Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Engineers working with dam owners to assess flood damage, make repairs

MADISON – With record high waters receding in many southern Wisconsin communities, state dam safety engineers are helping owners of Wisconsin’s public and private dams finish assessing the damage and where to go next.

“DNR staff inspected or had contact with the owners of more than 200 dams during the flooding. The good news is that, for the most part, the dams held up well and did what they were supposed to do,” says Meg Galloway, Department of Natural Resources Dam Safety Chief.

“There was no loss of life, and the five dams that were breached were low hazard, rural dams, with only minor damage reported downstream.”

Heavy rains that started June 7 and continued for much of the next two weeks led to record flows on waters including major rivers such as the Baraboo, Rock, Milwaukee, Bark and Root. A portion of five dams in southern Wisconsin were breached and unable to hold back the impounded waters, Galloway says. Those dams were: the Cushman Dam on the Bark River, the Carlin Dam on Upper Spring Creek, and the Lower Spring Creek Dam in Jefferson County. The Wyocena Dam on Duck Creek also was breached, as was the Figor Dam on the Middle Branch of Duck Creek, and an unauthorized dam in Grant County.

Lake Delton drained when floodwaters washed out a section of road, but the dam itself held.

The five dams that were breached are rated “low hazard” because they have few people and buildings downstream, and thus a lower potential for loss of life or property damage.

Another 23 dams are estimated to have substantial damage, while at least 31 others suffered minor damage. Damage assessments are still to come on about 20 more dams once the water recedes to allow for such inspections, Galloway says.

Regional engineers are now working with the owners of damaged dams on repair or reconstruction, and for those owners who no longer want the liability of owning dams, removing them. DNR has ordered owners of some of the damaged dams to draw down water levels to allow inspections to be completed, or to reduce the risk of failure and damage should more flooding occur before work is done to repair, replace or remove the dams.

Many of the 200 dams DNR inspected or contacted dam owners about during the June flooding had been inspected by DNR during last August’s flooding. “We ordered a handful of dam owners to draw down water levels, and we think that probably prevented more breaches from occurring during June’s flooding,” she says.
Altogether, DNR staff have completed 543 dam inspections in the past year, including those in response to the flooding concerns. All of the state’s high hazard dams are current on their inspections; under state law, the DNR is required to perform comprehensive inspections of these dams every 10 years.

The department also has been focusing on getting dam owners – many of them private citizens or companies – to prepare their required emergency action plans. Such plans identify the area potentially affected by a dam failure, who to call, and the people and local officials responsible for responding in case of a dam failure.

“The past year’s been a textbook example of why it’s important for dam owners to meet their responsibility for developing an emergency action plan and making sure the appropriate people are aware of it and can carry it out,” Galloway says.

In August 2007, for instance, evacuations were ordered below seven dams in Vernon County as precautionary measures. The fact that Vernon County has done a good job in preparing those plans for all its dams enabled those evacuations to occur quickly and safely, she says. The upstream dams held and the residents were allowed to return to their homes in those cases.

Dam Fast Facts:

  • Wisconsin has about 3,800 dams. Since the late 19th century, more than 700 dams have been built, then washed out or removed. Since 1967, about 100 dams have been removed.
    Dams are classified as “Low,” “Significant” or “High” hazard, with the hazard rating based on the potential for loss of life or property damage should the dam fail, not on the physical attributes, quality or strength of the dam itself.

  • A dam with a structural height of over 6 feet and impounding 50 acre-feet or more, or having a structural height of 25 feet or more and impounding more than 15 acre-feet is classified as a large dam. There are approximately 1,160 large dams in the State of Wisconsin. These are required to be inspected by DNR once every 10 years.

  • The federal government has jurisdiction over most large dams in Wisconsin that produce hydroelectricity - about 5 percent or nearly 200 dams. The DNR regulates the rest of the dams.
    Almost 60 percent of the dams in Wisconsin are owned by a company or private individual, about 9 by the State of Wisconsin, 17 percent by a municipality such as a township or county government, and 14 percent by other ownership types.

  • Roughly one-third of Wisconsin’s dams were built before 1940; the next third have been constructed since then, with 851 dams built between 1960 and 1970, the busiest dam-building period. The age of dams is unknown on the remaining third of dams.

  • Half of Wisconsin’s dams were built primarily for recreation purposes; about 13 percent to provide power; 10 percent to create farm ponds and ponds to aid in fire control; 7 percent to aid in flood control. The primary reasons that the remaining dams were built is unknown.

  • The Association of State Dam Safety Officials in its October 2003 report estimated that $10 billion would be needed to repair the most critical dams in the nation over the next 12 years. Out of this, needed repairs at publicly-owned dams are estimated at $5.9 billion with the remaining $4.1 billion needed for privately-owned dams.

More information about Wisconsin’s dam safety program can be found online at Wisconsin´s Dam Safety Program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Meg Galloway (608) 266-7014; Bill Sturtevant (608) 266-8033

Test results show VHS fish disease hasn’t spread in Wisconsin

MADISON – All planned testing of wild fish for VHS fish disease has been completed for 2008, and results show that so far, the deadly fish virus has not spread in Wisconsin and that state waters have not suffered the kind of fish kills once feared.

Fish from 67 different waters were tested for VHS in 2008, and the only positives were found in fish from Lake Michigan, where VHS was already known to exist. Round gobies found washed ashore on a Milwaukee Beach in June and yellow perch collected a short while later both tested positive. The diagnosis of VHS in the round gobies, an invasive fish species, represents the only instance this year in Wisconsin in which VHS was diagnosed as the cause of a fish kill.

“This is good news on all fronts,” says Wisconsin Fisheries Director Mike Staggs. “There was a lot of concern in 2007 that VHS was already widespread in Wisconsin and that it would spread rapidly,” he says. “Based on the sampling we’ve done last year and this year, it’s clear that’s not the case, and that’s a very good thing.”

Staggs says the test results affirm the DNR’s rules for boaters, anglers and people who harvest wild bait are working to avoid spreading the disease. VHS Prevention.

“We thought the virus could be contained if we could get boaters and anglers to drain their boats and not move live fish,” he says. “It seems we’ve been successful and we’re thankful for the public response.

“We need boaters and anglers to keep up the good work now and in the future to contain VHS and other invasive species.”

VHS, or viral hemorrhagic septicemia, was first detected in Wisconsin in Lake Winnebago system waters in May 2007 and later that month in Lake Michigan system waters. None of the other 50 waters tested that year were positive for VHS.
The virus does not affect humans but it can infect dozens of fish species, can spread rapidly, fish-to-fish and through the water, and it caused large fish kills in 2005 and 2006 in the lower Great Lakes.

To assess the prevalence of the disease in Wisconsin in 2008, DNR fisheries crews collected fish from 67 different waters for testing by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison, the La Crosse Fish Health Center and Microtechnologies, a private lab in Maine, says Tim Simonson, the fish biologist who has been coordinating DNR’s VHS surveillance effort. VHS Distribution in Wisconsin.

Most of the work was done at the same time DNR crews were conducting fish population surveys and when water temperatures were below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, when the virus is most active. The fish collected for testing included walleye, musky, smallmouth bass and yellow perch, all anglers’ favorites and all species that are among the most susceptible to VHS.

“The samples had to be collected during a short period when the water temperatures were right and processed immediately,” Simonson says. “Our fisheries staff did a tremendous job getting this critical work done on top of their already scheduled fish sampling activities.”

Fish from the 67 waters were tested for one of three reasons: as part of the DNR’s planned surveillance for VHS that was funded in part by a federal grant; because the fish had symptoms consistent with VHS; and as part of DNR’s efforts to keep VHS and other diseases out of the state hatchery system. Reproductive fluids from all wild game fish that were spawned in spring to supply eggs for the hatcheries were screened for VHS and other viruses.

Waters tested included popular, high traffic waters such as Lake Du Bay, the Wisconsin River at several locations, the Minocqua Chain of Lakes, Little St. Germain Lake, Lake Kegonsa, Lake Koshkonong, Willow Flowage, Gile Flowage, and Lac Courte Oreilles. “We can’t say with 100 percent certainty that VHS is not somewhere outside these known waters, but it’s certainly not prevalent,” Simonson says. “We’ve looked at so many different places and so many different watersheds.”

Test results of fish taken from several Lake Winnebago and Fox River waters tested negative for VHS including Little Lake Butte des Morts and the Wolf River in Waupaca County.
The DNR is seeking another federal grant to help pay for VHS monitoring next year; waters planned for the project will be scattered across the state to continue to assess the prevalence of VHS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Staggs (608) 267-0796; Tim Simonson (608) 266-5222.
PHOTOS: (Right) DNR hatchery crews collected ovarian fluids for VHS testing from a musky on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes earlier this year. Photo credit: Bruce Underwood (Left) DNR fish health specialist Sue Marcquenski (center) collects ovarian fluid from a musky to test for VHS fish disease. Photo Credit: David Rowe

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hearings set for aquatic invasive species grant program

MADISON - More groups would be eligible to receive state grants for projects to prevent the spread of invasive species and the maximum award will increase under proposed rules that are the topic of public hearings starting statewide next week.

Gov. Jim Doyle championed funding increases to the Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program in the 2007-2009 Budget, and lawmakers approved a $7.6 million budget for the program in 2008 and 2009, more than double the $3 million expected.

The new law also increased the cost share rates, so that communities could receive up to 75 percent of the cost of a project, up from 50 percent previously, and removed priority for local government sponsors.

Those legislative changes are reflected in the DNR’s proposed rules, which are needed to put the enhanced program in place and to put the significant increase in grant funding to work in communities to prevent the spread of invasive species and to control invaders where they are already established in lakes and rivers.

DNR also is proposing expanding the list of potential applicants to include the University of Wisconsin system, more statewide conservation groups, and other state and federal agencies. Currently, sponsorship is largely limited to local governments, tribal nations, lake associations and conservation groups that own land.

Under the proposed rules, applicants would also receive higher priority if their projects to control invasive species through chemical treatments also achieved another environmental protection goal, like restoring habitat or helping control pollution.

One other proposed change would allow communities that are successfully managing existing populations of aquatic invasive species and following state rules regarding such to recoup the aquatic plant management permit fees they now pay.

Hearings on the proposed rules are set for the following dates and locations:

July 22, Eau Claire, 7 p.m., Conference Room, DNR West Central Region Headquarters, 1300 W. Clairemont.

July 23, Spooner, 7 p.m., Conference Room, DNR Northern Region Headquarters, 810 W. Maple St.

July 29, Rhinelander, 7 p.m., Conference Room, DNR Northern Region Headquarters, 107 Sutliff Ave.

July 30, Oshkosh, 7 p.m., Conference Room, DNR Service Center, 625 E. County Road Y, Suite 700.

August 5, Watertown, 6 p.m., Conference Room, Watertown Public Library, 100 S. Water St.

The proposed rule and related information may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted Wisconsin administrative rules Web site (exit DNR). Written comments may be submitted via U.S. mail to Mr. Carroll Schaal, Bureau of Watershed Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. Comments may be submitted until Aug. 29, 2008, and whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail, these written comments will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearings. A personal copy of the proposed rule and fiscal estimate may be obtained from Mr. Schaal as well.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Carroll Schaal (608) 261-6423

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Important Publc Hearing Regarding Great Lakes Commercial Fishing Practices

July 16, 17, 30 & 31 - Pursuant to §§ 29.014(1), 29.041, 29.503(4)(b) and (e), 29.519(1m)(b) and (c), (2)(d) and (5), 29.973 and 227.11(2)(a), Stats., interpreting §§ 29.014(1), 29.041, 29.503, 29.516, 29.519 and 29.973, Wis. Stats., the Department of Natural Resources will hold public hearings on revisions to ch. NR 25, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to wholesale fish dealing and commercial fishing in outlying waters and affecting small business. The proposed rules complete the implementation of the statutory requirements of 2003 Wisconsin Act 288 and recommendations of the Great Lakes Fishing Task Force. The proposed changes include:

Electronic fish harvest reporting system. The rule creates the electronic fish harvest reporting system (EFHRS) and related procedures to replace the current biweekly “paper” reporting system for recording and reporting all elements of the Great Lakes commercial catch.

Fleet reporting system. The rule will allow an individual to hold multiple commercial fishing licenses in his or her own name, and creates a fleet reporting program whereby a person holding multiple commercial fishing licenses on Lake Superior or Lake Michigan can consolidate the quotas under these licenses and permits for reporting purposes. It establishes the individual species harvest limits for a commercial fisher with multiple licenses engaged in fleet reporting as being the sum total of that person’s quotas held under the individual licenses. The rule requires the licensee to mark all commercial fishing nets with a common “fleet reporting number” in place of the individual license numbers, and authorizes the licensee’s crew members to operate all the commercial fishing gear and vessels included under the fleet reporting number without obtaining additional crew cards for each license included in the licensee’s fleet. The rule clarifies the number of nets allowed and specifies that all nets in the water bearing a license number or fleet reporting number shall count toward the maximum number of nets allowed whether or not the net is actively fishing.

Records and reporting. Commercial fishers will no longer be required to complete and submit biweekly catch and disposition (sales) records to the Department. The rule implements an annual inventory report for both commercial fishers and wholesale fish dealers. It creates a float plan requirement for fishing “high value” species (whitefish for commercial fishers holding quotas less than 13,656 pounds and yellow perch). This rule creates float plan and enhanced reporting requirements for individuals previously convicted of specific commercial fishing violations. The rule makes it illegal to possess, control, transport or cause to be transported any fish for which a record has not been created or submitted as required.

Elimination of tagging of foreign (imported) lake trout. This rule repeals the provisions associated with the foreign lake trout tagging program while continuing to require commercial fishers to tag domestic lake trout.

Roe harvest. The rule requires commercial fishers to land and report all fish from which eggs are harvested, and limits the quantity of roe landed to a weight percentage of the fish landed.

License transfers. The rule eliminates certain license transfer criteria for transfer to immediate family members and persons holding non-temporary crew cards.

Commercial fishing nets on Lake Superior; other net and boat use restrictions. The rule creates a permit authorization by which the Department can allow the legal placement open water nets during the winter months on Lake Superior. The rule also creates a requirement for all Great Lakes commercial fishers to notify a Conservation Warden of any lost or recovered commercial fishing net. The rule prohibits anyone from lifting, tampering or disturbing commercial fishing gear without the permission of the owner. Also, state commercial fishing licensees and their crew members are prohibited from operating a boat used by the licensee in commercial fishing under ch. NR 25 if there are any lake trout tags on board that were not issued by the department to a state licensed commercial fisher. Finally, the rule prohibits a state licensed commercial fisher from allowing his or her licensed boats to be used to tend nets that were not set by a state licensed commercial fisher, and from allowing his or her licensed nets to be used by a person who is not a state licensed commercial fisher or crew member.

Ports of landing. The rule designates primary and secondary ports of landing for commercial fishers on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Commercial fishers are required to call in a daily float plan to the Department if they intend to land their catch at a secondary port.

Vehicle identification. The rule creates vehicle identification requirements for transportation of fish in vehicles belonging to commercial fishers and wholesale fish dealers.

Housekeeping provisions. The rule includes several housekeeping provisions updating language and terms, clarifying provisions on the use of gear, and identifying the specific locations of particular lines and boundaries.

The proposed rule may have an impact on small commercial fishers and wholesale fish dealers businesses. The current biweekly “paper” reporting system for daily fishing activity is replaced with an electronic fish harvest reporting system whereby commercial fishers submit electronic reports and data relating to fishing activity and reports on a daily basis via the Internet. The department will provide the portable electronic reporting unit to the commercial fishers. A fleet reporting system is created to allow family commercial fishing businesses to consolidate quota allocations, fish harvest weights and daily fishing activity information for reporting purposes, thereby eliminating extensive record keeping requirements relating to individual licenses. The completion and submittal of a biweekly catch and disposition report to the Department is eliminated for commercial fishers. Commercial fishers and wholesale fish dealers will be required to submit a new annual inventory report documenting fish in possession, storage or under control on an annual date of their choosing to allow them to use the same inventory data as required for tax reporting or other business purposes. The required inspection and tagging of foreign lake trout imported by wholesale fish dealers is eliminated. The department has made a preliminary determination that this action does not involve significant adverse environmental effects and does not need an environmental analysis under ch. NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code. The proposed rule and fiscal estimate may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules Web site. Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted until August 10 via U.S. mail to Tom Hansen, Administrative Warden, DNR Northeast Region, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707. For more information or a copy of the proposed rule and fiscal estimate contact Tom Hansen at (920) 662 5438. The hearings will be held:

July 16, Ashland - 5 p.m. in the Garland Room, Vaughn Public Library, 502 West Main St.

July 17, La Crosse - 4 p.m. in Room B19, DNR Service Center, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road.

July 30

  • Milwaukee - 10:30 a.m. in Room 104, DNR Southeast Region Hdqrs., 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.
  • Cleveland - 3 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Room, Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave,

July 31

  • Peshtigo - 10 a.m. in the Council Chambers, Peshtigo City Hall, 331 French St. (Hwy 41)
  • Green Bay -1:30 p.m in the Lake Michigan Room, DNR Northeast Region Hdqrs., 2984 Shawano Ave.
  • Sturgeon Bay - 5:30 p.m. in the Sturgeon Bay Library, 107 South 4th Ave.

Department of Natural Resources warns boaters of hazardous debris on parts of Wisconsin River due to flooding

MADISON - Many families and friends are expected to head for the water over the long July 4 weekend to relax and participate in water sports. With that in mind and a sincere wish that everyone have a safe and enjoyable experience, the Department of Natural Resources warns boaters that the majority of the debris washed downstream from the Lake Delton area by floods, is still present in and along the Wisconsin River from Lake Delton to approximately the Columbia Power Plant. This debris can represent a serious hazard to boaters who are unaware of its presence.

“We’ve documented more than 80 visible piles of debris along this portion of the river,” said Barbara Wolf, regional warden supervisor for DNR’s South Central Region. “In some cases the items are as large as a section of the roof of a structure washed away when Lake Delton drained into the river. Some of this debris is just under the water.”

The large amount of debris is a significant hazard to navigation, say officials, and although the largest and most visible piles have been documented, any one of them could break up and shift at any time, sending unexpected debris downstream into the path of boaters, waterskiers, and personal watercraft operators.

“We’re concerned about the piles we know about,” said Wolf “but the debris that is underwater, what we can’t see poses an even greater danger. I would advise boaters that it is dangerous to get too close to the debris simply because so much of it is submerged. Boaters should use extreme caution on any portion of the river and we recommend Slow-No-Wake speed this area”.
Discussions are underway between Wisconsin Emergency Management, FEMA, Columbia and Sauk counties and the Department in regard to removing the debris.

“We’ll be working with solid waste experts to properly dispose of anything hauled out of the flooded areas,” says Wolf, “including trying to recycle as much material as possible.”

Property owners working to clean up riverfront property are reminded that it is illegal to burn many materials including treated or painted wood, rubber products, wet trash, oily rags, and plastics. A complete list of prohibited materials to burn is available on the DNR Website dnr.wi.gov.

“Getting out on the water and being in the outdoors is a big part of the July 4th holiday for many families,” said DNR Secretary Matt Frank. “Our parks, forests and trails are open for business but we urge people to use caution on state waters that have recently flooded or are still running high. Have a great time but be safe.”

Photographs of debris in the river are available in a photo gallery at dnr.wi.gov click on Flood Alert.

Madison Lakes: Ten boaters arrested for OWI over July 4th Weekend

FITCHBURG - Despite a slow-no-wake ordinance in effect on the Madison lakes, state and county officers made ten operating while intoxicated (OWI) arrests over the three-day July 4th weekend.

Department of Natural Resources conservation wardens and Dane County sheriff’s deputies made the arrests on either Lakes Mendota, Monona or Waubesa through normal patrols with no extra personnel from surrounding counties.

“Although boating traffic was light over the weekend due to the (slow-no-wake ordinance), the weather was conducive to boating. I don’t believe we’ve ever had this many OWI arrests on the Madison lakes with normal patrols,” said DNR conservation warden Dave Wood, Fitchburg.

Alcohol was involved in six deaths or 33 percent of the 18 boating fatalities in Wisconsin during 2007. A record 322 intoxicated boating citations were issued last year in Wisconsin.

The penalty for a first OWI offense is $438 and upon conviction, mandatory completion of alcohol assessment and a boating safety course. One person arrested over the weekend would be a three time offender, upon conviction.

The following counties are in the South Central Region: Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk.

The public affairs manager for the DNR South Central Region is: Greg Matthews: phone - (608) 275-3317.

French Creek Wildlife Area: Drawdown Aims to Improve Wildlife Habitat

PORTAGE – Low water levels at the Spring Creek impoundment at French Creek Wildlife Area are the result of a drawdown and the waters in the wetland impoundment will be raised by the fall hunting season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“The primary management of these impoundments is to preserve and enhance wetland habitat types for waterfowl and other wildlife through seasonal water level control,” pointed out DNR wildlife biologist Sara Kehrli, from her office at the Poynette State Game Farm.

The impoundment is located north of Monthey Rd. in Columbia County between Portage and Montello. The Spring Creek impoundment encompasses about 60 acres of flowage.

The flowage is impounded by a long earthen dike. This dike contains an emergency spillway which allows for flood waters to pass over the dikes without damaging them. Water levels are controlled by removing and adding stop logs within a control structure placed through the dike.

Spring drawdowns on waterfowl impoundments are beneficial to the plants and wildlife in these wetlands. Soils settle and floating bog mats anchor to the flowage. Wetland plants such as smartweed and bulrushes quickly cover the exposed mudflats and provide a great food source for waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife species, noted the biologist.

“While some folks might find these mudflats unappealing, these flowages are undergoing revitalization and this will become apparent later in the year. Habitat will improve over the summer and create a good spot for fall hunting,” she added.

The following counties are in the South Central Region: Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk.

The public affairs manager for the DNR South Central Region is: Greg Matthews: phone - (608) 275-3317.

Public invited to share priorities for water quality standards

Public survey available until Aug. 22

MADISON – Where should state environmental officials focus efforts to protect surface water quality in Wisconsin over the next three years?

State officials are seeking public input on 23 water quality standards for Wisconsin lakes and rivers that cover a variety of topics related to protection of public health, recreation, and fish and other aquatic communities.

“Water quality standards are the foundation for state expectations for water quality in Wisconsin lakes and rivers,” says Bob Masnado, who leads the Department of Natural Resources water evaluation section.

The standards address things such as levels of dissolved oxygen, nutrients, toxic pollutants, bacteria, and others, as well as policies regulating human activities that may have an impact on water quality.

The DNR is proposing to revise some existing standards because of new information about the effect of certain contaminants, or to reflect changes in federal or state regulations, according to Kristi Minahan, the water quality specialist leading the standards review process. Other items under consideration propose developing for the first time standards for contaminants that may need to be monitored and controlled to protect people and the environment.

Any actual changes to standards must be approved by the Natural Resources Board, the Wisconsin Legislature, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The DNR is implementing a new process to determine which of these water quality standards and guidance are the highest priorities for revisions or development. The process, called Triennial Standards Review, is a requirement of the Clean Water Act and will occur every three years.

Minahan says there are many potential standards-related topics that may benefit from a review under this process. However, due to limited resources, not all of the needed changes can be addressed at the same time. To help prioritize which standards and policies receive attention first, the DNR has ranked each topic according to its ecological importance, feasibility, and other key factors, she says.

“We want to hear what others think are important topics for revision or standards development to assure we have the foundation we need to protect public health, recreation and aquatic life,” she says.

People have the opportunity to comment on DNR’s draft priority through Aug. 22, 2008, through an online survey tool. The goal of the survey is to determine which surface water quality standards and policies the public feels most strongly need to be reviewed or developed in the next three years. The Public Ranking Survey, Draft Prioritized Topic List, and topic descriptions are available on the DNR Web site.

After the survey, the DNR will use the public priorities and the DNR’s internal rankings to prepare a final list of topics for 2008-2011, as required under the Clean Water Act. The DNR will use that final priority list to plan its work over the ensuing three years, and each topic will be addressed as resources allow, Minahan says. Topics that are not selected for the upcoming triennial cycle will be re-considered no later than three years from now during the next triennial cycle.

Questions or comments on the Triennial Standards Review process should be directed to Kristi Minahan at: Wisconsin DNR WT/3, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by calling (608) 266-7055 or e-mailing kristi.minahan@wisconsin.gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Minahan (608) 266-7055; Bob Masnado (608) 267-7662

July 24 at UW-Baraboo: Public hearing on Lake Redstone

BARABOO – The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing here on Thursday, July 24, to gather citizen input on portions of Lake Redstone that may meet the criteria for designation as Critical Habitat.

The hearing will run from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in lecture hall A4 (located in the lower level of the Umhoefer Classroom Bldg.) at UW-Baraboo, 1006 Connie Rd., Baraboo. Written comments will also be accepted through Aug. 7, 2008 and should be sent to Susan Graham, DNR, 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53711, email at Susan.graham@wisconsin.gov.

Critical Habitats are lake characteristics in Wisconsin Administrative Code that fulfill the rights of the public regarding water quality and quantity, fishing, swimming, navigation or natural beauty.

Designation as Critical Habitat may affect decisions on managing aquatic plants under Administrative Code and State Statutes. These include activities such as grading on banks, dredging, placement of pea gravel beds or sand blankets, boat ramps, new or replacement piers, recreational devices such as rafts and trampolines, and shoreline erosion control.

Critical Habitat designation “does not mean that these activities will be prohibited, but that they will undergo more careful review to ensure that (the activity) does not adversely affect critical habitat in the area,” said Ms. Graham.

For more information about this designation or to read the draft report, go to the DNR’s web site at Critical Habitat Designations.

The following counties are in the South Central Region: Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk.

The public affairs manager for the DNR South Central Region is: Greg Matthews: phone - (608) 275-3317.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fishing Kids Jamboree - Rock LAKE

Fishing Kids Jamboree Date: 8/09/08
Event Type: Fishing Tournament/Fisheree
Location: Rock Lake
State: Wisconsin
Contact: B.J. Holzapfel
Contact Email: fishnutz@charter.net
Contact Phone: (920) 699-5920
Web Site: http://www.fishingkidsjamboree.org
Details: This is the 8th year of the Fishing Kids Jamboree. It is free for youth ages 3-17 and lasts for one day. You can find more information on the website listed above. Contact me if you have any questions that could not be answered in the FAQ pages of the web site.

Hope to see you there... B.J

Friday, July 4, 2008

10th Annual State-Fish Art Expo

July 19th at Mall of America

Free Trees for First 5,000 Visitors

Award Winning Youth Art & Live Sea Lamprey on Display

Brooklyn Center, MN—Wildlife Forever will host young artists from throughout the United States in the Central Rotunda of Mall of America during the 2008 State-Fish Art Expo on July 19th. Mall visitors will cast ballots for their favorite piece of winning fish artwork, while Smokey Bear of the U.S. Forest Service and Blue Goose of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distribute 5,000 free trees to the public.

The winners of the 2008 State-Fish Art Contest will be honored in an Expo Awards Ceremony on July 19th at 10 AM before a large Mall crowd. A massive art display will feature all the winning children’s artwork from across the country.

National ‘Best of Show’ winners in three grade categories (4-6, 7-9 and 10-12) will be announced during the Awards Ceremony. The talented artist in grades 10-12 that is selected as the national “Best of Show” winner will receive a $2,500 tuition scholarship to attend The Art Institutes International Minnesota. The first-runner up nationally in grades 10-12 will receive a $1,000 scholarship to study at the college in downtown Minneapolis.

A highlight of the Expo will be the unveiling of the 2008 Art of Conservation™ Stamp design, selected from among thousands of submissions. As the federal government uses the proceeds from the federal duck stamp to fund wetlands conservation, sales of Wildlife Forever’s Art of Conservation™ stamps fund conservation education and fishery projects across America.

According to Douglas H. Grann, Wildlife Forever’s President & CEO, “We look forward to celebrating these talented students’ outstanding artwork at our 10th anniversary of the State-Fish Art Expo and recognizing their hard work and accomplishment. The unveiling of the new Art of Conservation™ stamp is an exciting moment that always draws ooohs and ahhhhs from the crowd,” continued Grann.

The public’s votes will choose the winner of the ‘People’s Choice Award’, sponsored by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. Voting begins at 10 AM and runs until 3:30 PM. The ‘Peoples’ Choice Award’ will be announced at 5:30 PM.

Following the Awards Ceremony, the Expo attendees and their families will visit Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge for a special fishing event with staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The young artists will learn basic angling tactics and then test their new skills on the Refuge’s fishing ponds.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to put fishing rods in the winners’ hands at the 2008 Expo,” said Grann. “By participating in the State-Fish Art Contest, youth learn about habitat and conservation. By attending the Expo, they will learn how to enjoy lakes and rivers through the thrills of angling.”

The Minnesota Twins will recognize the winning artists on the playing field of the Metrodome and on the ‘jumbotron’ screen in a special pre-game ceremony before they face the Texas Rangers on July 20th.

The Twins are also providing complimentary tickets for the artists and their families.

About the State-Fish Art Contest

The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest encourages young artists nationwide to create an illustration of their state-fish and a written composition on behavior, habitat and efforts to conserve it. Entries are categorized by grade level: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Winners are selected from each state in the three grade categories and invited to Mall of America in Minnesota to be honored at the State-Fish Art Expo.

About Wildlife Forever

Wildlife Forever is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat, and management of fish and wildlife. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to on-the-ground efforts.

Sponsors for the 10th annual Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest include The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, Mall of America, Minnesota Twins, North American Fishing Club, Rapala, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3, Bass Pro Shops, Shakespeare, the Izzak Walton League and the U.S. Forest Service, Eastern Region.

For information on the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, visit www.statefishart.com. Digital copies of winning artwork are available on request. Contact: Pat Conzemius (763) 253-0222 or pconzemius@wildlifeforever.org.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Algoma Webcam Up and Running

The recently installed webcam in Algoma, WI. is up and running. The information provided by the webcam is valuable to would be fishermen who can check out the Lake conditions near the Algoma Harbor with the ease of a few clicks of their home computer.

The photo above was caught from the cam at about 6:00 PM on July 3, 2008. A fishermen can easily tell that the water conditions are calm. There are also instruments for Humidity, Barometric Pressure, Wind Speed and Temperature.

You can check it out here: Algoma Webcam - or check the links on the right side of this page.

(Click on the photo to enlarge)

VHS fish disease update for July 3, 2008

The good news is that with only three VHS fish disease test results (PDF) still pending from the monitoring DNR had planned to do for 2008, it appears the VHS virus hasn't spread beyond the Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago systems, where it was first detected in May 2007.

The bad news is that Illinois announced July 2, 2008, that VHS had been detected in fish from its waters of Lake Michigan. That state has now enacted emergency regulations for boaters, anglers and wild bait harvesters (exit WIS DNR) similar to Wisconsin's.

Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Director Mike Staggs says that Illinois' news is not surprising but is discouraging. "It continues to move the known locations of VHS that much closer to the Chicago ship canal and downstream drainages, which include the Mississippi River drainage. Although VHS was earlier detected in the Mississippi River drainage in Ohio, this would be much closer to Wisconsin inland waters."

Staggs says he is heartened, however, by Wisconsin's test results so far, and that boaters and anglers appear to be taking the necessary steps to prevent VHS and aquatic invasive species from spreading.

Wisconsin Outdoor Report as of July 3, 2008

For this weeks outdoor report - click on the Region of your choice. Information has been provided by the WDNR.

GENERAL Northern Region Northeast Region Southeast Region South Central Region West Central Region

Fishing at the Park

If you like to fish, Lakeshore State Park is the perfect setting with great views of Downtown Milwaukee from the water and cool breezes on a hot summer day. The lagoon is becoming a popular fishing spot. "It's exciting to see the variety and abundance of fish," says Eric Skindzelewski, President of Lakeshore Fishermen and former Friends of Lakeshore State Park board member. The DNR, Lakeshore Fishermen, the Southeast Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Milwaukee Great Lakes Sports Fishermen have conducted many fishing clinics with kids at the Park since it opened in 2007.

Tom Burzynski, a Fisheries Technologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said that, "since the construction of the protective breakwater and better water quality after the Park's construction, the lagoon's populations are on the rise." You can find large and small mouth bass, brown trout, northern pike, walleye, perch and coho and king salmon. Last fall, over 2,000 brown trout were released in the Park's lagoon. You can even find pan fish such as blue gill, sun fish and pumpkin seed.

Ice fishing in the lagoon was also good this winter. In April, the DNR, the Southeast Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Milwaukee Great Lakes Sports Fishermen held a fishing clinic with 22 kids. And earlier this month, Eric Skindzelewski and the Lakeshore Fishermen donated 25 reels and rods to the Friends group for fishing clinics in the future. Thanks Eric! So bring your pole and enjoy a relaxing time fishing at Lakeshore State Park.

Source: Water's Edge - Friends of Lakeshore State Park Newsletter - Summer 2008

Wisconsin Fishng Club Meeting

Celebrating their 42nd year!

July 14: Warren Zaren, pro bass angler and tournament organizer, CAST member, “Fishing Green Bay and the Sturgeon Bay area for Walleye, Smallmouth and Musky.” Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd., $3.00. 7 PM meeting; 8 PM speaker. Calhoun Station, 1849 So. Calhoun Rd., New Berlin.

Contact Dan Freiherr, treasurer, (414) 464-9316, . Fishing reports, fishing equipment raffle plus hot pizza is available.

Zaren spends a lot of time on the water. He is an expert on lure reflection paint techniques. Come and gain insight into what makes for successful days catching gamefish. Carpool with your angling friends and relatives. We talk FISHING! New members are welcomed. Hot pizza is available.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wisconsin Fishing Club Kids Klinic - Photo #1

This is the first fish for this guy. It was caught during a Kids Klinic sponsored by WCSFO and the Wisconsin Fishing Club.

Photo #2 from the Wisconsin Fishing Club Kids Klinic

Bundled up and waiting patiently for a fish to bite.

This is Photo #3 from the Wisconin Fishing Club Kids Klinic

Action Al with a Perch - No Kids pull this one in.

Editorial: Close the seaway

The dangers posed by future invaders of the Great Lakes and the continuing failure of Congress to do anything effective leads to only one conclusion: Close it.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Posted: July 1, 2008

Turtle harvest regulations aim to minimize the decline of turtle populations

MADISON – Wisconsin implemented updated turtle regulations in 1998 in response to declining turtle populations, and a decade later, state biologists says these laws are even more important for the state’s turtle populations today.

The turtle harvest season opens July 15 in Wisconsin, and state officials are emphasizing that populations of turtles in Wisconsin are continuing to decline, so people need to follow harvest rules strictly. The regulations are designed to allow for limited harvest during the open season.

“Turtle populations recover very slowly when adult mortality rates exceed 1 to 2 percent,” says Bob Hay, a herpetologist, or cold-blooded species specialist, with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Turtles are long-lived creatures under good conditions, but in today’s world, individuals turtles do not have the same opportunities to reach maturity and live a long life. The turtle regulations are designed to help minimize the loss of breeding adults and to provide the opportunity for more of the younger turtles to reach breeding age.”

The regulations were put in effect because of concerns with overharvest, but Hay notes there are other factors influencing turtle populations that are collectively causing significant concern for turtles.

“The loss and fragmentation of habitat causes particular problems for aquatic turtles. All of them must leave the water to nest in uplands, usually beginning in late May or early June. For about a month, turtles are often forced to cross roads, highways and interstates in an attempt to find suitable upland nesting habitat,” he says.

For at least one species, the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle, Hay says nesting sites are often determined by where an individual turtle, itself, hatched, and this may be a mile or more from water.

“It takes 17 to 20 years or more for Blanding’s turtles to reach maturity, so a lot can change to render their upland habitat unsuitable or there can be more obstacles constructed that make getting safely to their nesting sites more difficult,” he says.

Hay says nesting success is also on the decline. Very high raccoon, skunk and fox populations result in very heavy egg predation. The result is that few young turtles are available to offset the loss of breeding adults that are killed on roadways. Other factors, such as recent flooding during and following the nesting season, can also cause local nest losses.

Wisconsin has 11 different species of turtles, two of which – the wood turtle and Blanding’s turtles -- are threatened species and one – the ornate box turtle -- that is endangered.

Turtle harvest regulations can be found in the current Wisconsin Spearing and Netting Regulations. A write-up on all amphibian and reptile regulations including turtles (pdf) is available on the DNR Web site.

The turtle regulations include information on:

Licenses: A valid Wisconsin small game or fishing license is required to take and possess turtles on inland Wisconsin waters, and a valid Wisconsin small game or commercial fishing license is required to take turtles from Iowa-Wisconsin and Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary waters. Turtles may be taken by hand, dipnet, hook and line, by hooking, and a newly approved hoop net trap; no other trap types are allowed.

Seasons: The open season for all turtles is from July 15 - November 30, inclusive. Turtles listed as state threatened or endangered (Ornate Box, Blanding's, and Wood turtles) may not be possessed without an Endangered Species Permit. It is no longer legal to take and possess turtles during the closed season, which includes the June through early July nesting season when turtles are often found crossing roadways.

Size limit: The statewide size limit for snapping turtles is 12-inch minimum and 16-inch maximum top shell length. No other species have size limits.

Bag and Possession Limits (bag and possession limits are identical): Snapping turtles -- western Wisconsin boundary waters is 10, and the inland limit is 3. Softshell turtles -- western Wisconsin boundary waters is 5, and the inland limit is 3. All other species other than endangered or threatened is 5 statewide.

Trapping Restrictions: A maximum of 3 hoop net traps can be set per licensee in inland waters of the state except for the western boundary waters (Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers), where 10 hoop net traps per person are allowed. Traps must be made using a stretchable fabric (i.e. nylon) with a minimum mesh stretch of 6 inches. No wire mesh is allowed. Each trap must have an identification tag attached that includes the name and address of the operator and that is conspicuous above the water. At least 2 inches of the trap must be visible above the water, and must be checked at least once per day after they are set in all waters. Only the operator identified on the identification tag is authorized to tend the traps.


Stay safe while enjoying Wisconsin waterways over July 4th holiday

MADISON - During a typical Fourth of July holiday, more than 1 million Wisconsin residents and visitors take to the state’s abundant lakes and rivers to boat, fish, swim and paddle around. Following widespread flooding in June across southern Wisconsin, people need to exercise even more care than usual, water quality, health and recreation safety experts say.

Water currents can be deceptively strong and there’s a lot of debris in the water. Beaches and other recreational waters can become polluted by sewage, animal wastes, petroleum products, fertilizers and other contaminants. Debris can wash into waters, shorelines can become unstable and give away, and high currents can become a danger.

“Probably the most important advice we can give people this year is to know before you go,” says Roy Zellmer, DNR boating administrator. “Know the conditions of the water you want to recreate on before you get there and take appropriate precautions.

“Beyond that, wearing life jackets, assuring the boat driver is sober, and knowing and following the “rules of the road” on the water are the other top three things boaters can do to keep themselves, their families and others safe on the water.”

Emergency slow-no-wake rules are still in effect on many southern waters, including the Madison chain of lakes.

The added organic material delivered during the flooding creates conditions ripe for another water quality concern, the growth of excessive blue-green algae, if the weather heats up. Excessive levels of blue-green algae are a concern because they can produce toxins harmful to people and animals. People should look for the telltale blue-green scum near the water’s surface before swimming or allowing domestic animals to drink.

The good news, however, is that even in the south, lake and river conditions vary greatly, and fully three-quarters of Wisconsin’s 15,081 lakes are in northern Wisconsin, which didn’t suffer the flooding.

So Wisconsinites – or the 60 percent of adults who identify themselves as swimmers, the 48 percent who say they fish and the 40 percent who say they boat, in a recent Wisconsin recreation participation survey (pdf; 186kb) – still have plenty of great opportunities to get out and enjoy Wisconsin’s great lakes and rivers this holiday.

More information about the four main steps people can take to stay safe on Wisconsin’s water over the long holiday follow.

Know water conditions before you go

Boaters: be aware that slow no-wake rules are in place on the Madison lakes and a number of other waters in southern Wisconsin. Stay away from rivers running out of their banks. The National Weather Service (exit DNR) provides river observations and other information on their web site. The U.S. Geological Survey provides current and historical stream flow information (exit DNR), although the site is a little more technical.

Swimmers: the state’s beach health web site [wibeaches.us] (exit DNR) offers the most up-to-date source of information on the status of beaches regularly monitored and results reported on the web site, says Bob Masnado, who leads DNR’s beach monitoring program. It lists conditions at 118 public Great Lakes beaches in Wisconsin and more than 100 inland beaches. Local health departments have the sole authority to determine if a beach is open or closed and are responsible for monitoring their water quality, so if the beach you want to visit is not on that web site, please contact local health authorities (pdf: exit DNR).

While blue-green algae has been a problem on some Wisconsin waters for years, algal blooms in ponds and lakes seem to be occurring more frequently, according to Dr. Mark Werner, of the Department of Health Services Division of Public Health. Avoiding contact with bloom material and following posted beach and lake advisories will help ensure that blue-green algae won’t get in the way of enjoying the state’s lakes and beaches, Werner says. And keep the dog away from blue-green algae blooms, too. Learn more about visible signs that a lake or river may have excessive blue-green algae and how to protect yourself against it.

Top three boating tips

The July 4th weekend is regarded as the busiest boating weekend of the year in a state that had more than 617,000 motorized boats registered in 2007, and several hundred thousand more nonmotorized boats on the water, including canoes and kayaks.

Year-in and year-out, failure to wear life jackets, or “personal flotation devices” and operating a boat while intoxicated, or being on a boat operated by an intoxicated person, are leading causes for boating fatalities, Zellmer says.

Wisconsin’s Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) law prohibits the operation of a motorboat while under the influence of an intoxicant. This law, and other boating laws, are found in Wisconsin Boating Regulations (pdf) available at DNR offices and on the DNR Web site.

The other main precautions boaters should take are to make sure they abide by are boat traffic rules and a new law requiring that anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1989 have a boating safety education certificate to operate a motorboat on Wisconsin’s waterways, Zellmer says.

Two of the key traffic rules to know are: if a boat is approaching your vessel from your starboard (right) side in a crossing situation, the boat on the right is the privileged boat and has the right-of-way. The boat on the left shall slow and/or change course to cross behind the privileged boat to avoid collision.

And this: When a motorboat and a boat propelled entirely by sail or muscle power are proceeding in such a direction as to involve risk of collision, the motorboat shall yield the right-of-way
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BOATING SAFETY CONTACT: Roy Zellmer (608) 264-8970 or the following Regional Recreational Safety Specialists: Christopher Wunrow, Spooner (715) 635-4112; Jeffrey Dauterman, Antigo (715) 623-4190 ext. 3108; William Yearman, Eau Claire – (715) 839-3717; April Dombrowski, Oshkosh – (920) 303-5443; John Bronikowski, Sturtevant – (262) 884-2383; Jeremy Cords, Green Bay – (920) 662-5129; or John Plenke, Waukesha – (262) 574-2163

Education, enforcement of invasive species laws to ramp up

New deputy wardens out to educate boaters, ticket violators

MADISON – Nine new water guards will be patrolling boat landings across Wisconsin over the July 4th holiday as the state ramps up efforts to keep invasive species and the fish disease VHS from spreading to new lakes and rivers.

The deputy warden force, part of Gov. Jim Doyle’s 2007-09 budget, was created to focus solely on educating and enforcing rules to prevent boaters and anglers from accidentally spreading invasive species and diseases.

They complement the hundreds of paid and volunteer watercraft inspectors at landings across the state, educating boaters and anglers about the rules and demonstrating how to clean boats and equipment. But unlike the inspectors, the deputy wardens will have the authority to issue warnings and citations, and they, along with the DNR’s 133 field wardens, will be actively doing so this summer.

Invasive species and VHS are a serious threat to our fish and wildlife - Randy StarkWDNR Photo“Invasive species and VHS are a serious threat to our fish and wildlife, and we’re taking it seriously from a law enforcement perspective,” says Chief Warden Randy Stark. “The role of these “water guards” is to lend an enforcement presence to this overall effort – we’ll be a backup to the inspectors, reinforcing the need to follow invasive boat and angling rules.

Rules to prevent these invaders’ spread call on boaters and anglers to remove all plants and animals from their boat and trailers and drain all water from boats and fishing equipment. These steps have been expanded in the last year to contain VHS by limiting the movement of live fish away from a lake or river.

Recent surveys of Wisconsin boaters have shown that more than a decade of efforts by DNR and partners to educate boaters and anglers about steps to prevent spreading aquatic invasive species is paying off. Anywhere from 80 to 91 percent of boaters report taking prevention steps, up from about 40 percent a decade earlier.

“While the majority of people are law abiding citizens, there are always a few people who choose for whatever reason to not follow the law,” Stark says. “It may be a small group of people, but people who behave this way undermine the prevention efforts of everyone else by transporting these things around and causing the damage everyone wants to avoid.”

The primary way that invasive species like zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil spread to new waters is aboard boats and boating equipment. VHS also can be transmitted in water from boats and fishing equipment, and when live infected fish are moved to another water.

VHS can infect and kill several dozen species of native game fish, panfish and bait fish, unlike most fish diseases, which tend to target a single species or a handful. The disease is not a human health threat but has caused large fish kills in the lower Great Lakes in 2005 and 2006.

Aquatic invasive species, freed from the predators and diseases that kept them in check in their homelands, can crowd out native species, disrupt ecosystems and hamper recreation. Zebra mussels, for instance, can decimate native mussel populations, decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic species need, and worsen algae blooms in addition to clogging boat intake pipes and utility intake pipes.

Tom Wrasse, the DNR warden supervisor coordinating the Water Guard, says the deputy wardens will be stationed throughout the state in Spooner, Woodruff, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Wisconsin Rapids, Madison, and Waukesha through Labor Day weekend.

They have been out working boat landings and fishing tournaments since June 1, and have already spoken to thousands of boaters, says Wrasse, who is stationed in Woodruff. In addition, the new deputies have been giving presentations to fishing groups, meeting with watercraft inspectors, and conducting other activities to build community collaboration and public awareness around the steps necessary to fight the spread of invasive species.

“The Water Guard is already having an impact around the state,” says Wrasse. “Several contacts have been made with boaters and anglers that were totally unaware of the regulations. After explaining what the law is and why it is in place, there has been 100 percent compliance. The public support of this program is the highest I have seen as with any new enforcement program implemented.”

With the long holiday weekend approaching, Wrasse encourages boaters and anglers to help Wisconsin tackle the invasives problem. “Everyone has a responsibility, whether it’s by complying with the rules when recreating or spreading the word among friends and relatives. We all stand to gain if we can keep a healthy environment.”

Those prevention steps call for anglers and boaters to:
  • INSPECT your boat, boat trailer, vehicle, and gear.
  • REMOVE all plants, animals, and debris.
  • DRAIN water from boating equipment, live wells and gear.
  • NEVER move live fish - use leftover minnows ONLY under certain conditions
  • REPORT Violations to 1-800-TIP-WDNR

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Randy Stark (608) 266-1115; Tom Wrasse (715) 358-9203

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


WCSFO president, Ted Lind, of Walleyes Unlimited, USA, began our meeting at 10 a.m. Attendance was light due to a major snowstorm the day before. Clubs are again reminded to send their representatives or presidents in fall.

We introduced ourselves and stated whom we represented. Secretary media director, Larry Van Veghel, of the Wisconsin Fishing Club Ltd., read the minutes from the fall statewide meeting. The minutes were approved as read.

Our treasurer, Chuck Plotz, of Walleyes Unlimited, said we have $3,050.96 in our savings and $5,486.05 in our checking accounts.

From our checking account total, we paid for the printing of the “Kids Fishing Klinics” publication. $1748.08 was submitted to Lind by Plotz to cover postage, printing, etc. We voted to reimburse Lind.

We also voted to allow Ted Lind to dump all of the old WCSFO computer components. Many are obsolete.

Mike Staggs, Director Bureau of Fisheries Management, WDNR, handed out the Bureau of Fisheries Management Report, the new Fishing Regulations booklet, the new Trout Fishing Regulations booklet, Sportfishing in America ­­­– from the American Sportfishing Association, ASA –, a PowerPoint handout on VHS, plus the amendments to the VHS rules.

The WDNR will attempt to extend the emergency VHS rules until the permanent rules take effect. The amendments should help bait dealers who have lost business due to anglers buying less minnow. These anglers don’t want to dump excess minnows when leaving bodies of water.

Mike Arrowood, of Walleyes For Tomorrow, had several questions regarding raising walleyes to stock fingerlings into the Milwaukee River below the Campbellsport dam.

Mike Staggs covered the Lake Michigan stocking for 2008. Ted Lind asked Staggs why the DNR hasn’t done more educating of tournament promoters. Staggs said there will be more effort put forth to accomplish this goal.

The WDNR purchased a bar and restaurant on Lake Elizabeth, in Kenosha County, to assure anglers’ access.

Lind said Washington County’s Friess Lake access is being built.

We adjourned at 1 p.m.

Our 2008 Statewide Fall Meeting will be held on October 18, 2008, (third Saturday) from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Walleyes For Tomorrow headquarters in Fond du Lac. For representation, member clubs must send their delegates. New member clubs are always welcome as are new individual and business members.

Respectively submitted by:
L.A. Van Veghel - WCSFO Secretary & Media Director