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Live bait is very damaging to Walleye Fishery

Dear Editor;
The controversial added tournament on Rainy Lake by Dennys 30 Rainy Lake Invitational has hit home, as it is the third tournament on the lake on this given year, and you can say three more Walleye Tournaments on the Rainy River at the town of Rainy River, Emo and the mini tournament at Stratton of less magnitude to possible dead fish release as fish are kept for their own personal consumption.
All Walleye Tournaments allow live bait which through my 60 years experience is very damaging if using small hooks with night crawlers, leeches and minnows attached as they will occasionally swallow bait, hook and all, live through the tournament, but will not survive shortly afterwards.
I have been fighting this issue, and have ridiculed the Ministry of Natural Resources on allowing live bait on our number one fish the Walleye, and not allowing live bait on the secondary fish the Bass. But I will personally apologize to the MNR because I spent over an hour with the Ministry Biologist and was told they had no jurisdiction on tournament activity, and that the Community and Sportsman’s Club have full control on their own regulations without any interference from the MNR.
He as well as other Conservation Officers quoted their displeasure on Walleye Tournaments especially when resorting to live bait.
He was against the ten boat finalist of a tournament as well as the lip swinging gestures to please the crowd. He also stressed a four Bass tournament amount would also help their survival.
He also stated that fish in a live well for a considerable amount of time tend to soften in flesh texture and stated in time the sorting of fish will be a thing of the past relating to choosing release or keeping them on ice.
As a beginner our guide strung our fish on stringers for sorting and supposedly keeping them fresh and alive; but keeping them on the surface did soften the meat, and released fish was certain death. We have been ignorant of this fact, and have been guilty of destruction to the fisheries.
We need to have the Ministry of Natural Resources in full control of the fisheries including anglers as well as tournament participants. If the MNR cannot have full authority, who can save our fisheries? Surely not the community and management of the sports club.
Michael J. Baranowski
Nestor Falls.