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DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard

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Re: [wiperhunter2] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
People fish crappie ,trout,perch,everyother fish while spawning.I say let them fish the canal,maybe put a slot or size limit during walleye spawn to protect the females.The dwr job is to provide quality fishing opportunitys and sell license to keep fishing and hunting alive.I have a boat and can catch alot of walleye after the spawn,where other anglers might not have.Utah has great fishing and i think the dwr does a great job of supplying opportunitys,that said they have meetings and they are not beyond reproach.The issue i have had fishing early walleye at willard is water level.I would like to ask why has willard always so low during the walleye spawn?I have fished willard off the dike for over 30 years and it seems like now all the walleye run up the river to spawn.Why is willard not full like pineview to have more spawning area?I know willard is fuller than the past years, but there have been many years lately that no dike rocks are even in the water.The north side of the inlet as next to the main lake is a forest now,it was never like that in the past.I have a a theory that because of low water years few walleye spawn in the main lake anymore.I dont like combat fishing so i dont fish in the canal,but i have seem to have lost fishing the spawn in the main lake one of my very favorite things to do.I am not a biologist and would like a dwr biologist to respond about willard water levels concerning early main lake walleye.
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Re: [fishroof] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
fishroof wrote:

The issue i have had fishing early walleye at willard is water level.I would like to ask why has willard always so low during the walleye spawn?I have fished willard off the dike for over 30 years and it seems like now all the walleye run up the river to spawn.Why is willard not full like pineview to have more spawning area?

Welcome fishroof and thanks for posting. Willard Bay, like almost all reservoirs in Utah were built for water storage for culinary water, irrigation or flood control. The water level is maintained based upon these higher needs and mother nature, not for the benefit of anglers. Keeping water in the higher elevation reservoirs allows the maximum opportunity to use the water for culinary or irrigation later in the year.


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [perchound] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
perchound wrote:
IS THAT A FACT!

Dubob, you are so full of yourself that you fail to hear or see anything other than what you choose to. There's your FACTS!
Nice comeback. Full of wisdom, intelligence, and wit. You've beaten me into submission. You da man Perchound!


Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Hi Bob -
I have read Chris's report and the comments on this thread. If I understand correctly half the Walleye netted are from the egg hatching program by DWR and other half are from natural spawned surviving fry. The report said that over 140M eggs are deposited around the shorelines by the fish (meaning not just the channel). I am assuming that your point is that of the naturally spawned serviving fry, most of them are coming from shoreline eggs and not necessarily from the channel. Is that correct? You also stated that of the Walleye that actually attempt to spawn in the channel, 99.5% of those will not be furtilized. I think I understand your point that the channel it's self is not the major producer of naturally surviving fry, but I am an currious as to why you say that of those going up the channel less than 1% will be fertilized? Thanks for any clarification you want to give. I am somewhat new to this body of water but I want to understand the issues.
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Re: [Optimizer] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
When the channel was opened to fishing (from shore only, as boats are never allowed up the channel), there were some heated discussions on BFT over this issue. DWR personnel weighed in with the science behind their deciding to open it along with the survey data they collected that supported that decision. The science presented back then was that the channel bottom environment (silt) was NOT conducive to a successful fertilization of ANY deposited eggs. In other words, NONE of the eggs would ever survive in that environment. In other words, the fish spawning in the channel do NOT produce any offspring. Allowing fishing there during the spawn will have NO impact on new fish production. Those are the facts that Perchound and others refuse to accept. Close it, or don’t close it; it will not have an impact on the overall population of the walleye population in Willard. I vote for keeping the channel open to allow LEGAL fishermen, women, and children, an opportunity to LEGALLY catch a walleye from shore. I have not, do not, and will not ever condone illegal snagging.

Smile
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I'm 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” - Glen Aldrich
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” - Dr. Seuss
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Re: [TubeDude] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks for sharing this TD.


Thanks to Chris for a well written, informative and patient response to a fickle fishing public! Keep up the good workSmile
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Re: [Optimizer] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
The science behind the decision to leave the inlet open is that any fishing and/or harvest will have a negligible impact on walleye numbers in the reservoir. In other words, scientifically there is no reason to shut it down. Reasons to shut the inlet down to fishing would be purely social reasons. Personally, I have always believed that unnecessary regulations should be avoided.
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
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Re: [fishroof] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Welcome to the site fishroof. Not sure if you are responding to me or what but since I never said anything about not having the channel open, I'm going to assume you are just making your comment to those that don't want the channel open. To answer your other questions, "I would like to ask why has willard always so low during the walleye spawn?". As others have mentioned that is a result of how much water gets used the year prior, because in most years we have not had the full runoff occur when the eyes spawn. Second question,"Why is willard not full like pineview to have more spawning area?". This has been answered as well but I'll repeat that answer and add a little, first Pineview is a smaller lake than Willard, so it fills faster but in general, the folks that monitor water levels in our lakes always fill the upper lakes first before filling the lower lakes. You made several other statements that I think are incorrect but I understand that is your point of view. Good luck with your eye fishing at Willard this year.


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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
That is such a heated discussion and I believe that the walleyes that spawn in the channel really do nothing to contribute to the overall addition of grown up walleyes in Willard Bay. No argument there Dubob. I do have a problem with people taking out fish that they have snagged and taking more then the limit. I think that is why people get heated. I go down to inlet often i don't live far and have never really witnessed snagging or really anyone taking over the limit. I have of course heard about it and such. I haven't been down there much in the late evening. maybe that is when it is happening. Its difficult for the DWR to be down in the evening with all of their other duties. Why not close the inlet say at 8pm until 6 am or something like that. It would allow people to fish the inlet but maybe get us out of this heated topic and the DWR would be able to govern it better. I wish there was a great solution to appease everyone but that is impossible
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Re: [goose_716] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Goose716-
Thats the BEST solution I've heard in awhile! Close it down at sunset re-opens at sunrise!!!!!!!!!

Just like Lucerne Bay in protecting spawning lake trout from being snagged.
People who fish honestly can still go after it and the snaggers go home packing..

Lets turn this into something positive by providing solutions to the issues!

Great suggestion......
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Re: [wiperhunter2] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
See what ya went and started WH2, lol. The annual BFT Willard walleye debate. Thanks Chris for your informed and learned response. Always good to hear from someone in the know.
I have a question--why doesn't the DWR just collect the fish from the inlet for the eggs and save some of those big fish from being snagged? Seems like it would be easier to net or trap them there than anywhere else on the lake. That way all those eggs don't go to waste and some of those big females can go back in the lake instead of a snaggers bucket. The inlet still remains open and everybody is happy, except of course the snaggers. Does that make sense or are am I missing something here?
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Re: [fishday] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
It's all good, as you said it seems to be an annual thing, the walleye debate, guess it was just my turn to start it off this yearWink. On that other thread, a member mentioned that the DWR were collecting the fish from the inlet and saved some of those big fish from being snagged, unfortunately they collected them in a gill net and a lot of them died as a resultFrown. I liked another members idea, that the DWR should build a fish trap, like they do for the salmon at Strawberry. They could trap the eyes there at the inlet, collect their eggs and milt, then release them. Gill nets to a fine job of catching the fish but a lot more die with that method. I did read that they collect eyes in several locations around the lake, so a more diverse amount of fish can be used, so the fish trap might not be the answer for collecting fish around the entire lake but it would be good way to use those fish that spawn in the inlet.


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Re: [wiperhunter2] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Hi All,

Just a few quick comments. DWR has actually been using hoop nets in the inlet channel to capture fish and not gill nets. See attached for a pic of what a hoop net looks like. These nets funnel fish into them and then hold the fish in the throat of the net until we empty them. There is none of the entangling that is involved with gill nets so these are a great gear for keeping fish alive and in good shape. Hoop nets are most effective in flowing water, so they are rarely employed in lakes and wouldn't be a good alternative to gill nets there. This is our first year using the hoop nets in the inlet and though they've been quite successful, the gill nets in the main reservoir still catch a majority of the fish.

While I have not been out there myself working on the hoop nets, I am in contact with those that have been working them almost daily and have not heard of any walleye mortality associated with these nets. The walleye aren't the only fish utilizing the channel this time of year, so these nets do sometimes have quite a few catfish and other spiny fish in them. I think in those cases some fish do get a little banged up, but they usually recover just fine. We do release fish we catch in these nets, but very few of those have been walleye as most of the walleye we catch are transported to our spawning operation. We do occasionally release male walleye that are surplus to our spawning needs that day, but most of the fish that are released have been catfish, yellow perch, and crappie. Since I was not there to see fish that people think were dead after being caught in these nets, I can't totally dispute those claims, but I think the fish were most likely recovering when released and it took them a while to regain equilibrium after being held in the hoop net and possibly bullied by some catfish.

Regarding utilizing the inlet more. This is a good thought but there are a couple things to consider that limit its utility. First, the inlet is only productive for part of the walleye spawn and the proportion of the walleye population that uses it is considerably less than that of the fish that spawn along the shorelines . With this in mind, relying on the inlet alone would considerably limit our egg take. Second, the inlet is only productive as long as the there is considerable flow going into the reservoir. Our catch of fish usually dries up in the inlet about half way through the spawn, which is another reason we can't rely solely on its use.

Thoughts on a fish trap like at Strawberry - this probably isn't feasible since we're dealing with water that is generally much deeper than that of the river at Strawberry. Second and probably most important, the inlet of Willard is considered part of the critical embankment of the reservoir, which means it would be very difficult for us to justify drilling or digging into the inlet with the federal water authorities and their safety personnel for the sake of netting more fish. It may seem like a small thing, but those authorities are cautious of anything that could even slightly compromise the integrity of the water structures as there is a lot at stake in terms of human safety and water security.
image/jpeg hoop net.jpg (26.6 KB)
(This post was edited by cyprinus_23 on Apr 6, 2018, 3:01 PM)
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Re: [wiperhunter2] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Seems it would be pretty simple to stretch a net or fish traps across the entire inlet and eliminate the problem of wasted eggs and snagging. If they are being wasted anyway, and/or snagged, why not net or trap them all? Seems like common cents to me. Hope that play on words doesn't get me called to the carpet by the grammar police--haha. See what else you started....
Like I have suggested to people for a while now--if you are just complaining to hear yourself talk, or post, and don't have any constructive solutions to a problem then that's all it is complaining and nobody wants to hear it so “please don’t complain” Wink
(This post was edited by remo_5_0 on Apr 6, 2018, 4:29 PM)
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Re: [cyprinus_23] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks Chris for that detailed response. That hoop net looks like a great netting system that helps remove most of the mortality associated with gill netting. I had a feeling there was a good reason that a fish trap wasn't being used in the inlet but since I had not read about a proposal like that before, I thought I would bring it up, after another member mentioned it. Projects like that I'm sure would be very expensive and the cost of making a secondary inlet stream and make it shallow enough to be effective, just to catch the smaller numbers of eyes spawning there, would not be worth it from the sounds of it. As you mentioned it's not all up to the DWR anyway, anytime the feds get involved in anything, it can cause a big headache for everyone involved. Thanks for everything you guys do, not only to make Willard a better fishery but to answer our questions.


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Re: [dubob] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Bob, I agree with you. Not all fishermen own boats and this is their best chance to catch a few fish. Also, as you noted it has minimal impact on the overall fishery. If they want to close the inlet during the spawn, my suggestion would be to close the entire lake during the spawn.



Larry

...one flew east, one flew west,
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest...
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Re: [cyprinus_23] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Thanks Chris for your insightful comments. As usually is the case, there is a lot more than meets the eye. Glad you guys have already thought of what was brought up about inlet netting. Those hoop nets look like they do the trick.

Out of curiosity a few questions come to mind. What do you estimate are the number of walleye running up the inlet to spawn? How many are the hoop nets catching? Are the other species of fish in your nets spawning also, possibly the perch anyway, or are they just going along for the easy meal? With the high water there ought to be a good natural spawn this year. Should be excellent fishing at Willard and other lakes for a few years.

I think you guys are doing an excellent job. Now if mother nature can just keep the water levels up...
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Re: [FatBiker] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Don't they close fisheries in other states for the spawn?
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Re: [fishday] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
As a blanket rule.....no. It is common in other states to manage individual waters and as a result some lakes are open and others are closed.

We should allow our DWR biologists to manage our waters the way they see fit since they are the ones most educated on the specifics of each body of water within their geographic areas of responsibility. They have done an incredible job of providing a diverse fishing experience and they have also done a great job of listening to anglers and considering their requests as well. Sometimes anglers don't get everything they want and that is OK.

It is good to hear science and facts from Mr. Penn instead of emotions and knee jerk reactions.
As was stated:
1-The fish in the inlet are just a small portion of the walleyes spawning in the lake overall.
2- They see little success in their spawn due to environmental challenges within the inlet itself.
3- The DWR law enforcement officers have reported a near 98% compliance rate from those anglers fishing the inlet during the spawn and those numbers can be backed up with factual data.

There is an emotional feeling about it from many anglers on this forum, but they don't bring a lot of data and science to the table in regards to their feelings of why the inlet should be shut down, they just bring feelings (kinda reminds me of the gun control debate). I completely understand their passion as they love Willard bay fishing and in their mind it is being exploited by those that they are labeling "the masses" and "happy harvesters". Anglers are competitive in nature as it is, and many won't even tell you what they caught a fish on because of some strange belief that if they do then all the fish will be caught and it will ruin the fishery, so seeing or hearing about others catching "buckets" of THIER walleyes will make them flip out. Of course, the walleyes aren't being caught out, but appearances can be deceiving.

So......as much as I respect the opinions (and many of those fisherman, by the way) and feelings of those that are opposed to leaving the inlet open during the spawn, we must also consider the feelings of those that want it open and not vilify them and accuse them of wanting to break the law and overharvest when Law enforcement and biologists can prove with data that this is not the case.

For the record, I suggested in another thread that the DWR close it between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am during the spawn and it would make law enforcement easier and still allow those that aren't trying to fish on the sly to enjoy trying to catch fish from the inlet during the spawn. That seems like a common sense approach that should be good for those on both sides of the debate.

Feel the way you want about it everybody, but please don't attack each other on this board or any other for that matter over an issue that has indisputable facts to show why it is scientifically acceptable to allow fishing in the inlet. We are all entitle to our opinions, but in the long run we are not enemies just because we have different feelings about this subject. Let's finally put this to rest after these last few years.

Mike
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Re: [gmwahl] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Mike,

I totally agree with most of what you said. Sorry I misspoke about the fishers closing I meant individual waters during the spawn.

I think the main issue of some wanting to close the inlet is the fact that a few, not all or even the majority of, fishermen are snagging and possibly over harvesting. I doubt many on this forum or anyone who is a responsible sportsman would advocate for the snagging of spawning walleyes. However, it is a legal practice for salmon in many places. But the salmon are going to die anyway so its a wash. Even if the fish taken out of the inlet are minimal in the overall scheme of things I think it rubs a lot of people the wrong way when people are taking advantage of the situation. This is just another case of a few bad apples ruining it for the majority of folks who try to be good sportsmen or women--although I doubt there are very many women out there trying to snag eyes.

That bering said I am not in favor of closing the inlet for the good reasons already stated. What I am in favor of is when the ethical fisherpeople who are out there--I have never fished the inlet during the sapwn or any other time-- see someone committing illegal acts they should tell those scofflaws to knock it off or the DWR will be called. Some self policing by the people that the illegal activities affect might go a long way towards curtailing it. Closing it at night might be an alternative that would make it easier to police both for the ethical fishers and the DWR. People should stand up for what affects them and illegal taking of wildlife affects us all. It just too bad a few people don't see it that way.

I also think that if the DWR continues its excellent efforts to trap the fish in the inlet and not waste the eggs and fish heading to the inlet that that effort could go a long way towards alleviating the issue. Maybe then this won't be a yearly topic of discussion.

Dave
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Re: [fishday] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
I agree Dave.

I haven't spent loads of time there during the spawn, but when I have been there I have seen people watching each other and even some (The irritating blow hards) yelling out loud at every fisherman that hooked one to make sure it's not snagged. I myself have confronted two guys for a fish that they kept that was snagged by the head, but clearly not in the mouth.

I hate to see a few bad apples ruin it for all and I liken it to people wanting gun control just because a few idiots shoot a school up. By and large I think most people are ethical and will do the right thing. It's up to the rest of us to keep an eye out and rat out the violators and all will be well. And for Pete's sake, when we do catch somebody doing it illegally let's not be loud and make it uncomfortable for everybody else, rather lets confront others peaceably and within the law. Nobody needs to be hurt over a fish. Okay, I'm off my soap box now!

I wish more people thought the way you do dave!

Mike
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Re: [gmwahl] DWR Response...Dead Walleyes at Willard In reply to
Hey Mike, you make valid points. As most folks on this board know, I have stated my opinion that the inlet should not be open to wholesale harvest of the vulnerable walleyes during the spawn. But I readily admit that my stance is based more upon emotion than logic.

I do not fish the inlet...at any time during the year. First of all, I don't need that many new friends. Second, I have always equated fishing for spawning fish when concentrated and defenseless to the clubbing of baby seals on the ice...by fur hunters. Sure, it allows a harvest by folks who have neither the skills, knowledge or ability to pursue them around the lake like others. But it is largely lacking in anything close to "sport".

I do not begrudge legal and ethical anglers catching and keeping even a full limit of walleyes...legally...when they are massed up like that. But it rankles my old angler's soul to watch mindless and intentional snagging activities...with no release of anything caught...fair or foul.

You state that YOU have not spent a lot of time at the inlet...nor have you witnessed what others have described. And you question whether or not those practices actually happen. No data? You may choose to discount or not believe my statements, but I can attest to having witnessed hundreds...if not thousands...of walleyes leaving Willard in the buckets of those who have no respect for laws and regulations.

My observations go back to the 1970s, when there were no restrictions either. And it was rare to ever see a CO...in uniform or plain clothes. At some point it was recognized that there was a wholesale slaughter going on and the inlet was closed during the spawn...until recently. Now the "happy harvesters" are back...with cell phones and other means of communicating and warning each other when unknown new arrivals show up.

The lawless harvest does not go on 24/7. A lot of it happens after midnight...when a weighted spoon with a big treble can hang a walleye on almost every cast. Buckets are filled quickly and the "anglers" boogie before the morning shift shows up. I have not been there this year but have been the two years previously. And I am tapped in to reports from several other "regulars" who have also been known to "force feed" a few fish.

In short, it does happen...regardless of DWR stats on 98% compliance. Heck, there is probably 110% compliance when there are two DNR trucks in the parking area and uniformed COs plainly visible. What I am saying is that there are bursts of heavy harvest...when the world is not watching. At least closing this area to nighttime fishing would be a good move to reduce the worst of the offenses.

There are lots of walleyes in Willard...at least by today's standards. I got spoiled fishing Willard before i moved to Arizona in the mid '80s. 30 to 40 fish days were not unusual...with very few of the fish measuring less than the 20" slot size. You could keep 6 walleyes, but only 2 over 20". Most trips ended with 2 "small" walleyes about 5-6 pounds and many larger ones released...and nothing under 20".

That's why I get emotional about this. It is a rare trip when I catch more than a couple of walleyes, and it is also rare to catch one over the low 20 inch mark. That is, unless you snag the big females at the inlet.

To repeat, I do not begrudge law-abiding anglers and/or their kids the right to have a shot at fish they might not otherwise be able to catch. But it makes my blood boil to know that many of the bigger fish I would like to catch post spawn will never make it back out into the lake...because of illegal fishing activities.

CRASH! Just fell off my soapbox.

Peace.

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Re: My recent experience at the Willard spillway In reply to
I sold my boat last winter and don’t have another yet. I have never fished the inlet and with all the discussion about it, I decided to give it a go a few days ago (Thursday, 4 April).

I fished the inlet from 2:00pm to near sunset. I had a prime location next to spillway. I threw hundreds of casts with jigs. Every color and shape. I even sweetened them with worms and smell jells on occasion. The whole time I also ran mussel meat on a sinking line with slip bobber. There were probably 15 people there on average but many coming and going throughout the day. Nobody (including myself) got a single bite. I can assure you “no walleye were hurt” during this experience. In fact no fish of any kind were hurt during this experience. There had been two warm days since the Monday cold spell so I thought I would give it a go. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. No jacket needed in the afternoon. The water was flowing nicely through the spillway. Surface water temp in the channel was 49 degrees. DWR was netting Walley earlier in the day at the south Marina.

Now let me tell you about the other aspects of this experience for me. I was wondering about the people and their attitudes. I was so impressed about how nice everyone of them were! I could tell they were all law biding anglers. The first person I met was a Hispanic man with crooked teeth and a car that would barely run. The DWR have all the roads marked no parking and the only real place to park is their designated lot that cost $5 per day. We separated, and I watched him deposit his $5 cash into the envelope. I met up with him at the spillway where he had the prime location. He kindly offered to share his location with me so I could jig over top of his bait lines which were on the bottom. Wow! I hated to see him go empty handed after paying his $5.

I met a single mom with tattoos an two young boys. They were all sinking bait for wipers in the same large opening between the channel and spillway. She was from Ogden. I talked with her later and she was so friendly. I told her it my first time. She had been there often and freely gave me much advice on when to come and what to use.

I next met a supper nice Hispanic fellow, who was a disabled Vietnam Vet. It was his first time there as well. I listened to him tell me many interesting stories. His heart was amazingly kind and good.

I spoke with three advanced angles out in waders who were casting every jig known to man. They were nice as well. They only live 8 minutes away and come there often. They also gave me advice on how to fish the inlet. They said they had only seen 5 walleye taken in the last 5 days, but when it is hot it is hot.

Here is another interesting thing about my adventure. I watched about a thousand casts from everyone including myself. I saw a about a 20% snag rate and many lost jigs and lures (mine too). There are a lot of obstacles and debris under that water. If you are trying run Jig low off the bottom the whole time rather than keeping them a little off the bottom your snag rate may go up the 50-60%. I can’t imagine running treble hooks along the bottom. By the way the professionals I saw were snagging even more than me an sometimes getting my line. There is a lot of brush around the edges and there aren’t many openings good for casting into the head waters. From what I have heard, it was a slow day at the water hole. I can’t imagine the bank tangling that would normally be going on. Honestly there are only a hand full of prime locations to cast which are around the spillway.

In summary, all the anglers I saw seemed to be honorable law-abiding citizens. These bank tanglers were working hard for a fish. They were not even littering. I had spent the morning at freeway bay rock hopping. The entire area is covered in litter. The spillway area is fairly litter free compared to the rock dikes.

This is my report. I have no problems with this spillway being closed down at dark durring the Walleye run, but why not let the bipeds have access during the day .
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Re: [Optimizer] My recent experience at the Willard spillway In reply to
Sorry you didn't get more fishy love. And glad you were able to meet some nice folks.

Unfortunately, your experience is a negative reinforcement of the statements I have made, regarding the cycles and waves of fish showing up at the inlet. Actually, I suspect that the spawn is close to winding down and there are not likely to be as many walleyes from now on...but the wipers will be coming on strong fairly soon.

Believe me, if the walleyes had been "in" you would probably not have found a rock to stand on. Word travels fast among the regulars and they show up en mass to harvest them. But if the pickings are slim they just stay home and wait them out...until they get a call from one of their buddies.

During a full walleye spawn period, there will be periods of peak activity...followed by days with far fewer fish showing up. As with a lot of fishing, it is a combination of perseverance and luck. When the fish are more numerous, there is a better chance of catching some legally. But...as the snaggers know...it is also better for their activities.

Serious walleye chasers know that as soon as the walleyes settle down from the spawn they put on the feedbag and REAL fishing gets much better. The key...as always...is to first find the fish and then to serve them something to which they will respond.

Keep at it. You will get there.

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Re: [TubeDude] My recent experience at the Willard spillway In reply to
Over the past few years I have personally gone to the inlet to see what all the fuss is about with the walleye spawn. Thought that maybe I was missing out on a valid opportunity to catch walleye legally in the mouth with bait or jigs and wanted to try it since it was now legal and the fish would be stacked up.

What I witnessed each time was elbow to elbow fishermen jerking sharp jigs and spoons through the stacked walleye. In hours of fishing on each of these occasions, I saw dozens of walleye brought in. All, and I repeat all, were foul hooked, not even one was legitimately hooked in the mouth.

Snaggers had a method and certain spot they fish from, casting across the fish, letting the snagging apparel sink to the bottom then slowly bringing it in across the bottom until they felt any kind of resistance, then giving a sharp jerk, which often produced a fat spawning female walleye, tail caught and dorsal caught being the most common catch.

Using bait, I caught one fat mudcat for all this effort, my son caught one fat walleye that was foul hooked and released.

Garbage was rampant, especially beer and soda cans. We picked up as many as we could and hauled them out.

Far as I am concerned, fishing the inlet during the walleye spawn is just a practice that shouldn't happen.
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