DNR seeks citizen input on Lake of the Woods, Rainy River regulation changes
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
DNR seeks input on Leech Lake proposed walleye regulation change
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Public invited to comment on special fishing regulations
During a series of public meetings, anglers and others can give their opinions about fishing regulations that are in place or are newly proposed for 15 lakes and one trout stream, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The DNR has scheduled 13 meetings across the state in coming weeks to review regulations that apply to individual waters, and the DNR also is accepting written and verbal public comments on the regulations before and 10 days after each meeting. Highlights of topics being covered include proposals to modify existing special walleye regulations on Leech Lake, walleye and sauger regulations on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River, northern pike regulations on Lake Vermilion, and a review of experimental walleye regulations on Kabetogama, Namakan, Crane and Little Vermilion lakes. “Anglers and the public should know they have an important role to play in shaping fishing regulations, and we value their opinions,” said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries regulations consultant. “In the end we all want to make sure anglers continue to have quality fishing in Minnesota.” In many places, statewide regulations, such as bag limits, do an adequate job in providing opportunities to catch quality-sized fish. However, special regulations are a more specific tool that fish managers can use to ensure there are local opportunities for quality fishing. Special or experimental regulations are found in their own section of the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook (pages 38 to 54).
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Try these bassin' basics for success during dog days of summer
ALMA, WI - While longtime Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Brian Brecka takes pride in being a multispecies angler, he typically finds time to catch a bass or two on each of his angling outings. "Wisconsin boasts largemouth and smallmouth bass fisheries that are passionately supported by droves of today's anglers," says Brecka. A recent Wisconsin angler diary study found bass fishing to be similar in popularity compared to walleye fishing during the spring and summer months. The study found only panfishing, the pursuit of bluegill, crappie and perch, to be more popular during the May-September period. "There's good reason for the popularity of largemouth and smallmouth bass," Brecka says. Bucketmouths and smallies together are the most widely distributed recreational fish in the state - found within inland lakes, cool and warm water streams, large rivers and the Great Lakes. "No matter where you live in Wisconsin, you're within a short drive of quality bass fishing," Brecka says. "While many of our higher quality bass fisheries are smaller in size and don't reach national notoriety, waterbodies such as Sturgeon Bay and the Mississippi River are consistently highly ranked as top bass fisheries in the nation." One more reason bass are boss are their accessibility from the shore. "If you're thinking you can't fish bass without a fancy boat and a dozen rods, think again," Brecka says. "They can be caught from shore, by wading, by canoe or kayak, or from a float tube or your grandfather's 14-foot flat bottom boat." No matter how you plan to fish, Brecka shares his bass fishing basics, updated from a 2002 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine article he wrote with Ken Snow. He encourages anglers to learning more about bass life history, behavior, seasonal movements and fishing patterns to increase their chances of success. "But book learning cannot replace the benefits of spending time on the water 'reading' the situation, adapting to changing conditions, getting in tune with your quarry and enjoying some time outdoors," he says. For a line on places to fish for bass, check out the 2018 Wisconsin Fishing Report forecasts for largemouth bass [PDF] and smallmouth bass.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Lake Michigan stocking plan paying off for anglers
MADISON, WI - Lake Michigan boat anglers report catching good numbers of salmon and trout this summer and the Department of Natural Resources has finished its first full year of implementing a new and enhanced stocking strategy to assure strong fish populations and fishing into the future. "We're happy to see boat anglers are reporting good harvests of fish this year," says Brad Eggold, DNR Great Lakes District fisheries supervisor. "Fish caught this year are large and in good condition. This indicates that the stocking adjustments that Wisconsin and other agencies have made appear to be paying off, and we're excited about what future years will bring. "The hard work of our hatchery staff has allowed us to fully implement the first year of the enhanced stocking plan, we've strengthened partnerships with stakeholders, and we've secured funding for a hatchery renovation. All of these will help us provide fantastic fishing on Lake Michigan into the future." The Lake Michigan stocking strategy was developed over more than two years with discussion and input from more than 500 anglers, business owners and other stakeholders. This spring, the DNR started carrying out that plan resulting in: * Stocking Lake Michigan with chinook and coho salmon and brown and rainbow trout under the new 2018-2020 management plan. * Stocking Skamania steelhead for the first time in a decade, as shown in the video below. * Expanding efforts with fishing clubs to place stocked fish in pens in Lake Michigan to get acclimatized and grow bigger before they're released. As well, the DNR secured approval in June from the state Building Commission to go ahead with final design phases for an updated Kettle Moraine Springs Fish Hatchery. At 70 years old, the facility has reached its useful lifetime and plans call for major improvements to the hatchery that will allow production of more fish for stocking in Lake Michigan with less groundwater and energy use and better conditions for fish and staff. The request for proposals to refurbish the hatchery are expected to go out this winter, with construction beginning shortly thereafter In addition, the DNR is embarking on a public-private partnership with Coolidge Springs Trout Farm in Fifield, WI, to raise 50,000 steelhead annually to meet the stocking plan for the next three years. For more information on Lake Michigan fishing, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search "Lake Michigan fisheries."
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
DNR finalizes Lake Vermilion management plan
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Anglers reel in stringer of fish records so far
MADISON, WI - Brenda Carter is the state's newest state fish record holder, but the lifelong angler is finding the honor a tad bittersweet: she broke the catch and release record for pumpkinseed set a year ago by her daughter, Erika Carter. "You never plan to catch something that big," she says. "It's a gift. "That record was not something that was a goal for me. Erika goes to UW-Stevens Point for fisheries and she was very excited to have set the record." Yet when mother and daughter were fishing July 3, on Lake Noquebay in Marinette County and mom hauled in the 9-inch pumpkinseed, Erika was the one encouraging her mother to see if it was a record fish. "She was looking up record requirements online while I was measuring the fish," Brenda Carter says. "We thought we had to beat the record by one-half inch, but Erika saw we only needed to beat it by one-quarter inch, and my fish did. She encouraged me to fill out the paperwork and send it in to get the record." The Carters caught their two record pumpkinseeds on the same water, where the family owns a cabin, a year and a day apart. Brenda was fishing with Erika in 2017 when she caught her record pumpkinseed. "It was one of those weird things," Brenda Carter says. "My daughter says (her mom setting the new fish record) gives her a goal to shoot for. It could be by the end of the summer. We hope to catch a bigger one someday!"
A stringer full of fish records so far in 2018 With a new live release state fish records program and a growing number of anglers fishing using alternate methods like a bow and arrow, anglers are reeling in a string of state fish records in 2018, says Karl Scheidegger, the fisheries biologist who coordinates the state record fish programs. The state fish records and their new owners are listed. To see more state fish records and to learn what to do if you think you've caught a record fish, go to dnr.wi.gov and search "record fish."
2018 Live Release records * Todd Meerdink of Waupaca caught and released a 18-1/2-inch white bass on Feb. 10, from Sunset Lake in Waupaca County. This was the second time the white bass live release record has been broken over the past year. * Michael Esche of Cudahy caught and released an 11-inch bluegill on Feb. 28, from the Mississippi River in Crawford County. The fish bettered the existing record by a half-inch. * Scott Erickson of Burlington caught and released a 23-1/2-inch rainbow trout on March 31, from a private farm pond in Racine County. * Alex Gerucisi caught and released an 8-1/2-inch green sunfish on May 24, from an urban pond in Waukesha County.
2018 By Weight records (hook and line) * Gregory Banbenek of Duluth, MN, caught an 11-3/4-inch, 3/4-pound creek chub on Jan. 1, from Amnicon Lake in Douglas County, bettering the existing record by a little over 2 ounces. * Stanley Von Ruden of Norwalk set the initial record for a spotted sucker on Feb. 22, with a 20-1/2-inch, 4-pound, 10.2-ounce fish caught from Lake Onalaska in La Crosse County. * Scott Erickson of Burlington bettered the existing tiger trout record by a little over a quarter of a pound on May 9, when he stumbled on a 16-inch, 2-pound, 1-ounce fish from a private pond in Racine County.
2018 By Weight records (alternate method) * Brandon Smith of Elkhorn bettered the existing white sucker record by almost two pounds when he shot a 24-1/2-inch, 6-pound 15.8-ounce fish on March 15, from Delavan Lake in Walworth County. * Records are meant to be broken. Ross Lubner of Campbellsport quickly surpassed the Smith fish by almost half a pound when he shot a 24-1/2-inch, 7-pound, 6.7-ounce white sucker a month later on April 21, from Pine Lake in Waukesha County. * It's déjà vu all over again. Dale Fahrni shot a 22-inch, 5-pound, 6.7-ounce spotted sucker on April 21, from the Wisconsin River in Richland County that bettered his own record by almost half a pound set three years earlier. * Shawn Schmidt of Denmark set the initial record for a longnose sucker when he used a spear gun to shoot a 21-1/4-inch, 3-pound 9.9-ounce fish on April 29, from Lake Michigan in Door County. * Brian Thompson of Newburg, MO, shot a 35-5/8-inch, 5-pound, 1-ounce shortnose gar on May 27, from Lake Butte des Morts in Winnebago County that bested the existing record by almost half a pound. * Jason Behrens of Arcadia shot a 56-1/8-inch, 19-pound, 5.4-ounce longnose gar on May 24, from the Mississippi River in Trempealeau County. The fish broke the current record by almost a pound.