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June 21, 2011

Emergency rules aimed at improving boater safety

MADISON - A requirement that anglers trolling with downriggers on the Great Lakes carry wire cutters on board -- along with changes that commercial fishers must make -- are the topic of public hearings June 27 in Cleveland and Bayfield.

The hearings are on emergency rules adopted in April by the state Natural Resources Board and aimed at better protecting sport anglers on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior from potential hazards under the water, including commercial fishing nets. Find information on these rules on Trap Net Safety on the Great Lakes page of the Department of Natural Resources website.

The emergency rules have been in effect since May 15 and will run 90 days, at which time the DNR has a chance to renew them for another 60 days.

Public comment collected at the hearings or through written statements sent to the DNR will be used to help shape any further rule-making efforts, says Bill Horns, DNR Great Lakes fisheries specialist.

Under the emergency rules:

The emergency rule and fiscal estimate may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website.

More information or a copy of the proposed rule and supporting documents, including the fiscal estimate, may also be obtained from William Horns, DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by email to or by calling (608) 266-8782. Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via U.S. mail to William Horns. Comments may be submitted until June 23, 2011. Written comments, whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail, will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearings.

The hearing will be held concurrently by conference call June 27 from 5-7 p.m. in the following locations:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Horns (608) 266-8782

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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