Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New fishing tournament rule effective May 1

MADISON – A new Wisconsin fishing tournament rule goes into effect May 1, 2009.
The rule aims to reduce user conflicts and complaints about crowding by spreading out tournaments that exceed size limits, according to Mike Staggs, Wisconsin’s fisheries director.

The rule will also help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia or VHS disease.

“This rule allows fisheries biologists to work with tournament organizers to help make sure that tournament participants don’t accidentally introduce these invaders into new waters via their bait, fishing equipment, or boats,” Staggs says.

Fishing tournaments with more than 20 boats or 100 participants will need a permit under the new rule. Those tournament organizers needing a permit would have to pay an application fee to cover some of the cost of the fishing tournament program.

“For those tournaments that actually need a permit, we’ve kept the fee affordable,” Staggs says. “The vast majority of tournaments that need to get a permit will pay a $25 fee, and tournaments aimed at providing fishing opportunities for kids and disabled people are free.”

“We don’t expect many events to be affected by the size limits, and if they are, we’re confident we can find agreeable solutions to most scheduling conflicts,” Staggs says. “And in the coming years, we’ll be evaluating the effect of the rule and how it may influence tournament activity.”

Tournament organizers who already have their permits for future tournaments or those who apply before the May 1 deadline will not be affected by the new tournament rule. Organizers can now easily plan and apply for a fishing tournament permit online. A new, searchable calendar is available that allows organizers, participants, anglers, and all water users to see which waters already have fishing tournaments scheduled. For more details on the new rule, visit the DNR fishing tournament Web site.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Joanna Griffin (608) 264-8953 or Jon Hansen -(608) 266-6883

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