Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Articles written by Doug Smith


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  • Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Apr 23, 2014

    Upper Red Lake's summer walleye regulations will be unchanged from last year. The regulations allow anglers to keep larger walleye after June 15. From the May 10 fishing opener to June 14 anglers must release all walleyes 17- to 26-inches long. From June 15 to Nov. 30, anglers may keep walleye less than 20 inches and must immediately release all walleye 20- to 26-inches long. The possession limit for both periods is four fish, and only one of those fish can be longer than 26 inches. The DNR says the more restrictive size limit is necessary for...

  • Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Mar 26, 2014

    In an unprecedented move, late-night fishing on Lake Mille Lacs, a sport unto itself for generations of Minnesotans, has been banned for the coming fishing season, except for opening weekend. The annual spring night fishing ban on the state's premier walleye fishery will be extended until December, rather than ending in mid-June, in an attempt to help the lake's struggling walleye population recover, the Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday. The DNR wants to avoid the alternative:...

  • DNR officers descend on Lake of the Woods in fish poaching bust

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Jan 30, 2014

    Walleye fishing has been hot on Lake of the Woods in recent months. Maybe too hot. Last week, 40 state conservation officers descended on the lake - one of Minnesota's most popular - and executed search warrants as part of a fish poaching investigation that began last summer and involve numerous violations. About two dozen people, including some fishing guides, are expected to be cited. Many of the cases appear to involve "double-tripping" where anglers catch fish, leave the lake, then return...

  • Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Jan 8, 2014

    For Don Pereira, the key to maintaining Minnesota’s fishing quality is habitat. “The reason why fishing is so good in Minnesota is because we have a large, diverse suite of robust native fisheries, and those come from healthy habitat,’’ said Pereira, a 30-year fisheries research and management veteran who was recently named Department of Natural Resources fisheries chief. Restoring and protecting fish habitats will be a major goal, said Pereira, 55, of Cottage Grove. Pereira will be among the speakers at the DNR’s annual roundtable meetings...

  • Leech Lake's unique problem? Too many walleyes

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Sep 4, 2013

    Leech Lake’s walleye population is now so high that state resource managers likely will relax fishing regulations next year, making it easier for anglers to keep more fish. Officials want anglers to take more walleyes from the 175-square-mile lake. Spurred by the current 18- to 26-inch protected slot, the lake’s walleye biomass is at a near-record high — and is having negative impacts on the fishery. “Currently we’re seeing thinner walleyes,” said Matt Ward, Department of Natural Resources large...

  • Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Aug 28, 2013

    There's an impression that anglers who live outside local communities are the ones who commit most of the fishing violations. But that's not necessarily an accurate picture. Consider the busts that occurred recently on Lake Mille Lacs. Three anglers, including a married couple who lives along the lake, were charged with over-limits of fish and face heavy fines and restitution. Richard E. Southworth, 70, and Linda J. Southworth, 59, of Isle, were recently charged by DNR conservation officers with a gross over-limit of 52 walleyes. During a...

  • Angler woes: First a late ice-out, now a bait shortage

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|May 13, 2013

    Minnesota anglers just can’t win: First they had to deal with lakes covered with ice on the fishing opener. Now the cold spring means a live bait shortage, too. “You can’t trap minnows with ice on the lakes,’’ said Phil Koep, owner of Urbank Live Bait in Clitherall, Minn., a major bait wholesaler that serves 75 bait shops across northern Minnesota. He has gotten some fathead, crappie and sucker minnows, but no spottail shiners — a favorite of many anglers who fish northern Minnesota waters. Lake...

  • Late ice-out: What will it mean for Minnesota anglers?

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Apr 22, 2013

    Larry Anderson peered out his window at a frozen, snow-covered Leech Lake last week and pondered whether the white expanse would be blue by the May 11 fishing opener. “Looking at the forecast, I’d say we’re in trouble,’’ said Anderson, a longtime Leech Lake fishing guide. Ice on Leech still is nearly 3 feet thick, as it is on lakes across northern Minnesota. So with less than three weeks before Minnesota’s fishing opener — and with no end in sight for the cool spring weather — some anglers, f...

  • 3-year walleye-poaching probe nets more charges in Minnesota

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Apr 16, 2013

    About 40 people now face federal, state or tribal charges for buying and selling tens of thousands of walleyes netted from some of the state’s most popular walleye lakes, officials said Monday in announcing additional charges. Officials said 21 northern Minnesota suspects will face state charges. That’s in addition to the federal felony charges against 10 people that were announced last week by the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis. And up to 15 members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibw...

  • Major fish-poaching scheme busted in northern Minnesota, authorities say

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Apr 11, 2013

    A major fish poaching scheme involving the buying and selling of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of walleyes netted from some of northern Minnesota’s most popular lakes has been busted, authorities said Wednesday. Ten men from northern Minnesota have been indicted for allegedly netting walleyes and other fish from lakes on the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian reservations and selling them in violation of federal, state and tribal law. The illegal activity allegedly has occurred since 200...

  • Walleyes remain strong at Leech; Upper Red Lake regs relaxed

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Oct 9, 2012

    The walleye population on Leech Lake remains strong, according to this fall’s test netting survey. And anglers who fish Upper Red Lake this winter will be able to keep walleye from a wider slot limit than previously. First the Leech Lake news: The Department of Natural Resources walleye catch rates were above the long-term average for the sixth consecutive year. "September gill nets showed good numbers of both juvenile and adult walleye," said Matt Ward, DNR large lake specialist in Walker. "It is encouraging to have a balanced walleye populati...

  • Walleye regs change Dec. 1 on Mille Lacs, Upper Red

    Doug Smith, Star Tribune|Nov 24, 2011

    Walleye regulations on two popular Minnesota lakes -- Mille Lacs and Upper Red -- change next week. The walleye regs for Upper Red Lake will revert back to a 17- to 26-inch protected slot limit beginning Dec. 1, through the winter walleye season. The daily and possession limit remains at four fish, with one over 26 inches allowed. The DNR says the change back to the 17- to 26-inch protected range is a necessary step for harvest management because winter angling pressure on Upper Red has been consistently higher than open water pressure. Walleye...

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