Selective Harvest Policy
Practice CPR Fishing
(Catch, Photo, Release)
We’ve had several good discussions with many of our guests over the years and that has helped us develop the following philosophy relating to the growing trend towards catching & releasing the larger fish in many of the species you will be able to contact during a stay on Lake of the Woods. For those of you that have your own boat rules that are even stricter, we applaud you for your dedication to conserving our precious natural resources for future generations of anglers to enjoy.
We are entering our 28th season operating Mylie’s Place in 2019. As we reflect on the 27 seasons we have completed, the satisfaction we’ve gotten from seeing our guests enjoy the splendid natural resources that Lake of the Woods has to offer stands out foremost in our minds. We’ve been very pleased to see so many of our guests releasing more and more of the larger fish that they have caught. This has been especially true for walleyes. Along with the current regulations for all species, increased catch and release practices have done a tremendous job of increasing numbers and size of the northern, walleye and muskie available to all anglers.
As resort operators with a keen interest in the future of our natural resources, we expect you to release all walleyes 22″ & larger. The low 20″ class of walleyes are often our best spawners. This stock should be preserved to replenish the resource for future generations. Muskies have a minimum size to be kept, but we would like to see all muskies released regardless of any legal minimum in the regulation book. Releasing these trophy fish will allow others the same chance at a thrilling experience. The harvesting of smallmouth bass, particularly large fish are also not something we would like to witness our guests doing. With the tremendous numbers of excellent table fare fish available such as walleye, crappie, perch, and northern, let’s leave these excellent game fish for anglers to enjoy catching again and again.
Justin had an interesting conversation with a scientist that works with fish and wildlife research during an MNR workshop during a fisheries management planning conference. The most important thing taken from that discussion was that large fish still spawn and release A LOT of eggs. As well, genetics play a huge part in the the offspring of those trophy class fish. A larger fish has a much better chance of producing more large fish. Not all fish will get to be trophy class, but those that do will spawn more fish of that caliber. In all species, letting the big fish go so they can spawn as many times as possible will help restock the lake with more fish capable of being in the trophy size class most fisherman dream about catching once or twice in a lifetime. Whether it is bass, walleye, northern or muskie…the bigger the fish, the better chance it will spawn more of the same if allowed to do so. As well, it has been shown in studies (with Walleyes) that bigger, more experienced fish are “better” spawners. Meaning, they move around and search out the best places to lay their eggs. They will seek out the best conditions to drop eggs and have a successful spawn.
The fact that a fish may be on the downside of its life cycle and may not spawn as much as it once did is a fallacy based on the above information received from an experienced scientist. Further, the Iowa DNR re-captured the same tagged fish multiple times over the year and estimated it’s spawn to be 400,000 eggs when it measured 29.5″ inches during it’s most recent recapture for the Spirit Lake Hatchery. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that older/larger fish don’t spawn as much. However, even if that were to be the case, this is not a good reason to decide to take that fish out of the system. It could easily live to be caught once, twice or even several more times and give other anglers a thrill of a lifetime before it’s natural life is over.
YOU ARE IN TROPHY WATERS — KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!!
Be prepared for the decision of what to do with a trophy class fish. Have camera batteries charged and ready. Have your camera/phone with you each day. If you forget your camera, please do not bring a fish back in the live-well to capture a photo. This practice is very likely to result in delayed mortality of the fish, even if it appears to swim away at the dock when you release it. Unfortunately, we have witnessed this numerous times. Have release tools close by. Leave the fish in the water as much as possible. Have tape measure ready to record girth if you would like to a replica made at some point. All these things will help you preserve the memory of your fish of a lifetime with the happy ending of it being released for someone else to catch.
If someone catches a trophy class fish in any species and wishes to create a permanent memory of their catch, there is the opportunity to carefully measure length/girth and take several photos. A graphite replica can be made of your fish of life time and you can brag about having “let it go and let it grow.” What we will no longer continue to allow is having larger fish harvested for the dinner table. Many of our guests have voiced dismay after seeing this happen in the fish cleaning house. We feel strongly about this and it is a deal breaker. We ask all of our guests to let us know if they see this happening in the fish cleaning house so that we can discuss it further when need be.
The resort offers $50 gift certificates for anything in the Moore’s Lures tackle/supply Catalogue each year for the largest released fish in the following categories: walleye (adult), walleye (youth under 18), muskie, northern pike, smallmouth bass. Please inform us if you have caught and released a potential prize winning fish. Dick Moore personally donates 2 of these gift certificates each year as support of the idea of responsible harvest and CPR fishing.
There are cases where fish will die as a result of being badly hooked or injury during the fight and handling. If this occurs and the fish is of legal size, it MUST be kept rather than wasted. If the fish is not of legal size to keep, it must be let go. This is a part of fishing and will happen at some point if you fish long enough. As anglers, if we use proper gear & equipment that allows fish to be landed safely and released as quickly as possible then we have done our best. Limiting the time out of water will always be the most important factor in a good, successful release.
A trip to Lake of the Woods is about more than the fishing. If we work together, we can make it a special place for our kids, our grandkids and their grandkids to enjoy. Shore lunches, or a meal of fresh fish back at the resort, is often one of the more memorable parts of the Lake of the Woods experience. There will always be plenty of fish for frying, baking or smoking during your stay.
Once again, for those of you that already practice responsible harvest and throw all your big fish back, we can’t thank you enough for leading by example. We estimate this number for be well over 90% of our guests!! We continue to look forward to marking the photos of your big fish as CPR (Caught, Photographed, Released.)
The Lloyd Abel Memorial Award goes to the guest that catches and releases the largest walleye of the season. Lloyd’s “boat rules” relating to this idea of responsible harvest were well ahead of the times. Lloyd insisted anyone fishing with him abide by these rules, without exception. One of Lloyd’s daughters has continued the yearly tradition of trips to Lake of the Woods and still employs Lloyd’s boat rules. Congratulations to the following anglers for catching and releasing the largest walleye caught by a Mylie’s guest in the years following Lloyd’s premature passing:
- 2004 – Zack Suchanek: 29.5″
- 2005 – Jan Anderson: 29″
- 2006 – Kelly Anderson: 30″
- 2007 – Gene Demers: 31.25″
- 2008 – Cliff Wessels: 30.5″
- 2009 – Mark Princehouse: 31″
- 2010 – Eric Naig: 31″
- 2011 – Bill Luschen: 31″
- 2012 – Steve DeGoey: 30″
- 2013 – Dave Maurer: 32″
- 2014 – Dick Zander: 31″
- 2015 – Gary Bowman: 31″
- 2016 – Glenn Dickinson: 31″
- 2017 – Andy Macziewski: 29.5″
- 2018 – Tara Brown: 30″
- 2018 – Jim Clark: 30″
- 2018 – Pat O’Leary: 30″
MYLIE’S PLACE SELECTIVE HARVEST POLICY re: Walleyes
- 1 walleye per license from 18″-21.99″ per trip.
- No walleyes harvested for meat 22″ and above.
- However, if a fish dies despite best efforts to practice CPR, it must be harvested if legally able to do so.
- Remainder of fish from 14″-18″.
Feel free to speak with Justin anytime or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions/concerns relating to our vision for both responsible and selective harvest.
We wish you all the very best during your visits to Lake of the Woods. Thank you for choosing Mylie’s, we’re glad to have you here with us.