Fishing Memories Title
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Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
(Spring Fishing Trip 2000)


During the course of generating and sending out the daily fishing reports, there were a number of questions asked that occurred to me might be of interest to other readers as well. Hence I've generated this FAQ.
 
  • Question Number One.
    Where does the name "Woman Lake" come from?
  • Answer Number One.
    The story is that a party of pioneer women were killed by a band of Sioux on the shore of the lake. Another version is that a band of Sioux were killed by a party of menopausal pioneer women, but this is generally held to be apocryphal.

 
  • Question Number Two.
    How long have you guys been doing this?
  • Answer Number Two.
    We started in 1982, coming up to Jerry's cabin here. I've got statistics on our catches going back to the first trip.
    When we first started, the emphasis was catching and eating, and the stats consisted of only the number of each species caught. We started recording lengths More on that later.

 
  • Question Number Three.
    (From Rachel Salter in England)
    Why are walleyes called walleyes? Are they walleyed?

  • Answer Number Three.
    Most people believe that it comes from the fact that this fishes eyes are a unique cloudy, pearly color that shine when light reflects from them. No other fish has eyes like that. Actually, the name really derives from the fact that it takes an average of 8.7 hours of fishing, as determined by Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources surveys, for a fisherman to catch one of these critters. After 8.5 hours of fruitless fishing it's really the fisherman's eyes that are glazed and glassy.

 
  • Question Number Four.
    (From Peter Wick, also in England, an interesting question)
    Could you accurately predict the age of the fish that you catch, and possibly calculate the probability that they have been caught before, or do they only get caught once and then remember?

  • Answer Number Four.
    Well, we have stats on the length of every fish that we've caught going back to 1992. As age and length correlate very well, we can easily derive an age distribution. However, it turns out that the DNR has "tagged" walleyes in Woman Lake on a number of occasions. They net fish in the spring, attach a numbered metal tag with a wire through the back fin of the fish, which doesn't hurt it at all, "milk" them, then release them. When a fisherman catches one of these tagged fish he/she is supposed to report the tag number back to the DNR. We've caught something over 30 of these tagged fish, and reported them all. The DNR publishes the results, and they have stats on how many of the tagged fish have been caught more than once (very few). Jerry has the DNR study at home. We'll look it up when we get back and let you know.
    Editors Note 1: The results of the DNR study is already published on our website. He's not getting any younger, you know.

 
  • Question Number Five.
    (Rick Baylor of the Navy at Patuxent River, with whom I have the pleasure of working on a project)
    Is a Rock bass the same as a Striped bass (which us folks in the South-east call a Rock Fish?

  • Answer Number Five.
    Not at all. A "Rock Bass" is of the sunfish family, and there are a few on Woman Lake. Ron Reich caught one yesterday. The state record is 2 pounds even and was caught in Lake Osakis, in Todd county (west central Minnesota). The "Rock Fish" that Rick chases in Cheaspeake Bay get to be over 50 pounds, and are quite a different kind of critter.
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Date Created: November 6, 2001
Last Modified: January 26, 2004
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