Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The fishing pause: Part 1- Damn Science

From the Science Daily

Fewer Fish Eggs, Smaller Fish Result From Over-fishing

ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2006) — The practice of harvesting the largest individuals from a fish population introduces genetic changes that harm the overall fish population, a UC Riverside graduate student and colleagues have determined. Removing the large fish over several generations of fish causes the remaining fish in the populations to become progressively smaller, have fewer and smaller eggs with lower survival and growth, and have lower foraging and feeding rates, the researchers report.

The figure shows the decrease in body size in Atlantic silverside as found by a research team led by UCR graduate student Matthew Walsh. The silverside, having been reared for five generations in laboratory experiments, are all the same age. The fish shown here are from the fifth generation. The fish on the left are from populations from which large individuals were harvested over five generations; the fish in the middle are from populations from which fish were harvested at random over five generations; and the fish on the right are from populations from which only small fish were harvested over five generations. (Photo credit: M. Walsh)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The pup, a cork handle, and my local fly shop

Last August the pup was four months old. I kept him him gated on the deck while we at the place in th U.P. One evening coming in from the lake after doing some popping for bluegills I brought the rod up on the deck to clean it, set it down and turned away for 30 seconds to get a drink and in that time the damage was done. The all cork reel seat handle on my custom built out Sage LL 9 ft 4 wt was chewed. I'm not a gear collection guy. The rod was one of two that I have and fish. A bit irritiating and mildly problematic.

4 month old Grif and the damage done

The rod had been originally been built out by Eric at Coren's Rod Reel. Coren's is my neighborhood fly shop.

The store

Eric is really skilled at fixing any fishing equipment and has the shop nicely appointed with equipment, predominantly fly stuff. So I toyed with the idea of doing something about it myself. Cork Filler ? Sand it down ? Finally decided to take it back to Eric and show him the damage to his handiwork. He took a quick look, and said " ah - no problem. I''ll take this section of the handle out, split three cork rings, cement them back in, shape the handle, no problem."

And it turned out just like that.

The repaired grip on my Sage LL 9 ft 4 wt

The man himself ...

Need a fly shop on the North Side of Chicago ? A rod or reel repair ?

Corens Rod & Reel Service

6001 N Nina Ave
Chicago, IL 60631-2411
Phone: (773) 631-5202

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why did the DNR NRB board overturn the vote?

I've been trying to figure this out. Political pressure ? Did a high ranking official in Wisconsin state government lean on the appointed NRB board members to cement the "killl more small trout" central Wisconsin voting bloc ? Are the members of the board actually not capable of understanding the science behind the regulations ? Was there a payoff and if so, why ? I was stumped. Then, by accident I stumbled on the answer while following my UPI feed ....

from the UPI
" MADISON, Wis., April 8 (UPI) --
A post office manager in Madison, Wis., says delivery workers are being terrorized by wild turkeys in a West Side neighborhood.

Mara Wilhite, manager of the Hilldale Station Post Office, said between five and 10 large male turkeys have been pecking at postal carriers and occasionally attacking them with the spurs on their legs in the Parkwood Hills neighborhood, the Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) reported Tuesday.

Wilhite said one turkey barged into a mail truck's open door and scratched the surprised driver.

Eric Lobner, regional wildlife program supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the turkeys' aggression is likely tied to the mating season, which started recently and lasts until mid-May. He said the red, white and blue coloring on the mail trucks could be raising the ire of the birds, whose heads change color between blue, white and red during the mating season."

Could these vicious crazed sex addled wild turkeys and the NRB board be the same ?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Well, it was only advisory ...

The WDNR board met today and decided to not take the advice of the Conservation Congress advisory vote last week on the Prairie River quality trout fishing regulations. Despite the fact that the vote carried in 47 counties and by a 2024 to 1494 plurality, the regulations were overturned by a vote at the WDNR board hearing today.

This of course does not bode well for the future of the enlightened system of regulations currently in place in the state. This is decidedly an anti-resource decision, completely based outside the normal set of scientific principles at work on managing cold-water resources.

Snow is almost all gone

Last of the snow about to go ..

If you can find them, the Morels are here...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Triploid Browns and Native Trout

Fish biology tells us that streams have specific holding capacity. Won't these trips' still displace the natives ?
from the pages at Fish Farmer magazine
22 April, 2008 -

PROTECTING native brown trout is at the heart of a new Environment Agency approach that it says will benefit both anglers and the native trout population in rivers and lakes throughout England and Wales.
Angling is one of the most popular outdoor pursuits, bringing many social and economic benefits. Every year, fishery owners and clubs introduce almost 700,000 fertile farmed trout into rivers and lakes to supplement stocks for anglers.
Under the new policy, infertile triploid brown trout will be used to stock these waters in a move to protect wild trout (including sea trout) stocks. The Environment Agency will stop giving consent to stock fertile farmed brown trout into rivers and most lakes in England and Wales from 2015. Targets have been set to encourage fishery managers to progressively switch to the use of infertile triploid fish to supplement trout stocks in these waters.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So I've been ruminating about the vote last week. I was thinking about writing this and kept getting stopped looking for something better in it all and figured I'd just post the picks and bag the analysis as the best I could come up with is, its all about the numbers. These are from tax day April 15 2008.

I put the gear and the dog in the car before I drove up to Rock County to vote last Monday night but even though I was not planned to fish Tuesday the plans seemed to happen anyway. I was pretty sure that the vote was a lost cause, but nothing seems to attract me like a fight for a lost cause especially when its right. I heard a folksy and eloquent defense of the regs at the Janesville Moose Lodge and then voted and drove on to a cheap hotel on hway 18 in the SW. I knew that the place had wireless so I brought my compy only to find the laptop crapped out sometime during the drive. I ended up at dawn in the cold on one river. By about mid morning it had warmed up and I tagged a few.

It was the first 68 degree day of the year and the first caddis fly I had seen and the first trout on a dry caddis fly of 2008.

There was still some small snow patches on the north side of the hills.

At this point I didn't know that the vote had carried. I was just out enjoying the day, and the streams and the dog and the trouts.

Some recent habitat improvement that came through the floods last summer just fine.

The votes on the Prarie regs last lost year by a little less than 500 votes, they carried this year by a little more than 500 votes. Its all about the numbers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Have A Good Seder

Gefilte Fish - my modern recipe

The stock:
1 pound of large carrots
2 large onions quartered
1/2 bunch parsley

Set to boil in a large soup pot

The Fish dumplings:
3 pounds whitefish fillets skinned
3 pounds tilapia filets
1 large onion
4 eggs
1 cup matzo meal (maybe more - maybe less)

With large knife, hand chop the fish until a nice chunky mince.
Chop onion until fine. in a large bowl mix by hand until smooth.

mix eggs in a separate bowl, pour in with fish, thorougly hand mix.
While mixing fish onion egg, hand shake the matzo meal in so that it is thoroughly distributed. Continue mixing and add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill for half an hour.

Wet hands - form little loaves, and with a slotted spoon add the fish dumplings to the stock. Cook with the lid on the pot for 2 hours - a gentle boil.

Chill overnight.

Serve with a piece of the cooked carrot and a little of the stock with white or red horseradish.

So you might ask - what's modern about this ?
First - no fish stock, just a simple vegetable stock.
Radically cuts down on the stink factor not spending a day boiling fish heads.
Second - Tilapia and whitefish. No trout, no pike, no carp.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thar's gold in them thar troot streams ...

Spending by Trout Anglers in the Driftless Area Adds $1.1 Billion to the Local Economy

From the latest TU news

"A report commissioned by TU shows that recreational angling in the Driftless Area of southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and northwest Illinois generates $1.1 billion to the local economy. For every dollar spent on stream restoration, an additional $25 is returned to the regional economy each year thereafter..."

more here

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reason # 1 - because it is the right thing to do

On April 14 in every county in Wisconsin the unique Conservation Congress spring hearings will be held. A disgruntled "retired" fisheries manager has been waging a personal war against the enlightened Wisconsin inland trout coldwater fisheries regulations. He has found a like minded group group of the kill more small trout contingent and managed to put to vote the regulations protecting five miles of the prime rearing habitat for native trout in Central Wisconsin's Prairie River. All Wisconsin citizens are eligible to vote by showing up at the hearings held in every county. The citizens of the surrounding states of Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, which are generally referred to as Greater Wisconsin, are also eligible to vote on this advisory question. Vote yes on question 36.

April 14th. 7:00pm

County Location
Adams Adams County Courthouse, Board Room, 402 Main St., Friendship
Ashland Ashland Senior High School, Auditorium, 1900 Beaser Avenue, Ashland
Barron Old Courthouse Building Lower Level, 330 E. LaSalle Ave., Barron
Bayfield Bayfield County Old Courthouse, Second Floor, 117 E. 5th, Washburn
Brown Franklin Middle School, Auditorium, 1234 W. Mason, Green Bay
Buffalo Alma High School, Gymnasium, S1618 Hwy. 35, Alma
Burnett Siren Government Center, Room 165, 7410 County Road K, Siren
Calumet Calumet County Courthouse, B025, 206 Court St., Chilton
Chippewa Chippewa Falls Middle School, 750 Tropicana Blvd., Chippewa Falls
Clark Greenwood High School, West Gymnasium, 306 W. Central Ave., Greenwood
Columbia Columbia County Courthouse, Community Room, 400 DeWitt St., Portage
Crawford Crawford County Courthouse, Court Room, 220 N. Beaumont Road, Prairie du Chien
Dane Dane County Alliant Energy Center, Exhibition Hall, 1919 Alliant Energy Way, Madison
Dodge Horicon City Hall, 404 E. Lake St., Horicon
Door Sturgeon Bay High School, Auditorium, 1230 Michigan Ave., Sturgeon Bay
Douglas Springs High School, 8993 E. Baldwin Avenue, Solon Springs
Dunn Dunn County Fish and Game Club, 1900 Pioneer Ave., Menomonie
Eau Claire South Middle School, Auditorium, 2115 Mitscher Ave., Eau Claire
Florence Florence Natural Resources Center, Highway 70/101, Florence
Fond du Lac Theisen Middle School, 525 E Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac
Forest Crandon High School, Auditorium, 9750 USH 8 W, Crandon
Grant Grant Co. Youth & Ag Building, 916 E. Elm St., Lancaster
Green Monroe Middle School, 1510 13th St., Monroe
Green Lake Green Lake High School, Small Gym, 612 Mill St., Green Lake
Iowa Dodgeville High School, Gymnasium, 912 West Chapel St., Dodgeville
Iron Mercer Community Center, 2648 W. Margaret St., Mercer
Jackson Black River Falls Middle School, LGI, 1202 Pierce St., Black River Falls
Jefferson Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Activity Center, 503 N. Jackson Ave., Jefferson
Juneau Olson Middle School, Auditorium, 508 Grayside Avenue, Mauston
Kenosha Bristol Grade School, Gymnasium, 20121 83rd St., Bristol
Kewaunee Kewaunee High School, Auditorium, 911 2nd St., Kewaunee
La Crosse Onalaska High School, Field House, 700 Hilltop Place, Onalaska
Lafayette Darlington High School, 11838 Center Hill Road, Darlington
Langlade Antigo High School, Volm Theater,1900 10th Avenue, Antigo
Lincoln Tomahawk Elementary School, 1048 East Kings Road, Tomahawk
Manitowoc UW Manitowoc, Theater, 705 Viebahn St., Manitowoc
Marathon D.C. Everest Middle School, 9302 Schofield Avenue, Schofield
Marinette Crivitz High School, Auditorium, 400 South Ave, Crivitz
Marquette Montello High School, Community Room, 222 Forest Lane, Montello
Menominee Menominee County Courthouse, Basement, Courthouse Lane, Keshena
Milwaukee Greenfield High School, 4800 South 60th St., Greenfield
Monroe Sparta High School, Auditorium, 506 N. Black River St., Sparta
Oconto Suring High School, Cafeteria, 411 E. Algoma St., Suring
Oneida James Williams Middle School, 915 Acacia, Rhinelander
Outagamie Riverview Middle School, Auditorium, 101 Oak St., Kaukauna
Ozaukee Webster Middle School, Commons, W75 N624 Wauwatosa Road, Cedarburg
Pepin Pepin County Government Center, County Board Room, 740 7th Ave. W., Durand
Pierce Ellsworth Senior High School, Auditorium, 323 Hillcrest, Ellsworth
Polk Unity High School, Gymnasium, 1908 150th St./Hwy. 46, Balsam Lake
Portage Ben Franklin Middle School, Auditorium, 2000 Polk St., Stevens Point
Price Price County Courthouse, County Board Room, 126 Cherry St., Phillips
Racine Union Grove High School, Gymnasium, 3433 S. Colony Ave., Union Grove
Richland Richland County Courthouse, 181 West Seminary, Richland Center
Rock Janesville Moose Lodge, 2701 Rockport Ave., Janesville
Rusk Ladysmith High School, Auditorium, 1700 E. Edgewood Ave., Ladysmith
Sauk UW Baraboo, R.G. Brown Theater, 1006 Connie Road, Baraboo
Sawyer Winter High School, Auditorium, 6585 West Grove St., Winter
Shawano Shawano Middle School, LGI Room, 1050 S. Union St., Shawano
Sheboygan Sheboygan Falls High School, 220 Amherst Avenue, Sheboygan Falls
St. Croix Wis. Indianhead Technical College, Cashman Conf. Room, 1019 S. Knowles Ave., New Richmond
Taylor Taylor Co. Fairgrounds, Multipurpose Building, State Hwy. 13 and Hwy. 64 Intersection, Medford
Trempealeau Whitehall City Center, Gymnasium, 36245 Park St., Whitehall
Vernon Viroqua High School, 100 Blackhawk Drive, Viroqua
Vilas Plum Lake Community Center, Golf Course Road, Sayner
Walworth Delavan/Darien High School, Auditorium, 150 Cummings, Delavan
Washburn Wis. Ag Research Station, W6646 Hwy. 70, Spooner
Washington Washington County Fair Park, Exhibit Hall, 3000 Hwy. PV, West Bend
Waukesha Waukesha Co. Tech. College (WCTC), Richard T. Anderson Bldg., 800 Main St., Pewaukee
Waupaca Waupaca High School, Auditorium, E2325 King Road, Waupaca
Waushara Waushara County Court House, 2nd Floor Old Courtroom, 209 S. St. Marie, Wautoma
Winnebago Webster Stanley Auditorium, 915 Hazel St., Oshkosh
Wood Pittsville High School, Auditorium, 5459 Elementary Ave., Pittsville

Great Art - Great Cause

John Koch at Trout Lily Studios
, Pierce County Wisco, has put up a special trout print to benefit the annual Rush River clean up.

Titled "Recyclable Trout" 100% original art wood block prints.
prints and images copyright © John Koch 2008

You get one from him direct @ Trout Lily Studios

Reason #2 in the daily countdown to the election

Through the VOTE on April 14 HDW-MOBILE will be doing a reason a day count down to vote to maintain quality trout fishing regulations on the Prairie at the Spring Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings.


• A version of this question appeared at the CC hearings last year. The WDNR has subsequently admitted it was a mistake to allow this question.

The reason was it had no merit regarding the management of the natural resources in accordance with the DNR mission statement----"To protect and enhance our natural resources: our air, land and water; our wildlife, fish and forest and the ecosystems that sustain life.” Regarding an admitted "social" agenda, even in the body of the question is outside of that mission.

Informational Links on this Issue (Article Page 3)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Countdown to the Wisconsin CC Vote 3 days, reason #3

Through the VOTE on April 14 HDW-MOBILE will be doing a reason a day count down to vote to maintain quality trout fishing regulations on the Prairie at the Spring Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings.


• Category 5 quality harvest regulations were formulated to provide a greater diversity of angling experiences, especially opportunities to fish populations of wild trout that have a natural size and age distribution unaltered by excessive harvest.

Such opportunities are the kind anglers might expect in remote destinations far from home. Those locations have far fewer people, far fewer population densities than the rural areas of Wisconsin. Those kinds of opportunities should not be put at risk out on the few waters that are now designated as Category 5.

Informational Links on this Issue (Article Page 3)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thanks for the Blog Love

Tom at Trout Underground and Shaq at The Angler's Net brought some mojo to the Prairie River regulation fight. Thanks for the mentions - and remember, get out and vote on Monday if you live in Wisconsin, or those border states we like to refer to as Greater Wisconsin; Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa.

Reason #4 - 4 days to the vote

Through the VOTE on April 14 HDW-MOBILE will be doing a reason a day to vote to maintain quality trout fishing regulations on the Prairie at the Spring Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings.


• This is a movement we all need to be aware of and take notice. The next group may organize to assault the size and slot limits that have been created on other species (that you fish) and that have resulted in quality fishing in Wisconsin. This issue is about more than trout. It is about supporting the WDNR in the science based methods of fishery management. It is about all of the forms of quality fishing regulations and their method of devlopment and integration. Take the musky fishery as an example of what it has matured to with protective regulations. Are you prepared to lose that to those that want to harvest more and smaller fish? Are you prepared to see similar in the Bass fisheries in the state ?

Informational Links on this Issue (Article Page 3)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

If you must spin fish...


If you must spin fish, then why not at least be artistic about it. The fishing lure as independent art form is not any thing any antique wood lure collector would have a problem with understanding. A super bad ass rubber top water frog looks like a bass killer.

This pokemon inspired cicada doesn't look like anything I've ever seen, but I've never seen a stream bed bug that looks like a pink squirrel either, and that catches trout.

Maybe this lure is designed for use with the "good rod" to catch "Finneons".

Reason #5 - 5 days to the vote

Through the VOTE on April 14 HDW-MOBILE will be doing a reason a day to vote to maintain quality trout fishing regulations on the Prairie at the Spring Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings.


• Don’t buy into the argument that this water is for elitist fly fishers. There are no fly-fishing only regulations that apply to any trout waters in the state.

All it takes to fish special regulation water is spinning gear. This particular regulation is about increasing the size of the fish available for harvest, it is not about catch and release and it is not about creating fly fishing only preserves. This is just a lie told to characterize these five miles of quality regulations. The artificial lures restriction does not prevent kids from fishing. The artificial lures restriction does not prevent old people from fishing. The artificial lures restriction does not prevent anyone fishing.

Informational Links on this Issue (Article Page 3)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Comes to the Great Lakes Basin

The snow is receding.

The morels are advancing.

The first human remains of spring have been found in a streambed.

6 days to the Vote: Your Daily Countdown # 6

Until April 14 HDW-MOBILE will be posting a reason a day to vote to maintain quality trout fishing regulations on the Prairie at the Spring Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings. Vote yes on queation 36.

REASON # 6 ( 2 parts to this one )

Why is this question back on the agenda this year? Last year’s question to change 5 miles of the Prairie from category 5 to category 4 was presented for a vote with some important information missing.

• What is the missing information?
DNR fisheries personnel had conducted fish population surveys on the Prairie that showed the number of brook trout greater than 10 inches increased by 115% and the number of brook trout greater than 12” increased by 200% in the category 5 water. That biological information was completely missing from last year’s question, which was presented only as a “social” question.

Remember anyone that shows up the vote - CAN vote...


Informational Links on this Issue (Article Page 3)

Monday, April 7, 2008

7 days to the Vote: Your Daily Countdown # 7

For the next seven days HDW-MOBILE will be doing a reason a day to vote to maintain quality trout fishing regulations on the Prairie at the Spring Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings.


The quality regulation section of Prairie River is 5 miles long out of the 42 miles of trout water on the Prairie River.

Anglers have liberal harvest opportunities & no gear restrictions on nearly 90 percent of the river. Plus the overwhelming majority of local trout fisheries throughout Lincoln County and North Central Wisconsin are currently open to the most liberal angler harvest allowable. We are fortunate to live in a state that has a wide variety of trout waters. Having several categories of regulations allows for better use of that variety. There are plenty of trout streams to fish and room for all. Let's appreciate the choice options and share them equitably.


Informational Links on this Issue (Article Page 3)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quality Trout Regs in Wisconsin Attacked

It would be nice if this letter to the editor to end special regulations was just written by a some one who doesn't know better. Roger Kerr is a "retired" WDNR ex-fisheries manager. He has been running a campaign to overturn the enlightened fishing regulations in Wisconsin for 8 years. The people in south west Wisconsin ignored his attempts to turn back the clock on stream management, but he has found a receptive audience in the people trying to get rid of the quality trout water regulations on five files of the forty two miles of trout water on the Prairie River. There is no science or conservation ethic at work here. Just a simple and wrong minded appeal to go back to the days of put and take fisheries, as if it was some how a better and healthier and more enlightened system. It is not. The fact that there was a successful vote to overturn the regulations on the Prairie was the first step in what will be a determined effort to turn back the current age of sophisticated and enlightened Trout fisheries practice in Wisconsin. On April 14th there will be an advisory vote to put the regulations back on the table as as issue for the conservation congress. All in attendence can vote. These are locations to go and vote.

from the April 2 Antigo Daily Journal

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April 1st 20 inches +

Snow season continues in the UP.
20+ inches on the ground and a blizzard this morning.
After the record low level of Shag Lake last year, hopefully this bodes well for the upcoming year.