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  #61  
Old 07-22-2020, 11:12 AM
SNAPFisher SNAPFisher is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Coiloil37 View Post
There are still plenty of big pike in sylvan. I fished it heavily until 2018 and we averaged two or three a day like this in the summer.

I “probably” saw more pike in the weed beds ten years ago then recently but I’ve caught more over 15lbs in the past five years then ever before.
The trick is to fish where the fish are and to be honest I never saw anyone else fishing where I did. That picture should be enough to tip you off where that is. Fish the bottom of that drop off where it goes from 6 to 13’ in less then a boat length. It’s loaded with pike and walleye on top of the 2’ weeds that grow on the bottom of that drop off. When I ran out of shiners I used to troll a rapala that ran at 10’ around 3-4 km/h along the bottom of that drop off and it would slay them.
Great for sure and it should be kept that way so this continues. That is just my opinion. The 3 over 63 cm limit was taken away in time in this case. Again, just my opinion on where Sylvan could have gone or gotten worse.
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  #62  
Old 07-24-2020, 04:55 PM
buckman buckman is offline
 
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If you open only one or two lakes for fish retention they will get pressured by anglers who like to eat a fish or two.

Surely its better to open up more lakes that hold good numbers of Walleye and Pike to a limit of one of each with a slot size.

Its seems to me at least, that Walleye do have an impact on forage fish like Whitefish and Perch in most lakes they have been stocked in.

This in turn affects the amount of food for Pike. Result seems to be stunted Walleye and skinny Pike.
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  #63  
Old 07-24-2020, 09:10 PM
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If you open only one or two lakes for fish retention they will get pressured by anglers who like to eat a fish or two.

Surely its better to open up more lakes that hold good numbers of Walleye and Pike to a limit of one of each with a slot size.

Its seems to me at least, that Walleye do have an impact on forage fish like Whitefish and Perch in most lakes they have been stocked in.

This in turn affects the amount of food for Pike. Result seems to be stunted Walleye and skinny Pike.
I think we have a warped perspective on natural abundance of fish and species interactions. We have no idea what our lakes were like pre-settlement. Everything we think we know about our fish comes from a time of exploitation, in many cases spectacular overharvest, and forced recovery. In theory, why would species that have coexisted since the glaciers receded not coexist now? We fully protect walleye in many lakes for 20-plus years while still allowing harvest of pike, then wonder why there are more walleye than pike...and then proceed to blame the walleye for the situation, or cormorants, or dry years, or comets, or demonic intrusion, etc. I think we have to be objective and consider that most of what our fisheries are today is due to us, and most of what we know is based on untestable observations, stories and stories about stories.
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  #64  
Old 07-24-2020, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wind drift View Post
I think we have a warped perspective on natural abundance of fish and species interactions. We have no idea what our lakes were like pre-settlement. Everything we think we know about our fish comes from a time of exploitation, in many cases spectacular overharvest, and forced recovery. In theory, why would species that have coexisted since the glaciers receded not coexist now? We fully protect walleye in many lakes for 20-plus years while still allowing harvest of pike, then wonder why there are more walleye than pike...and then proceed to blame the walleye for the situation, or cormorants, or dry years, or comets, or demonic intrusion, etc. I think we have to be objective and consider that most of what our fisheries are today is due to us, and most of what we know is based on untestable observations, stories and stories about stories.
I think that is a reasonable perspective but also painting with a broad brush. Some lakes do not seem to handle the introduction of a predator like walleye as well as others. Maybe Sylvan would eventually come into balance if things were left as is but how long do you want to wait? 10 years? 20 years? With a "1 any size" limit the goal isn't a baby walleye fishery. It's to thin them right out and help things along.

How many of you took the fisheries survey that had a number of central Alberta lakes involved, including Sylvan. There was some very specific questions in that survey regarding where the management should go for Sylvan. Did you want a walleye fishery or a pike fishery? Just curious honestly.
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  #65  
Old 07-25-2020, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by wind drift View Post
I think we have a warped perspective on natural abundance of fish and species interactions. We have no idea what our lakes were like pre-settlement. Everything we think we know about our fish comes from a time of exploitation, in many cases spectacular overharvest, and forced recovery. In theory, why would species that have coexisted since the glaciers receded not coexist now? We fully protect walleye in many lakes for 20-plus years while still allowing harvest of pike, then wonder why there are more walleye than pike...and then proceed to blame the walleye for the situation, or cormorants, or dry years, or comets, or demonic intrusion, etc. I think we have to be objective and consider that most of what our fisheries are today is due to us, and most of what we know is based on untestable observations, stories and stories about stories.
But it's the "Governments" fault for allowing anglers to take those pike. They really should get their crap together.

I'm curious as well what OL is asking. For me, I like seeing the variety and fanning the potential that is there. There are still good "mollies" in Sylvan. The pike seem to find the forage. I certainly feel it is not a bad thing not to have another walleye stocked lake and have zero issues with a fishery that maintains large pike plus the other species that can thrive.

Last edited by SNAPFisher; 07-25-2020 at 09:30 AM.
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  #66  
Old 07-25-2020, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SNAPFisher View Post
But it's the "Governments" fault for allowing anglers to take those pike. They really should get their crap together.

I'm curious as well what OL is asking. For me, I like seeing the variety and fanning the potential that is there. There are still good "mollies" in Sylvan. The pike seem to find the forage. I certainly feel it is not a bad thing not to have another walleye stocked lake and have zero issues with a fishery that maintains large pike plus the other species that can thrive.
Hello snap fisher???? Same guy??? Singing a different song?or maybe finally figured out what a lake full of stocked walleye looks like in the end? Either way nice to see you coming around.
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  #67  
Old 07-25-2020, 08:54 PM
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Hello snap fisher???? Same guy??? Singing a different song?or maybe finally figured out what a lake full of stocked walleye looks like in the end? Either way nice to see you coming around.
???
Nothing changed for me. Same thing I've always said. It seems you like to make up your own view point for others ...or maybe you just get confused easily.

I still have zero issues with walleye tags. How about you? Pigeon is close to home, I have tags for it. Why do you think I had them in the first place? Oh, and they seem to have a certain size limit on them. ...almost....like a slot.
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  #68  
Old 07-26-2020, 11:34 AM
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Can’t catch them anyways
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  #69  
Old 07-26-2020, 09:22 PM
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Sylvan was done long ago, now the kids and visitors are helping fix it.

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  #70  
Old 07-28-2020, 11:18 AM
Nikanit Nikanit is offline
 
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I remember my first time ice fishing on Sylvan a mere 13 years ago. I used to see huge schools of dace, lot's of perch, large pike, and nice whitefish with an occasional walleye. It's been 5 years now without the dace and the perch, and I rarely see pike of size anymore
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  #71  
Old 07-28-2020, 05:21 PM
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Been to Sylvan several times the last few months and have excellent walleye action each and every time. I never keep fish but all the complaining about no fish makes we wonder how many really know how to target this fish. Jigging all day in the same old spot will not continue to give the same result every time. The fish are deeper as of yesterday and will stay that way as the water continues to warm. 66.8F yesterday.

No offence meant but the lake has a good population of walleye and I do not see letting some that want keep one fish. I have caught several small guys which makes me think the lake is having a good healthy supply well into the future.Lots of white fish see them swiming around constantly as well as schools showing up on the sonar.
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  #72  
Old 07-28-2020, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TROLLER View Post
Been to Sylvan several times the last few months and have excellent walleye action each and every time. I never keep fish but all the complaining about no fish makes we wonder how many really know how to target this fish. Jigging all day in the same old spot will not continue to give the same result every time. The fish are deeper as of yesterday and will stay that way as the water continues to warm. 66.8F yesterday.

No offence meant but the lake has a good population of walleye and I do not see letting some that want keep one fish. I have caught several small guys which makes me think the lake is having a good healthy supply well into the future.Lots of white fish see them swiming around constantly as well as schools showing up on the sonar.
How heavy are the fish ie skinny or fat.
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  #73  
Old 07-28-2020, 06:09 PM
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I think we have a warped perspective on natural abundance of fish and species interactions. We have no idea what our lakes were like pre-settlement. Everything we think we know about our fish comes from a time of exploitation, in many cases spectacular overharvest, and forced recovery. In theory, why would species that have coexisted since the glaciers receded not coexist now? We fully protect walleye in many lakes for 20-plus years while still allowing harvest of pike, then wonder why there are more walleye than pike...and then proceed to blame the walleye for the situation, or cormorants, or dry years, or comets, or demonic intrusion, etc. I think we have to be objective and consider that most of what our fisheries are today is due to us, and most of what we know is based on untestable observations, stories and stories about stories.
Pre settlement the lakes were quite different. Examples...Places like Gull lake never had whitefish before the 1930's. Not sure about Sylvan. Sylvan has a small strain of whites. Pigeon originally had the same small whites. In the 30's a fellow suggested stocked pigeon lake with a bigger strain of whitefish. The original strain of pigeon lake's whites only grew to 2 lbs. while the new strain grew to 4. The same whitefish strain was then taken from Pigeon lake to stock Gull lake with whites.

Fish stocking goes way back. Looking at stocking lists from the last hundred years it is pretty revealing. The lists don't say which lakes but just give numbers.

So... The span between 1926 and 1952 over 30 million walleye were stocked in the province. During that same time period only 2.7 million northern pike were stocked. And 2.7 million of those pike were stocked between 1951 and 1955. In the last 30 years only 6,442 pike were stocked. And Just between 2006 and 2012 over 180 million walleye were stocked.

http://www.abll.ca/tables/Fish/Fish_Stocking

I think I see the imbalance. Could be the reason you just don't see as many pike anymore. Could it be the province is stocking so many walleye as a fish eating bird feeding program maybe?
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  #74  
Old 07-29-2020, 11:44 AM
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How heavy are the fish ie skinny or fat.
Most in the 40-45 cm range are nice and getting fatter. The little guys as you would expect are on the skinny side but that will change as they get older and more wise in their ways of hunting.

That being said I have still not caught any over 55. I think late fall when you start to drag a crank with down rigger the big guys will be around.
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  #75  
Old 07-29-2020, 02:57 PM
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I remember my first time ice fishing on Sylvan a mere 13 years ago. I used to see huge schools of dace, lot's of perch, large pike, and nice whitefish with an occasional walleye. It's been 5 years now without the dace and the perch, and I rarely see pike of size anymore
You should have seen the Perch in there back in the 70's. When I was a kid I remember wading around along the beach and there was huge schools of perch everywhere. And they weren't all stunted little guys either. Nice big humpies were very common
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  #76  
Old 07-29-2020, 03:12 PM
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Hopefully the experts made the right decision. I see many walleye being cleaned at the fish cleaning stations. I noticed from a lake that I frequently fished about 4 yrs ago that the fish size is greatly reduced today. This was a tag only lake but now has a possession of one.
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  #77  
Old 07-29-2020, 10:03 PM
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You should have seen the Perch in there back in the 70's. When I was a kid I remember wading around along the beach and there was huge schools of perch everywhere. And they weren't all stunted little guys either. Nice big humpies were very common
The Alberta record perch was held by Sylvan lake for a long time. Caught in the 60's I believe. 2 1/2 lbs or so.
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  #78  
Old 08-02-2020, 05:05 PM
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Yup totally dead, don't bother fighting to crowded launches and COVID crowds!



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  #79  
Old 08-03-2020, 10:33 AM
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The Alberta record perch was held by Sylvan lake for a long time. Caught in the 60's I believe. 2 1/2 lbs or so.
That is correct. I remember a lot of controversy about that record as well. Many folks believed it was a small walleye. They thought there was no such thing as a 2.5 pound Alberta perch.
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  #80  
Old 08-03-2020, 12:37 PM
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The original strain of pigeon lake's whites only grew to 2 lbs. while the new strain grew to 4.
There’s whites up to 10 in pigeon now. Average is probably over 5 lbs. another different strain or same ones?
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  #81  
Old 08-03-2020, 04:27 PM
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There’s whites up to 10 in pigeon now. Average is probably over 5 lbs. another different strain or same ones?
Must be the same bigger strain. No one has stocked any other bigger ones. I'm thinking the whites are getting big because no one is really fishing for them. It used to be the commercial fishermen were taking out 75K kilos of whites during one pull, every year or two. Didn't get a chance to grow. Whitefish can live up to 50 years, more likely 25 is average. I imagine a 50 year old white would have at least 3 lbs. of just fat.

I was amazed when I read David Thompson's accounting of his stay at Lac St. Anne in the first decade of the 1800's. The biggest white caught in a net weighed 18 lbs. according to him. Biggest he'd ever seen.
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  #82  
Old 08-03-2020, 05:23 PM
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Yup totally dead, don't bother fighting to crowded launches and COVID crowds!



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Nice Pickerel .... I think I netted that BYT & a bunch more. Sylvan was a zoo yesterday, it was 28C maybe warmer, they closed the main parking lots at 11:30, today we just had a monster storm go through it's 14C and raining, I imagine it was just chaos trying to get your boat out today.

Edit: Didn't get 1 White yesterday, disappointed.

A few boats washed up today, I imagine there's more..










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  #83  
Old 08-03-2020, 05:55 PM
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Is it just my old age or does the engine on the pontoon look a little off kilter?
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  #84  
Old 08-03-2020, 07:14 PM
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Is it just my old age or does the engine on the pontoon look a little off kilter?
I think it’s just tilted up and turned.
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  #85  
Old 08-03-2020, 08:05 PM
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I think its pretty naive to say the 1 fish limit will destroy the fishery. C&R mortality has a much larger impact. I give a reference below for 16%. Even at 5, the multi weekend c&r warrior has a far bigger impact on the fishery. If you catch and release 25, you likely kill 3-4. My guess, the decline will likely be as a result of increased fishing pressure because the new harvest rules will attract more anglers, which will mean more C&R focused on walleye, and thus more mortality. An angler who releases 10 walleye to find a keeper 1-2 times per year, does far less damage than a CR angler catching 50 walleye a day 5-6 times a year.

There are lots of estimates on C&R mortality out there. This one from Ontario cites 16% mortality rate and I like it because its a review of about 110 scientific papers on the topic https://www.ontario.ca/page/catch-an...-fish-handling :

"The impact of mortality caused by catch-and-release practices is often underestimated by both anglers and fishery managers. From a review of 118 catch-and-release studies (Appendix 1), which, in total, involved over 120,000 fish, the average mortality associated with catch-and-release angling was 16.2%. Thus, while many anglers may assume that by practising catch-and-release they are having no impact on the fish population, a significant number of released fish may die. Additionally, many anglers will continue to fish after they have caught their limit under the premise that they will release all further fish caught, however they often do not take into consideration the number of fish which will inadvertently be killed as a result of this practice."
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:34 PM
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I think its pretty naive to say the 1 fish limit will destroy the fishery. C&R mortality has a much larger impact. I give a reference below for 16%. Even at 5, the multi weekend c&r warrior has a far bigger impact on the fishery. If you catch and release 25, you likely kill 3-4. My guess, the decline will likely be as a result of increased fishing pressure because the new harvest rules will attract more anglers, which will mean more C&R focused on walleye, and thus more mortality. An angler who releases 10 walleye to find a keeper 1-2 times per year, does far less damage than a CR angler catching 50 walleye a day 5-6 times a year.

There are lots of estimates on C&R mortality out there. This one from Ontario cites 16% mortality rate and I like it because its a review of about 110 scientific papers on the topic https://www.ontario.ca/page/catch-an...-fish-handling :

"The impact of mortality caused by catch-and-release practices is often underestimated by both anglers and fishery managers. From a review of 118 catch-and-release studies (Appendix 1), which, in total, involved over 120,000 fish, the average mortality associated with catch-and-release angling was 16.2%. Thus, while many anglers may assume that by practising catch-and-release they are having no impact on the fish population, a significant number of released fish may die. Additionally, many anglers will continue to fish after they have caught their limit under the premise that they will release all further fish caught, however they often do not take into consideration the number of fish which will inadvertently be killed as a result of this practice."
Doesn’t that last sentence in the quote counter your point? If the guy keeping his 1 fish catches 10 before he puts it in the cooler, then catches another 15 before he quits, he’s killed 3-4, plus 1, which is a 25-33% increase in dead fish.

That might not be an issue, unless it exceeds what the lake can sustain for harvest.

That said, I thought the goal for Sylvan was to shift it to put and take for walleye anyway, in which case, there’s no big risk in overfishing it now. As a stocked lake with a 1 fish any size limit, Sylvan’s job might be to absorb a ton of pressure and provide marginal to poor fishing for the masses.
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  #87  
Old 08-03-2020, 11:49 PM
Kurt505 Kurt505 is offline
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Doesn’t that last sentence in the quote counter your point? If the guy keeping his 1 fish catches 10 before he puts it in the cooler, then catches another 15 before he quits, he’s killed 3-4, plus 1, which is a 25-33% increase in dead fish.

That might not be an issue, unless it exceeds what the lake can sustain for harvest.

That said, I thought the goal for Sylvan was to shift it to put and take for walleye anyway, in which case, there’s no big risk in overfishing it now. As a stocked lake with a 1 fish any size limit, Sylvan’s job might be to absorb a ton of pressure and provide marginal to poor fishing for the masses.
Have you fished it recently?
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  #88  
Old 08-04-2020, 12:43 AM
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Default Sylvan Lake record perch

Red Deer Advocate article written in 2011 by Bob Scammell. It mentions the Sylvan Lake record perch.

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Starting in 1988, and for about a decade, I worked along with the Alberta Fish and Game Association and Alberta’s Fish and Wildlife Division to co-ordinate, rationalize, document and tidy up the keeping of what are variously called the Alberta Angling or Sportfishing Records. It was a decade of fascinating work that gave me a magazine article each year.

The first efforts resulted in the removal, for the first time ever from the records, of a fish that had long rankled many anglers, particularly a surprisingly large number of perch fans. In 1976, a 14 year old lad caught a three-pound, 10-ounce fish in Sylvan Lake and immediately cooked and ate it. Eventually, through a series of after the fact investigations of highly circumstantial evidence and prodded by some adults, someone determined that that the fish “must have been a perch” and the new Alberta record perch at that.


Such a silly putty process does not produce credible records, particularly for the hard core perch fishermen, who asserted, flatly, that “there are no three pound perch in Alberta.

So, in 1988, fish and wildlife decided that the fish was more likely a walleye, and it is just not good enough for the establishment of provincial records that someone says they think they ate a record something or other, and restored the previous Alberta record perch to its rightful place. Today, 23 years later, the Alberta record perch is two pounds, 15.5 ounces.”
https://www.reddeeradvocate.com/unca...%20is%20lifted.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:51 AM
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I caught quite a few walleye this weekend, they had their heads stuck deep in the weeds hahaha, I used a silver jig head with a minnow, easily caught over a dozen in a couple of hours.

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  #90  
Old 08-04-2020, 05:13 PM
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The only issue I have with Sylvan is I wish there was a few more boat access. Sunbreaker Cove launch is super busy and I think twice before going there on busy days or even the time of day.
If the weather gets bad what a cluster trying too get off the lake...

Now the whining about keeping a Fish. I am so very thankful I can take my Grandkids out , they can catch a Fish put it in the live well and when we get home put it on the plate.

Im just thankful to catch a few and enjoy a day off of work on the lake and bring home the tastiest Fish ever.....next to halibut..

Like was stated at the start of this thread by 58TheCat . People will complain either way instead of being Thankful for the opportunity Sylvan provides us now
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