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Thread: Releasing fish

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    Releasing fish

    Just ran across an article on another site. We've debated this topic plenty over the years and it was interesting to read this take vs. other theories. With a Winnipeg trip less than a week away, I'm still going to smuggle my 30"/10lb walleye back with me.

    http://www.outdoorcanada.ca/Why-you-...lease-big-fish

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    A lot in that is opposite of the research I’ve read. For me, doesn’t matter anyway. I never catch big fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    A lot in that is opposite of the research I’ve read. For me, doesn’t matter anyway. I never catch big fish.
    same here, ghost. same here.

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    I have read thousands of articles on this subject and this the only one that told me a 10lb walleye is the best for eggs I'm sorry but I just don't buy it seems like a gimmick for Canada trophy fish

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    it's all fodder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooter00 View Post
    I have read thousands of articles on this subject and this the only one that told me a 10lb walleye is the best for eggs I'm sorry but I just don't buy it seems like a gimmick for Canada trophy fish
    I'm not saying I'm buying it 100% either, but just because information is contradictory to what you've read in the past, doesn't mean it's without merit.

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    Bunch of Tom-Foolery!!

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    I am out of fish, Sunday I will be keeping every fish caught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnr View Post
    I am out of fish, Sunday I will be keeping every fish caught.
    Still haven't given away all my walleye. Freezer is still stuffed with halibut and salmon though.

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    What % of big fish die of old age on a given larger system?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm all for releasing big fish, but where is the biological references?

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    Releasing big fish up at Winnie I'd prob bet is a big gamble. Doesn't take long to freeze up the gills. They may swim off but I wonder how many make it?

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    Since there are references to genetics how about age? If a 10lb female is 4 years old opposed 8 years old will she be more fertile? I see plenty of fat girls with lots of kids. I do agree the manner in which the article was written is a little out there. I did get a kick out of the bigger target reference with the eggs.

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    I don't disagree with all of it just the big fish have more fertile eggs I do agree that if you never take a big fish from a fishery you will have more big fish lol I do like rizzos theory that if the fish get bigger younger they might be more fertile only cause at the hatchery they hand feed there mammas they do get bigger faster but they only use there big mammas until there 6 years old so if the bigger older fish are more fertile why wouldn't hatcherys keep them ......wait I know because it's not true !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooter00 View Post
    I don't disagree with all of it just the big fish have more fertile eggs I do agree that if you never take a big fish from a fishery you will have more big fish lol I do like rizzos theory that if the fish get bigger younger they might be more fertile only cause at the hatchery they hand feed there mammas they do get bigger faster but they only use there big mammas until there 6 years old so if the bigger older fish are more fertile why wouldn't hatcherys keep them ......wait I know because it's not true !!!
    do you work at the hatchery?

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    No I do not work at a hatchery I do have a family member that does it has been a heated discussion at many family get-togethers and is the reason I have researched the subject allot I guess that's why I get fired up easily I apologise I should be more open minded

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Ahab View Post

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm all for releasing big fish.........

    And I hate Yeti! Haha!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuskyManiac View Post
    And I hate Yeti! Haha!
    Hey now! Define big:-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooter00 View Post
    No I do not work at a hatchery I do have a family member that does it has been a heated discussion at many family get-togethers and is the reason I have researched the subject allot I guess that's why I get fired up easily I apologise I should be more open minded
    It was an honest question. Didn't know if we had the inside info lurking around this site or not. I think everything falls back to viability in the end. The big female that's only 5 years old and produces a lot of offspring holds the genetics we want. The 10 year old female that's been able to avoid capture might not have the same egg viability. Like I said, I'm still taking a big fish home.

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    "Regarding older walleye vs. younger walleye----the older, larger 'hog size walleye' may produce more eggs than younger fish. However, it's a well known fisheries science fact that as females grow older and bigger, the 'viability' of those eggs (ability to become fertilized, incubated and hatched) decreases significantly. The younger females, ages 4-7 and lengths of 18-24 inches (these are averages, and can vary), will produce the most 'viable' eggs.

    In comparison, walleyes in far northern Ontario lakes are known to reach sexual maturity at age 7, and may only be 13-14 inches at that time, compared to age 4 and 17-18+ inches in Lake Erie.
    Northern Ontario walleyes exhibiting the highest 'viability' of eggs range from 13-22 inches---with walleye over 22 inches significantly less viable than the younger, shorter females.

    Why is this? In Lake Erie, due to our warmer waters and abundant food supply, our walleyes grow fast and die young. Colder waters and less abundance of food result in northern Ontario walleyes growing slow and dying old.

    Regulations a few years ago for specific regions in Northern Ontario for walleye allowed a bag limit of 4. All 4 must be 16 inches and under, or 3 can be under 16 inches, with one being over 22 inches (this provides a big trophy walleye to be taken by outfitter/guide clientele). This protects their most viable spawners and helps improve recruitment when a walleye stock is low. Mixed emotions were raised among anglers when first imposed, yet the realization for a better fishery in the near future has now been accepted.
    This may be a great management program for cold, northern Ontario lakes where food abundance is low, grow rates are slow, and both angling pressure and native Indian netting has impacts on the fishery.
    However, you must remember that these northern cold water lakes are NOT comparable to the size and productivity we experience on Lake Erie

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    In general trophy size fish have different genetics. Not all 8 year old female walleye are going to be 10lbs. Some may stop getting bigger once they reach 7lbs. The main reason to keep trophy fish in a body of water or river is to keep trophy genetics propagating. I am skeptical about the fertility claim because back in college all the professors, DNR and G&F officials said that mid sized fish were the most fertile. If possible you should always strive to keep a wide range of age classes of all fish species in a lake or river (common sense). This way you will always have genetic diversity and healthy fish populations. A lake that depends on stocking efforts by DNR or G&F officials will eventually produce a cookie cutter fishery. By that I mean that the fish will experience the same growth and mortality rates. The reason for this is that they typically always collect eggs in the same spot at the same time year after year. They are missing the fish that spawn later, earlier, deeper or shallower. This is why natural reproduction is so important. You can definitely see this trend on Sak when we get several drought years which lowers the water levels, which reduce natural reproduction. Until the high water comes back you have several years of catching cookie cutter walleyes that were stocked by the G&F.

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