Friday, May 21, 2010

Walleye bag limits to increase on 369 northern lakes

MADISON – Daily walleye bag limits will increase May 21 on 369 lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory to reflect spring spearing harvest by six Wisconsin bands of Chippewa Indians.

A daily bag limit of two walleye will increase to three walleye per day on 83 lakes. In addition, 286 lakes will go from an initial bag limit of two or three walleyes per day to the state daily bag limit of five, according to Joe Hennessy, who coordinates the treaty fisheries management program for the Department of Natural Resources.

Anglers should consult the 2010-11 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations, signs at boat landings, and the 2010-2011 Revised Ceded Territory Walleye Bag Limits pamphlet for lake-specific information.

As part of a 1983 Federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. To assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not exceed a sustainable level, the state sets recreational bag limits in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands.

An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits annually to reflect actual spring spearing harvests and projected summer harvests.

Of the 243 lakes with bag limits less than five, 83 lakes will have a bag limit of two walleye per day, and 160 lakes will have a daily bag of three walleye per day. The six Chippewa tribes together harvested 34,157 as of May 15, 2010.

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