DNR schedules virtual Walleye Management Plan meeting

MADISON, Wis. – To continue managing walleye populations across the state, the Department of Natural Resources will begin updating Wisconsin’s Walleye Management Plan through regional public meetings and surveys.
“The Walleye Management Plan provides direction to fisheries managers as they implement stocking practices, regulation options, habitat projects and other important factors used to manage walleye populations around the state,” said Mike Vogelsang, DNR fisheries supervisor. “The current plan is over 20 years old and needs updating to reflect current science and technology for managing walleye and to address emerging issues and angler desires.”
Last completed in 1998, the current walleye management plan serves as a guide for one of the most sought-after fish species in Wisconsin and outlines seven goals and strategies for walleye management. The updating process will include a review of the existing plan, an analysis of available data and trends and significant public input on angling and management preferences.
The DNR is seeking public input on stocking priorities, regulation acceptance and agency resource allocation among other things. Public input on the planning process will be gathered through:
* Comments from the public on walleye management preferences and issues via this .
* Detailed random mail/online surveys of fishing license holders (both resident and non-resident) to scientifically gauge angler attitudes about management options.
* Regional virtual meetings with stakeholder groups and individuals to discuss local management issues and partnership opportunities.
The first regional meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on Oct. 13,  at 6:30 p.m. for Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland and Iron counties. Individuals from those counties with a strong interest in walleye management and who would like to apply to participate should contact Max Wolter. Pre-registration is required.
More information on future walleye meetings can be found on the DNR’s public meetings calendar.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Bluegill improvement central to proposed special fishing regulations

Minnesota anglers should consider weighing in on proposed special fishing regulations that, if adopted, would become effective next year.
Most of the proposed changes are aimed at protecting and improving bluegill sizes by lowering bag limits on lakes in 26 counties.
“The DNR’s bluegill initiative is a way to address concerns by some anglers about bluegill sizes by lowering the number of them people can keep on some lakes,” said Jon Hansen, fisheries program consultant for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We know there are a large number of lakes involved in this initiative, so we want to make sure we provide a variety of input opportunities, including offering online options to the traditional in-person meetings.”
The DNR launched an online presentation and comment opportunity for the bluegill initiative in May. Thus far, the DNR has received 2,500 comments through the online survey.
Hoping to invite conversation and reach a broad audience, the DNR will hold the first of five virtual town halls focusing on the bluegill initiative on Monday, Oct. 5.
“We are excited to offer these town halls and encourage people to use these and our online comment option as an alternative to the more traditional in-person meetings in each county,” said Hansen.
Each town hall will focus on a particular geographic area and will include a presentation and an opportunity for questions and comments. The schedule for the virtual town hall events is as follows:
* Region 1 – Monday, Oct. 5, 12-1 p.m.
* Region 2 – Wednesday, Oct. 7, 12-1 p.m.
* Region 3 – Monday, Oct. 12, 12-1 p.m.
* Region 4 – Wednesday, Oct. 14, 12-1 p.m.
* Statewide – Thursday, Oct. 13, 6-7 p.m.
Information on how Minnesotans can connect with these virtual town hall meetings will be available at mndnr.gov/sunfish.
Consistent with state law, the DNR will also host in-person open houses in each county where the proposed changes would apply. The DNR is making a number of changes to the in-person meeting format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who want to attend an in-person meeting, information can be found on the DNR’s sunfish information page at mndnr.gov/sunfish or by calling an area fisheries office.
Notification of the proposed changes to special fishing regulations have been posted at the accesses to each lake for most of the summer.

Other proposed regulation changes
The DNR is also proposing new regulations for other species on some lakes. Island Lake Reservoir has abundant but very small walleye. A new slot limit and increased bag limit are intended to improve fish size.
Yawkey, Sagamore and Pennington lakes, three mine pit lakes in Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, have the potential to support naturally reproducing lake trout populations and a minimum length limit is proposed to help achieve that goal.
Finally, among the lakes being proposed for bluegill bag limit reductions, the DNR is proposing that 24 also have reductions in crappie bag limits.

More details
Special or experimental regulations are intended to improve fishing quality or provide unique opportunities. These regulations are found in their own section of the 2020 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook (pages 39 to 54).
Details about all the special regulation proposals are available on the fishing regulations page of the DNR website.                                                                     

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

La Crosse’s Monsoor bows out in bass championship

STURGEON BAY, Wis. - “Like my girlfriend Karin said, it was three times better than Monday,” La Crosse’s Tom Monsoor deadpanned after he was eliminated in the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on Wednesday.
Surprisingly, Monsoor (pictured) failed to catch even one bass on Monday, but did catch three on Wednesday for a measly 6-pound, 15-ounce total.
“There’s nothing you can do about it. It just wasn’t meant to be,” he said, while loading his pickup for the return trip to La Crosse Thursday morning.
Monsoor, 71, said he fished 25 miles north of Monday’s spot, but had little success there, too. He tried everything from drop-shots, lures, plastic worms and his patented swim jig.
“Unbelievable. Sometimes it just doesn’t work and this was one of those times,” he lamented.
Monsoor returns with $10,000 and finished the year with $183,500 in addition to cracking the $1 million mark in earnings in his 17th year on the FLW Tour.
“I’m really lucky for being able to do this in my life,” he said. “A lot of guys would like to do this.”
Meanwhile, Kurt Mitchell, who caught 33 smallmouth bass for 119 pounds, 10 ounces and a monumental 56-pound cushion over the rest of the field on Monday also ran into tough luck on Wednesday. He managed only three fish weighing 8-05 for a total 127-15, enough to maintain his lead by more than 37 pounds in Group A.
This year’s championship features a new format with a new twist.
Anglers are using the Major League Fishing (MLF) “catch, weigh and immediate release format,” with the winner collecting $200,000 and becoming the first to win the new championship event.
The event began Monday, starting with four days of Qualifying Rounds with Group A fishing on days one and three and Group B fishing on days two and four. Then, the top 10 pros from each group will move on to the Knockout Round on day five where the weights are zeroed from previous rounds. The top 10 anglers from Friday’s Knockout Round advance to the Championship Round on Saturday. In the Championship Round, the weights are zeroed again and the highest total weight at the end of the day is crowned TITLE champion.


2nd Lake Michigan whitefish virtual meeting set Sept. 22

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a second virtual meeting later this month to hear from anyone interested in Lake Michigan whitefish.
This virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Members of the public can access the meeting beginning at 5:45 p.m. via Zoom or by calling 312-626-6799 and using meeting ID: 961 9714 5544.
DNR fisheries managers will be developing new regulations for lake whitefish for the commercial industry and would like stakeholder participation from a wide variety of sources. This is the second of several public meetings over the course of the next year to get feedback on the Lake Michigan whitefish.
At this meeting fisheries staff share information using a PowerPoint presentation. While the call-in number will allow attendees to listen to the discussion, to better understand the information and see the presentation, the DNR recommends the public attend using a computer via the Zoom link.
Information, meeting notes and presentations for the first meeting can be found on the Lake Michigan Whitefish Management page.
More information on fisheries can be found on the fisheries page of the DNR website.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

La Crosse’s Monsoor skunked in bass tourney championship

STURGEON BAY, Wis. - Recreational fishermen know what it’s like to get “skunked” or failing to catch a fish.
Tom Monsoor also discovered the feeling after failing to weigh in a bass in the opening round of the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on Monday.
“I can’t believe it. It just wasn’t going to happen today and I tried everything,” said Monsoor from his hotel room early Monday night.
Meanwhile, Kurt Mitchell had a fabulous day with 33 smallmouth bass for 119 pounds, 10 ounces and a monumental 56-pound cushion over the rest of the field after the very first MLF-style Qualifying Round in FLW history. To add to those numbers, Mitchell landed 10 fish that were 4 pounds or heavier, posted the day’s biggest fish (a 5-10 smallie) and finished the day with an average weight of 3-10.
“It was one of those days where everything just works out for you,” Mitchell said. “These are the days you just don’t ever have, really.”
This year’s championship features a new format with a new twist.
Anglers are using the Major League Fishing (MLF) “catch, weigh and immediate release format,” with the winner collecting $200,000 and become the first to win the new championship event.
The event began Monday, starting with four days of Qualifying Rounds with Group A fishing on days one and three and Group B fishing on days two and four. Then, the top 10 pros from each group will move on to the Knockout Round on day five where the weights are zeroed from previous rounds. The top 10 from Friday’s Knockout Round advance to the Championship Round on Saturday. In the Championship Round, the weights are zeroed again and the highest total weight at the end of the day is crowned TITLE champion.
Monsoor drew Group A, fishing Monday and Wednesday.
“I just couldn’t get a bite,” Monsoor lamented. “I was up on the bank in 2 inches of water all the way out to 20 feet. It was just one of those days when nothing worked.”
Monsoor has a full day to strategize for Wednesday’s round, but realizes it’s an uphill battle to say the least.
”I’ve got a lot of thinking to do. I’m going to have to try different areas and different lures,” he said.


Hook and line lake sturgeon season opens Sept. 5

MADISON, Wis. – The inland hook and line season for lake sturgeon is set to open on Sept. 5 through Sept. 30.
Anglers will have the opportunity to catch these prehistoric fish while on waterways throughout Wisconsin.
To harvest lake sturgeon, anglers must have a valid hook and line lake sturgeon tag. Licenses and tags may be purchased online through the GoWild system, or at one of our licensed sales agents. Please visit the Fishing License Webpage for more information on licenses and tags. Anglers should also consult 2020-2021 Hook and Line Fishing Regulations as all regulation requirements apply.
If an angler catches a lake sturgeon that they wish to harvest, they must immediately validate their tag. Any harvested sturgeon must be registered at a designated registration station before 6 p.m. on the day it was harvested.
Despite not being able to conduct fish surveys this year, fisheries biologists forecast a strong hook and line lake sturgeon season. Visit the DNR’s inland lake sturgeon page for forecasts and detailed harvesting information.
It’s important to note that when fishing on Yellow Lake, anglers should be on the lookout for dangler tags on the dorsal fin of lake sturgeon. These tags are yellow with a five-digit number. Anglers may need to scratch off the algae in order to see the tag number. Please leave the tag on the fish and report the tag number to Craig Roberts at 715-416-0351 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
DNR creel survey clerks will be stationed at various landings during the hook and line lake sturgeon season. Clerks will be gathering information on angler catch and the amount of time spent fishing. Anglers who encounter these clerks are encouraged to partake in the survey.
The DNR encourages anglers to continue to practice responsible catch and release when releasing any fish they do not wish to keep. Advice on responsible catch and release can be found on the DNR’s responsible release webpage.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

New format greets pro bass anglers to Tackle Warehouse TITLE

STURGEON BAY, Wis. - A new format with a new twist welcomes the top 50 pros from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season standings to the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Aug. 24-29.
La Crosse veteran professional angler Tom Monsoor, with 17 years on the FLW Tour career, finished 15th in the final standings and is among the field testing the new format this week.
Anglers will be using the Major League Fishing (MLF) “catch, weigh and immediate release format,” with the winner collecting $200,000 and become the first to win the new championship event.
The event begins Monday, starting with four days of Qualifying Rounds with Group A fishing on days one and three and Group B fishing on days two and four. Then, the top 10 pros from each group will move on to the Knockout Round on day five where the weights are zeroed from previous rounds. The top 10 from Friday’s Knockout Round advance to the Championship Round on Saturday. In the Championship Round, the weights are zeroed again and the highest total weight at the end of the day is crowned TITLE champion.
Monsoor has drawn Group A and will fish Monday and Wednesday.
“The new format is what it is,” said Monsoor, adding that he has not fished that format in any other event during his long, storied competitive career.
Pros will be able to launch anywhere they wish, with takeoff technically being at Sawyer Park Boat Ramp in Sturgeon Bay.
Monsoor believes the new format will be a circus.
“With the new weighing system, you may catch 30 or 100 pounds a day. That’s why it is going to be a circus,” he said.
Rather than weighing the heaviest five bass at an on-land weigh-in site, anglers are able to catch an infinite number as they will be weighed immediately and returned to the water. Naturally, the more fish an angler catches translates into a heavier weight at the end of the daily tournament hours.  
Monsoor and the other 49 pros put in long hours prefishing Saturday and Sunday.
“I’ve never fished Sturgeon Bay,” he said.