Letter of the week

Series on walleyes

That the Messenger published a two-part series on Mille Lacs walleyes was astonishing, given the paper’s long history of obediently carrying water for the DNR and Mille Lacs Band.

The sketchy “science” behind our co-managers’ walleye fishing restrictions and regulations fly in the face of actual evidence. As a nearly 20-year full-time resident on the lake, I’ve observed with my own eyes the decline of fishing on the south side of the lake.

On almost any day up through the early 2000s, I could focus my binoculars on Spirit Island and Anderson’s Reef and count a throng of boats, usually numbering in excess of 20-30 and on peak weekends even more. This year those favorite hot spots were most often entirely devoid of boats. When they were present at all they numbered at most 4 or 5.

The DNR’s estimates of hooking mortality are preposterous. For many summers we would daily bury two-to-six-plus dead walleyes that washed up on our beach. While boating on the lake, we’d routinely see several dead floating walleyes. This year we buried a total of three (3!) walleyes all year long and only rarely saw them out in the lake.

So who am I to believe: the co-managers’ figures, or my lying eyes?

The management of this nationally-famous fishing resource is a disgrace, fueled by fear of the Band, white guilt, or plain corruption. Or all three. As a corollary to the axiom “follow the money,” we should ask and demand an answer to the question “who benefits” from the prevailing situation? Certainly not fishermen, resorts, guides, and the many others who have watched our local economy go down the drain.

Tom Hennek, Onamia

Dear Mille Lacs Messenger,

On behalf of the Mille Lacs Lake Toy Run Committee, riders, passengers and multitudes of children we help through this ride, thank you. Thank you for your generous donation to support the fun and funds we raised from the riders and passengers of this event.

Our mission is to continue the support of the children each year and with your generous donation we can do this. We, again thank you and look forward to including you in the 2020 Mille Lacs Lake Toy Run.

In gracious thanks,

The Mille Lacs Lake Toy Run Committee

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