The future looks great for Leech Lake walleyes. This is exciting news for us at Leisure Outdoor Adventures. Nothing gets us more excited than putting fish in the boat for our customers, especially walleyes! We have had a great summer and fall up on Leech Lake with many limits and big fish being caught throughout this time. There is still some great fishing to be had this fall, one of my favorite times to fish Leech is mid to late October for big walleyes with big minnows! It gives me goose bumps just thinking about that redtail or creek chum getting nervous because there is a giant walter staring at it and ready to engulf it. Give us a call if you are interested in hitting the water. Also this walleye forecast has us extremely excited for the ice fishing season. There are some exciting things in the work for the winter season with us, so stay tuned and call for details about setting up your winter excursion!
Leech Lake test netting results show a strong walleye populationThe results of recent fall test netting on Leech Lake conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) show the walleye population remains strong and anglers who visit the lake should continue to expect quality fishing. According to the results, the walleye catch rates remain 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, large lake specialist in Walker. “It is encouraging to have a balanced walleye population within and outside the protected slot limit of 18 and 26 inches.”
Strong 2010 and 2011 year-classes are present and the DNR expects these year-classes will start providing harvest opportunities this coming winter. Additionally, 35 percent of walleye sampled were within the slot limit, which will provide anglers the opportunity to catch a large fish.
The number of young-of-the-year walleye (those hatched during the spring of 2012) sampled with both trawling and electrofishing were above the long-term average for each gear type. The average size for this year-class was good, at 6.1 inches during the mid-September electrofishing assessment. Larger sizes in the fall usually translate to higher winter survival.
Other game fish species targeted with test nets include yellow perch and northern pike. Yellow perch abundance declined for the fifth consecutive year, while northern pike abundance continues to remain stable. The primary species of nongame fish assessed with the test nets is cisco. Despite a minor cisco summer kill caused by warm temperatures in 2012, fall test netting indicated adequate numbers of cisco continue to be present.
Lake-wide, walleye counts in DNR test nets averaged 9.42 walleye per net lift, which was similar to results from the past four years and was above the long-term average of 7.7 walleye per net lift. Walleye numbers indicate that management actions implemented under the 2011-2015 Management Plan are succeeding. Key elements of the plan include special fishing regulations, walleye fry stocking, cormorant management and an increased emphasis on aquatic habitat protection.
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