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cleaning trophy fish is murder

3549 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  eyebuster
I have yet to witness it this year but I'm sure it has happened. I'm talkin about cleaning walleyes over 4-5 lbs. Just cause some poeple drive a couple of hours they think they have to clean everything they catch. I believe any walleye over 23" is an ethical CPR (catch/photo/release). The issue of "biological magnification" is enough to keep me from eating a fish over 23". I watched a guy clean a 27" walleye last year, it was the most sickening sight I've ever seen. Keeping a trophy for the wall is justified, I've done it myself. Kudos to Chris P for throwing the nice eyes back. :lol: :D Sometimes I wonder if anybody else practices catch and release. One has to practice CPR to ensure that our children and our childrens' children have the opportunities that we currently do. Sorry for my tyrade but I believe strongly that DL needs some sort of slot limit.
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I completely agree! It's 100 times the experience to catch/release than to catch/eat. And if I ever want to mount a trophy I would still release the fish. All the taxidermist needs is measurements and a photo for a synthetic mount.
Placing your self imposed guidelines and ideals :eyeroll: on others is not going to help the overall cause. As long as the person stays within their legal limit and slots, nobody should question them and just mind their own business :beer:

Picture yourself as a guy who is able to make it up to Devils Lake once this summer because of time and money. He fishes hard for a couple days and only has a few 14" walleyes in the live well. Who could blame that person for keeping a LEGAL 23-27" fish to bring home?

Personally I would realease the 27" in a hearbeat, but I'm not going to rip somebody for doing something perfectly legal who paid for a license, boat, gas etc. Which alternative would you prefer, someone keeping a legal fish or him staying at home and giving up fishing and lowering overall fishing population? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that educating people on the benefits of catch and release is a bad idea, but making the assumption that this guy is an unethical fisherman because of one 27" walleye he kept without knowing anything else about the guy isn't right. Who know's it might have swallowed the hook and floated to the top when he realeased it.

Kind of like the old slam on a duck hunter who takes a Hen mallard instead of all greenheads.
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I agree DL should seriously think for a slot limit. Maybe one fish over 23", nothin under 14 for at least a couple years. I work near a fish cleaning station and you wouldnt believe the amount of walleye pigs that are brought in. Even a 23" walleye can be huge. For example, just tonight I caught 8 fish that were over 6lbs, and i kep 5 that were between 15 and 18 inches. I caught an 18 incher that weighed 3.5lbs, it was enormous and a male at that. It looked like it had a football in its stomach. I released it after a picture. If i find a scanner it will be posted on here. That proves how healthy the fish are on DL. There is no need to keep anything over 23", hell there is no need to keep anything over 20 actually. This lake is full of good eating size walleyes. Unless your going to mount the walleye, or it is truley going to die, let them swim. There are plenty more to catch, no need to keep the big fish, they taste like crap anyway.
In response to tmorrie, I agree with you in some aspects. Self imposed regulations may be a little harsh first off. More like respecting natural resources. We all know what size fish contribute the most to spawning, the 3-7 lb fish. This is why I vehemently preach releasing these class fish. I only make it up to LOW once a year like you stated. Last year we fished buffalo bay and I released so many fish over 23" it was sickening. LOW isn't my favorite lake nor one I fish all the time but I respect the lake so I throw back these size fish. I also hunt quite a bit, this is where I believe most of my CPR ethics stem from. Unlike hunting, where you shoot to kill, when fishing you can catch and release a fish basically unharmed. I think everybody can agree that there is no feeling better in the world than releasing a huge walleye. What really bothers me is pictures like those in Mr and Mrs J's in DL and the spirit water inn's picture on the front of their website. If you haven't seen these pics, basically a limit of fish that would win a pwt tournament. When it comes down to it, take a picture it will last a lot longer. The future of fishing depends on what all sporstmen/women do today, not tomorrow or next week. ND is an awesome place to hunt/fish and I would like to see it stay that way for years to come.
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Brad did you happen to clean that weird looking walleye that's in the open forum? What the heck did it look like?
It was bad, very bad. I'm talking about the walleye pic on the open page.
The mutant was the wierdest walleye I've ever seen. It had a cavern in its body that was empty. I also noticed one of its organs had a lot of blood vessels protruding out of it. It seemed that the skin was alot tougher than other fish too. It only measured 22", but if it was straight it might have went 24". I figured it was genetically deformed since it lacked any scars. I decided to keep it to clean it out of the gene pool.
IMO we should all have a self imposed slot limit, mine happens to be 14" to 22". But we all don't think alike so what do you do!!!!! a couple weeks ago i put in at Grahams Island and after a very fun afternoon with my nephew we got off the lake after sundown, we loaded and went to the cleaning station (which was very busy) anyway there was a group of 3 or 4 guys waiting in line to clean and they had 3 five gallon buckets filled with 'eyes, head first with 4 to 8 inches of tail sticking out of the top of the pails. I really wanted to say something but bit my lip instead. Bottom line is if the G&F doesn't have a slot limit it all comes down to ethics. As for the photo of the cock-eyed walleye. i caught one on DL last summer that was similar but not as severely bent, straight the fish would have measured 21 or 22 inches. i also removed him from the gene pool,but upon cleaning him found nothing wrong internally. watch out for the mutant 'eyes of DL!!!!!!!!!
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