Time for DNR to rework formula

At an Aug. 12 meeting, the DNR stated that the post mortality part of the angling allocation is up to 16,000 pounds. If there was really 16,000 pounds of dead walleye (that died after release), they would be floating everywhere. Dead fish float–especially in warm water. I’ve seen quite a few dead tullibee this year and some big dead walleyes, but it’s nothing to write home about. As for the 16,000 pounds? Even if the average was 3 pounds per fish, that would be 5,333 dead floating fish. Taken over the last 3 and a half months, that’s 1,524 fish per month or 51 dead fish per day–everyday –washing up on the shores. That’s just not happening. All you have to do is spend some time on the lake or driving around it to realize that. It’s painfully obvious the DNR should rework their formula–but they refuse to.

Mille Lacs fisheries manager Tom Heinrich once again said “the data is what it is.” Well, if that’s the case, then something else has to change. If the post mortality formula is not going to change, then there is only one other thing that can–the allocation. If the allocation was a reasonable number, it should be able to support the over inflated post mortality number and some harvest. We can play the blame game with the co-management all day long as to who is governing the allocation. The bottom line is no matter what the surveys, the data, the computer models or which side says what, I think the lake is full of walleyes of all sizes. All you have to do is spend a little time out there fishing to see that.

Earlier this year, the accesses were packed–even mid-week. That is an obvious sign that people are catching a lot of walleyes.

People won’t come if they’re not catching anything – especially if it’s just catch and release. Sure, there are anglers coming here for more then just the walleyes. Mille Lacs may be a world class smallmouth and muskie fishery. But it will always be known as a walleye lake, and that should come as no surprise.

Erik Jacobson, Garrison

Teacher, coach who cared deeply

I was a long time friend, teacher colleague, and fellow coach who worked for many years with Quentin Kottsick at Onamia High School. He was not only an outstanding teacher, but also a coach and teacher who cared deeply about his players. Indeed, there will never be a coach quite like him again.

He would crawl over glass to take care of his players. Once, when one of his players lost his mother and missed a week of practice and was technically ineligible to play by OHS rules, the player pleaded with Quentin to allow him to play, citing his Mom’s funeral as his reason for missing practice. Kottsick broke down in tears and said he didn’t care about the rules, so in this case the athlete suited up and played which turned out to be cathartic for the youngster.

Then there was the time when a very good team was playing at Onamia and to the visitor’s utter amazement, Onamia was beating them by quite a margin by halftime. Despite the fact that half the game was yet to be played, that opposing team boarded their bus and started down the street to go home. Kottsick saw the departure and then ran after the bus, shouting, “Come on back, we are not done beating you.”

That was vintage Kottsick. Once when his basketball team played a lethargic and lackluster first half, Kottisck did not say a word at halftime but instead walked over to the team’s uniform box and proceeded to kick it into wood splinters and chips. The team members then tiptoed by him and proceeded to beat their opponent by 20 points by the game’s end.

Kottisick also had his own jargon. Indeed, he would tell his players to “Knock them into next week,” or even more confusingly, “Give them tar paper!” His players would look at each other, shrug their shoulders, and proceed to elevate their already intense play as if the tar paper comment was important. They would do anything for a coach who cared about them as much as Coach Quentin.

In closing, Onamia has lost a legend. Meanwhile, I have lost a close colleague and a very good, long time friend.

John Holbrook, Nisswa

Ice cream social suspended

The Isle Trinity Lutheran Church family is saddened that the annual tradition of that the annual tradition of the Labor Day Weekend Ice Cream and Pie Social has to be suspended for one year. However, we are pleased that the homemade vanilla ice cream will be available during our Lord’s Portion Sale Sunday, September 15. It will be among the items auctioned. We urge those community members for whom this was a must-do for their Labor Day Saturday to attend our auction September 15 and purchase to your heart’s content! The ice cream will be as tasty as always.

Carol Ann Sander, Co-chair, Lord’s

Portion Sale, Isle Trinity Lutheran Church

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