Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Steve McComas

Steve McComas: The lifespans of fish tell a story

Let’s consider the fish within a slot limit.
Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs for example had a recent walleye slot (which expires Nov. 30) of 20 to 23 inches with one over 28 inches. The new slot begins Friday, Dec. 1, when Mille Lacs anglers can keep one walleye 21 to 23 inches long or one longer than 28 inches. I was wondering how old those walleyes were in the slot, so I did some investigating.

Local knowledge is of utmost value when it comes to understanding lakes

I’ve been working on lakes for more than 40 years, and one thing I’ve learned is that not all knowledge comes from books. The best tips, observations, and insights have come from longtime anglers and lake observers. It’s local knowledge.
A few years ago, I was having a beer at a northwoods tavern with some locals, and the discussion veered into the old logging days. Little Bearskin Lake (Wisconsin) had a lot of shoreline log cabins, and I asked why. The backstory was that at the turn of the century, loggers went on strike, and the boomed logs on the lake froze into the ice over winter.

Food buffet in many Minnesota lakes set for migrating ducks

The Minnesota waterfowl-hunting season opened Sept. 23, and ducks should have been enjoying a smorgasbord, because aquatic plants were extra-abundant in lakes and ponds this summer.
A number of factors contributed to impressive aquatic plant growth, including low lake water levels, June heat, and clear water. Sunlight penetration and heat are perfect ingredients for promoting plant growth. Several abundant aquatic plants observed in plant surveys I conducted this year were water celery, sago pondweed, and water stargrass.

Aquatic plants: Which are best, and how are they impacting fish and anglers?

Reports coming across my desk indicate it’s been a weedy summer in many Minnesota lakes: plants clogging personal watercraft propellers, pontoon motors operated in reverse to clear weeds, and uprooted plants washing ashore. Although these are recreational problems, I’ve investigated how plants might be affecting fish and anglers.

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