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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 607 days

Weekly News Published - April 12, 2016 by the Central Office

 

Deer season recommendations to be finalized at April County Deer Advisory Council meetings

MADISON -- County Deer Advisory Councils will prepare their final antlerless quota, permit level and season structure recommendations during the last round of spring meetings from April 18-21.

The online public input period closes on April 17, and the April CDAC meetings will be open to the public for any additional comments as councils finalize their recommendations. A county-by-county meeting schedule is available on the DNR web site, dnr.wi.gov, by searching keyword "CDAC."

Following the April meetings, final antlerless quota recommendations will be presented to the department before they are sent to the Natural Resources Board for approval in May. Approved recommendations will be implemented for the 2016 deer hunting seasons.

In addition to attending council meetings, the public may submit comments directly to county council members (to find a list of members, click "Find" on the CDAC web page) or send them via email to DNRCDACWebMail@wisconsin.gov by April 17.

Each council will consider online public input and other public comments, along with assessments from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists, foresters and law enforcement staff as they develop final recommendations.

"We're very impressed by the work and dedication that the council members have put into shaping the upcoming deer seasons. Knowing how important deer management and hunting is to the people and economy of Wisconsin, they take this responsibility very seriously." said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist.

CDACs use annual quotas and permit levels to manage deer in order to achieve county-specific 2015-17 population objectives to increase, decrease or maintain the deer herd.

For additional information on CDAC recommendations and membership, search keyword "CDAC," or contact DNRCDACWebMail@Wisconsin.gov with additional questions.

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Where's Walleye? Major tagging project aims to find out

PESHTIGO, Wis. - Where do walleye go to grow and do they prefer their natal streams when it's time to spawn?

DNR fisheries team members are tagging walleye on tributaries to Green Bay including the Oconto, Peshtigo, Fox and Menominee rivers to learn more about the movements and spawning behavior of the fish.
DNR fisheries team members are tagging walleye on tributaries to Green Bay including the Oconto, Peshtigo, Fox and Menominee rivers to learn more about the movements and spawning behavior of the fish.
Photo Credit: WDNR

A major research effort by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Michigan DNR intends to learn more about walleye and their movements to aid in management of the sought-after species. Steve Hogler, DNR fisheries biologist, said the study has been underway since 2012 with fish now being tagged each spring in tributaries to Green Bay including the Oconto, Peshtigo, Fox and Menominee rivers.

"There are a lot of reasons why fisheries biologists tag fish, but for this work we want to determine movement after tagging and learn whether walleye tagged in a river return to same river in which they were tagged in subsequent years to spawn," Hogler said. "Historically it was believed that walleye in Green Bay did not move far from their home river and rarely intermixed with other walleye stocks in Green Bay."

However, more recent research from other walleye populations around the Great Lakes indicates that walleye populations show large movements and regularly mix with walleye from other portions of the same lake as well as walleye populations from adjoining lakes. Knowing whether walleye from Green Bay mix or not will help in the proper management of this important sport fish, Hogler said.

To date, the research project has involved tagging more than 6,100 fish and for the next few weeks DNR fisheries team members will continue working in the rivers tagging fish as the spawning run is underway. Walleye typically begin to reach sexual maturity at age 3 for males and age 4 for females.

One recent day, DNR fisheries team members tagged more than 200 walleye in less the two hours. They attribute the current strong runs of fish on the Green Bay tributaries to excellent year classes produced since 2007.

The walleye season on the Fox River, Green Bay and in large tributaries to Green Bay is open year round, but starting on March 7 bag limits were reduced to a one bag, 28-inch minimum size limit for walleye in the Fox River and a one bag, 15-inch minimum size for other open waters. With the start of the general fishing season on May 7 these size and bag limits revert back to the standard regulation of the three bag, no size limit for the Fox River and a five bag, 15-inch size limit for the other waters.

Anglers who catch a tagged walleye (or any tagged fish) are encouraged to note:

In addition, anglers are asked to provide contact information including name, address and phone or email so DNR can send a letter to the angler with the original tagging information.

Older tags contain a DNR address to send the tag with the above information. On newer tags there is also a phone number to call with the above information. Anglers may choose either option.

If the fish is to be released, the biologists ask anglers to leave the tag in place to allow for tracking in future years. DNR would still welcome a contact with the number and information from the tag.

"We're grateful for the participation by anglers as some of the fish tagged in the initial years are reaching maturity and more likely to be caught," Hogler said. "We intend to continue the tagging work for another few years with data collection in the years that follow. We appreciate the continuing collaboration with our partners from UW-Stevens Point and the Michigan DNR."

To learn more about angling opportunities in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "Fishing Wisconsin." Results from past years of tagging, are available on the Lake Michigan Fisheries page of the website. " Look under Lake Michigan Assessments for the most recent Green Bay Walleye tagging report.

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Volunteer opportunities abound to aid wild Wisconsin

National Citizen Science Day is April 16 and recruiting for Wisconsin efforts is underway

MADISON -- Volunteers can count cranes, listen for frogs, whip-poor-wills and owls, search for freshwater mussels and rare plants, monitor monarchs and water quality and join in a host of other efforts underway to collect information about Wisconsin's wildlife, plants and waters.

View Slideshow SLIDE SHOW | 7 photos

Wisconsin citizen scientists have many ways to get involved monitoring the state's natural resources.

April 16 marks the inaugural National Citizen Science Day and the Department of Natural Resources and other organizations are already busy recruiting volunteers to help gather information aimed at better understanding, protecting and managing Wisconsin's natural resources.

"Wisconsin is a national leader in citizen science and there are volunteer opportunities for people of all interests and skill sets," said Eva Lewandowski, who coordinates the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network for the Department of Natural Resources. "No matter what you like to do or know how to do, you can contribute to science and the management of our natural heritage in Wisconsin."

Here are just a few of those volunteer opportunities:

To find more opportunities, visit the "Who's Who" section of the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network website, a gateway page to find statewide DNR surveys to participate in and to get connected to more than 150 organizations involved in citizen-based monitoring.

DNR and organizations with monitoring programs formed the network in 2004 to improve their effectiveness by providing communications, resources and recognition.

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As the spring turkey season kicks off, keep new Go Wild tagging procedures in mind

MADISON - Wisconsin's regular spring turkey season begins Wednesday, and hunters will notice a few changes related to their turkey carcass tags under the new Go Wild licensing system.

What hasn't changed is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' encouragement for turkey hunters to enjoy a safe and successful hunt.

Changes under the Go Wild system include elimination of thermal paper licenses and new ways for customers in most circumstances to show proof of their licenses using an optional Conservation Card, a verified Wisconsin driver's license, a paper printout or a PDF displayed on a mobile device.

In addition to one of these proof-of-license options, turkey hunters need a paper printout of their turkey carcass tag. Using Go Wild, turkey hunters can print carcass tags directly from their account, eliminating the need to wait for carcass tags to arrive by mail. Hunters can also stop by a DNR service center or license vendor to have their tags printed. And, the option to print a duplicate copy is always available online via your Go Wild account.

Other important steps for turkey hunters this year:

This information replaces the tagging instructions contained in the spring 2016 regulations pamphlets, which were printed before the Go Wild system was fully developed.

The Go Wild system is part of a larger DNR campaign to encourage people to head outdoors and enjoy the numerous recreational opportunities made possible by the sound management of Wisconsin's natural resources. GoWild.WI.Gov acts as a portal to help plan adventures.

Safety is key to an enjoyable hunting adventure and with the start of spring turkey season, hunters are encouraged to visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, to review the "turkey hunting safety tips."

During turkey season, hunters typically wear camouflage, so extra caution is in order, said April Dombrowski, Recreation Enforcement and Education Safety Section chief. Wearing a blaze orange cap or gloves while walking will increase visibility.

In addition, finding a hunting spot with a tree or some other object that is as wide as your shoulders not only provides a useful backrest, it helps protect you from an errant shot and the good vision of the turkey.

As with all hunting seasons, Dombrowski said, the four basic rules of firearm safety apply - TABK.

For more information regarding turkey hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "turkey."

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773