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Weekly News Published - July 24, 2018 by the Central Office

 

Anglers reel in a stringer of fish records so far in 2018

Contact(s): Karl Scheidegger, state record fish program coordinator, 608-267-9426, Karl.Scheidegger@wisconsin.gov

Mother breaks daughter's fish record but keeps it in the family

MADISON -- Brenda Carter is the state's newest state fish record holder but the lifelong angler is finding the honor a tad bittersweet: she broke the catch and release record for pumpkinseed set a year ago by her daughter, Erika Carter.

"You never plan to catch something that big," she says. "It's a gift.

"That record was not something that was a goal for me. Erika goes to UW-Stevens Point for fisheries and she was very excited to have set the record."

View Slideshow SLIDE SHOW | 12 photos

Brenda Carter (left) and her live release state record pumpkinseed that broke a record set a year ago by her daughter, Erika.

Yet when mother and daughter were fishing July 3 on Lake Noquebay in Marinette County and mom hauled in the 9-inch pumpkinseed, Erika was the one encouraging her mother to see if it was a record fish.

"She was looking up record requirements online while I was measuring the fish," Brenda Carter says.

"We thought we had to beat the record by one-half inch but Erika saw we only needed to beat it by one-quarter inch, and my fish did. She encouraged me to fill out the paperwork and send it in to get the record."

The Carters caught their two record pumpkinseeds on the same water, where the family owns a cabin, a year and a day apart. Brenda was fishing with Erika in 2017 when she caught her record pumpkinseed.

"It was one of those weird things," Brenda Carter says.

"My daughter says (her mom setting the new fish record) gives her a goal to shoot for. It could be by the end of the summer. We hope to catch a bigger one someday!"

A stringer full of fish records so far in 2018

With a new live release state fish records program and a growing number of anglers fishing using alternate methods like a bow and arrow, anglers are reeling in a string of state fish records in 2018, says Karl Scheidegger, the fisheries biologist who coordinates the state record fish programs.

The state fish records and their new owners are listed. To see more state fish records and to learn what to do if you think you've caught a record fish, go to dnr.wi.gov and search "record fish."

2018 Live Release records

2018 By Weight records (hook and line)

2018 By Weight records (alternate method)

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The fish record that got away

Contact(s): Karl Scheidegger, state record fish program coordinator, 608-267-9426, Karl.Scheidegger@wisconsin.gov

Every angler has a story about the one that got away

MADISON - Damon Chandler's story - and potential state record - slipped away in the final minutes of a saga that stretched over several days last week. After quite a fight, the retired U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman landed what he thought was a monster yellow bullhead while fishing July 14 just above the Dells dam on the Wisconsin River.

"(it was) A whale," Chandler says. "It was huge. Fortunately, I had on 100-pound test line on there and a nonbreakable pole. He bent that bad boy half-way down."

Damon Chandler and his 4.10 pound flathead catfish he mistook for a yellow bullhead. - Photo credit: DNR
Damon Chandler and his 4.10 pound flathead catfish he mistook for a yellow bullhead.Photo credit: DNR

Chandler, who has been fishing for catfish and bullheads since he was five, thought for sure he had a record yellow bullhead. The existing record is a 3-pound, 5-ounce fish caught from Nelson Lake in Sawyer County, and he was sure his haul bested that.

He caught the fish at about 10:30 p.m. and went to look for a certified scale. DNR's traditional hook and line records are by-weight records and require the applicant to have their fish weighed on a certified scale.

Whether due to the lateness of the hour or the unappetizing prospect of having a bullhead on one of their scales, Chandler had no luck finding a store willing to weigh the beast for him.

So he put the fish in a big bowl, sealed it in layers of plastic wrap, and put it in his refrigerator until Monday when he drove it to the DNR Central Office in downtown Madison.

While DNR field offices usually get the majority of record fish to confirm, occasionally a potential record fish is brought to the central office. After some brainstorming on where there might be a certified scale in downtown Madison, fisheries staff located one in the DNR mail room.

Chandler unwrapped the fish, it was placed on the scale and bottomed out at 4.10 pounds - well over the previous record for yellow bullhead. But fisheries staff cautioned Chandler they had to confirm the species identification.

And here was where Chandler's fish record slipped away. What he thought was a yellow bullhead, was actually a young flathead catfish, which look similar to yellow bullheads.

Alex Latzka, a fisheries biologist who had been checking fish ID resources while Chandler's fish was being weighed, peered in the fish's mouth and pronounced it a small flathead catfish, not a yellow bullhead. The hook and line record for the flathead catfish is 74 pounds and 5.1 ounces.

The flathead's lower jaw extends past its upper jaw, giving it a little bit of an underbite, while the bullhead's jaws end at about the same point, Latzka said. "In this case, we looked at the tooth patch on the upper jaw. The bullhead's teeth form a single patch mostly in a straight line across the lip. The flathead's tooth patch has backward extensions, and these extensions were very evident on the specimen in question."

Chandler took the news well.

"It was one heck of a fight and I loved it," he said. "I'm not stopping (trying to get a bullhead record). I will eventually get one. "

Learn more about Wisconsin's state record fish and how to claim one. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search "record fish." For fish identification help, anglers can use the Wisconsin Fish ID tool online, or download the app on Android or Apple devices.

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August 1 deadline approaches for furbearer trapping and hunting seasons

Contact(s): Shawn Rossler, furbearer ecologist, 608-267-9428; Curtis Twellmann, assistant furbearer ecologist, 608-261-6452

MADISON- Aug. 1 is an important deadline for trappers and hunters who wish to pursue bobcat, fisher and river otter this fall.

Permit applications for fall trapping seasons can be purchased for $3 ($6 for bobcat applications) online at GoWild.wi.gov, at Department of Natural Resources service centers, and at all license agents.

License sales are not available by phone, but live operators at the DNR Call Center are available to answer any questions hunters may have about the permit application process. The call center is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 888-WDNR-INFo (1-888-936-7463).

2018 fall season dates are as follows:

Bobcat, Fisher and River Otter

The statewide harvest quota for bobcat has been approved and set at 800 and a combined 1,650 permits are available for the 2018-19 season, which mark the fifth year of statewide bobcat harvest.

Fisher  (Martes pennanti):  - Photo credit: DNR
Fisher (Martes pennanti): Photo credit: DNR

The statewide fisher quota for 2018 is 985 (the same level as last season), and a combined 5,420 fisher permits are available. A statewide river otter quota has been set at 2,000, with 12,300 permits available for trappers this season.

New for 2018, the fisher and otter zones have been consolidated and now match the bobcat zones. There is a Northern Zone and a Southern Zone split by Highway 64 for all three species.

Wait times for permits vary depending on the species and management zone. Visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov,  and search for keyword "trap" for details on trapping and preference points needed to draw a permit in 2017.

Drawings will take place in August, with permits issued in September. Applicants can check their online account in mid-September to see if they've been awarded a permit by visiting GoWild.wi.gov.

In addition to the permit, a trapping license is required to trap bobcat, fisher and river otter. All first-time trappers are required to complete a trapper education course before buying a trapping license. Trapper education classes are posted at GoWild.wi.gov.

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Racine to use DNR brownfield assessment funds to aid uptown redevelopment

Contact(s): Christine Haag, Brownfields Section chief, 608-266-0244; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-6422

MADISON - Efforts to assess possible contamination at a decades-old industrial site in Racine's uptown area will get a boost with a recently issued brownfields grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

Racine netted $20K in contractor services to help assess this old brownfield industrial site in the city's uptown area.   - Photo credit: DNR
Racine netted $20K in contractor services to help assess this old brownfield industrial site in the city's uptown area. Photo credit: DNR

The award comes from the DNR Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, and will provide for contractor services worth approximately $20,000. The work will help the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Racine (RDA) assess possible contamination, leading to a potential cleanup and eventual reuse of the site.

The nearly one-acre site on 13th Street has a long history of various industrial uses. It was most recently the site of a laundry service for the health care and hospitality industries. Historic records from the Racine Fire Department indicate that a 500-gallon underground fuel oil tank was located on or near the property.

With the RDA ready to promote the property, an investigation of the environmental conditions on the site will help put the group in a better position of securing a buyer and returning the site to productive economic status.

"As Racine continues to redevelop former industrial sites, the DNR is proud to be part of the city's future," said Christine Haag, chief of the DNR brownfields section. "This WAM grant could be just the leverage that the RDA needs to help turn this property around and get it on track for the next generation of use."

Administered by the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination. The program is funded through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brownfields assessment grant.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the program is an attractive opportunity for communities. In many instances, WAM awards are leveraged with other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties that may have been underutilized for many years.

Applications can be submitted for WAM awards at any time. Properties eligible for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing.

For more information, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search for WAM, or keyword "brownfield."

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Contact information

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