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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published June 9, 2015

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Wisconsin bass mustering for a summer of epic battles

MADISON -- If you're an angler looking for a fight out on a Wisconsin lake this summer, there's something important you should know: the bass have you outnumbered.

And thanks to a combination of catch and release practices as well as careful management, bass numbers are growing, said Jon Hansen, a fisheries biologist and bass team leader with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. For largemouth bass in particular, abundance is now at such levels that the DNR has removed minimum length limits on more than 300 lakes, while another 21 have no minimum length but a protected slot from 14 to 18 inches. These lakes have a daily bag limit of five bass.

In northern zone waters, the smallmouth bass season remains catch and release only until June 20 when the harvest season begins. On most other inland lakes, there is a combined daily bag limit of five largemouth and smallmouth bass greater than 14 inches.

Dave Boyarski, northern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor, said the smallmouth bass population in Door County is as good as it has ever been - continuing a trend seen in recent years that resulted in the area's recognition by Bassmaster Magazine as the top bass fishing destination in the U.S. in 2014. This year, the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship is set for Sturgeon Bay Sept. 17-20.

Based on a recent fisheries team survey, some 20 percent of the smallmouth bass in Sturgeon Bay measured at least 17 inches and 15 percent measured at least 18 inches. Abundance also remains high - on a good day during the peak spring pre-spawn period, two anglers in boat may be able to pull in more than 50 fish a day. Boyarski said he also has gotten some reports of 100 fish days.

"We're getting a lot of 5-plus pound fish as well as some 7 and 8 pound fish and that's bearing in mind that the state record is just over 9 pounds," Boyarski said. "But where we're really fortunate is that a lot of good bass fishing can be done from shore, from a dock or by simple wading. It opens up all kinds of opportunities for families and people without boats."

It's also one reason why bass fishing remains an important part of the $2.3 billion economic impact Wisconsin gains from sport fishing each year.

"In addition to providing a valuable recreational opportunity for state residents, there are a lot of people who come here for the bass fishing," Hansen said. "These aren't necessarily tournament anglers, but they may hear about it that way."

To learn more, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "largemouth bass" and "smallmouth bass." Information about daily bag limits, season length and other specific information can be found by searching "fishing regulations."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Hansen, DNR fisheries biologist, JonathanF.Hansen@Wisconsin.gov, 608-266-6883; Dave Boyarski, northern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor, David.Boyarski@Wisconsin.gov , 920-746-2865; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov, 608-770-8084

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Statewide trolling rule to take effect July 1

MADISON - A rule to allow motor trolling while fishing on all inland waters of Wisconsin takes effect July 1, 2015.

Trolling means fishing by trailing any lure, bait or similar device that may be used to attract or catch fish from a boat propelled by means other than drifting, pedaling, paddling or rowing. Drifting or "row trolling" is allowed on all waters statewide. Previously motor trolling had been prohibited on waters unless allowed under special regulations.

The rule received extensive public input through Wisconsin Conservation Congress hearings and was reviewed and approved by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. The rule extends trolling opportunities to all waters, said Tim Simonson, a DNR fisheries management specialist.

Statewide trolling rule
Click on map for larger version

Under the new rule, in most counties anglers may troll using up to three hooks, baits or lures with no restrictions per boat. However, trolling is allowed with only one hook, bait or lure per angler and two hooks, baits or lures per boat in certain counties and in certain waters of other counties. For a listing of waters open to trolling with three hooks, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "trolling."

In addition to simplifying fishing regulations, Simonson said the rule will reduce confusion that may occur when a technique called "position fishing" is used. Position fishing involves fishing from a boat with a line that extends vertically into the water while the boat is maneuvered with a motor. The new rule allows anglers to trail at least one sucker, minnow or other bait or lure behind a moving motor boat, regardless of whether the occupants are casting other lures. It also provides additional fishing opportunities for anglers who may have difficulty fishing by other methods and would eliminate the need for disabled anglers to apply for trolling permits.

Simonson said analysis of available data indicates no difference between casting and trolling in terms of angling success or "catch rate" for muskellunge, walleye and northern pike.

The rule expires on May 4, 2018, but many anglers have expressed interest in continuing to make the trolling option available. The department will assess trolling over the next couple years and work with anglers to develop another trolling proposal for 2018 and beyond.

For more information on trolling and other rules, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "trolling."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Simonson, DNR fisheries management specialist, 608-266-5222, timothy.simonson@wisconsin.gov; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov

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Hearings to be held on emergency and permanent rules for three walleye bag limit in Ceded Territory

MADISON -- The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on an emergency rule and permanent rule for a three walleye daily bag limit on most lakes and rivers in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory at a series of public hearings this week.

The emergency rule, which was approved at the April meeting of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board and is currently in effect, and the permanent rule amend and create sections of chs. NR 20 and 23. The hearings will be held:

The Department of Natural Resources department developed the rule to manage the walleye fishery after listening to citizens and stakeholders eager for more predictable and uniform angling regulations on lakes in the region. The rule replaces the current system of annually adjusting bag limits with equally protective minimum length and slot limits in conjunction with the three walleye daily bag limit. The three fish daily bag limit and the new size limit regulations will maintain harvest rates within the safe limits established by the federal court decision for the Ceded Territory.

Written comments may be submitted at the public hearings and by regular mail, fax, or email to Joe Hennessy at P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921; by email to joseph.hennessy@wisconsin.gov; or by calling 608-267-9427; or fax 608-266-2244. Written comments may also be submitted to the Department using the Wisconsin Administrative Rules (exit DNR) website no later than June 30, 2015.

For background information on the tribal and recreational fishery in Wisconsin's Ceded Territory, Chippewa treaty rights, a description of the management system used to ensure the long term viability of fisheries in the Ceded Territory and to see data collected as part of that management system, including walleye population estimates and creel survey summaries for all game fish, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "Ceded Territory."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Hennessy, DNR fisheries treaty coordinator, 608-267-9427, Joseph.Hennessy@wisconsin.gov; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov

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Trapper education instructor of the year, design contest winner awarded

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Trapper's Association and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recognized Mike Kortenhof and Macey Loka for their contributions to trapper education at the association's 2015 spring banquet.

Kortenhof was recognized by the Wisconsin Cooperative Trapper Education Program as the 2014 Instructor of the Year, while Loka was chosen as this year's trapper education patch design contest winner.

Kortenhof, from Eagle River, Wis., has been a trapper education instructor for almost a decade and volunteers as the District 3 Trapper Education Coordinator. He helps other instructors with class needs, links youth and others with available classes and coordinates new instructor orientations. Kortenhof also assists with furbearer training, most notably at Northland College Fur School in Ashland, Wis., and has also worked closely with Future Trappers of Wisconsin youth camps.

Loka, a freshman at Tomahawk High School in Tomahawk, Wis., was recognized for her patch design, which will be given to new Trapper Education graduates beginning in 2015. The winning design was selected by WTA members, and includes images of cattails and mink tracks -- two indicators of a healthy Wisconsin wetland. Loka is an active member of the Future Trappers of Wisconsin.

"The department and WTA would like to thank the patch contest sponsors, who provided prizes for the winning entries," said DNR trapper education coordinator Geriann Albers. "This year's sponsors included Clark's Willowtree Fur, Mike Widner of Riverine Traders, Chuck Smith of Northern Industries, and the Wisconsin Trappers Association."

To view all patch entries, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "trapper ed."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Geriann Albers at Geriann.albers@wisconsin.gov, or Bryce Larson at wctep@wistrap.org.

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Kimberly Clark Neenah facility applies for Green Tier participation

NEENAH, Wis. - The company known for global brands like Kleenex and Huggies is applying for entry into the state's flagship program on environmental performance.

Kimberly-Clark's Cold Spring and Nonwovens facilities in Neenah are up for public comment on the company's applications for Wisconsin's Green Tier program.

Kimberly-Clark is applying for Tier 1 of Green Tier, which is designed to encourage, recognize and reward companies that are committed to superior environmental performance. To be accepted into the program, applicants must have a good environmental record and must have or commit to implementing an Environmental Management System.

The Department of Natural Resources will accept public comments on Kimberly-Clark's Green Tier applications through July 8, 2015. Comments may be directed to Laurel Sukup, Wisconsin DNR, OB/7, PO BOX 7921, Madison, WI 53707, by email to Laurel.Sukup@Wisconsin.gov , or by calling 608-267-6817.

Kimberly-Clark brands, including Kleenex, Scott, Poise and Huggies, are distributed in more than 175 countries. Kimberly-Clark's global sustainability program guides the development of environmental objectives, identifies areas of continuous improvement and helps set targets for its facilities and offices around the world.

The Neenah Cold Spring Facility produces Depend, Kotex and Poise products. The Neenah Nonwovens Facility produces nonwoven fabrics that can be found in many of Kimberly-Clark's adult care, baby and child care and feminine care products.

Both Neenah facilities identified continual training of employees on their roles in several areas: maintaining their facility's environmental compliance, reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste as well as maintaining compliance with their respective policy statements and Environmental Management Systems.

Kimberly-Clark's facilities have already taken a number of actions to improve their environmental performance.

  1. Neenah Cold Spring Facility recycles 97 percent of their manufacturing waste, including(product cut outs, cardboard, poly-wrap, packaging materials and scrap wood products, and 100 percent of their universal waste, including lamps, bulbs, batteries, used oil, anti-freeze and scrap metal waste.
  2. Kimberly-Clark's Nonwovens sector is unique in that all manufacturing waste is recyclable. Neenah Nonwoven Facility's waste to landfill is typically less than 0.05 percent annually, and its Universal Waste is 100 percent recycled. In 2015, the Neenah Nonwoven Facility removed all obsolete roof chillers to improve the facility's energy efficiency. On June 3, 2015, the Neenah Nonwoven Facility team celebrated 10 years injury free.

More details about the Kimberly-Clark Green Tier applications for the Neenah Cold Spring Facility and the Neenah Nonwovens Facility are available on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurel Sukup, 608-267-6817.

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Last Revised: Tuesday, June 09, 2015




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