Wanted: more holiness from Messenger in Easter issue

To the Editor:

“Happy Easter! I was very disappointed to not find an Easter greeting on the front page of the Messenger in the April 13 issue. Our Savior Jesus Christ rose again to make salvation for all creation, forgiveness of our sins for all who ask Him in faith, believing that He is able to forgive sins and make them righteous for our heavenly Father so we will go to heaven for eternity. So, why not something on the front page about the true meaning of Easter?”

 Lucille Fredin, Isle


It’s time to talk about smallmouth bass

To the Editor:

I’d like to thank Erik Jacobson for his continued efforts to bring some clarity and perspective to the ongoing debacle that is Mille Lacs Lake. His columns are always well reasoned, spot on, and full of statistics, and historical data that illustrates the complexities of the situation very well.

I have been on the lake for 34 years, first as a weekender, and now a full-time resident since 2011. I have experienced the good old days, and for the last dozen years, the ridiculous days. I fish a lot, and I have seen firsthand the sad transitioning of the lake. I was a participant in the mortality study undertaken some years back, and it was laughable. I have been scratching my head for 20 years, patiently waiting for the next big study, telemetry results, blue ribbon panels, mortality studies, and any other reason someone in the DNR can generate a “paper” and advance their career. But thus far, it’s all seemingly been for naught.

I am writing to ask Erik to recognize another elephant in the room, and that is the small mouth bass population of Mille Lacs. 

The DNR would have us believe that the bass can co-exist with the walleyes in the fishery, but I disagree. The fishery has basically gone from no bass, or very few, 30 or more years ago, to a population out of control today. There are millions of them, and the DNR has the electroshocking stats to prove it, they can cruise over a reef, with their shocking boat, and in minutes have bass popping up everywhere, 100’s of them.

The DNR maintains that the primary forage for bass are crayfish - sorry but that’s not the case. If you research the small mouth, here is what you find: “a top predator, eating any living creature in their ecosystem that is small enough for them to swallow.” They are eating machines, and they love minnows. 

Anyone that has ever fished bass knows that they do not discriminate in their diet. They love leeches, crawlers, shiners, redtails, suckers, plastics, and crankbaits, they devour it all. Minnesota shuts down the smallmouth season in the fall, because they know a bass fishery can be wiped out once they congregate in deep water, and become voracious fall feeders, particularly with a big minnow presentation. They’re not patiently waiting for an unsuspecting crayfish to come by.

So, that brings us to the question, how many walleye fry, and fingerlings, can these predators consume? I bet millions, at a minimum. 

Perhaps we need yet another study? And let’s answer the bass question, and how much they can consume, it’s not just crayfish, no how, no way. All the “studies” undertaken thus far have not done much of anything to really look at one of the biggest predators in the lake, the small mouth.

 Or maybe we could have someone like Joe Fellegy tell us what the fishery was like pre bass? When a small mouth was a novelty, almost unheard of?

Come on DNR, let’s look at those big old brown bass, there are always three under my dock, where there were none 34 years ago.

Gary Griggs, Isle

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