Sunday, March 22, 2009


(Franklin, WI) After we networked, WCSFO president, Ted Lind, of Walleyes Unlimited, USA, began our meeting at 9:55 a.m. The weather was good, and attendance should’ve been higher. Clubs are again reminded to send their representatives or presidents for our fall meeting.

Secretary and media director, Larry Van Veghel, of the Wisconsin Fishing Club Ltd., read the minutes from our fall statewide meeting. The minutes were approved as read.
Our treasurer, Chuck Plotz, of Walleyes Unlimited, said we have $3,058.23 in our savings account and $4,923.05 in our checking account. The treasurer’s report was approved as read.
Ted Lind will switch computer service providers, as his current provider is locking up his computer.
Mike Staggs, Director Bureau of Fisheries Management, WDNR, gave us a rundown of the DNR fish questions scheduled for the April Spring Hearings. He covered the major statewide questions. There are numerous local questions.

A background check is proposed to help eliminate unsavory characters from becoming fishing instructors.
Remote controlled devices used in fishing were discussed. The DNR wants these items to be tethered. These devices currently fall into the prohibited jug fishing category.

The DNR wants to insure that smelt do not spread throughout our Northern Wisconsin waters. Smelt eat walleye eggs, and walleye populations drastically drop.

The largemouth and smallmouth bass minimum size limits and managing of the species separately appear on the Spring Hearing questionnaire.
Per Staggs, VHS has not spread at a fast rate, and that is good. VHS often shows the most fatalities after 3 years.

Tournament permits were next discussed by Staggs. A calendar listing permitted tournaments is now on the WDNR’s Fishing Tournaments – Calendar of Events website page. People can use this handy calendar to see what dates are open or filled on the particular body of water of interest.

Staggs handed out some DNR pamphlets. One was the “Minnows As Bait” pamphlet, and another was the pamphlet showing where the DNR spends its money.

In the future, some special DNR studies and projects may have to be cut or put off due to the poor economy. The DNR hopes to keep 95% of their programs in operation, and this is better than what is being done by most other state agencies.

Per George Meyer of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, 24 DNR service centers will close. Staggs said more emphasis is being put on “800” phone numbers manned by live people.

Recreational Boating and Fishing Federation, RBFF, is working with our DNR to get people who stopped fishing back into fishing.

Walleye stocking in the Milwaukee River is on hold due to the VHS issue. The DNR is hoping to soon have an egg disinfection system in operation for walleye eggs.

The Lake Michigan salmon stocking should be up to normal soon. Lake Superior will get fewer Seeforellen strain German brown trout.

Sturgeon stocking in the Milwaukee River will continue.

The DNR is pushing for less stocking of lake trout in Lake Michigan. The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is stepping up their lake trout stocking, but due to disease problems in their hatcheries, they might not be able to stock an increased number of lakers.

Per George Meyer, there has been a restructuring of our state government committees on wildlife. Representative Spencer Black now chairs the Assembly Environmental Committee, while Representative Anne Hraychuck heads the Assembly Fish and Wildlife Committee. In the senate, the Environmental Committee is chaired by Senator Mark Miller, and the Senate Natural Resource Committee has Senator Jim Holperin as its chairperson.

WCSFO and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation are among many groups pushing for a DNR Board appointed Secretary of the DNR. Currently, this job is filled by an appointment from the Governor.
To contact him, Ted Lind said to use phone #414-466-8284.

Lind said that 117 acre and 48 feet deep Friess Lake, in Washington County, is getting construction bids for a new DNR launch. On the Wisconsin/Illinois border, Elizabeth Lake will have its new launch done during spring. Project approvals are a little bit slow. The North Lake launch, in Waukesha County, is still being opposed by some locals. It is hoped that construction occurs sometime this summer or fall. On Okauchee, in the same county, the house will soon be removed so that the launch parking area can be expanded. The Delavan launch, in Walworth County, renovation is slow. The DNR is putting six fishing piers in on state land. Harrington, Whitewater and Bong are to receive these piers.

Vice president and webmaster John Durben, of the Great Lakes Sport Fishermen Green Bay Area Chapter will update our blog to include the form for business sponsors. Membership includes a business card size listing for the business sponsor members. Membership fee is just $50.00/year.

Our meeting ended at 1:20 p.m. Our fall statewide meeting will be held at the Walleyes For Tomorrow headquarters in Fond du Lac on October 17, 2009. This is the third Saturday of the month. Our 2010 statewide spring meeting will again be held at Gander Mountain in Franklin, WI. The date for the meeting is on March 20, and this is the third Saturday.

For representation, member clubs must send their delegates. New member clubs are always welcome as are new individual and business members.

Respectively submitted,
L.A. Van Veghel
WCSFO secretary and media director

WCSFO Photos by John E. Durben (Click on Photos to enlarge) Top: WCSFO Treasurer Chuck Plotz left, WCSFO President Ted Lind, right.  Second photo: WDNR Fish Manager Mike Staggs, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation Representative George Meyer and WCSFO Secretary and Media Director L.A. Van Veghel.

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