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March 1, 2011

MADISON - Proposed changes to rules governing when and where commercial fishers can set trap nets in southern Lake Michigan, and how such nets should be marked in that water as well as in Lake Superior, are the topic of public hearings in mid-March in Sheboygan and Bayfield.

The proposed changes respond to two related citizen petitions filed last summer after the fishing gear of a recreational fishing boat became entangled in a commercial trap net marker buoy line in Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, says Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the Department of Natural Resources.

The boat capsized and one of the fishermen subsequently died of a heart attack. This incident raised awareness of a long-standing controversy regarding where and when commercial trap nets should be allowed in southern Lake Michigan.

Currently commercial trap nets are prohibited from June 29 through Labor Day, except in two designated areas.

To address the petitions, the rules would:

The proposed rules and fiscal estimates may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website or may be obtained from Bill Horns, DNR Fisheries Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or email: [].

Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via email or U.S. mail to William Horns at the above address. For more information contact Bill Horns at (608) 266-8782.

The hearings will be held:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Horns (608) 266-8782; Mike Staggs (608) 267-0796

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

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