Thursday, January 28, 2010

Minnesota DNR, Red Lake Nation renew agreement

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Red Lake Nation, and Bureau of Indian Affairs have signed a new five-year agreement that outlines how the parties will work together to maintain the health of the Upper and Lower Red lakes fishery.

The new memorandum of understanding closely parallels a 1999-2009 agreement that helped restore high-quality walleye fishing to Minnesota’s largest inland body of water. The agreement, among other things, states each entity will support the Red Lake Fisheries Technical Committee, a joint panel of experts that recommends policies and practices to maintain a healthy fishery.

“We’ve come a long way in the past decade,” said DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten, noting that anglers have caught more than 1.1 million pounds of walleye since the lake was reopened to fishing in 2006. “By renewing this agreement, we are reaffirming our commitment to a process that has delivered results.”

“Red Lake Band members are pleased that our walleye have come back and our fishing community is revitalized,” said Floyd Jourdain Jr., chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. “We are committed to ensuring that Red Lake walleye are managed sustainably in the future. Renewing this agreement will enable the Fisheries Technical Committee to continue its work to help protect this valuable resource.”

The agreement was signed today during a brief ceremony in Red Lake. Historically, Upper and Lower Red lakes were outstanding walleye fisheries, but they collapsed in the mid-1990s due to over harvest.

The Red Lake Fisheries Technical Committee was formed in 1998. Since then, the regulations, policies and other actions this joint body has recommended have led to a healthy walleye population and a resurgent walleye fishing economy.

Wisconsin Outdoor Report as of January 28, 2010

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


Last weekend’s warm temperatures and rain took a major toll on snow cover in the southern half of Wisconsin. Snow depths now range from an inch or less in the far south, to 4 to 8 inches through central Wisconsin, and 8 to 20 inches in the north. Snowmobile trails are now closed in most counties south of Highway 64, except for a few counties reporting poor to fair conditions on the Department of Tourism Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR).. Snowmobile trails in the northern third of the state are still being reported as generally good to excellent condition, with the best conditions in the Lake Superior snowbelt.

Cross-country ski trails faired somewhat better, except for the far southeast and areas along the Door County peninsula, where trails at some parks are now closed. Trail at all units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest remained mostly open, with conditions from poor to good. Ski trails through northern Wisconsin remain in good to excellent condition.

The mild weather and rain also combined to make for some very sloppy ice conditions on lakes and flowages. Northern lakes still have 12 to 16 inches of ice, but there was 4 to 8 inches of slush and snow on top of some waters. Ice fishing action seemed to move into the mid-winter doldrums in some areas, with success tapering off. Walleye action was fair, with small sucker minnows, fished in 8 to 12 feet of water at dusk providing the best action. Northern pike activity also slowed. Panfish action has been inconsistent, with anglers moving around quite a bit searching for the active fish.

On Green Bay, anglers were catching whitefish and perch, with most fishing in 10 to 30 feet of water at Little Sturgeon Bay, Henderson Point, and Sturgeon Bay. Perch up to 10 inches were being caught. There has not been much fishing activity going on farther south along Lake Michigan, as snowmelt and rain muddied tributaries and left the ice in most harbor ice is in rough shape. Open water anglers have been catching brown and occasional rainbow trout at Port Washington and browns and some northern pike at Milwaukee.

The Mississippi River rose after last weekend’s rain to 8.05 feet at Prairie du Chien, up about 4 inches from last week. Ice conditions deteriorated in some areas. The main channel remained frozen over, but travel is not recommended. After all the rain, there were large areas of standing water on the ice. Ice fishing was very good on some days during the warm stretch of weather, with nice catches of crappie, bluegill and perch reported.

With news earlier this week that traces of VHS fish disease have been found in low levels in fish from some parts of Lake Superior underscores the need, according to state fisheries officials, for anglers, boaters and bait harvesters to follow rules in place to prevent the spread of this disease.

Whitetail bucks have begun to shed their antlers, although some bucks could retain their antlers into March.

Increased winter activity around bird feeders has been attracting some northern shrikes to feeders. Because they lack talons, shrikes use their powerful bills to stun or kill small birds while in flight. They also have the unique habit of impaling their prey on sharp objects such as thorns or barbed wire fences, a predatory habit that earned this winter visitor the nickname "butcher bird."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2009-2010 Angler Education Workshops

Please check back from time to time for updates to this schedule. Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are free of charge and include lunch or dinner, however, we do have a $15 workshop commitment fee to ensure good attendance by registrants. Please arrive a few minutes early to settle in so that we may begin on time. If your plans change, please notify us so that we may plan accordingly and refund your workshop commitment fee.

To schedule a volunteer or teacher training workshop in your community, please contact Theresa Stabo, Aquatic Resources Educator, (608) 266-2272. We need a minimum of 8 to 12 adult participants, depending on location, to hold a workshop.

Learn to be a Fly Fishing Instructor
Saturday, February 13, 2010

Time: Noon - 5 p.m.
Place: Holiday Inn Convention Center - Stevens Point
1001 Amber Avenue
Registration Form: Download, complete and return the Trout Unlimited Registration Form [PDF, 99KB] to Theresa Stabo (see form for details).

This DNR certification class will be presented by Chuck Bomar and Dennis Vanden Bloomen, UW-Stout Fly Fishing Instructors and members of the elite WI Clear Waters Chapter Instructor Program. Materials available from the DNR, at no charge, include the Scott Rod Company Fly Fishing booklets. The DNR has purchased 100 St. Croix fly rods and reels for instructor use through the equipment loaner program; they are distributed at 18 locations. Trout Unlimited members, fishing club members, youth leaders, classroom teachers, and civic leaders are encouraged to attend as a team or form one at the workshop. Successful models include after-school fishing clubs, summer enrichment classes, school-family events, and Boy Scout Fly Fishing merit badge training. The program is aligned to state academic standards making it an easy fit in the classroom. Participants in this training will also be given a complimentary ticket to the State Council banquet held later that evening. This class is limited to 25 people.

General Angler Education Instructor Training
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time: 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Place: Department of Natural Resources Headquarters - Green Bay
2984 Shawano Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54313-6727
Telephone: (920) 662-5401
Registration Form: Download, complete and return Green Bay Registration Form [PDF, 176KB] to Rachel Piacenza (see form for details).

More teacher and volunteer training workshops are being planned so check back often to find one near you!
For additional angler education programs in Wisconsin, visit Take Me Fishing [exit DNR].

Teacher Conferences
Look for us at teachers' conferences and conventions throughout the year.

Summer Teacher Enhancement Courses

These courses are offered for university credit and provide in-depth explorations of fisheries, aquatic resources and environmental education methods. Field experiences that bring teachers into close contact with Wisconsin's lakes and streams highlight these courses. Stipends may be available to currrent Wisconsin teachers to help defray teacher expenses.

Lake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: January 25, 2010
Kenosha Co.
No report.

Racine Co.
The Racine harbor is still iced over, with reports of 6 inches in Reefpoint Marina. There are some large open areas near the docks, though, so please use extra caution if you venture out. Anglers in the marina have been catching brown trout on spawn. The Root River is open from the Horlick dam through Colonial Park, but flows are very high.

Milwaukee Co.
In Milwaukee open water anglers fishing the Menomonee River at the MMSD offices have been catching a few northern pike, and brown trout have been taken on spawn by anglers fishing the river under the Hoan bridge. Most of Oak Creek is ice-free, but the water is high and muddy after the rain this past weekend.

Ozaukee Co.
In Port Washington open water anglers have been catching browns and occasional rainbows near the power plant discharge. Both spawn and crankbaits have produced fish.

Sheboygan Co.
No report.

The Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report is updated twice per week from March 1 to December 1 each year. This report is a copy of the fishing report we post on our fishing hotline at (414) 382-7920.
Green Bay Fishing Report: January 26, 2010
Volk's Reef

Volk’s Reef has had some activity over the last week with anglers fishing for perch and whitefish. Most perch are being caught in 15-20 feet of water with a few anglers finding some very nice sized fish. The best action has been on waxworms or minnows.
Bayshore Park

Anglers have put in a lot of time on the ice in the areas between Bayshore and Red River. Anglers are seeing whitefish and some nice catches of perch. Most anglers have been fishing in 10-30 feet of water. Anglers that are having the best luck on whitefish are jigging a Hali or Swedish pimple tipped with either a minnow or waxworm.

Little Sturgeon Bay
There has been a lot of pressure for perch over the last week. Anglers have reported that fishing slowed a bit, but there are still some nice perch being caught. Most anglers have been jigging or setting tip-ups for perch. Whitefish action continues to be good from Henderson Point to Limekiln Road with the best action in 10-30 feet of water. Jigging continues to be the most successful approach for whitefish.

Sturgeon Bay
Anglers have been fishing in front of the State Park. Perch have made up most of the catches, with some nice fish around 10 inches being caught. Anglers have been jigging minnows for the best results.

The Green Bay Fishing Report is updated once a week until October 31, and then again during the ice fishing season.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Boating season is right around the corner and now is the time to get ready!

If you have a boat registration that expires on March 31, 2010, you can beat the rush by renewing your boat on-line at It's fast; it's easy; and you will have your new decals in hand before the ice melts!

Boat owners who renew on-line before the end of February will not have to watch their mail for their renewal coupons! For those who prefer to renew by mail, the boat renewal coupons will be mailed in March.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is please to announce that we are introducing an improved email subscription service to make it easier for you to learn about the topics which interest you. Once a year, we will email renewal reminders to customers with boat, ATV and snowmobile registrations.

Click on the links below to obtain more information regarding Wisconsin boating and other outdoor activities.

Safety and Safety Education:
Boat and Shore Fishing Access:

Lake Winnebago system seasons open Feb. 13

Higher harvest caps, bigger fish on tap for 2010

OSHKOSH - Spearers will have a better chance of harvesting a sturgeon -- and a really big sturgeon at that -- when the 78th consecutive spearing seasons get underway Feb.13 on the Lake Winnebago system.

The system-wide harvest cap for adult females for the 2010 season has been increased to 740 from last year’s 630, and is nearly double the limit set in 1997 when the state Department of Natural Resources started capping harvest.

At the same time, the number of trophy size fish in the population has been increasing significantly, resulting last year in spearers harvesting 42 sturgeon between 100 and 168 pounds, the highest percentage of trophy-size fish ever recorded in the history of the fishery.

“The resurgence of 150-plus pound fish in the population over the last 10 years adds a potential super-trophy element to the fishery that spearers haven’t seen since the 1950s,” says Ron Bruch, DNR fisheries supervisor in Oshkosh and the lead sturgeon biologist since 1990.

“It appears to be only a matter of time before the 188 pound record set by Dave Piechowski in 2004 is broken,” he said.

DNR crews frequently handle fish over 200 pounds in their population assessments.

The current sturgeon population in the Winnebago System is the largest in the world. It is estimated to be at more than 58,000 fish including 47,100 fish over the 36-inch minimum size limit in the spear fishery. Of those legal sized-fish, 5,900 are estimated to be juvenile females, 14,800 adult females, and 26,400 adult males.

Harvest of lake sturgeon is tightly controlled because the species is especially vulnerable to overharvest due to their slow growth and late maturation. Females don’t spawn for the first time until they are 21 to 33 years old, and then they spawn only once every three to five years.

Ice and other spearing conditions

As of Jan. 25, 2010, there were 16 to 18 inches over most of the lakes, although there are areas of the lake with thinner ice. Three people have recently drowned on Lake Winnebago after the vehicles they were travelling on went through the ice. Anyone traveling on the lakes should check the ice first to make sure the area they are in is safe, Bruch says. Fishing clubs around the lakes have scouted and marked roads with upright Christmas trees placed every quarter-mile along the road. Downed Christmas trees indicate a crack or unsafe ice – stay away from these areas.

Reports also indicated that the water in the Winnebago lakes was “gin clear,” although clarity can change rapidly due to run-off events and winter algae blooms.

More details about the two separate seasons

The Lake Winnebago system now holds two separate, concurrent seasons: on Lake Winnebago and on the Upriver Lakes of Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan. Spearers can only participate in the season for which they have a spearing license.

The rules are the same on Lake Winnebago as they are on the Upriver Lakes, with the exception of different harvest caps and triggers. The total harvest caps for Lake Winnebago are 280 juvenile females, 666 adult females and 800 males; for Upriver Lakes, 70 juvenile females, 74 adult females and 200 males. Total harvest from all the lakes is tracked each day to ensure that system harvest caps are not exceeded.

Spearing hours for both seasons run from 6:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. daily, with a bag limit of one lake sturgeon per license and a minimum length limit of 36 inches.

The Lake Winnebago season runs from Feb. 13, 2010, through Feb. 28, 2010, or until the pre-set harvest cap for Lake Winnebago is reached, OR the pre-set harvest cap for the entire Winnebago System is reached, whichever comes first.

The Upriver Lakes season runs from Feb. 13, 2010, through Feb. 28, 2010 on Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan, or until the pre-set harvest cap for the Upriver Lakes is reached, or the pre-set harvest cap for the entire Winnebago System is reached, whichever comes first.

Participation in the Upriver Lakes season was determined by a lottery for the required sturgeon tag, with 500 people selected from among the more than 4,000 who submitted an application by Aug. 1, 2009.

Successful lottery winners had until Oct. 31, 2009, to purchase a spearing license for the Upriver Lakes. Sturgeon spearing licenses for the Lake Winnebago season were not limited and were available to those spearers who purchased them by Oct. 31, 2009.

Spearers can only participate in the season for which they have a spearing license. Any fish harvested from Lake Winnebago must be registered at one of the sturgeon registration stations on Lake Winnebago. Any fish harvested from Lakes Butte des Mort, Winneconne or Poygan (the Upriver Lakes) must be registered at one of the sturgeon registration stations on the Upriver Lakes.

A full listing of regulations for the Winnebago System sturgeon spearing season can be found on the Lake Winnebago sturgeon page of the DNR Web site or at DNR service centers. Daily harvest updates will be posted to the page.

Get Your Copy of People of the Sturgeon autographed

Spearers and lake sturgeon enthusiasts will have an opportunity on opening day to buy a copy of People of the Sturgeon; Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish and have it autographed on opening days by Bruch and his fellow co-authors.

Kathy Schmitt-Klein, a writer with Wisconsin Sea Grant, and Fred Binkowski, senior fisheries scientist with the UW-Milwaukee Great Lakes WATER Institute, are co-authors of the glossy, 292-page book, which also features the photographs of the late Bob Rashid.

The three authors will be signing books between 11-noon Feb. 13 at Wendt’s on the Lake Restaurant, on the west shore of Lake Winnebago in Van Dyne. The book publisher, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, will be at Wendt’s as well that day, selling copies of the $29.99 book.

People of the Sturgeon culls the photo albums, newspaper clippings and personal recollections of Wisconsin families to show how the huge, homely lake sturgeon found in the Lake Winnebago system captured their hearts, and with their help, returned from the edge of extinction. The system’s sturgeon population is now the world’s largest self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon, a fish that can live longer and grow bigger than a man.

“The traditions in some families go back to great-grandfathers and great-uncles spearing with the Stockbridge Indians along the east shore of Lake Winnebago in the late 1800s and early 1900s,” Bruch says. “We attempted to capture these traditions and the essence of our Winnebago lake sturgeon culture in People of the Sturgeon.”

The book was the culmination of the efforts of many individuals over the last four years, including a $25,000 donation from Sturgeon for Tomorrow. Proceeds from sale of the book will help support the DNR’s Lake Winnebago sturgeon management program.

Poll quizzes anglers about VHS fish disease

The catch? New insights into angler habits

MADISON – A recent statewide poll reeled in a mixed bag of results after asking anglers about state rules passed in 2008 to stop the spread of VHS fish disease.

The poll revealed good compliance by anglers with the VHS rules, but knowledge of the rules, not so good.

Perhaps most interestingly, the poll yielded new insights into angler habits such as minnow use that will help shape future awareness and information efforts, says Karl Scheidegger, a Department of Natural Resources fish biologist who leads fisheries outreach efforts.

“The good news is that the poll shows that the vast majority of anglers said that preventing the spread of VHS was very important, and that most anglers are taking many of the steps we need them to take to keep Wisconsin fish and lakes healthy,” he says.

“They’re draining water from their boats, live wells and bait buckets. They’re not taking live fish away from a lake with the exception of minnows, as the rules allow, and they’re following the rules for using leftover minnows: they are using them again on the same water or using them elsewhere if they did not add any lake or river water to their bait bucket.”

DNR has been working closely with UW-Extension, the UW-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication and the UW-Madison Sea Grant on research related to outreach efforts. The UW-Madison's Badger Poll surveyed 507 people randomly chosen within households with working landlines in October and November 2009. Results from this survey have a margin of error of a little more than plus or minus 4 percent. More details on the poll are available on the University of Wisconsin Web site []

Fully 53 percent of the people surveyed said they fished, an indication of the popularity of this pastime but also of the potential risk of VHS fish disease being spread in Wisconsin, says Bret Shaw, environmental communication specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Extension and principal investigator on the study.

However, Shaw says, the survey revealed that majority of anglers do not fish with minnows or follow other practices that potentially increase their risk of spreading the fish disease.

Anglers inadvertently moving infected live fish or live bait minnows or water contaminated with VHS are the main ways that VHS and other fish diseases and invasive species can spread to new waters. But the survey results suggest that nearly two-thirds of anglers do not fish with minnows to begin with, that very few anglers move their boats around to multiple waters within a week and thus run the risk of spreading contaminated water.

VHS is not a human health threat but can kill more than three dozen different species of fish, including trout, musky, bass and bluegill, and it caused large fish kills in some Great Lakes waters in 2005 and 2006. The disease was first detected in Wisconsin in 2007 in fish from the Lake Winnebago system and the Lake Michigan system.

Findings on angler habits

  • 72.2 percent fish from a boat at least sometimes
  • 54.1 percent fish from shore at least sometimes, with 26.6 per cent often or always doing so
  • 16.8 percent used the same boat on more than one body of water within a 5 day period
  • 39.4 percent never fish with minnows; that climbs to 61.7 percent when people who “rarely” fish with minnows are added in

Findings on angler compliance with VHS rules

  • 86 percent said they never or rarely used leftover minnows on multiple waters
  • 63.7 percent say they never or rarely add lake or river water to their minnow bucket
  • 60.9 percent said they drain water from livewell always or often
  • 57.7 percent never or rarely move live fish away
  • 65.7 percent say they never or rarely add lake or river water to their minnow bucket
  • 30.3 percent use minnows on same water


ICE BREAKER 5 is set for March 12, 13 & 14, 2010 in Fremont Wisconsin at Channel Cats and the Fremont Event Center. ICE BREAKER 5 is a FREE Sports Show designed to give people access to some of the areas, and nations, TOP local and professional anglers. It's focus is on the great fishing in the Wolf River Country and Winnebago system.
There will be boats on display "under the BIG TOP", sponsored by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. Seminars will be held all 3 days plus lots of tackle and more on display from our growing list of exhibitors.
Speakers include Daryl Christensen, Mike Gofron, Chase Parsons, Scott "Axl" Ehricke, DNR Fisheries Biologist Kendall Kamke, Joel "Doc" Kunz and others. TUFFY BOATS is sponsoring a special "Friday Night Thunder Muskie Presentation" to be put on by Steve Worrall and the TUFF TEAM from Outdoor First/Muskie FIrst. Up dated information will be put on our page at and on our facebook page, ICE BREAKER 5.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Late Season Ice Fishing & Safety

Jan. 25

Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd. presents Jerry Opicka, panfishing expert, past WFC president, “Late Season Ice Fishing & Safety.” Learn ice fishing, hot spots, equipment, safety, techniques, how to read ice conditions, 7 p.m. meeting & 8 p.m. speaker. Yester Years Pub and Grill, 9427 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, 414-476-9055. Contact: Dan Freiherr, Treasurer, (414) 464-9316. Fishing reports, fishing equipment raffle, plus hot food is available. New members are welcome.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Do you want your legislators to vote to protect clean water, clean air, natural areas, and sporting opportunities? So do we!

Join us for the 6th Annual CONSERVATION LOBBY DAY 2010 and ask legislators to Be Your Voice for conservation!

On January 26, 2010, join citizens from across Wisconsin at the state Capitol to tell legislators that you expect them to vote well on natural resource issues.

Since the first Conservation Lobby Day in 2005, it’s grown from 100 citizens to more than 500! Each year, representatives from nearly 100 conservation groups from across Wisconsin descend on the Capitol to share their conservation values with their Legislators. When hundreds of citizens speak with a unified voice, legislators simply can’t ignore the tremendous support that exists for conservation.

On Conservation Lobby Day, you will have a chance to speak to both your state Representative and Senator about key conservation issues. In addition, you will receive skill and issue trainings that you can take away and apply when advocating back home. You will also have the opportunity to meet and network with others that share your conservation values.

This year, the conservation community will be fighting to make sure Wisconsin:
  • Adopts a plan to attract and support clean energy jobs. Legislators vote to override the Governor’s veto of AB 138, the bill to restore the Independent
  • DNR Secretary.
  • Protects drinking water quality.
  • Preserves groundwater quantity for future generations.

Legislators need to continue to hear from you! Keep the conservation momentum going!

Join us for Conservation Lobby Day 2010, January 26, 2010, State Capitol

To learn more and register for Conservation Lobby Day visit where you’ll find details, FAQ’s and specifics on each of the four Conservation Priorities. Further questions? Contact

Sunday, January 10, 2010

DNR to make changes to trout program

(MINNESOTA) The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making changes to the way it raises, stocks and manages trout under its statewide trout program. The changes will have minimal effect on anglers but will result in an immediate savings of about $70,000 in electrical and feed expenses, and up to $200,000 annually when changes are fully implemented.

Effective this year, the DNR will close a portion of its French River Hatchery near Duluth, shift trout production among various hatcheries, and reduce or eliminate stocking in 60 lakes and streams. This will take place in areas where results have not met expectations or where self-sustaining trout populations have been established.

The new approach follows an in-depth assessment by DNR staff and implements various aspects of the DNR’s Lake Superior and southeast Minnesota trout plans. Last year, the DNR stocked 2.2 million trout at a cost of $2.4 million. In recent years the DNR’s trout program has included 615 designated trout streams, 163 designated trout lakes, 112 inland lake trout lakes, 2 two-story trout-and-warm water fishing lakes, and the 1.4 million-acre Lake Superior.

“We are reducing operating costs where they are high, and stocking efforts where the return on investment is low,” said Dirk Peterson, acting DNR fisheries chief. “We are doing this in a way that will minimize any effects on the majority of anglers.”

Anglers will not be significantly affected because stocking reductions will be in only those waters where fishing pressure was low, trout survival and growth was poor, or the stocking has resulted in a self-sustaining fishery that is no longer dependent upon stocking, Peterson added.

The upcoming changes are the result of a lengthy internal review of the DNR’s trout program. Managers revised traditional stocking recommendations based on angler use, the number of fish caught by anglers, and whether stocking still made sense based on competing warm water fish populations or other factors. This field assessment included reviewing the Lake Superior and southeast Minnesota trout plans.

Similarly, DNR staff took a hard look at the French River Hatchery, which is the agency’s most expensive hatchery to operate and the most susceptible to biosecurity issues because of its connection to Lake Superior and the entire Great Lakes system, which contains a growing number of invasive exotic species and fish diseases. To address these concerns, the agency will shift part of the French River Hatchery production to the DNR hatchery near Remer.

Specifics of the new trout plan include:
  • The Spire Valley Hatchery near Remer will produce 80,000 yearling rainbow trout Kamloops to be stocked in the Lester, Talmadge and French rivers. Previously, these fish had been reared at the French River Hatchery.
  • The French River Hatchery will produce up to 12,000 fingerlings and 25,000 yearling rainbow trout Kamloops in addition to 550,000 steelhead fry and 55,000 frylings for stocking in Lake Superior.
  • All brook trout production will be shifted from Spire Valley in central Minnesota to the Crystal Springs hatchery in southeastern Minnesota. The Peterson Fish Hatchery in southeastern Minnesota will continue to produce lake trout fingerlings and yearlings and rainbow trout yearlings.

More information on streams and lakes where stocking will be increased, reduced or eliminated is available on DNR Web site.

DNR considering five new muskie waters

(MINNESOTA) In response to growing interest in muskellunge fishing, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering the stocking of muskie in five new waters starting in the fall of 2011.

Proposed for muskie management are Roosevelt Lake in Cass and Crow Wing counties; Upper South Long Lake and Lower South Long Lake in Crow Wing County; Tetonka Lake in Le Sueur County; and the Sauk River Chain in Stearns County.

“All of these waters meet or exceed the biological and physical criteria for muskie management,” said Dirk Peterson, DNR acting fisheries chief. He said there are eight key biological considerations including:
  • Proposed muskie waters must be greater than 500 acres.
  • Waters must contain adequate numbers and species of prey fish.
  • Water clarity must be moderate to clear.
  • Gillnet catches for northern pike must be three or less.
  • Waters must have the potential to produce a trophy fish.

“All five proposals are consistent with our management approach,” said Peterson. “Also they have been selected in part because of their geographic location. These lakes represent a strategic approach to provide muskie fishing where opportunity is limited.”

The muskie is one of Minnesota’s largest fish, growing to more than 50 pounds and more than 50 inches in length. Anglers have become increasingly interested in the so-called “fish of 10,000 casts” now that 50-plus inch fish can be caught in Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Vermillion and other waters that have been stocked since the 1980s.

“As muskie grew in size and abundance, so did interest catching them,” said Peterson, noting that muskie anglers are the fastest-growing segment of Minnesota’s fishing population. He said the DNR is addressing the trend of increasing interest in muskie through a long-range northern pike and muskie plan that was developed with stakeholder input. That plan calls for adding up to eight new muskie waters by 2020.

Today’s announcement of the five waters under consideration marks the beginning of a lengthy process to determine if the lakes will eventually become muskie waters. The DNR will post information on the proposed stocking at boat landings at the five lakes this spring, conduct public input meetings this summer and fall, and accept public comments until early next winter. If the DNR decides to move forward with the proposals, stocking would start in 2011. It would be 12 to 15 years after that before the fish reach 48-inches, the minimum size at which a muskie can be kept.

“Our process will be very transparent,” said Peterson, who noted the agency recognizes the muskie’s mystique appeals to a certain segment of anglers and generates the opposite reaction in others. The proposal will be discussed at the upcoming DNR stakeholder roundtable and later by a citizen advisory committee that is focusing on northern pike and muskie management.

Currently, muskies are found in 116 Minnesota water bodies. Of these, 64 are waters that have been stocked by the DNR.

Lake Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing 2010

The 2010 Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season will begin February 13, 2010.

2010 Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Regulations [PDF 1.2MB] and other additional information.

Badger Fisherman's League Sponsors Kids Ice Fishing Clinic

Kids Ice Fishing Clinic - Saturday, February 6th

Lannon Quarry/Menomonee Park - Clinic begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Last session starts at 2 p.m. Bring the kids, dress warm and prepare to have some fun!

Badger Fisherman's League

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinal Sport Show 2010

Five Day Sports Show

Started in 1939 as the "Fisherman's Party," the first Milwaukee Sports Show was a two-day event held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Eagle's Club Ballroom. After the Party ended, two Milwaukee Sentinel sports reporters and a local dog trainer named Orin Benson from Eagle, Wisconsin started planning for an even bigger event organized and owned by the newspaper.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show enjoys a strong tradition of outdoor sports exhibits, entertainment and activities going back to the very first show. Boating, Fishing, Hunting and Camping have always been highlights of the Sports Show. It has also seen numerous changes and additions throughout the years including popular interactive features like Rock Climbing, Kid's Activities and multiple Seminar Stages. The Journal Sentinel Sports Show is currently the largest Sports Show in the country, attracting over 150,000 attendees annually and nearly 500 exhibitors and features

March 10-14, 2010 (FIVE DAYS)

Wednesday, March 10 Noon to 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 11 Noon to 9:00 p.m.
Friday, March 12 Noon to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 13 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 14 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Exposition Center @ State Fair8200 W. Greenfield Ave.,West Allis, WI 53214

More Information: Click Here

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Northeast Wisconsin Sport Fishing Show (Green Bay, WI)

March 5-6-7, 2010
ShopKo Hall, Green Bay
(Veteran's Memorial Complex - Across From Lambeau Field)

The N.E.W. Sport Fishin’ Show covers it all, from stream trout to lake trout, pan fish to bass and salmon in addition to muskies. The anglers of Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula enjoy an unrivaled variety of fishing opportunities ! Tons of tackle, destinations, boats and motors and seminars makes the FISHIN' SHOW the sure cure for cabin fever! The Fishin' Show continues to offer the best where-to, when-to and HOW-TO info for the thousands of multi-species anglers who attend annually.

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By: L.A. Van Veghel

Ice anglers know that they must be aware of speeding snowmobilers who go from tavern to tavern and sometimes from tavern to tavern on a series of lakes and then unsafely speed on ice that is sometimes too thin for these heavy yet small vehicles. Some, but certainly not all, snowmobilers hit speeds to 70 mph on ice where there are open water limits of 40 mph. Snowmobilers have been known to run over ice anglers' tip-ups. I've even had an ice sailboat do that to me on Nagawicka Lake.

Drivers' licenses should be required for operating any powered vehicle that hits those unsafe on bumpy ice speeds where ice pedestrians are on the ice in droves. Drunk people are not supposed to drive cars or trucks. The same should be mandatory for ATV'ers and for snowmobilers. Members of safe-minded, quality snowmobile clubs are given bad vibes by these drunks.

Ice anglers who get drunk and have snowmobiles or ATV's can be equally obnoxious and unsafe, both for their lives and for the lives if other people. Doing doughnuts around their own tip-ups as I've witnessed on Little Green Lake both meant these people caught no pike, and it meant others around them couldn't catch fish due to these drunks' ice cacophony. These people were both unsafe and completely rude. Getting drunk does not mean these irresponsible people own the lakes. Yet, who wants to confront a violent drunk at the time of the obnoxious behavior? Anglers go fishing to get away from this kind of stuff.

Why do we have to put up with these adults who are irresponsible drunks? Let's start giving them "dui" tickets. Drunk driving is drunk driving. Recklessness is recklessness. Fools are fools. Abuse is abuse. Have a happy new year and watch out for ALL drunk drivers.

MILWAUKEE FISHING EXAMINER as printed on the WISN-TV website.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's fishing thoughts are filled with a history of wisdom

By: L.A. Van Veghel

When we need help with anything, it pays to go to the experts for advice.

Anglers can do likewise. To widen our learning experience, we will glean knowledge and advice from sages of the ages. It might be a surprise to many, especially those who are anti fishing to find out that many of their conservation experts from the past were catch and eat anglers.
Audubon, for example, loved to fish and eat his catch.

Aldo Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac: How like fish we are: ready, nay eager, to seize upon whatever new thing some wind of circumstances shakes down upon the river of time! And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook.

Charles Darwin: I had a strong taste for angling, and would sit for any number of hours on the bank of a river or pond watching the float.

Peter Kaminsky, from Fishing For Dummies, regarding what qualifies as bait: Anything that works.

Robert Elman, from The Fisherman’s Field Guide: Bullheads are the most nocturnal feeders…
Izaak Walton, from The Compleat Angler: The Carp is the Queen of Rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtil fish…

Sir William D’Avenant, from Britannia Triumphans: For angling-rod he took a sturdy oak; For line, a cable that in storm ne’r broke;…The hook was baited with a dragon’s tail—And then on rock he stood to bob for whale.

Henry David Thoreau: Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish I the sky, where the bottom is pebbly with stars.

Paul Quinnett, from Darwin’s Bass: When I get up at five in the morning, I wake my wife up and ask, “What’ll it be, dear, sex or fishing?”And she says, ‘Don’t forget your waders.’”

No wonder there is a need for column such as this. Thoreau fished in the clouds. D’Avant talked about using big bait, and I wonder what size hook he recommended. Elman would have had to stay up late at night and have visited every body of water to come up with his belief about late night fish.

As long as these sages couldn’t help much, here’s a last attempt to improve our angling in the New Year.

Anonymous: Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet, and they won’t bother you for weeks.