Anglers can give input Minnesota-South Dakota border waters
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Extended inland trout season offers more opportunities for anglers
MADISON - Even in areas hit with historic flooding this August, Wisconsin trout populations are holding strong and anglers can expect good opportunities for fishing. As water levels return to more normal levels, anglers can enjoy the benefits of the harvest season running through Oct. 15. Fish biologists conducting fall surveys to assess trout populations in streams statewide are finding strong adult fish populations. "The past 10 days of dry weather have allowed stream water levels to lower and become clearer, leading to some good fishing through the remainder of the season," says Kirk Olson, fisheries biologist for Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe and Vernon counties. "Anglers will probably notice that trout in the area are very robust as fish have gorged on prey that washed into the stream during the flood. Recent fishing outings on area streams have brought many hungry trout to hand on both spinners and sub-surface flies." The inland trout season runs through 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 15, giving anglers for the third year an extra two weeks on most waters except as noted in the "Specific Waters by County" section of the Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations, 2018-2019. The open season closes Sept. 30, for streams flowing into Lake Superior from their mouths to the first impassable permanent barrier, unless noted in the Specific Waters section. Justin Haglund, fisheries biologist for Iowa and Richland counties, says fishing is still going strong in Iowa County and that Richland County streams, while hit hard by flooding, are now at near normal levels. "If there is continued dry weather over the next few weeks this will provide good opportunities for fishing throughout the southwest region," he says. Survey results on the Tomorrow and Plover rivers in central Wisconsin earlier this month, as well as on small streams like Comet Creek, suggest good fishing opportunities on a variety of waters, says Tim Parks, fisheries biologist for Marathon and Portage counties. Not only are anglers more likely to see larger fish at this time of year, as the fish move upstream toward spawning grounds, but the change to darker colors, particularly for male fish, allows anglers to see some beautiful fish in a variety of places. "I know a lot of anglers have their sweet spots, but my message is to be adventurous," he says. "Take a roll of the dice. Hit one of the small streams and you'll be surprised. There's places where we were surveying this last month where we found fish either larger or more abundant than we expected. Joanna Griffin, trout team coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources DNR's trout team, says trout anglers planning their fall fishing trips will want to check out DNR's online trout tool beforehand and even consult this mobile tool while fishing. T.R.O.U.T. stands for Trout Regulations and Opportunities User Tool, and it shows anglers where to access streams and where to park, displays habitat projects around the state, and provides on-the-go mobile access to trout stream regulations. Anglers wanting a printed map can use the tool to find the water they want and then print off a copy, or anglers can also print off county maps showing Wisconsin's classified trout streams. These PDFs will not have regulations public lands and fishing easements noted on them. Current trout fishing forecasts from fisheries biologists are available for waters in the following counties: Chippewa, Crawford, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Green, Iowa, La Crosse, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Pepin, Portage, Richland, Rock, Vernon and Waushara. Other more general forecasts and survey results are found in the trout section of the 2018 Wisconsin Fishing Report, starting bottom of page 15.
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
DNR seeks input on Lake of the Woods, Rainy River regulation changes
Angling regulations that would change on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River in northern Minnesota are the topic of an open house for the public to give input on the proposals from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, Oct. 8, at Lake of the Woods School. The changes under consideration by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources would reduce the number of walleye and sauger allowed to be kept in the winter on the lake, and on the river allow only catch-and-release fishing for those fish in the spring. The changes would take effect on March 1, 2019.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
DNR seeking input on Leech Lake proposed walleye regulation change
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Walleye overage can be paid back on Lake Mille Lacs
Lake Mille Lacs angler survey results show that state anglers have taken walleye at levels far enough under the state’s safe harvest allocation to pay back a harvest overage accumulated in 2016 and 2017, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The survey results through the end of August indicate catch rates were still quite good this summer, but were lower than last year. DNR experts say the lower catch rates are consistent with reports from anglers of seeing more baitfish, as catch rates decline with increases in small-fish forage for bigger fish. “It’s good news that walleye anglers had lots of success on Mille Lacs and that we were able to stay under the state’s allocation,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. The latest survey estimates include walleye harvested by state anglers in the winter, and in the summer those that died after being caught and released. This is a condition known as hooking mortality. During this time, anglers took 42,396 pounds of walleye. Cooler water temperatures and the normal decline in fishing pressure that occur in the fall indicate that total kill for the year will likely remain under 50,000 pounds of walleye, well below the state’s safe harvest level allocation of 87,800 pounds. In 2016 and 2017, state anglers exceeded the allowable harvest by a combined 16,050 pounds and those overages needed to be accounted for in a future year. Since the 2018 state angler kill is well under the allowable harvest, the overage will be eliminated. Walleye safe harvest level for Lake Mille Lacs is determined annually, based on population status, and predictions of how harvest will affect the walleye population in the future. The safe harvest level is divided between the 1837 Treaty Bands and state anglers. By agreement, the Bands and the state are required to monitor harvest by their members. The DNR is conducting its standard fall fish community assessments through September. The DNR’s angler creel survey runs through Oct. 31. The agency will announce its winter walleye regulations in early November. Angler survey results and more information about Lake Mille Lacs can be found on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/millelacslake.
SOURCE: Minnesota DNR
Grants available to help introduce Wisconsin residents to fishing
MADISON - A total of $75,000 in grants are now available under a new Department of Natural Resources initiative aimed at helping local governments, organizations and others recruit new anglers, particularly adult women and other groups under-represented in the activity. The Angler Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (Angler R3) grant program will provide financial assistance to local governments, organizations and others who conduct Angler R3 programs and activities in Wisconsin. "This is a brand new opportunity that groups can use to shore up our angling heritage in Wisconsin," says Keith Warnke, R3 team leader. The DNR will award a total of $75,000 during this first grant cycle in 2018. The maximum award amount for each project will be $10,000. These grants will be administered as a reimbursement program and the DNR plans to accept grant applications only in even numbered years, according to Jill Sunderland, Angler (R3) Grant Manager. Tribes, municipalities, schools, community-based organizations, conservation organizations, individuals and local food organizations are among the entities eligible to apply for the grants. The deadline for applying electronically is Oct. 15. Find information about grant eligibility and application materials on the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, by searching for Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Grant Program. Wisconsin license sales are growing but not immune to national leisure-time trends The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and partners, including state agencies like DNR, have embarked on an effort to grow participation to 60 million anglers in 60 months, by following recommendations for angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) efforts. More than twice as many Wisconsin adult residents fish - about 20 percent - as the national average and Wisconsin's fishing license sales have increased over the past 15 years and now stand at about 1.4 million, according to a recent DNR study, However, Wisconsin faces the same national trends of younger people spending less time outdoors, and concerns that there will not be enough new anglers in the future to replace anglers who discontinue participation as they age. Justine Hasz, Wisconsin's fisheries director, says the new grant program builds off the DNR's Fishing for Dinner program and is part of the 60 for 60 initiative led by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation to increase the number of anglers nationwide to 60 million by 2021. The DNR's Fishing for Dinner program is aimed at adults and combines classroom learning, fishing with veteran anglers, and learning how to prepare their catch. "We're looking at new, innovative ways to introduce people and recruit them into fishing, especially people in the 18- to 35-year-old group," she says. "We're very excited to be offering our first grants and see people's ideas for bringing more people into this fun, family-friendly activity."
SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR
Minnesota DNR seeks public input about walleye regulations