Contact(s): Jordan Weeks, Wisconsin DNR Mississippi River team supervisor, 608-785-9002, Jordan.Weeks@Wisconsin.gov; Kevin Stauffer, Minnesota DNR Lake City area fisheries supervisor, 651-345-3365 x229
LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Departments of Natural Resources in Wisconsin and Minnesota will hold five public input meetings in mid-May to kick off a multi-state review of bag and size limits for gamefish on the Mississippi River between Hastings, Minn., and the Iowa border.
The public meetings will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. as follows:
While the meetings will include a brief overview of existing and historical regulations for gamefish species on this stretch of the Mississippi, most of the time during each session will be devoted to gathering input.
"The process will help DNR biologists determine what the public is interested in regarding the diverse fishery in the Mississippi River," says Jordan Weeks, Wisconsin DNR Mississippi River fisheries team supervisor in La Crosse. "This process will help us formulate potential new fishing regulations."
Kevin Stauffer, Lake City area fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota DNR, says the agencies don't have any specific proposals for changes to bag limits or size restrictions. "But many of these regulations have been in place for 50 years, and we'd like to hear what people who fish the river have to say about them, and whether they think any changes are in order."
The Minnesota and Wisconsin DNRs are working together on the review with an eye toward maintaining consistent regulations on the Mississippi River flowing between the two states. All gamefish species will be discussed, including sunfish, crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, white bass, walleye, sauger, catfish and yellow perch.
Input gathered from these meetings, along with other fisheries data, may be used to develop recommendations for possible regulation changes that are agreeable to both states. After that, each state would have to go through its own official rule making process, with additional opportunities for public comment. The earliest any changes might go into effect would be 2020.