6 years old and males 3-5 years old. A walleye about 14.5 inches is about 4 years old. I think after like at age 6 for females fertility stays the same thru out their life. Sometimes you see these extremely dark almost black walleyes,their probably getting toward the end.

Like I said before for Older Walleye fecundity and fertility of eggs depends on staying healthy and plump. If fish are stressed or skinny fertility would drop with age. A good forage brood base equals healthy fish. Its all about health and staying plump.

Overall tho a naturally producing lake because of sheer numbers your 3-6 pounds will end up supplying the majority spawned walleye eggs. Yes each lake is a little different.

Each species will vary from above to some extent.


plittle
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02/02/2018 06:01PM
OSLO: "plittle: "There are endless scholarly articles in the internet on fecundity of fish.
Im not sure where this idea of large trophy sized female fish are past their prime came from, but there is zero evidence of that."

I'm not sure where that was supposed to link to, but it doesn't lead to a specific article. Numerous articles do exist regarding fecundity of fish increasing with age, but the point I mentioned (and had been discussed earlier in the thread) was fertility. Fecundity is of little use if the eggs are not viable. I'm not finding much evidence to support either side of that debate--just people stating anything from fertility does steeply drop off with age, to eggs actually becoming more viable as the fish get older. I welcome any links to scholarly, published articles about the topic that you have!"


I should have brought you to an article about fecundity on large snook

Seagrant sited the research articles they obtained their data from at the bottom of the article.
OSLO
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02/02/2018 06:08PM
Pinetree: "Like I mentioned before,now speaking of Walleye only. I could give you 50 years plus and every year fertility of eggs from the Brainerd Walleye hatchery data that they have maintained. I can say walleyes even close to 20 years old(that is a real old walleye) and 12-15 pounds,the eggs are as fertile as 2-3 pound fish. Hatch rates are about the same. Your 2-3 pound female walleyes, the eggs are a little smaller than bigger fish. Also females usually mature at 5-6 years old and males 3-5 years old. A walleye about 14.5 inches is about 4 years old. I think after like at age 6 for females fertility stays the same thru out their life. Sometimes you see these extremely dark almost black walleyes,their probably getting toward the end.


Like I said before for Older Walleye fecundity and fertility of eggs depends on staying healthy and plump. If fish are stressed or skinny fertility would drop with age. A good forage brood base equals healthy fish. Its all about health and staying plump.


Overall tho a naturally producing lake because of sheer numbers your 3-6 pounds will end up supplying the majority spawned walleye eggs. Yes each lake is a little different.


Each species will vary from above to some extent.



"

Is the data in an Excel file? If so, I would be interested in seeing it. Either way, I don't doubt you, but that would be interesting to see.

From browsing articles on Google Scholar, this seems to be an issue that still has a lot of questions surrounding it. Also, as you said, species variation certainly does seem to exist. So far in those articles, I have seen examples of fecundity decreasing with age, and fecundity increasing with age, depending on species (these were all saltwater fish). Egg size seems to increase with age for most of the species I have read about. However, one paper listed both advantages and disadvantages of larger eggs, so that may not be completely beneficial for offspring. I still have not come across a lot of information in the literature about how viability of eggs changes, but then again this isn't an area that I've researched, so I'm probably not using the proper search terms.
OSLO
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02/02/2018 07:23PM
plittle: "OSLO: "plittle: "There are endless scholarly articles in the internet on fecundity of fish.
Im not sure where this idea of large trophy sized female fish are past their prime came from, but there is zero evidence of that."

I'm not sure where that was supposed to link to, but it doesn't lead to a specific article. Numerous articles do exist regarding fecundity of fish increasing with age, but the point I mentioned (and had been discussed earlier in the thread) was fertility. Fecundity is of little use if the eggs are not viable. I'm not finding much evidence to support either side of that debate--just people stating anything from fertility does steeply drop off with age, to eggs actually becoming more viable as the fish get older. I welcome any links to scholarly, published articles about the topic that you have!"


I should have brought you to an article about fecundity on large snook

Seagrant sited the research articles they obtained their data from at the bottom of the article."

The link does not take me to that article, but again, I've never disputed that fecundity generally increases with age for most species. I'm more interested in research regarding changes in fertility as fish age.
Pinetree
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02/02/2018 07:41PM
OSLO: "Pinetree: "Like I mentioned before,now speaking of Walleye only. I could give you 50 years plus and every year fertility of eggs from the Brainerd Walleye hatchery data that they have maintained. I can say walleyes even close to 20 years old(that is a real old walleye) and 12-15 pounds,the eggs are as fertile as 2-3 pound fish. Hatch rates are about the same. Your 2-3 pound female walleyes, the eggs are a little smaller than bigger fish. Also females usually mature at 5-6 years old and males 3-5 years old. A walleye about 14.5 inches is about 4 years old. I think after like at age 6 for females fertility stays the same thru out their life. Sometimes you see these extremely dark almost black walleyes,their probably getting toward the end.



Like I said before for Older Walleye fecundity and fertility of eggs depends on staying healthy and plump. If fish are stressed or skinny fertility would drop with age. A good forage brood base equals healthy fish. Its all about health and staying plump.



Overall tho a naturally producing lake because of sheer numbers your 3-6 pounds will end up supplying the majority spawned walleye eggs. Yes each lake is a little different.



Each species will vary from above to some extent.



"

Is the data in an Excel file? If so, I would be interested in seeing it. Either way, I don't doubt you, but that would be interesting to see.


From browsing articles on Google Scholar, this seems to be an issue that still has a lot of questions surrounding it. Also, as you said, species variation certainly does seem to exist. So far in those articles, I have seen examples of fecundity decreasing with age, and fecundity increasing with age, depending on species (these were all saltwater fish). Egg size seems to increase with age for most of the species I have read about. However, one paper listed both advantages and disadvantages of larger eggs, so that may not be completely beneficial for offspring. I still have not come across a lot of information in the literature about how viability of eggs changes, but then again this isn't an area that I've researched, so I'm probably not using the proper search terms."


It is in the files of the MN DNR Fisheries Brainerd Hatchery,but it is not on any file you could pull up readily from a public website. I think like from 2000 on would be on excel or similar and earlier years may still be in paper format?
One thing also a ball park figure is for each pound of walleye you get around 20,000-25,000 eggs. Like I said before like the 18-24 inch walleye numbers are so much greater they will usually lay the most total eggs of any length group.
Sometimes I think just as important tho,is super large fish are rare and by letting it go somebody else has a chance to catch it.

Captn Tony
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02/04/2018 08:25AM
I always eat the biguns as they are old and their life is almost over anyway!
 
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