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Walleye bag limits to increase on 447 northern lakes

News Release Published: May 22, 2014 by the Central Office

Contact(s): Steve Hewett, DNR Fisheries Management section chief, 608-267-7501; Joe Hennessy, DNR Treaty Fisheries coordinator, 608-267-9427

MADISON - Daily walleye bag limits will increase May 23 on 447 lakes in northern Wisconsin in time for the long Memorial Day weekend.

"Having increased bag limits on these lakes is good news for anglers heading north to enjoy the long weekend fishing, hoping to take fish home," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary, Cathy Stepp. "As anglers enjoy the season, we will continue to focus on long-term efforts that will yield less fluctuation and more consistency with bag limits from the start while still effectively managing and protecting the resource for all to enjoy."

Find tips on fishing for walleye by checking out the 2014 Wisconsin Fishing Report's fishing forecasts.

Anglers' daily bag limit for walleye will increase to five per day on 269 lakes, to three per day on 171 lakes, and to two walleye per day on seven lakes, according to Ron Bruch, DNR Fisheries Bureau Director.

"This is a great time of year to fish for walleye," said Bruch. "With spring just arriving, taking ice off the lakes, and with the walleye done spawning, anglers should find hungry fish ready to bite."

Anglers should consult the 2014-2015 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations, signs at boat landings, and the 2014-2015 Revised Ceded Territory Walleye Bag Limits for lake-specific information.

Additionally, anglers can now have fishing regulations and other essential information at their fingertips by downloading the free Wisconsin Fish & Wildlife mobile app. Bag limit and other regulation changes are automatically updated to the mobile app to give anglers the most accurate information when and where they need it.

Together, the six Chippewa bands harvested 27,433 walleye and 201 musky as of May 22, 2014. The average harvest of walleye since 2004 is 29,907.

As part of a 1983 Federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. To ensure combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not exceed a sustainable level, the state reduces recreational bag limits in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands. An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits annually to reflect actual spring spearing harvests.

For more information on Wisconsin fishing, please visit dnr.wi.gov, search keyword "fishing."

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Last Revised: Thursday, May 22, 2014