MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Chain of Lakes historically offered great walleye fishing.|
But that's changed over the last few years.
Walleye population in that area has gone down.
At the same time, the bass population has taken off in those lakes.
Scientists think those numbers might have something to do with one another.
"There is the potential, not a sole factor, but the potential, that high abundances of bass - they're a top predator, just like walleyes, muskies, and northern pike - high abundances of bass may be having a predatory impact on young walleye," says DNR Northern Fisheries Supervisor Steve Avelallemant.
That's good news for bass fishermen.
Their season opens Saturday.
On the Minocqua Chain, there's no minimum length for bass.
Some think a cold spring could be bad news for bass fishermen.
Other professional guides are confident in a good season.
"A lot of people have the stigma that when the water's cold, you can't catch bass, and that's not true. We've proven that with cold weather in the fall and cold weather in the spring," says Scott Biscobing of Hodag Guide Service.
Most Northwoods lakes outside of the Minocqua Chain have a 14 inch minimum for bass.