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PAGE5MAZINAIGANFALL2014INLANDFISHERIESByMarkLuehringGLIFWCInlandFisheriesBiologistTheLacCourteOreillesBandhostedthe2014PartnersinFishingeventontheChippewaFlowageJune4.Theannualeventshaveddowntoonedaythisyearbringstogetherstatefederalandtribalrepresentativesinvolvedincededterritoryfsheriesmanagement.BrandonTomsleftLacduFlambeauwithaChippewaFlowagelargemouthbass.OnanexcellentdayofanglingTomsalsoboatedamuskiewalleyenorthernpikeandbluegill.PhotosbyCharlieOttoRasmussen2014PartnersinFishingMilleLacsLakeMinn.MinnesotaDNRGLIFWCFondduLacandU.S.FishandWildlifeServicefisheriesassessmentcrewscollaboratedtoconductwalleyeandnorthernpiketaggingpopula-tionestimatesonMilleLacsLakethisspring.Con-cernsabouttherecentwalleyepopulationdeclinepromptedbiologiststoorganizetaggingeffortsonthe132500-acrelakeforthesecondstraightyear.Surveycrewsfromthepartneragenciessprangintoactionjustasthelakefinallyescapedfromtheicygripofthemuch-hypedpolarvortexthatruledtheweatherpatterninmidwesternstatesthislastwinter.Northernpikespawnalittlebitearlierthanwalleyessothesewerethefirsttargetfortagging.Mostnorthernsweretaggedafterbeingcapturedinfykenetsintributarystreamswheretheicerecededfirst.Intotalcrewstaggedover3600northernpike.AssoonasthestubbornMilleLacsLakeicebegantomeltbackfromtheshoreelectrofishingcrewsbeganprowlingtheshallowsduringthenightshiftforspawningwalleyes.Thesesurveyboatssentjustenoughelectricalcurrentoutintothewatertostunthefish.Crewmembersthennettedthefishandputtheminarecoverytank.Whenenoughwalleyeswereinthetankthecrewwouldstopelectrofishingtotagmeasureanddeterminethesexofeachwalleyebeforereleasingthembackintothelake.Atotalofover14000walleyesweretaggedbeforethespawningrundiminishedinmid-May.Acoupleofweeksafterthetaggingphaseoftheestimatewhenthefishhadbecomemoremixedrecapturecrewstooktothelaketofinishthelastpartoftheestimates.Thesecrewssetmulti-panelgillnetstocatchawidevarietyofsizesofbothnorthernpikeandwalleyes.Thesenetsweresetonlyforshorttimeperiodstominimizemortalityofthefishcaught.Walleyesandnorthernpikeweremeasuredcheckedfortagsandreleased.Almost4000walleyeand1300northernpikewereexaminedfortagsduringtherecaptureportionofthesurvey.Thetotalnumbersoffishmarkedandtheproportionthatwerefoundtobetaggedduringtherecaptureportioncanthenbeusedtoestimatethefishpopula-tionsinthebiglake.Overallbiologistswerepleasedwiththesurveyeffortthisspring.Asaresultofthecooperationbetweenpartneragenciesenoughfishwereobservedduringthemarkingandrecapturephasesforusefulestimatesofwalleyeandnorthernpikeabundancetobecalculated.PartneragenciesfnishMilleLacsLakepopulationestimatesDatacollectedonwalleyeandnorthernpikeButchMieloszykGLIFWCfsheriestech-nicianpullsinanassessmentnetduringpopulationsurveysonMilleLacsLake.NoahArbuckleGLIFWCfsheriesaidmeasuresacapturedwalleyewhileMieloszykrecordsdata.DatafromassessmentsaresharedwiththeMinnesotaDepartmentofNaturalResources.PhotosbyEdWhiteNewgenerationoflakesturgeonmaturingatLdFLacduFlambeauWis.NearlyadecadeaftertribalhatcheryofficialsslippedthefirsttinylakesturgeonintotheBearRiverandLacduFlambeauLdFChainofLakestheancientfishappeartobemountingasuccessfulcomeback.Reportsofsturgeoncatcheshavecomeinfromareaicefisher-mensaidLarryWawronowiczLdFnaturalresourcesdirector.Ivebeenimpressedbythegrowthratesweveseen.Sturgeoncaughtbyhook-and-lineinrecentwintersmeasuredbetween38-48incheshesaid.Beginninginthe1930saseriesofdamsintheBearRiverwatershedincludingalowheaddamattheconfluenceoftheChainsFlambeauLakecreatedisolatedlakesturgeonpopulations.Throughtheremainderofthe20thCenturybreedingagefishlivedonbutlargelyfailedtoreproduceunabletoreachsuitablespawninggrounds.AdozenyearsagotheLdFTribedrewupplanswiththeWisconsinDepartmentofNaturalResourcesU.S.FishWildlifeServiceandUniversityofWisconsin-Milwaukeetoinjectanewgenerationofthelong-livedfishintothewatersheds.SeeLdFlakesturgeonpage7