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COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED TO OCT. 31 FOR LAKE MICHIGAN INTEGRATED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PLAN

August 26, 2014

MADISON -- The long-term fisheries management plan for Wisconsin's Lake Michigan waters is being updated and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is extending the public comment period through the end of October to allow more stakeholders a chance to provide feedback.

DNR fisheries biologists hosted four public meetings in early August in Peshtigo, Green Bay, Cleveland and Milwaukee.

"We received a lot of good feedback from the public that we will be able to use," said Brad Eggold, Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor. "However, a number of folks in the charter fishing industry on the lake were unable to look over the plan and provide feedback this summer due to their heavy seasonal work schedule. We want to be sure that all those who want to provide feedback on this important 10-year plan have the opportunity to do so."

The plan will guide Wisconsin's Lake Michigan fisheries management for the next 10 years. "Over the last 10 years we have made good progress and accomplished much of what we set out to do in our previous plan."

However, over the last decade Lake Michigan has undergone major ecological changes and is less productive due to the arrival and proliferation of the exotic quagga mussel. These small freshwater invertebrates remove large quantities of plankton as they filter the water, short circuiting the food chain and ultimately leaving less for prey fish to eat.

Beyond the difficulties caused by invasive species, a looming challenge involves the need to renovate the fish production system, including the Kettle Moraine State Fish Hatchery, which produces all the steelhead rainbow trout stocked in Lake Michigan.

"Given the challenges and opportunities before us, input from anglers and others is critical in developing a plan that keeps Lake Michigan healthy and reflects the interests of sport and commercial fishing interests," Eggold said.

Many stakeholders attended the meetings to learn more and provide input on the plan. As reminder, attendees who spoke on the record will have their comments reflected in the final plan; others who attended and still wish to comment may do so by submitting feedback via email or mail. By extending the comment period from the end of August to Oct. 31, DNR fisheries biologists aim to encourage comments from an even larger group. Comments can be sent by email to DNRLakeMichiganPlan@wisconsin.gov or by mail to: Wisconsin DNR, Attn: David Boyarski, 110 S. Neenah Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.

Details of the plan can be found on the DNR website dnr.wi.gov by searching for keywords "Lake Michigan plan."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Eggold, Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor, southern unit, Bradley.Eggold@wisconsin.gov; 414-382-7921; David Boyarski, Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor, northern unit, David.Boyarski@wisconsin.gov; 920-746-2865; Jennifer Sereno, communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov.

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 26, 2014




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