Log On Today - Fish On Tomorrow! ™
(603) 731-1804 / (603) 344-8698
Seems to me, small size equals two possibilities;
1. Not enough food or over population.
2. Both of the above.
1. Barbless hooks. (reduces hooks damage)
2. Allow taking salmon while ice fishing. (reduces numbers and hook mortality)
3. Get a smelt stocking program to support the salmon population. (this should be done with out saying)
Boy are you guys lucky to have Travis at this site!!
I've watched the salmon fishing changes at Winni for the last 5 yrs. At this point things are bad but not terrible. You still have lots of salmon but they are smaller and many are deformed from hook damage during their first year in the lake. Like Travis I offer my opinion which results from years worth of fishing with the best salmon fishermen and many hours talking with the biologist who created the Winni fishery. I think I offer much more than 2 cents worth.
1. Regular Winni salmon fishermen and guides are way to efficient when fully rigged. A little arithmetic tells me that only fifty of you can catch and release nearly all of the annual stocking in one five month season.
2. Fewer rods per boat will help. I like 4 rods per boat compared to charters and the large number of well equipped sports who regularly drag 10 to 12 line even without stacking on riggers.
3. Single barbless hooks to be cut off if the fish has swallowed the bait.
4. Rubber nets are super unless you think that they are a way to get more fish in and out of the boat so you can catch and release more fish per day.
5. Don Miller assures me that the smelt numbers are fine. If so there is another reason why 70% of the salmon seem skinnier than in the past.
6. Stocking should be done as early as possible. Fish grow faster in the lake than in the hatchery.
I hope that the hatchery can figure out how to stock salmon bigger than the 6-8" fish that they are now producing. Salmon stamp funding might help.
7. I do have concern about the number of salmon brought on the ice in winter. Cut the line at the water and tie on a new hook!!
8. I believe in education and voluntary conservation practices. This site should lead the way.
9. Everyone should offer to help Travis and other guides that are willing to share equal burden.
10. For those who want a quick fix or simply blame NHF&G , Derbies, or guides, GO TO Champlain or NY!!
As Scrooge said, "Reduce the surplace population"!!
As far as Winni fishing look forward to my regular May week at Ame's Farm and I'm sure I will have a great time.