On May 15 the fishing season for area lakes opened. There are significant regulation changes to both nearby walleye lakes: Iosegun and Smoke.
You have probably heard by now that anglers require tags to harvest walleye. Gone are the minimum size restrictions of the past.
The new system works like this…During April anglers can enter a draw for walleye tags. If successful in the draw the angler can purchase a Special Walleye Licence. That licence will come with three tags (exactly like the ones used for big game).
There are two size classes that you can apply for at these lakes: Class B is for walleye between 43 and 50 cm, Class C is for walleye under 43cm. Anglers can only keep walleye that fall within the size limits at the particular lake they were drawn.
It may seem complicated but I assure it is really very simple.
This is the first year for this type of harvest regime in this area. As with most firsts, there are bound to be some growing pains. The biggest downfall seems to be lack of information. Many anglers I meet were not aware of the regulation changes until the draw was closed. That doesn’t sit well with most!
Fortunately, that lack of information has a by-product: opportunity. There are still many Special Walleye Licences available at each lake. All the Class B licences are gone for both lakes but there are still many Class C licences available. These “undersubscribed” licences are yours for the taking by calling a draw number or by going on-line. But before you do you need to have the draw codes! Pamphlets are available at the Fish & Wildlife Office or at local licence vendors.
With opportunity comes responsibility; READ THE REGULATIONS! Tags must be affixed to walleye kept immediately and in a certain way! You know what they say, ignorance is no excuse! Fines are steep for infractions.
The very idea of tags for keeping fish seems to conjure up all kinds of opinions! I get my ears bent more than anybody!
The most irrational complaint I hear frequently is…”It’s just another government money grab!” Hogwash!
There is a minimal fee of $3.04 for applying. If drawn a licence costs $10.50. Certainly, it would be better if it was free but there is a cost to run the draw system, print tags and provide the service. Nobody works for free anymore!
Like it or not the tagging system was chosen strictly as a fisheries management tool! Nothing else! No nefarious government plot to separate you from your money! No conspiracy to collect more taxes! Get over it!
Yes, a fisheries management tool. Perhaps in my next submission I will explain how!Print This Post