These days, the two hottest topics in my mind are invasive species and that surrounding a phone call I received recently about some dead bass washed up on the shores of North Long Lake.
The two topics are not related, but definitely of note.
The invasive species topic is big. We (four of our regular guides) were in Pequot Lakes at an invasive species seminar recently and all of us became a lot more aware of the "ugly stuff" that is starting to creep into our lakes. Whether it is zebra mussels, Eurasian milfoil, purple loosestrife or spiny water fleas, we have an issue on our hands.
What can we do and what should we do? We have to keep things clean and spread the word of the importance of stopping this "ugly stuff." We need to clean our boats and trailers every time we leave the lake. Also, when you launch, clean off the trailer bunks with a brush of some sort because all it takes is one mussel or one leaflet of Eurasian milfoil and we're done.
As for the bass, I received a phone call from a local who lives on the Merrifield bay of North Long Lake. He mentioned that he picked up a 5-gallon bucket full of dead 2- and 3-pound largemouth bass that had drifted onto his beach several weeks back. He was having a hard time with the fish kill, especially being an avid bass angler.
He said there are a lot of tournaments on North Long and wondered how many fish are dying because of poor live wells, poor care of the fish and what have you and asked if there might be a different way of doing tournaments. We should all be careful if we plan on releasing the fish we catch.
When it comes to invasive species and catch-and-release, if we can learn sooner than later, maybe we will have bigger fish, more fish and clean lakes for many years to come.
WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, email@example.com or www.walleyedan.com
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