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wakerider107

Please help protect our lake - Gull Lake MN

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wakerider107

Attention lake lovers and fellow Minnesotans. The MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has recently chosen the Gull Lake Chain to stock Muskies starting November 2016.

 

 

TL;DR

The State of Minnesota is going to stock Gull Lake, MN (a major tourist, resort, recreation chain) with the non-native trophy fish Muskie. Gull Lake is already  stressed with other non native species. Claiming a large percentage of people were in favor, the Department of Natural Resources ignored the  74% of lake property owners that were in opposition of stocking. This fish presents more issues than benefits and can result in damaging the lake further.

Please sign this petition to stop the stocking of Muskie and focus on rehabilitating our lake first.

https://www.change.org/p/brainerd-areas-fisheries-office-stop-dnr-stocking-of-muskies-into-gull-lake-chain-of-lakes

 

 

 

Muskallenge, or Muskie, is a large freshwater trophy fish that’s found in many lakes in the Midwest. It is rarely consumed for food and almost entirely used to catch, take a picture, and release. They are a large predator and have been known to eat other popular fish such as walleye and panfish. Introducing a non-native species is always risky and we can make our best judgment, but in reality we will not know the true effects until it is too late.

 

This decision was done without getting local input by those who live on or near the Gull Chain. The DNR’s number one reason for stocking a major chain of lakes in central MN is to expand tourism and provide another location for the trophy fish. If you’re familiar with this area, you’ll know that Nisswa is not stressed for tourism. The DNR claimed to have reviewed 1,800 comments over the past 2 years to gain public feedback. What they don’t report is where this data came from, because they did not gather local input.  The local Gull Chain of Lakes Association (GCOLA) has found 74% of its member have voted against the stocking of Muskies, but the DNR has not taken this into consideration. These are people who live on or near Gull Lake, pay much higher taxes, pay for a large portion of lake management, pay for private aquatic invasive species inspectors, deal with damaged equipment from zebra mussels.

From a survey not long ago, 14% of fisherman specifically target Muskie and another 15% or so would consider trying it. Currently, there are 116 lakes that are stocked with Muskies and this does not include lakes that are connected via chains, rivers, or streams. There are plenty of other local Muskie lakes that can be used for fishing this specific trophy fish. Not to mention, since its specifically a trophy fish, if we keep stocking lakes it will be more common to catch and less of a trophy.

 

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS):

My main problem with the proposed stocking of Muskie is not so much the fish itself, but the fact that this will increase boat traffic and increase the likelihood of more AIS being transported to and from the lake. The DNR is already struggling to inspect boats coming and going at the current traffic level. Boats are the number one cause of AIS being transported. Zebra mussel veligers are microscopic and can hide in bilge area, live wells, bait containers, and ballast tanks. Eurasian Milfoil weeds can get stuck to trailers, anchors, wheels, etc.  MN has made it law to “clean, drain, dry” all boats and equipment before transporting to another lake, but this is impossible to enforce if there are not inspectors at all ramps and requiring decontaminations for those who came from infected lakes.

 

Muskies have been stocked in other lakes successfully, and in a handful of cases, unsuccessfully. Certain lakes have seen a great decline in local fish population or an overabundance of Muskies. While the DNR, in my opinion, does try hard to collect scientific data when considering Muskie stocking, we cannot tell what mother nature will do and the unsuccessful lakes have shown that. Take a look at Mille Lakes. What was once a major Walleye and Pike lake has seen a drastic reduction in those fish with the introduction of Muskies. While the DNR won’t admit this is due to Muskie stocking, 2 major records have already been broken for Muskie size on Lake Mille Lacs recently and proves they are getting huge. Big fish don’t just feed on small prey.

 

The Gull Lake Chain is already stressed from pollution, zebra mussels, curly leaf pondweed, and a decline in Walleye and Pike. We have yet to see the full affect of zebra mussels and adding another species to the lake presents unknowns. It doesn’t take someone with a degree in natural resources to know that introducing a new species to an area is not a good idea, especially when it is impossible to go back on.

 

Please sign the petition below to stop the stocking of muskies in the gull chain of lakes. It is an unnecessary risk. Lets focus on the issues Gull Lake already has instead of introducing another non-native species.

https://www.change.org/p/brainerd-areas-fisheries-office-stop-dnr-stocking-of-muskies-into-gull-lake-chain-of-lakes

 

More articles:

http://www.startribune.com/counterpoint-there-s-something-fishy-about-dnr-s-muskie-plan/366133431/

http://www.startribune.com/dnr-will-stock-muskies-in-two-new-lake-chains-while-bowing-to-opposition-in-two-others/388148042/

http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/3895340-locals-conflicted-over-muskie-stocking-gull-lake

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UWSkier

I hate the idea of stocking in general.  If a lake ecosystem can't support a certain breed of fish at a given level naturally, why stock it?  Our lake does the same thing every few years with walleye.  We have a few old codgers on the board who dream of making our lake a premier walleye lake and stock it accordingly every few years.  All they're doing is feeding the bass with a bunch of fingerling walleyes.  The few walleyes that do make it to maturity end up getting speared each spring by the native tribes.

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Raimie

Signed. Good luck.

 

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wakerider107
1 hour ago, UWSkier said:

I hate the idea of stocking in general.  If a lake ecosystem can't support a certain breed of fish at a given level naturally, why stock it?  Our lake does the same thing every few years with walleye.  We have a few old codgers on the board who dream of making our lake a premier walleye lake and stock it accordingly every few years.  All they're doing is feeding the bass with a bunch of fingerling walleyes.  The few walleyes that do make it to maturity end up getting speared each spring by the native tribes.

At least where I am at, they stock to support the large fishing community. They have stocked walleye successfully for a very long time up until the mid 2000's they have seen populations drop. Gull Lake was once a major walleye and pike lake, but it is still very good. Instead of addressing the decline, they vote to stock muskie which only a small percentage of fisherman target.

1 hour ago, Raimie said:

Signed. Good luck.

 

Thank you, we really appreciate your support!

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