Editorial: Extension key to maintaining good fishing

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 7, 2005

It’s an old axiom &045; don’t try to fix something that works. We’d apply it to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ slot limit on Rainy Lake.

The regulations, which have been in place since 1994, have done wonders for the fishery on the lake. When they were first proposed there was skepticism. But the good fishing that has followed in the past 11 years has changed the minds of many early critics.

The current regulation requires the immediate release of all walleye from 17 to 28 inches, with one walleye over 28 inches allowed in a possession limit of four. This regulation will expire on March 1.

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DNR officials have the option of modifying, extending it for another 10 years or even dropping it after a lengthy review process to include input from the public.

The DNR’s preferred alternative is to extend the current regulation for 10 years.

Weighing in on the matter this month is The Rainy Lake Sportfishing Club, which has also decided to support keeping the walleye regulations in place.

The regulations certainly represent a different way to look at fishing on Rainy Lake.

If we are to preserve an abundant fishery for future generations we need to take some steps to help keep it strong. Most walleye in the &8220;slot&8221; range are females.

Returning them to the water allows them to reproduce. The fish under 17 inches make for excellent eating.

We’d encourage people to think about the walleye fishing prior to this regulation. This protected slot will allow us to bring this healthy fishery into the future.

&045; The Daily Journal (International Falls)