Contact(s): James Yach, Northern District Secretary's Director, 608-218-0711 or JamesA.Yach@wisconsin.gov
May 20, 2020 at 11:22:41 am
MADISON, Wis. - Effective immediately, the walleye bag limit on Barber and South Barber Lakes in Sawyer County is being reduced to zero. Only catch and release for walleye will be allowed for the remainder of the 2020-2021 fishing season.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking this action after learning the Ojibwe tribal spear harvest had exceeded 100% of the allowable harvest amount for Barber and South Barber Lakes. This primarily resulted from a clerical error and an issuance of too many permits by the Lac Courte Oreilles Conservation Department.
Since spear harvest exceeded 60% of safe harvest in both 2019 and 2020, Barber Lake will be closed to tribal spearing in 2021.
"While the exceedance of safe harvest by Ojibwe spearers does not represent an immediate threat to this fishery, it does severely limit the options fisheries management can use to ensure the combined tribal and angler harvest doesn't exceed the allotted maximum harvest amount for Barber Lake," said Justine Hasz, DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management Director.
Recent stocking of fingerling walleyes into Barber Lake under the Walleye Stocking Initiative has been successful at creating a meaningful fishery, resulting in 1.9 adults per acre in 2017, which was up from 0.5 adults per acre in 2010.
Barber Lake and the attached South Barber Lake are managed as a single unit. Barber Lake is scheduled to be stocked with 1,400 6-8 inch walleyes this fall.