Wisconsin sturgeon spearing license deadline Oct. 31

OSHKOSH, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  would like to remind interested spearers they have until Oct. 31,  to purchase a license for the 2021 Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season.
The spearing season for this prehistoric fish opens on Feb. 13, for Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes of Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan, running for a maximum of 16 days or until any of the pre-determined harvest caps are reached.
“Every February, people migrate to the Winnebago System to take part in the annual lake sturgeon spear fishery,” said Ryan Koenigs, DNR Winnebago sturgeon biologist. “This winter event is rich in tradition, and 2021 will be another year for spearers to uphold or create new traditions in pursuit of the fish of a lifetime.”
Both resident and nonresident licenses can be purchased through the GoWild system or at any license sales location. Please visit the fishing license webpage for more information.
All license holders must be a minimum of 12 years old. Licenses for the Lake Winnebago spear fishery must be purchased before Oct. 31, except for military personnel home on leave during the spearing season and youth turning 12 years old between Nov. 1, and the last day of the 2021 spearing season.
While there are unlimited licenses available for Lake Winnebago, the Upriver Lakes fishery is managed by a preference point system and limited to 500 permitted spearers. Applicants authorized for an Upriver Lakes tag have until the start of the spearing season to purchase a license and cannot purchase one for Lake Winnebago.
The sale of sturgeon spearing licenses funds a variety of sturgeon management activities on the Winnebago system, such as successfully restoring lake sturgeon to the upper Wolf River in partnership with the the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.
Learn more about that effort here.
The DNR’s involvement in lake sturgeon rehabilitation programs and partnerships with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have positively impacted lake sturgeon recovery efforts across North America.
“This funding is the lifeblood of our management program. It allows the DNR to assess the population, implement habitat projects, conduct research projects and implement the best management for this world-renowned resource,” Koenigs said.
More information on harvest trends and management for the Lake Winnebago sturgeon fishery can be found on the DNR’s fisheries webpage.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


DNR on track to fill Great Lakes fish stocking quotas

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources  continues to help boost fish populations through stocking and is fulfilling all remaining 2020 stocking quotas for Lake Michigan.
“Over the last year and a half, DNR staff have worked closely with stakeholders and partners to develop the 2020-2022 Lake Michigan stocking plan to enhance fisheries management in Lake Michigan," said Todd Kalish, DNR fisheries deputy bureau director. “The plan includes initiatives to enhance partnerships with stakeholders, develop a new brook trout stocking initiative, conduct additional surveys and enhance our collective marketing and outreach strategies.”
Coho salmon, brook and brown trout and steelhead will be stocked in later weeks, successfully filling all Great Lakes stocking quotas.
The DNR is also on track to collect eggs this fall to continue to meet stocking goals for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior 2020-2022 stocking quotas, which includes the annual stocking of approximately:

LAKE MICHIGAN
50,000 brook trout
450,000 brown trout
1.2 million chinook salmon
500,000 coho salmon
460,000 steelhead

LAKE SUPERIOR
175,000 brown trout
80,000 lake trout
60,000 splake
Earlier this spring, the DNR made a variety of short-term management decisions to protect the health and safety of the public and DNR staff. This included altering certain initiatives in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior stocking plans such as temporarily discontinuing net pens, DNR/angler ride-along projects and conducting fewer surveys.
Despite these temporary alterations, fisheries staff were able to successfully meet the 2020 stocking goals and continue enhancing our partnerships with stakeholders to maintain the high-quality Great Lakes fisheries.
“Our vision for Lake Michigan and Lake Superior is to enhance world-class fishing opportunities through these stocking efforts," Kalish said. "We will continue to work closely with stakeholders and partners to improve stocking success and boost the sustainability of these fisheries."
Complete fish stocking summaries and information on fishing Lake Michigan and Lake Superior can be found on the DNR fisheries webpage.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Lake whitefish virtual meeting scheduled Oct. 20

MADISON, Wis. – Later this month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a third virtual meeting to hear from anyone interested in Lake Michigan whitefish.
This virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 6 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 the meeting ID: 967 7139 3836.
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 will be the third of several public meetings over the next year to get feedback on the Lake Michigan whitefish fishery.
Some of the topics covered at this meeting will include:
* A discussion of whitefish quota distribution scenarios and options.
* A report of the current by catch assessment project.
* A review of whitefish information gathered to date.
* A discussion of future engagement timelines and opportunities.
Fisheries staff will share information using a PowerPoint presentation during this meeting. The call-in number will allow attendees to listen to the discussion. However, to better understand the information and see the presentation, the DNR recommends the public attend via the Zoom link.
Information, meeting notes and presentations from previous meetings on Lake Michigan Whitefish Management can be found on the DNR’s fisheries webpage.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Walleye management virtual meeting on tap Oct. 27

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a regional public meeting to discuss updating the Wisconsin Walleye Management Plan.
This virtual meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m. for St. Croix, Pierce, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire and Clark counties. Individuals from those counties with an interest in walleye management who would like to participate should contact Max Wolter or call 715-634-7429. Pre-registration is required.
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 public input form.
* 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.
Future walleye meetings for other counties can be found on the DNR’s public meetings calendar.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin Walleye Management Plan virtual meeting on tap Oct. 20

MADISON, Wis. – The Department of Natural Resources will host a regional public meeting to discuss updating the Wisconsin Walleye Management Plan.
This virtual meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m., for Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, Polk, Barron and Rusk counties. Individuals from those counties with a strong interest in walleye management who would like to participate, should contact Max Wolter at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 715-634-7429. Pre-registration is required.
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 public input form.
* 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.
Future walleye meetings for other counties can be found on the DNR’s public meetings calendar.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee meeting set

The Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee (MLFAC) will meet from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, via online videoconference.
The agenda will cover an open water season update, a discussion on winter regulations, an update on the in-progress lake management plan and new committee member recruitment.
Members of the public may observe MLFAC meetings, but these meetings serve primarily as a way for the committee to hold group discussions. Fifteen minutes are reserved for public comments and questions. For the upcoming online meeting, members of the public who wish to observe the meeting or speak during the public comment period should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday at noon. Meeting minutes will be posted after the meeting on the Mille Lacs Lake management page.
Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, please contact the Mille Lacs Lake area fisheries office by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 320-692-0085 or using your preferred Telecommunications Relay Provider.
The committee has been active since October 2015. Its purpose is to advise the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the State of Minnesota’s fisheries management program for Mille Lacs Lake.
For more information about DNR’s management of Mille Lacs Lake and how to get involved, visit the Mille Lacs Lake management page. To sign up to receive these email updates, click on “Newsletter” on the left menu and enter your email in the blue box on the page.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR schedules smallmouth bass virtual meeting Oct 13

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hold a virtual public meeting to engage with stakeholders and discuss options for maintaining and improving the Green Bay and Lake Michigan smallmouth bass fishery.
This virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 13, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Members of the public can access the meeting beginning at 5:45 p.m. via Zoom or by calling 1-312-626-6799 and using meeting ID: 93985589492#.
The DNR previously held public meetings in 2017 and 2019 to discuss the status of the present fishery and its sustainability with stakeholders and gain perspective from guides and anglers. The Oct. 13, meeting will allow members of the public to provide input into how to best maintain and improve the Green Bay and Lake Michigan smallmouth bass fishery.
“We will continue to gather input on how to manage this special fishery,” said Scott Hansen, a DNR fisheries biologist charged with managing smallmouth bass in Door County. “Previously, we focused on Door County, but for this meeting, we are inviting participation from all of our fish management staff around Green Bay to address the entire Green Bay and Lake Michigan fishery.”
It’s important to note that during this meeting, information will be shared 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.
“We look forward to discussing this information with stakeholders and gathering their comments and suggestions to help us sustain the smallmouth bass fishery into the future,” said David Boyarski, DNR East District fisheries supervisor.
More information on the Lake Michigan fishery can be found on the DNR’s fisheries webpage.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR