MADISON, WI - Anglers, who fish Wisconsin's boundary and outlying waters, are reminded to carry a paper copy of their fishing license under law enforcement agreements with the neighboring states and federal agencies that share enforcement duties on these waters, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Chief Warden Todd Schaller. Schaller said the reason the paper copy is required of all anglers is because other states' and federal officers with jurisdiction on these waters do not have access to Wisconsin's Go Wild or the driver's license information to confirm fishing licenses. Use this handy step-by-step guide to help you reprint your license on your own. "The best advice is to print several copies of your fishing license and keep them with your fishing and boating equipment, and then forget about it because you'll be covered regardless of the home agency of the patrol officer on the water," Schaller said. "After that, your main focus is to enjoy your fishing trips."
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
740,000 catchable size trout stocking underway
MADISON, WI - Stocking trucks are rolling from state fish hatcheries now and will deliver about 740,000 catchable-size trout to inland waters in time for opening day of the 2018 regular inland trout season. A total of 275,000 rainbow, 200,000 brown, 215,000 brook and 50,000 lake trout will be stocked in more than 400 waters by May 5, according to Jeff Mosher, Department of Natural Resources fish production manager. "Gear up Wisconsin! Fish hauling trucks will be coming to publicly accessible waterbodies near you in time for the May fifth opener," Mosher said. "We're glad to be able to provide exciting fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages, and we thank you for your continued support in making Wisconsin one of America's best fishing destinations!" The fish to be stocked out were raised at Nevin Fish Hatchery, Osceola Fish Hatchery and St. Croix Falls Hatchery. A complete list of 2018 inland waters expected to receive catchable trout can be found by visiting the DNR website, and searching "Catchable Trout." Additional fish were raised and are being stocked through cooperative rearing agreements with fishing clubs. About 70,000 fish will be stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds cooperatively managed with the local municipality and used as a place for fishing clinics and kids fishing. Many urban waters have no length limits and a special season for juveniles 15 years of age and younger as well as certain disabled anglers. For 2018, the special season started March 10, and runs through April 27. These waters also have a daily bag limit of three trout, one gamefish and 10 panfish. For details, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "Fishing Regulations" and look under Urban and Community Fishing.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Fish survey results, forecasts help plan fishing trips
MADISON, WI - Anglers planning their fishing trips for the general hook and line fishing season that opens statewide May 5, can get a line on where to go in 2018, in The Wisconsin Fishing Report. The publication is available online and in hard copy at Department of Natural Resources service centers and in the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. It's full of great information and "where to fish" recommendations from fisheries biologists from around the state, according to Karl Scheidegger, Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist, who coordinates the report and fisheries outreach efforts. "Sometime an angler's most difficult question to answer is 'Where's my next fishing adventure?'" The Wisconsin Fishing Report can help them answer that question," Scheidegger said. The report features forecasts by species turned in by DNR fisheries biologists for many popular waters in their area. The forecasts contain a mixture of recent fish survey results revealing species abundance and fish size, descriptions of habitat projects benefiting fish populations and anglers, reminders on new rules and lots of photos of the impressive fish caught during DNR fisheries assessments and released for anglers' to enjoy pursuing. Download the entire 20-page tabloid style newspaper or check out the individual species forecasts online. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search "fishing report." People subscribing now to the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine will also receive a copy of The Wisconsin Fishing Report bound within the spring issue. The magazine is available for $8.97 per year. Subscribe at 1-800-678-9472 or online at wnrmag.com.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Get fishing questions answered or license at Fish Minnesota
What species can I fish for? What kind of bait is legal? What kind of fish can I keep? Don’t have a fishing regulations book handy? No problem. You can find the answer at Fish Minnesota, the fishing information webpage at mndnr.gov/fishmn. Fish Minnesota is a mobile-friendly destination for information on when, where and how to fish. Users also will find a link to LakeFinder, which provides detailed information on more than 4,500 lakes throughout the state. “Fish Minnesota has become a go-to resource for many anglers because it can be accessed anywhere there is mobile phone service,” said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries lake and stream survey program consultant. “In addition to fishing regulations, there is a trove of information available through Fish Minnesota, including maps and stocking reports.” In a rush to get on the water? Fish Minnesota includes a link to purchase a fishing license with your smartphone. Following the license purchase, buyers receive a confirmation email or text that can be presented to a state conservation officer as proof of a valid fishing license. The printed 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet is available anywhere DNR licenses are sold and at mndnr.gov/fishmn.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Deep snow, cold winters increase instances of fish kills
Cold winters with abundant snowfall can lead to fish die-offs and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has already taken reports of this process, known as winterkill, occurring in lakes near Brainerd, Hinckley and the Twin Cities area. “While seeing lots of dead fish can be disconcerting, we remind people that winterkill is normal and happens every year to some extent,” said Neil Vanderbosch, DNR fisheries program consultant. Once a lake is capped with ice, the amount of dissolved oxygen present in a lake depends on how much oxygen is produced by aquatic plants. Winterkill occurs when snow and ice limit the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants. Without adequate sunlight, plants produce less oxygen. If vegetation dies from lack of sunlight, plants start to decompose, a process that further depletes oxygen dissolved in the water. Trout species require high dissolved oxygen levels and may begin dying off when a lake’s dissolved oxygen falls below 5 parts per million (ppm). Bluegill and largemouth bass are also sensitive to low oxygen levels. Walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, carp and crappie can tolerate dissolved oxygen levels as low as 2 ppm. Winterkill rarely results in the death of all fish in a lake, but lakes with frequent winterkill events tend to be dominated by bullheads. Winterkill can have some benefits. In lakes with overabundant panfish, occasional winterkill can increase growth rates of fish that survive. Winterkill can also greatly reduce carp abundance, which leads to increased water quality and more successful stocking efforts. People who see numerous dead fish after the ice melts should report their observations to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at 800-422-0798.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Upper Red Lake walleye regulations set for open water season
Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this spring will again be able to keep four walleye of which only one may be longer than 17 inches, continuing the same regulation that was in place this past winter and the previous 2017 open water season. Harvest under the four-fish bag limit, one-over-17 regulation resulted in about 152,000 pounds for the winter season – a record high for winter harvest since re-opening walleye fishing in 2006 – and there remains room within the target harvest range to allow this regulation to continue into the open water season. “Anglers really like the current opportunities to keep lots of walleye on Upper Red Lake,” said Gary Barnard, area fisheries supervisor in Bemidji for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "These regulations serve a specific purpose now, but we want to be clear that eventually we may need to pull back.” Red Lake’s walleye harvest is managed under a joint harvest plan, revised in 2015 by the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee. An Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee reviewed previous season harvest totals and regulation options and recommended continuation of the current walleye regulation for the state waters of Upper Red Lake. The revised harvest plan recommends an aggressive approach when walleye spawning stock is in surplus, as it currently is. The one-over component of this regulation replaced a protected slot limit in December 2015, and has been used ever since in combination with either a three- or four-fish bag limit. Surplus spawning stock means that there are more adult spawners than needed for good reproduction. Removing some of the excess is good for the population since it will improve growth and survival of young fish. Adjustments to size or bag limits may be needed in the future if the spawning stock needs more protection. “For now, the regulations meet our objectives by spreading harvest over a wide range of sizes and removing some of the surplus spawning stock,” Barnard said. More information on Red Lake fishing regulations are available at mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
West Salem's Hammes receives honor on 2018 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Mitchell Hammes of West Salem, WI, was named to the 2018 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The students were selected for the honor based on their success in bass tournament competition, academic achievement and leadership in conservation and community service. “We’re proud to be investing in the next generation of anglers with the Bassmaster High School All-American program,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “This project highlights the best young anglers in the nation, and the resumes of the students nominated for All-State and All-American honors proves just how valuable this generation will be to sportfishing.” To be considered for the All-State Fishing Team, a student must have been nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or other school official. Students currently enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current-year grade point average of 2.5 or higher were eligible. B.A.S.S. received more than 465 nominations from across the nation, a more than 100 percent increase since the inception of the program. From these, judges selected 64 student anglers from 38 states to make the All-State Fishing Team. Fifty-six students were also chosen as Honorable Mentions — recognized for their tournament success as well as community service and academic achievement. “Our All-State team is such a strong group of anglers who have tremendous fishing accomplishments, as well as extensive conservation and community service, and academic achievements,” said Hank Weldon, senior manager of the B.A.S.S. High School program. “We are extremely honored to see this program flourish, and we congratulate these student anglers on their success on and off the water.” A second panel of judges will review nominations of the 64 All-State team members and select the 12 members of the 2018 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. As in All-State judging, criteria include success in high school fishing tournaments, involvement in conservation efforts and other community service activities. The 12 finalists will compete in a one-day Bassmaster All-American High School Bass Tournament held during the 2018 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department event, a fan-favorite festival that will be held May 17-20 on Lake Travis out of Jonestown, TX. Elite Series anglers will serve as teammates and coaches of the student anglers in the tournament. The high school standouts will be honored on the main Texas Fest stage at the weigh-in.
Wisconsin and Minnesota anglers honored were: WISCONSIN Bailey Bleser, Burlington Tyler Cory, Amherst Jacob Bigelow, Cecil - Honorable Mention Mitchell Hammes, West Salem - Honorable Mention MINNESOTA Ben Provost, Prior Lake Mason Raveling, Prior Lake Tyler Fitzner, Farmington - Honorable Mention Solomon Glenn, Lakeville - Honorable Mention Jared Haugen, Plainview - Honorable Mention Jack Mulholland, Elgin - Honorable Mention