La Crosse's Monsoor tied for 26th place after Day 1 in FLW Tour Qualifier

DAYTON, TN – La Crosse veteran professional bass angler Tom Monsoor is in the thick of things in this week's FLW Tour Qualifier on Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude Thursday in Dayton, TN.
Monsoor is in a tie for 26th place after Day 1 with a five bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces.
Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, FL, also weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24-11 to take the first-round lead. Cox holds a slim 5-ounce lead over FLW Tour rookie Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, MI, who caught five bass weighing 24-6.
A field of 165 of the best bass fishing professionals in the world began their four-day competition for a top award of $125,000. After Friday's second round, only the top 30 compete in Saturday's semifinal round with the top 10 anglers advancing to Sunday's championship round.


La Crosse's Monsoor aims for another good fishing finish

DAYTON, TN - Tom Monsoor, (pictured) the 70-year-old veteran professional bass angler from La Crosse, is hoping for another solid finish in this week's FLW Tour Qualifier on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, TN.
Monsoor collected $18,000 with a sixth-place finish on Cherokee Lake in Jefferson, TN, in mid-April, bringing his season winnings to $40,000 and his 16-year FLW Tour career winnings up to $921,125.
"Every little bit helps," he said after the tourney.
Monsoor also moved up from 62nd place to 29th in the FLW Tour points race and closer to advancing to the prestigious Forrest Wood Cup at the end of the season.
Miles Burghoff, from Hixson, TN, is atop the standings with 887 points. Scott Martin of Clewiston, FL, is second with 870 points, while Monsoor is in 29th place with 718 points.
"I like that. I've worked my way back, hopefully," said Monsoor, who has competed in six previous Cups, his last in 2014.
The FLW Tour’s sixth stop of the season is Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee. This marks the fifth time the FLW Tour has visited Lake Chickamauga.
Monsoor is one of nine pros in the field of 170 who have had a previous top-five finish on Lake Chickamauga. His previous three finishes were 78th in 2015, 93rd in 2013 and a third place in 2011 when he won $31,000.
Monsoor had what he called, "OK practice days, but nothing great," adding that the fishery contains largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass.
"The biggest fish are largemouth," he said Wednesday morning. "I caught one 6-pounder, an 8-pounder and a couple of 5-pounders - all largemouth. We'll see what happens when it all begins for real on Thursday."

Minnesota DNR urges anglers to eat small fish

Feeling that tug on the line, an angler sets the hook and reels in a small sunfish, then asks the perennial question: Should I keep it?
Sunfish, also known as bluegills and pumpkinseeds, are a go-to species for anglers looking for a meal and many anglers may be surprised to know they’re actually encouraged to keep small ones up to the limit set by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These fish are nutritious and safe to eat regularly, according to consumption guidelines from the Department of Health.
“We encourage anglers to keep sunfish under 7 inches and consider releasing the ones 9 inches or larger,” said Jon Hansen, fisheries management consultant. “This is opposite what many anglers grew up hearing but it’s good news for anyone who wants high odds of bringing home a meal of local, healthy food.”
Small sunfish are plentiful and easier to catch than large ones. Keeping small ones has little impact on populations. In contrast, when anglers keep only the large sunfish, which are usually males guarding nests, the small males remaining in the population don’t have any need to compete with larger males to spawn and instead of growing, they devote their energy to spawning at younger ages.
After ice-out, sunfish move into shallow, warmer water to eat and later spawn. After spawning they can be found loitering near aquatic plants, or near docks. Sunfish can be caught readily throughout Minnesota and seasons are open all year.
Fish are a good source of protein. For pregnant women, fish contain healthy fats that are important for a developing fetus, and eating fish can lower the risk of heart disease.
A person can’t always tell if fish are safe to eat by looking at them, or even by how clean the water appears. The Minnesota Department of Health helps bridge this information gap by providing fish consumption guidelines based on fish species, water body and exposure risk for different types of people. In general, sunfish have lower levels of mercury than other fish. However, fish from some waters have other contaminants that impact the guidelines.
For sunfish, statewide guidelines are one meal per week for women who are or may become pregnant and children under 15, and the guidelines don’t advise any limit to the number of sunfish meals others should eat.
Anglers should check for site-specific advice that pertains to the water they’re fishing. If eating fish from a variety of waters or a specific water isn’t listed, anglers should follow the statewide guidelines. Both site-specific and statewide guidance on eating fish can be found at bit.ly/FishConsumptionGuidanceMN.
The site ChooseYourFish.org is another source for statewide consumption guidelines and has recipes and some cooking videos, including recipes for bluegill chowder and perch skillet.
Minnesota is home to a variety of fish in addition to sunfish that anglers can harvest and enjoy eating, including popular species like crappie, northern pike, walleye, catfish and bass.
Anglers can find fish consumption advice for lakes, angling information, lake survey reports and more on the DNR LakeFinder at mndnr.gov/lakefinder.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Most northern lakes to be ice free for May 4 inland fishing opener

WOODRUFF - More than 2 million anglers spend $1.5 billion in Wisconsin annually on fishing, and the early-season anglers who venture out on opening day, May 4, of the regular inland season stand a good chance of enjoying fast action and big fish.
Windy, warmer weather over coming days is expected to open up the remaining frozen lakes in northern Wisconsin, while waters in the southern two-thirds of the state are already open and some major rivers are experiencing flooding.
"Not having a crystal ball it's hard to say exactly what we'll find opening day, but I'm thinking most ice will be off the lakes several days prior to the opener," says Mike Vogelsang, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor for northern Wisconsin.

2019 Wisconsin Fishing Season Opener
"Usually when you have these late ice-outs it's a good thing for anglers. More walleye are up in the shallows and ready to eat," he says. "We'll hope for cloudy weather with a little bit of a chop to start the season off with a bang for anglers."Walleye spawning should take only three to five days on many lakes due to the late ice-out, though once the spawn is over fish will be hungry and linger close to the shore where they are more easily targeted by anglers.
Walleye are anglers' number one target, according to surveys, and Wisconsin has hundreds of waters with naturally self-sustaining populations. In addition, more walleye fishing opportunities will be available this year as more than 1.926 million extended growth walleye stocked in 2013, 2014 and 2015 under the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative are now at catchable size.
Anglers interested in pursuing other species will find good prospects as well. Read the 2019 Wisconsin Fishing Report for fishing forecasts by species for specific waters across the state. Such forecasts often include recent survey results about the population size and structure, and other notes to help anglers find the fishing experience they want.
Trout anglers may also want to check the list of hundreds of waters where DNR crews have been stocking catchable size trout. About 600,000 rainbow, brown, brook and lake trout are planned for stocking. These fish were raised at hatcheries in Fitchburg, Osceola, and St. Croix Falls. To find the locations, species and numbers of trout stocked this spring, search the DNR website for "catchable trout."

Regulations and reminders of bass and musky season dates
The 2019 hook-and-line game fish season opens May 4 on inland waters for walleye, sauger, and northern pike statewide.
The southern bass zone season opens on May 4, with harvest allowed for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The northern bass zone also opens on May 4, with largemouth bass allowed for harvest and a catch-and-release season for smallmouth bass through June 14. The harvest season on smallmouth bass in the northern bass zone opens June 15. Statewide, the harvest seasons for bass have a minimum length limit of 14 inches with a daily bag limit of five fish in total. There are some exceptions to the statewide length and bag limits, so please be sure to check the 2019-20 Wisconsin hook and line fishing regulations for your fishing area.
Musky season opens May 4, in the southern zone and May 25, in the northern zone. The northern zone is the area north of highways 77, 64 and 29, with Highway 10 as the dividing line.

Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.
The regular annual fishing license is $20 for residents and $50 for non-residents. Anglers who have never purchased a fishing license - or who haven't purchased a fishing license in 10 years - can get a discounted "first time buyers" license. Residents' discounted license is $5 and non-residents' is $25.75 for the annual licenses.
If a person is eligible for the first-time buyer's license, that license will be the first listing on his or her computer screen, and it's also what the license agent will see when an eligible buyer comes in seeking a license.
People can buy fishing licenses through the online Go Wild site, gowild.wi.gov or purchase in person at any authorized license agent or DNR service center.

Reeling in big numbers of fish and dollars impact
Wisconsinites love fishing, reflected in the fact that American Sportfishing Association estimates that nearly 2,068,470 anglers spend $1.5 billion while fishing in Wisconsin with an overall economic benefit of $2.3 billion to the State of Wisconsin. Nationally, there are an estimated 49 million anglers with a $125 billion economic impact.
Twice as many Wisconsin adults fish as the national average, for good reason, and with a significant positive impact on the state's economy, quality of life, and attractiveness to visitors and prospective residents alike. Read on to learn more:
In Wisconsin 20% of adults fish, twice the national average. Nearly 40% of adults 16 and older say they fish, although they may not do so every year nor buy a license every year.
Anglers have a lot of waters to choose from, with more than 15,000 lakes, 44,000 miles of perennially flowing streams, 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and 260 miles of the Mississippi River.
Wisconsin boasts more than 13,000 miles of trout streams, with nearly 5,400 miles of high quality, Class 1 trout streams.
Wisconsin anglers catch an estimated 88 million fish and keep about 33 million fish, or a little more than one-third. While walleye are the top target, panfish are the most frequently caught and consumed.
More musky world records have been landed in Wisconsin than anywhere else. The state and world record is a 69 lbs, 11 oz. fish taken from the Chippewa Flowage. Also credited to Wisconsin is the world record hybrid musky, 51 lbs, 3 oz. from Lac Vieux Desert.
A 2016 study commissioned by the Wisconsin Tourism Department found that "The outdoors" and outdoor recreation are the number one travel motivators for adult travelers living in Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, states that Wisconsin competes with for tourists. These travelers ranked Wisconsin's top strengths relative to the other states' strengths as beautiful fall colors, excellent fishing, truly beautiful scenery, great for exploring nature and good for viewing wildlife and birds.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Steelhead fishing, catching tagged fish contribute to Great Lakes research

KEWAUNEE, WI - With spring steelhead fishing underway on Lake Michigan tributaries, state fisheries biologists are asking anglers to assist with an important steelhead research program currently underway. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fish biologists are asking anglers to report marked fish by submitting reports about what they caught, where and when.
Steelhead stocked into Lake Michigan tributaries during 2018 and recently in spring 2019 were marked with an adipose fin clip and tagged internally with coded wire tags. Steelhead are typically stocked as yearlings or at age 1, so steelhead initially marked and tagged in 2018 are now two years old and about 15 to 20 inches.
"These fish have now reached catchable and harvestable size, so we're asking anglers who catch steelhead with the adipose fin clip to let us know," says Nick Legler, DNR fisheries biologist based in Sturgeon Bay.
Anglers have already caught some marked steelhead, with a few also showing up in reports from state egg collection facilities.
The Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility on the Kewaunee River and Root River Steelhead Facility on the Root River. Anglers are encouraged to help by collecting information and samples through either a volunteer return program accessible through dnr.wi.gov, search "missing fin," or the Great Lakes Angler Diary at https://glanglerdiary.org/.
Overall, the Great Lakes Mass Marking program seeks to evaluate salmonid wild production, movements, growth and stocking methods. Also important to steelhead management is an evaluation of different genetic strains, such as Chambers Creek and Ganaraska strains. These will be interesting things to learn about steelhead, that will help guide steelhead management.
Collectively, all Chinook salmon and lake trout were marked with adipose fin clips and coded wire tags from 2011-2016. Since 2017, lake trout are still clipped and tagged, Chinooks are now just clipped, while steelhead are now clipped and tagged.
"Great information has and continues to be collected from past and remaining tagged Chinooks," Legler says. "This new focus on tagged steelhead is an exciting next chapter for the Great Lakes Mass Marking program. With anglers' help, it is sure to provide useful information to help manage and sustain a great fishery in Lake Michigan for years to come."
This effort is thanks to the Great Lakes Mass Marking Program, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Kettle Moraine Fish Hatchery, and many collaborators around Lake Michigan. For more information, please contact DNR fisheries biologist Nick Legler at 920-746-5112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Public meetings set on statewide inland trout management plan

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on a draft statewide Inland Trout Management Plan at a series of upcoming meetings.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff will present information on the draft 10-year statewide management plan and invite all interested members of the public to learn about trout management in Wisconsin. The department will also be accepting public feedback at these meetings and through a public comment period.
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 management 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 draft plan will be available for review before the meetings sometime in mid-May by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for Inland Trout Management Plan.
The meetings will be held:
* May 29, La Crosse - 6-8 p.m. La Crosse DNR Service Center, B19-20 (basement conference room), 3550 Mormon Coulee Road. Contact: Kirk Olson 608-785-9017.
* June 3, Wausau - 6-8 p.m. Marathon County Public Library, Wausau Community Room, 300 North First St. There is a 3-hour parking limit in the library's main lot. There are nearby parking ramps. Contact: Dave Seibel 715-623-4190 x3112 Note: this meeting is not sponsored by the Wausau County Public Library.
* June 4, Fitchburg - 7-9 p.m. Fitchburg DNR Service Center, Glacier's Edge/Gathering Waters room, 3911 Fish Hatchery Road Contact: Justin Haglund 608-341-9465.
* June 5, Spooner - 6-8 p.m. Spooner DNR Service Center, Community Room, RM 112, 810 West Maple St.Contact: Craig Roberts 715-416-0351.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Commercial angler captures invasive silver carp in St. Croix River

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the capture of a silver carp on the St. Croix River.
The invasive carp was caught by a commercial fisherman near Prescott, WI, during routine spring netting.
“Captures of individual invasive carp are disappointing, but not surprising,” said DNR invasive fish coordinator Nick Frohnauer. “This silver carp was captured in an area that is heavily fished in the spring, as it is an overwintering area for several species of fish. In 2017, two silver carp were captured at this same location.”
The most recently captured silver carp was a 26 1/4-inch male weighing seven pounds.
The commercial angler had informed the DNR area fisheries office that his crew would be netting in the area. Upon discovering the silver carp in the catch, the commercial fisherman immediately contacted the DNR. A DNR invasive carp specialist secured the fish and transported it back to the area office for further processing. DNR staff are working with the commercial angler to conduct additional netting at the location of this discovery.
Frohnauer noted that while the DNR continues to be concerned about the potential impact of invasive carp in the St. Croix River and other Minnesota waters, individual adult fish captures do not indicate reproduction or an established population of invasive carp in the St. Croix.
“In this instance, there was one invasive carp out of the hundreds of fish handled in the haul,” Frohnauer said.
Invasive carp progressed upstream since escaping into the Lower Mississippi River in the 1970s. These large fish compete with native species and pose a threat to rivers and lakes. No breeding populations have been detected in Minnesota waters.
Individual invasive carp have been caught as far upstream in Mississippi River Pool 2 near the Twin Cities (bighead, grass, and silver), the King Power Plant on the St. Croix River by Oak Park Heights (bighead), and just downstream of Granite Falls in the Minnesota River (bighead).
The DNR Invasive Species Program has built partnerships with state and federal agencies, conservation groups, university researchers and commercial businesses to prevent the spread of invasive carp. The 2015 closure of the Mississippi River lock at Upper St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis was a major accomplishment of these efforts.
The DNR is actively engaged with several prevention efforts.
The DNR is an active partner in the Upper Mississippi River Invasive Carp Workgroup. The group includes representatives from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and several federal agencies.
In partnership with the DNR, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota is testing and evaluating carp deterrents in Mississippi River locks and dams. Previously, MAISRC had installed and evaluated a speaker system at Lock 8. Development of this technology will continue this year with the installation of an updated speaker system at this location.
The DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division leads a comprehensive sampling program to monitor fish population changes and impacts of management actions. This includes working with commercial anglers, as demonstrated by this incident.
State funding sources, including the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and Outdoor Heritage Fund, have provided key funding for deterrent actions and the DNR invasive carp detection and response program.
Invasive carp captures must be reported to the DNR immediately. Call 651-587-2781 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. People who think they may have captured an invasive carp should take a photo and transport the carp to the nearest DNR fisheries office or make arrangements for it to be picked up by a DNR official.
For more information about invasive carp go to mndnr.gov/invasive-carp.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR