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NORTHERN ANGLERS ENCOURAGED TO MEASURE AND COUNT THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
May 19, 2015
MADISON -- There's great fishing in store on northern Wisconsin lakes this Memorial Day weekend and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is encouraging visiting anglers and returning cabin owners to familiarize themselves with some updated rules before heading out for walleye.
Highlights of the new and upcoming changes include:
- A three walleye daily bag limit is now in place on most waters in Wisconsin's Ceded Territory. DNR developed the three walleye daily bag limit to manage the northern walleye fishery after listening to citizens and stakeholders eager for more predictable and uniform angling regulations on lakes in the region. The new regulations replace the previous system of annually adjusting bag limits to account for tribal harvest activity.
Instead, the equally protective minimum length and slot limits work in conjunction with the three bag limit to manage the angler harvest of adult walleye at levels that can be supported over time. On most lakes, the three bag daily limit includes a 15 inch minimum combined with a protected, no-harvest "slot" of fish between 20 and 24 inches and the ability to harvest one walleye greater than 24 inches. The waterbody daily bag limits apply to individual lakes, said Russell Fell, DNR conservation warden supervisor in Spooner. An angler can go to another body of water and harvest additional walleye to meet the total daily bag limit of five in Wisconsin waters.
However, while fishing on the water, bank or shore of any lake, anglers cannot possess fish in excess of the waterbody's daily bag--that means a limit of fish harvested from a lake must be transferred to a house, cabin, or vehicle cooler before fishing the next lake. Fell also reminded anglers that live walleye cannot be transported away from a waterbody. Draining live wells and checking trailers for attached aquatic plants before moving away from the landing are important steps in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.
- A catch and release only walleye season is now in effect on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes. The five year catch-and-release only plan was developed by area angling groups, community leaders and Chippewa tribal leaders with support from DNR as part of a plan to restore natural reproduction and a sustainable walleye population on the Oneida County lakes, said Steve Hewett, DNR fisheries management section chief. As part of its commitment to the effort, the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has agreed not to harvest these lakes during the rehabilitation plan.
Additional habitat improvements, stocking efforts and research projects also will move ahead, Hewett said. There are many great fishing opportunities for catching and keeping other game fish and panfish on Minocqua, Mid, Mud, Jerome, Kawaguesaga, Little Tomahawk and Tomahawk lakes as noted in the Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations for 2015-2016.
To learn more about the three-bag limit and other rule updates, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "fishing regulations." For background information on the tribal and recreational fishery and Chippewa treaty rights, search for "Ceded Territory."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Russell Fell, DNR conservation warden supervisor, 715-645-0050, Russ.Fell@wisconsin.gov; Steve Hewett, DNR fisheries management section chief, 608- 267-7501, Steven.Hewett@wisconsin.gov; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconsin.gov
Last Revised: Tuesday, May 19, 2015