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Weekly News Published - October 10, 2017 by the Central Office


Stocking advances spotted musky reintroduction project in Green Bay

WILD ROSE, Wis. -- Efforts to establish a self-sustaining population of spotted musky in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan waters got a boost this fall when 7,000 musky fingerling averaging 17 inches were stocked into the Fox River, several Green Bay tributaries, Lake Winnebago and three inland lakes.

The fingerlings were raised for a year in cool water ponds at Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery. They now weigh about a pound and average 17 inches in length, although some were pushing 19 and 20 inches.

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Department of Natural Resources fish crew members stocked roughly 1,350 fish into the future broodstock lakes of Anderson and Archibald Lakes in Oconto County and Elkhart lake in Sheboygan County, according to Jesse Landwehr, hatchery supervisor. The three inland lakes will serve as the source of brood stock in future years. Beginning in 2019, DNR tentatively will spawn spotted muskies in an effort to ramp up production in the hatcheries.

Historically, spotted musky were native to Lake Michigan and its tributaries in Wisconsin but habitat destruction, pollution and over-exploitation during the early to mid-1900s decimated their populations. DNR in cooperation with several local musky clubs and the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin started to reintroduce the Great Lakes strain musky into Green Bay waters of Lake Michigan in 1989.

They stocked fish that were hatched from eggs collected from Michigan waters where spotted musky still are found, and raised them at Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery. Those stockings have helped create a popular fishery in Green Bay with anglers reeling in many 50-plus-inch fish but the ultimate goal of the project--creating a self-sustaining population--has been elusive.

DNR staff have worked in recent years to diversify the genetic pool in hopes of seeing better natural reproduction. Michigan had been providing 5- to 6-inch fingerlings to Wisconsin hatched from disinfected eggs and Wisconsin has been sending northern Wisconsin musky fingerlings to Michigan in return. Creating broodstock lakes will enable Wisconsin to spawn its own fish.

All the fish going into the three brood lakes were fin-clipped and PIT tagged so DNR can identify individual fish and their parentage. "This enables us when we are spawning on the brood stock lakes in the future to maintain genetic diversity," Landwehr says.

For the rest of the fish going into the Green Bay system, 20 percent were tagged and clipped to help local biologists identify individual fish and assess their growth rates.



October public meetings will gather feedback regarding outdoor recreation in Wisconsin

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity at a series of upcoming meetings to provide input on two draft chapters of a Department of Natural Resources Recreation Opportunities Analysis and begin the process of examining opportunities in three other regions of Wisconsin,

The Recreation Opportunities Analysis is examining existing outdoor-based recreation opportunities and future recreation opportunities in eight regions throughout Wisconsin.

The initial drafts identify recreation opportunities in the Great Northwest (Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, Polk, Barron and Rusk counties) and Upper Lake Michigan Coastal Regions (Marinette, Oconto, Manitowoc, Brown, Kewaunee and Door counties) and the potential role of DNR-managed properties in helping to meet these opportunities.

In August, the department held open house meetings asking for public input about these regions. Feedback was also received through an online public input opportunity that was open in August and early September. Using this input, the department developed a draft chapter for each region describing future needs unique to each part of the state and the potential role DNR-managed properties play in helping to meet those needs.

Comments are welcome on the draft chapters through Oct. 27. Open house meetings are scheduled from 4-7 p.m. in each region where department staff will provide an overview at 5:30 p.m.:

Next regions to begin study for Recreation Opportunities Analysis

The next regions to be studied are the Mississippi River Corridor, Western Sands and Lake Winnebago regions. The counties included in these regions are as follows:

The public is invited to participate in this analysis by providing information through the online input opportunities found by searching the DNR website for keyword "ROA." The public can provide feedback online or print out the questionnaire and send completed forms to the department. Public input opportunities for these three regions are open through Nov. 17.

Later this month, the department will host public open house meetings to gather additional input to the Mississippi River Corridor, Lake Winnebago Waters and Western Sands regions. The open houses will be held from 4-7 p.m. in the following dates and locations:

While the ROA process is underway in these counties, additional public meetings in other regions will be held as the process moves forward. The analysis process will generally describe recreation opportunities for each region.

To receive email updates regarding the ROA process, visit and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select "Recreation opportunities analysis," found within the list titled "outdoor recreation."

For more information regarding the recreational opportunities analysis, search keyword "ROA."



Wisconsin has a lot to celebrate during Forest Products Week

MADISON - Forest Products Week highlights and recognizes the forest products businesses and organizations that keep this manufacturing sector of Wisconsin healthy. Gov. Scott Walker proclaimed the third week in October as Forest Products Week in Wisconsin [PDF], encouraging citizens to recognize the many products that come from our forests because of the people and businesses that work in and care for forests.

"A century ago, Wisconsin's forest industry helped build the Midwest and many of Wisconsin's cities," said Scott Lyon forest products specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "Today, Wisconsin has 17.1 million acres of forestland covering nearly half of the state and is home to more than 1,200 forest products companies producing a variety of products that we use daily. The forest products sector is a major economic engine, generating $24.7 billion in goods and services annually, and is especially vital to our rural communities."

Wisconsin also celebrates Manufacturing Month during October and the forest products sector continues to be a vital component of Wisconsin's manufacturing. "Primary and secondary forest products businesses make up to 14 percent of all manufacturing jobs in the state," Lyon said.

Forest products are in hundreds of items we use every day. Those produced in Wisconsin include paper products such as food packaging, fine writing paper and tissue paper; additives such as liquid smoke, food ingredients and cosmetics; and lumber used for homes and furniture. In addition, Wisconsin remains the No. 1 papermaking state in the nation for more than 60 years, producing 5.3 million tons of paper annually.

"Our forests directly provide more than 64,000 jobs for Wisconsin residents with a payroll of $3.7 billion," said Collin Buntrock, DNR forest products specialist. "In fact, forestry is the number one employer in 10 counties, and every forestry job supports 1.7 additional jobs in the state."

For people who want to learn about locally produced forest products and their economic benefits, several forest products businesses and organizations will host open house events during Forest Products Week. To find an event near you, visit, keyword "Forest Products."

Find additional information by searching the DNR website,, for keywords "forest products" or "forest economics."  



Updated 2016-17 Wisconsin wildlife reports now available

MADISON - The public can find the latest results for a wide variety of wildlife surveys conducted in 2016 and 2017 such as population surveys and estimates, harvest results and wildlife observations that are now available in reports on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

The reports include data collected from small game, big game, furbearer and non-game categories. The reports were made possible by Pittman-Robertson funding.

DNR staff would like to thank volunteers who assisted with survey efforts for their continued commitment to Wisconsin's wildlife.

The following reports for 2016-17 can be found by searching the DNR website,, for keyword "reports."

Small Game

Big Game




Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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James Dick
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