Research update on Eagle Lake walleye……

Here’s some new research on the state of the walleye fishery on Eagle Lake. Seems like things are getting better and the future is bright! You will have to click on the images to enlarge.

14 thoughts on “Research update on Eagle Lake walleye……

  1. Gord,

    Great Blog material! I learned a lot. The future of walleye fishing on Eagle looks very bright. The two things that surprised me the most:
    – Walleyes can live to be 25 years old. I had no idea.
    – The percentage of walleyes in the slot categories is going down? This is probably more a reflection of the growth in the total population, but this surprised me a bit. You would think that the protection of these fish would lead to a larger percentage? It does have me wondering about the mortality rate of fish released in this category?

    When did the restriction on night fishing go into effect on Eagle? I couldn't find any mention of this in the literature and was wondering if this has a lot to do with the growth in the walleye population.

  2. Gord;
    Lots of good Walleye information.
    Some facts worth considering while catching releasing these fish.

  3. This is a little reassuring:
    "From our measurements of age, we can calculate how many fish die each year (either by being caught or natural causes). These "mortality rates" were comparable for 2000 and 2009. Fewer walleye die each year in Eagle Lake than the average for Northwestern Ontario lakes."

    The Professor, Gord, and other long time guests can confirm this, but I suspect few anglers were fishing walleyes on Eagle in deep water in 2000. And yet, the mortality rates are comparable. The welcomed practice of "catch and release" appears to be more than compensating for the fish that were kept a decade ago? In other words, there will be some mortality with released fish, but we know for certain the mortality of fish that are eaten.

  4. That was some very interesting stats and some great blog reading material.
    Thanks for posting Gord I am sure all who fish Eagle will enjoy reading this information.

    Now onto another matter concerning Eagle Lake and the opening season.We all know walleye opens the 3rd Saturday in May as always but did you know that a misprint in the regs has pointed out that Northern Pike will not open till the following week-end…
    I found this information on the Canadian thread of walleye central….
    Not sure if you saw this Gord or not that is why I am posting for you and your guest.

  5. Hi Gord… It's good to see science validate anecdotal evidence that I've noticed on Eagle for several years now. The walleye population is able to handle the fishing pressure. And lots of fish are present in the system close to VBL.

    It's important to remember that cycles change due to many variables that can have a negative influence on the walleye population. It's up to us to be good conservationists of this and other species in Eagle.

    Let the good times roll.

  6. Andy…..I wouldn't extrapolate too far with the data, especially concerning releasing deep water walleye. We all know that these fish can be damaged when brought up from deep water. I quote some info from another source…."Fish like walleye hooked in water deeper than 30 feet can only be released if they are brought to the surface slowly and released immediately. If a fish can't get back to the bottom, it's probably going to die. Taking fish out of the water in these situations puts a tremendous strain on their muscles, their internal organs, and their skeletal system." If we continue to fish in a responsible manner, then I would expect to see the growth of the walleye population to continue. I would suggest that releasing deep water fish without taking them out of the water is the way to go. Definately not a photo opportunity…..we are all guilty of this. If unhooking them in the water is an issue, then we need to re-evaluate the methods we are using…..too many hooks, barbs?? Over all it is a very positive result. I particularly appreciate the fact that the western section of the lake seemed to hold the most walleye! Now, just try and catch them….that's the challenge.

  7. Perchmaster,

    Given Gord's over protective nature when it comes to walleyes, perhaps we should focus on perch this spring? We could have a perch poundage tournament?

  8. Gord,

    Can you clarify what is going on with the Pike opener? If it is a mis-print in the regs, does that mean it is really May 15'th, or are they going to stick with the "wrong" date of May 22'nd? You've got to love these fuzzy rules and how they get interpreted.

  9. Andy
    First question hey I hope things are just right for a little warmer waters this spring and if we can get to the honey hole you will be amazed with the perch fishing in spring, to me it is one species over looked by many when they go to Canada but man they have some Jumbos and it can be a blast.
    As for bait I did order some extra Chena bait for the whole season but will bring one for you guy's to try if you want.
    Now for the other question and Gord can clarify this since he is the man for this area from what I have been able to find out on-line it will be enforced and the date for the opener will be May 22nd this year.
    Kind of sucks for those coming opening week but that is what I have been able to find out so maybe Gord can find out more talking to one of his MNR guy's in the area.
    Good Luck to those heading up for the opener and leave some for the rest of us.

  10. O.K. I did talk to the local conservation officer and he did say the regulation is a mistake but that they would enforce it in a "soft" manner. That means that most won't have a clue about this and there will be no tickets issued. However, if I was told of this regulation and continued to keep northern then I might be ticketed. My take on this is that it is an embarrassment to the MNR, and why they would embarrass themselves further by issuing tickets is beyond me. Fortunately, most camp on Eagle have no guest opening week. I guess 4 or 5 years of crappy opening weather has taken it's toll.

  11. Perchmaster,

    I was almost glowing two years ago when I returned in the fall to see my name on the fish board….." Too damn many perch – Andy L.". This came compliments of one of your tips a few years ago.

    I didn't use it before, but I've got my little green container of Chena. The Professor however, could be S.O.L.

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