September 15, 2015
ASHLAND, Wis. -- Two public meetings to discuss next steps in aiding recovery of lake trout populations in Lake Superior will be held by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Sept. 29 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland and Oct. 1 at Saxon Community Center.
The public meetings will cover regulation options developed by DNR fisheries biologists to help lake trout numbers recover and improve the long-term sustainability of the fishery. Terry Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor, said population assessments over the last six to eight years indicate that the decline in lake trout abundance is largely due to harvest. The current emergency rule expires Sept. 30 and recent surveys by the fisheries team show lake trout numbers remain well below historical averages.
Lake trout often live more than 40 years and do not reach sexual maturity until they are eight to 10 years old. As a result, the lake trout stock must be carefully managed to address the needs of many stakeholders including commercial fishers, sport anglers and a host of associated businesses that all depend on a strong lake trout fishery in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior.
"The upcoming public meetings will provide citizens with the opportunity to discuss the options and provide fisheries managers with information needed to move forward," Margenau said. The options would then be written into another emergency rule covering the recreational lake trout open season that runs from Dec. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016.
The upcoming meetings will run from 7 to 9 p.m. The Sept. 29 meeting will be at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center, 29270 Highway G in Ashland. The Oct. 1 meeting will be at the Saxon Community Center, 2 Church St., Saxon.
In addition to welcoming comments at the meetings, DNR will gather input through an online survey that will be announced with a deadline of Oct. 15. Citizens also may provide feedback by mailing Terry L. Margenau, Lake Superior fisheries supervisor, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 589, 141 S. Third Street Bayfield, WI 54814; or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about lake trout, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search for "Lake Superior fisheries management." For more information about the Lake Superior fishery, search "fishing Lake Superior."