ASHLAND – Public meetings will be held on proposed regulation changes pertaining to commercial fishing on the Great Lakes. The proposed rule revisions address three issues: the definition of the Great Lakes commercial fishing “license year,” annual re-licensing requirements for Great Lakes commercial fishers, and the number of available commercial fishing licenses for Lake Michigan.
The revisions changes the commercial fishing license year from July-June to January-December. It also addresses what is commonly referred to as the “minimum catch rule,” the requirement that a commercial fishing license holder must remain active in the fishery if he or she wishes to have his license renewed. The purpose of the rule is to identify inactive fishers and attempt to accommodate concerns raised by commercial fishers while retaining meaningful relicensing requirements.
The complete rule and fiscal estimate may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules Web site [adminrules.wisconsin.gov] (exit DNR; search for CR09-016). Written comments on the rule may be submitted via U.S. mail to William Horns, DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707. Comments may be submitted until March 31, 2009.
Written comments whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearings. For more information contact Bill Horns at - (608) 266-8782. The public hearings will begin at 5 p.m. on the following days at the location listed:
March 18, Ashland - Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center; 29270 Cty Hwy G.
March 20, Cleveland - Cleveland Training Room, L242; Lakeshore Technical College; 1290 North Ave.