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Post Info TOPIC: Petition to eliminate Treaty Management


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Petition to eliminate Treaty Management
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We need to sign this:

 When it comes to walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota's would-be anglers are left without answers to some important ecological questions.
Once the DNR agreed to a treaty-management system requiring annual population estimates, they were faced with the immense problem of how to make meaningful estimates using the data they had available. So they devised a complex computer model, called the VPA (Virtual Population Analysis) that would generate the number they needed to satisfy their responsibility to the Court.
But even the biologists who devised the VPA have little confidence in its ability to generate an accurate population estimate. The problem is, every piece of information fed into the VPA has a wide margin of error, most of which cannot be accurately measured. So the combined error is unknown, and so is the usefulness of the VPA. The DNR continues to “tune” its
model in an attempt to improve its accuracy, but the underlying problem of insufficient or unreliable data cannot be solved anytime soon. 
.But in spite of the DNR’s upbeat evaluation, which is based on time-proven assessment methods, the agency has elected to impose deep harvest cuts based on the inaccurate information generated from an untested computer model. The kind of severe restrictions now in effect on Mille Lacs would normally be found only in a fishery that is in serious trouble.
Under the tight constraints of treaty management, the DNR’s main concern is keeping walleye harvest within the quota. But in doing so, it is ignoring the issue of population imbalance, which poses a far more significant threat to the fishery than a quota infraction. If the DNR cannot regain the management flexibility it needs to restore the predator-prey balance, the walleye population may collapse and require years to rebuild.
Unless there is a dramatic increase in fishing pressure or a deterioration of environmental conditions, Mille Lacs Lake should be able to produce walleyes at the pre-treaty level for years to come. Therefore, the DNR should submit a new management plan to the Court that enables them to increase the total walleye harvest to historic levels, which will not only help restore population balance, but also improve the health of the Mille Lacs sportfishing economy.
...Dick Sternberg
 
 


-- Edited by fishnpole on Sunday 18th of June 2017 07:12:53 PM

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