It was cold and windy on March 21 when Jim Shiely went down to the beach across from his home in Prescott. Waves washed against the sand.
The commercial fishermen were out in their big broad-beamed boats and chest waders, hauling in nets full of rough fish: a writhing mass of suckers, sheepshead, and assorted bottom-feeders.
“No paddlefish that I saw,” Jim wrote. “Saw one good sized musky which the MN DNR weighed and measured around 44 inches and one small sturgeon. A lot of quillback, all of which they threw back. Saw a nice number of huge walleyes, which of course are thrown back along with all other game fish.”
It’s what another crew was doing a couple weeks before when they captured a non-native silver carp. Commercial fishing is a key part of Minnesota’s monitoring program. Department of Natural Resources biologists were back again, watching for bighead and silver carp. Fortunately, none were found.
“Oddly, you never see smallies in the net and rarely white bass,” Jim reported. “Saw one tiny northern, too. It’s quite an experience to see this!”
Thank you, Jim!