La Crosse's Monsoor faces uphill climb in final FLW Qualifier

PLATTSBURGH, NY - La Crosse professional bass fisherman Tom Monsoor faces an uphill battle entering Friday's second round of the season-ending FLW Tour Qualifier on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, NY.
Monsoor caught a five fish limit weighing 12 pounds, 6 ounces on Thursday, leaving him in 150th place. The veteran FLW Tour pro, in his 16th season, was in 24th place in the standings entering the four-day event to determine the top 42 qualifiers for the FLW Cup in August. However, his chances aren't good.
Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, LA, leads the tournament with 5 fish totaling 22-3. Three anglers share 42nd place with 16-14, so Monsoor must make up at least 4 1/2 pounds to make it to Saturday's semifinal round.


La Crosse pro bass angler needs solid finish this week

PLATTSBURGH, NY - Tom Monsoor (pictured) is no stranger to Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, NY, site of this week's last stop of the regular season on the FLW Tour.
The La Crosse veteran professional bass angler is making his sixth FLW Tour appearance on Lake Champlain. Monsoor's best finish was in 2006 when he finished 18th.
Monsoor, in his 16th year on the FLW Tour, is currently in 24th place in the 170-angler FLW Tour standings this season and must have a solid finish this week to advance to another FLW Cup in August. Monsoor has appeared in six previous FLW Cups, his last in 2014.
John Cox of Debary, FL, is atop the 2019 standings with 1,057 points. Monsoor has 873 points.
Monsoor has won $50,000 this year, including a sixth-place finish and $18,000 on Cherokee Lake in Jefferson City, TN, in April. He has collected $931,427 during his long FLW career.
Monsoor's goal is to finish at least 42nd this week. That's how many anglers qualify for the FLW Cup.
"I have to finish at least 42nd. Then I'm in for sure," he said Wednesday morning. "I could make it maybe if I finish in the top 50, but the standings move around so much."
Monsoor took 10 totes and 50 poles with him, but said his patented swim jig was working the best during pre-fishing earlier this week.
" I caught a few fish on other things, but not that great," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see," adding the bite has been OK, but nothing great during practice.

Additional public meeting set on statewide inland trout management plan

MADISON - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff have scheduled an additional public meeting in Crivitz to review the draft statewide Inland Trout Management Plan.
The DNR heard from stakeholders that a meeting in the northeast part of the state is important. The DNR invites all interested members of the public to attend this additional meeting to learn about trout management in Wisconsin and this 10-year statewide management plan. The DNR will also be accepting public feedback at this meeting and through a public comment period.
The meeting will be held at the following location:
Location: Crivitz Community Center, 901 Henriette Ave, Crivitz, WI 54114, on June 24, from 6-8 p.m. Contact: David Boyarski, 920-559-2341.
The Trout Management Plan provides direction for inland trout management in Wisconsin. It covers brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and lake trout in inland lakes, ponds and streams of Wisconsin. This includes tributaries of the Great Lakes upstream from the first impassable barrier such as a dam and naturally occurring falls.
The plan communicates the direction and focus of the DNR Fisheries Program on inland trout management for the next 10 years. Specifically, it guides the allocation of resources, identifies constraints and prioritizes management activities. This plan addresses many important fisheries management activities such as monitoring and research, habitat improvement, stocking, fishing regulations, land management and land/easement acquisition.
The Trout Management Plan is available for review online at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/trout/inlandtroutmanagementplan.html, or learn more by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "trout plan."
Written comments will be accepted through July 5. Send comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fill out the online survey by visiting dnr.wi.gov, search "program guidance."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Bowfishing Association of America tournament scheduled June 29

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge has been notified of the issuance of a fishing tournament permit to bowfishing groups in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Bowfishing Association of America (BAA) will host a night-time bowfishing tournament in Upper Mississippi River Pools 3 through 9 on June 29. The BAA has received a permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in coordination with Wisconsin DNR.
BAA tournament director John Laska spoke with refuge manager Sabrina Chandler to discuss tournament “red zones” which are areas to be avoided by tournament participants. Participants who enter designated red zones will be disqualified from the tournament. They also discussed concerns that have been raised in response to previous tournaments and bowfishing activities. Laska and other tournament organizers have taken appropriate measures to ensure that tournament participants are aware of the red zones, refuge and state regulations, and that participants are considerate to other recreational users of the refuge.  
Bowfishing is allowed on refuge lands in accordance with state law. Currently, fishing tournaments are regulated through the respective state DNRs and in compliance with a compatibility determination completed initially through the Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan in 2006 and again through a re-evaluation process that was finalized in 2018.
Any concerns or observations of violations should be reported to the proper authorities. Refuge specific violations can be reported to the National Wildlife Refuge System Tip line at 1-844-NWR-TIPS (697-8477) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 24 hours a day. You'll be asked for the type of incident as well as the date, place (refuge name or county/state), approximate time of the incident and any important descriptive information such as boat numbers or make/model of vessel. You may leave your name and contact information, which will aid law enforcement in the response and investigation, or you may remain anonymous. Any contact information provided will be used for official purposes only.
In addition to being the most visited refuge in the country, the “Upper Miss” Refuge has the added complexity of a major navigation system, including 11 locks and dams, within its boundary. It is also a world-class fish and wildlife area which harbors 306 species of birds, 119 species of fish, more than 200 active bald eagle nests, thousands of heron and egret nests, spectacular concentrations of canvasback ducks, tundra swans, and white pelicans, and several threatened or endangered species.
For more information, visit www.fws.gov.

SOURCE: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Releasing big sunfish helps protect against stunted population

Minnesota anglers harvest around 16 million sunfish each year, making them the state's most harvested fish.
To protect big sunfish and avoid stunted populations of sunfish, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is encouraging anglers to release large sunfish, and keep smaller fish for eating.
Sunfish spawn in large nesting colonies during the spring and early summer. Parental male sunfish build and defend nests. Females will select a male, lay eggs, and leave them for the male to protect and fan with his fins. These nest-building male sunfish play an important role in repopulation with the largest sunfish often getting the best spawning sites.
When anglers keep only the largest sunfish, which are usually males guarding nests, the remaining small males don’t need to compete with larger males to spawn. Instead of growing, they devote their energy to spawning at younger ages and smaller sizes.
Spawning sunfish are particularly prone to over harvest because they are very aggressive while defending a nest. Anglers can help by releasing spawning sunfish, especially large, nesting males. Released fish have a high survival rate and will typically return to their nests to complete the spawning cycle.
Minnesota angler attitude surveys between 1987 and 2017 found that anglers were generally satisfied with the number of sunfish they caught, but were often dissatisfied with fish size.
“To maintain a high quality fishery, it’s important that anglers, guides and resort owners, all understand the important role these large nesting fish play, and that we all work together to exercise a conservation ethic that ensures these fish thrive,” said Grand Rapids area fisheries supervisor Dave Weitzel.
Protecting larger spawning sunfish is supported by a study of the Fuller Tackle Contest in the Park Rapids area. The study found that until 1953, mean weight of entered bluegills fluctuated around 1.3 pounds. After 1953, mean weight declined. The change in fish weight coincides well with the 1954 regulation change that allowed for year around sunfish angling, and no longer protected the spawning season.  
Since the 1954 regulation change, sunfish numbers have generally increased in DNR lake surveys, suggesting an overall increase in sunfish densities - a trend often linked to a decline in size.
More information about sunfish biology and management can be found at mndnr.gov/fish/sunfish.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


State records topple for 2 species of Minnesota fish

Anglers have set two Minnesota state records for whitefish and golden redhorse.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources certified a record 13-pound, 9-ounce whitefish caught by an Oklahoma angler ice fishing on Lake of the Woods, and a 4-pound, 13-ounce golden redhorse caught by an angler who beat his own state record.
The DNR certifies state record fish in two categories: for fish caught and kept; and for caught and released northern pike, muskellunge, lake sturgeon and flathead catfish.                                                                     
The Oklahoma angler, Billy King, (pictured) was getting an introduction to Minnesota ice fishing with two other anglers April 6. They were catching walleye, sauger and tulibee, and in the evening were fishing near a sandbar for the sunset walleye bite on Lake of the Woods.
Despite the others initially catching more fish, King stuck to his spot on the ice and was rewarded with not only the biggest walleye of the day, but soon after, the huge whitefish.
“This turned out to be the trip of a lifetime and I have to say that everyone was so nice. Not just in relation to the potential new state record, but everyone was so polite and welcoming. It made the trip all the more enjoyable,” King said.
Ethan Rasset – already a state record holder for golden redhorse – was fishing for redhorse March 24, on the Otter Tail River with a friend from college.
Rasset caught the record 4-pound, 13-ounce fish with a chartreuse curly-tail artificial lure, on a shallow flat with rubble that had produced a few smaller golden redhorse earlier in the morning.
His previous record was a 4-pound, 8-ounce golden redhorse he caught in April 2018 on the Otter Tail River. Rasset said he was quite excited when he suspected he may have broken his own record.
“Very few people can say they have broken a state record twice!,” Rasset said.
Current records and information about how to submit documentation for a record fish are available at mndnr.gov/recordfish.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Minnesota's Take a Kid Fishing Weekend June 7-9

Kids will rarely be able to tell you their best day of watching TV, but take them fishing and moments of angling excitement can make lifelong memories – it’s an often expressed sentiment and this weekend is a chance to put it into practice.
During Take a Kid Fishing weekend Friday, June 7, to Sunday, June 9, Minnesota residents can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger fishing.
“Time spent fishing can be can be a way for adults and kids to spend time outdoors together. We’re encouraging adults to get out and learn how to fish so they can bring kids out fishing all year,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR education and skills team supervisor. “Fishing can be a lifelong activity that connects folks to the wild places right outside their doors.”
While Minnesotans 15 and younger don’t need fishing licenses any time of the year, Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is a way for adults and kids to fish together without the step of buying a license.
Adults who want to learn how to fish can visit the DNR website at mndnr.gov/GoFishing. The page covers fishing basics, where to fish, how to catch different types of fish, fishing programs to join, and the importance of fishing ethics and being stewards of Minnesota’s natural resources.
“It’s easy to get started fishing in Minnesota,” Ledermann said. “With just a few fishing tips and a spot picked out, most people can feel that tug on the end of the line if they get out and try.”
Fishing gear is available to borrow at state parks. The DNR’s I Can Fish program teaches the basics of fishing and runs throughout the summer at state parks. Even when it’s not Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, Minnesota residents generally can fish in state parks without a fishing license if the body of water does not require a trout stamp. These and other hands-on activities are available online at bit.ly/gofishingmn.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR