Posted by: Arvid | September 12, 2006

Fall Survey

I have spent a few days these past few weeks working with the DNR while they conduct their Fall Surveys on Lake of the Woods. It’s an opportunity that not many get to experience. Maybe it an experience that some wouldn’t want to, either. Right now they are gill netting at various locations on the Minnesota portion of the Lake. Nets are set one day and pulled the next. Fish that are caught are brought to an on shore location, right now the Zipple Bay State Park. There are numerous species of fish in the nets, both big and little. There are walleyes, sauger, perch, pike, suckers, tullibee, red horse, sturgeon and fish that I didn’t even know were in the lake, like the quill-back; a fish much like a carp. All the fish are measured and weighed and the sex and maturity are determined. The Otoliths (a small bone) are removed from the head to determine the age. All this information is entered on a computer to be analyzed later. At the end of the day the fish are donated to organizations like Senior Citizens, etc. This is done for seventeen consecutive days and then the survey is over.

Monday the Lake of the Woods School 10th grade Biology Class had a field trip to the Park to observe the process.

A number of people have been fishing the river recently with mixed success. Reports are that many small walleyes are being caught, like under 10″. Another report had an early season shiner run last week. That could bring a few fish in from the lake. The water level is low and inflow to the river is almost nil. Fishing should improve as we get later into the fall season.

Biology Class Onlookers.jpg
Biology Class Onlookers

Preparing to extract Otoliths.jpg
Topper Preparing to Extract Otoliths

Topper extracting Otoliths.jpg
Extracting Otoliths

Tom Recording Data.jpg
Tom Recording Data

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