Sokaogon Chippewa Community News
Roberts Lake Tournament a Success
By Mike Preul, Director of the Mole Lake Fisheries
The Mole Lake Fisheries Department is focused on preserving, protecting and enhancing fisheries on local waters. In 2019, the Fisheries began a walleye restoration effort on Roberts Lake. The project involved many components: walleye stocking, extensive monitoring, and the removal of overpopulated northern pike and largemouth bass. To build on these efforts, the Fisheries teamed with the Roberts Lake Association and the Wild Rose Pub & Grill to hold the Roberts Lake Ice Fishing Tournament on February 5th.
The tournament was for northern pike and largemouth bass only, and the main purpose was to educate and update the public about the ongoing restoration project, and to remove additional fish through ice fishing. There were over $8,000 in prizes to win, including a bonus $2,000 for the first tagged fish, sponsored by the Mole Lake Casino Lodge.
“Over 220 tickets were sold, ice conditions were excellent, anglers had a lot of fun, and 96 northern pike and three largemouth bass were caught and harvested. Anglers were really energized for the potential to catch a tagged fish, and we were all very excited when a tagged fish was caught early in the morning – an 18.0 inch northern pike!!” said Mike Preul.
The Fisheries Department had posters at the tournament that explained the walleye restoration efforts, and donated fish were used for filleting demonstrations and fried taste tests. “We received nothing but positive feedback,” Mike continued. “Since 2019, we have removed 1,592 northern pike and 4,057 largemouth bass from Roberts Lake. During that same time, almost 19,000 large fingerling walleye have been stocked in the lake from the Mole Lake Fish Hatchery. In 2021, the natural reproduction of walleye was observed in the lake, evidence that the project is proceeding as planned and well on its way to success!”
“Partnerships are really important to us. We accomplish much more when everyone works together with a common goal and brings resources that can be shared,” Mike said. “We look forward to continuing the project in 2022, including the ice fishing tournament next winter.”
Chi Miigwech to everyone who helped at the Tournament, to the Mole Lake Casino Lodge for your support, and to all the fishermen and women who participated!