Thursday, February 20, 2014

DNR offers aquatic invasive species training to businesses

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species (AIS) training to owners of lake service provider businesses so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Businesses such as resorts and outfitters that rent, lease or decontaminate boats and other water-related equipment are now required to attend AIS training and acquire a permit under a state law change that took effect last July. These businesses are considered lake service providers, which means that every three years they must attend training session, apply for a permit, and pay a $50 application fee to comply with Minnesota law.

“Before this change, the law applied only to businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, lawn irrigators and others who install or remove equipment from state waters for hire,” said April Rust, DNR AIS training coordinator. “The law change means many more businesses will need to attend training to learn about the threat of zebra mussels and other invasive species, and how to prevent their spread.”

Employees of lake service provider businesses – which now include boat rental businesses – also need to complete a short online training course before providing services. However, employees of businesses, such as some resorts, who only work with boats, equipment or structures that remain on their property in the same body of water are exempt from the employee training and certification.

Seventeen AIS training sessions are planned around the state. Registering for the winter and early spring sessions will give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines are one week prior to each training. To register for training, find out if the business needs a permit, or for more information, visit the DNR website at

DNR reminds anglers of mandatory ice shanty removal dates

(Michigan) The Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that mandatory ice shanty removal dates are approaching and, regardless of date, shanties must be removed as soon as the ice is unable to safely hold them.

Ice shanties on Lake St. Clair must be removed by sunset on Sunday, Feb. 23.

For counties in the southern Lower Peninsula, shanties must be removed from the ice by midnight on Saturday, March 1.

The deadline for removal from waters in the northern Lower Peninsula is midnight on Saturday, March 15. Counties included in this area are: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.

On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by midnight on Saturday, March 15. For all counties in the Upper Peninsula, shanties must be removed by midnight on Monday, March 31.

Following the mandatory removal dates, ice shanties may still be used but must be removed daily from the ice.

Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, or both. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of the removal.

For more information on Michigan’s ice fishing regulations and shanty removal dates, check out the 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide

Volunteers needed to place muskellunge spawning structures in Iron County's Chicagon Lake this March

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking volunteers to assist in placing wood habitat structures in Chicagon Lake (Iron County) on Sunday, March 2, to provide additional spawning habitat for muskellunge.

Chicagon Lake is a popular and economically important body of water in the Upper Menominee River Watershed. The DNR actively manages this 1,100-acre waterbody for several coolwater species, including muskellunge.

Muskellunge were first stocked into Chicagon Lake in 1965. Subsequent surveys documented evidence of natural reproduction, indicating Chicagon Lake provided some suitable spawning habitat; however, muskellunge natural recruitment has remained inadequate to sustain the population.

Wood structures are proposed based on success with this type of habitat enhancement in Wisconsin waters. Wood is thought to keep muskellunge eggs from sinking into the sediment and being smothered, provides a better habitat for egg development, and is the preferred spawning habitat for this species. In addition, the installation of wood habitat will benefit many other fish by providing seasonal refuge and cover. By encouraging natural reproduction of muskellunge, the DNR will move toward the overall goal of promoting self-sustaining fisheries and, in turn, provide additional opportunities for muskellunge anglers.

This project is possible thanks to $10,000 from the We Energies’ Mitigation and Enhancement Fund. This fund was established as part of the Wilderness Shores Settlement Agreement to enhance aquatic habitat in the area of influence of We Energies’ hydroelectric projects.
Volunteers will assist the DNR and its project partners: Boundary Waters Musky Club, Iron County Watershed Coalition, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, and other local entities. The project is slated for Sunday, March 2, from 8 a.m. to noon, Central time. Volunteers will meet at the Chicagon Lake public access site located off County Road 424.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Drew YoungeDyke at or 517-346-6486. Volunteers will get a free T-shirt, a digital subscription to Michigan OutofDoors Magazine, and lunch. This volunteer effort is part of Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ On the Ground initiative, which is supported by grants from the Consumers Energy Foundation, Enbridge Energy Partners and the DNR.

Weekly Fishing Tip: Techniques to target trout through the ice

Many anglers look forward to the opportunity to target trout – and not just on April’s opening day! Trout fishing through the ice can be quite fun, if you use the proper techniques. Consider the following….


Certain species of trout, particularly brown trout, really gravitate to tip-ups as they linger in shallower water. Consider your depth if you use this type of angling.


Lake trout and brown trout can easily be attracted by jigging with a spoon. For lake trout use a piece of smelt or sucker as your bait. For brown trout use the head of a minnow.

Don’t want to sit on the ice looking for trout? Then gear up for the open water season! Check out lots of information about Michigan’s trout species online.

This tip was adapted from Michigan Outdoor News.


Walleyes for Tomorrow - Fond Du Lac, WI

The meeting was called to order by President John Durben at 10:05 AM.

Present: Cornell Stroik, Jim Schommer, Gordy Merz, Brenda Rosin-Schaff, George Meyer, Ron Bruch.

Treasurer - Cornell Stroik read the financial report as was published for the meeting. The report showed as of 09/31/13 we had $7,774.50 in the checking account and $3,065.26 C.A.S.T. savings account, for a total of $10,839.76 Cornell stated that we had a good response from clubs contributing to the printing expenses of the kids fishing booklets, which should be approximately $2400.00 for 20,000 copies. Those present acknowledged that American Litho was kind in their invoicing and should be recognized in future booklets by including their logo. A thank you note will follow. A motion was made, seconded and approved to accept the report as published.

C.A.S.T. – no movement

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation - George Meyer, Executive Director & Gordy Merz District 9 Director and Chair of Inland Fisheries

Both gentlemen discussed the board meeting which was held a week prior.

· North Lake Access - DNR position is that we are in a “Cooling Off Period”. THIS DOES NOT END THE LAWSUIT. The project has a long history dating about 20 years and has been the most expensive project discussed with the DNR & a lake association. Currently, the access site location will be off Hwy 83 by the post office, next to the inflow. Many feel this site is limited in size, unsafe in winter, has difficult turning radius for parking and will need to be constantly dredged. CLUBS ARE ENCOURAGED TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON THE DNR TO GO BACK TO THE NORTHWEST SIDE. The WWF has demanded a meeting with Secretary Kathy Stepp.

· Tournament Fishing – DNR can’t change culling. It’s a statutory issue. Recommendation is to stay with previous resolution. We were reminded & encouraged to buy items at sporting goods stores because the money comes back to our state.

· Assembly Bill #352 (AB352) as amended by #1 Fish Penning–There was a hearing held which only applied to the Great Lakes. Currently there is a long permit process. There is support to go to a general permit if certain conditions are met to streamline the process. This is not to be confused with commercial use. And comes from Door County/Great Lakes mindset for salmon, but applies to walleyes & other species. So far they don’t have perimeters as to size of fish, lake, quantity, etc. There will be a public hearing in the future and look at where it is, will it be limited to certain months, to promote fishing, look at disease issues, etc. WWF supports as amended. WCSFO went on record as being in support of AB 352 as amended by Assembly Amendment 1 as well.

· VHS Update – It’s a cool water disease, so we will be dealing with this a long time vs. warmer water lakes.

· Assembly Bill #380 (AB380) & Senate Bill 329 Sturgeon Transfer Point – Bipartisan support which limits the number of persons to take sturgeon. Must issue according to preference (game species & bear use this system, it’s not unusual). Examples given were #1 – you’re in the hospital during the time frame you are given or #2 current law is Nov. 1st holder may transfer license to minor with a transfer fee, it would change to Oct. 1st. Don’t use a lottery on Winnebago but on the upper lakes.

· Catch & Release Bass Fishing – became part of the budget bill/no hearing.

· Cross Bow Bill – WWF supports (not bow hunters). Passed the Assembly/Amended/Passed Assembly. The bill will more than likely pass regardless of age or ability for the next fall archery season.

· Ground Water – Discussion on how it feeds lakes, rivers, wetlands, trout streams, as we have some drying up. Only applies to new wells. The dairy, manufacturing, veggie & potato growers are trying to get high capacity well law. There is a bill with loopholes to issue permits by parcels. The WWF opposes the current bill but has an alternative to strengthen the law with Bill # . A motion was made, seconded and passed.

How can our members help? Attend the Spring Hearings, especially non-tournament clubs. The social clubs need to become more actively involved. We were also cautioned and encouraged to look into the background or organizations as they relate to conservation and political issues.

DNR Fisheries Report - Ron Bruch, DNR Fisheries Management filled in for Mike Staggs.

He reported on the following topics:

· Walleye Initiative/Extended Growth - There is a major effort being made to raise larger fish & stock them in as many statewide waters as possible. To date they have stocked 400,000 extended growth walleyes in 100 lakes and are writing rules for administering $1 million in grants for tribal and the private sector to grow Extended Growth(E.G.) walleyes. The rules will include who is eligible, how the grants will be awarded within the next 6 months and requirements such as a required minimum of 3 years raising them, how many days to convert current 7- 8 inch walleye to E.G., which lakes will get the E.G. (Restoration Waters, which are in the north and are good natural reproduction ex: Chippewa Flowage & Maintenance Waters). E.G. survive 20% their 1st year verses fingerling which have a 1 out of 100 survival rate and there is no data for fry survival rates. The DNR is focusing on infrastructure of building new & repairing old hatcheries/ponds. They expect to raise 800,000 by Dec. Ron Bruch is responsible for outreach to let people know about the initiative. He wants to know what they/we can do better to promote fishing. They are starting with the stocking project but taking the opportunity to update the public on the Walleye Management Program.

· Ron also briefly mentioned the Warm Water Habitat, Fish Sticks Project, trying to keep the bag limit @3 Walleye statewide.

· Fisheries Advisory Council - He is working with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and DNR Fisheries Management Team as well as various statewide fishing groups to create the Council, which will be a statewide group. He will be making contacts in December and the first meeting will be held in late January. They will focus on key issues and angler education. They will be redirected to create consistent direct contact with kids and their families, not just for a day of fishing. The focus will be on a social experience in an effort to help with retention & recruitment. A round-table meeting has been scheduled by WDNR Secretary Kathy Stepp on Monday, October 21 in Madison to discuss the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative and the creation and duties of the Fisheries Advisory Council. Ron Burch; WDNR, George Meyer; WWF, and John Durben; WCSFO, will be attending.

· Regulatory- Paired down the list, re-classify waters to recommend changes.

Kids Fishing Clinics - Brenda Rosin-Schaff

Reported that the next clinic meeting date will Dec. 12th at 7p.m. at McCarty Park 8214 West Cleveland Ave. West Allis, WI. The ice fishing clinics will be held on Feb. 8, 2014 and the spring clinics on April 12, 2014 from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. All WCSFO members are encouraged to volunteer at any of the parks. In addition, if your club has access to discounted merchandise or an excess of something we could give to the children, please contact Brenda Rosin- Schaff at 414-467-6658 or Ron Gray at 414-321-0869 and they will help coordinate with the appropriate hosting fishing club.

Old Business:

Kids fishing hand books – An enormous amount of time went into updating the kids fishing booklets by President, John Durben. Thanks to collaborated efforts by him, Ted Lind & Ron Gray for their hard work and dedication to getting it done quickly. The books have been printed and are available for distribution.

New Business:

· Angler Education Certification – All clubs are encouraged to have their members certified through the DNR for helping at kids fishing clinics. Last March, the Badger Fisherman’s League hosted and invited all clubs to a certification course with Theresa Stabo of the DNR. The event was very successful and they are again offering to host it at the Knights of Columbus 1800 South 92nd Street West Allis, Wi. The tentative date is set for Monday March 17, 2014. If you are interested in participating, contact Brenda Rosin-Schaff 414-467-6658 or Gordy Merz 262-617-3924

Club News:

· Congratulations to the newest chapter of Walleyes For Tomorrow in Pewaukee on the success of their 1st fundraiser held in October on Pewaukee Lake. Watch for two future fundraisers they have I the works and try to support them.

Meeting Adjourned at Approximately 1:15 PM

The next WCSFO meeting is scheduled for March 15, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. at Gander Mountain 6939 South 27th Street Franklin, WI

Respectfully Submitted: Brenda Rosin-Schaff, Secretary

WDNR Note: 84% of Walleyes currently taken in Wisconsin are from natural reproduction.

Click Here – for pdf version of minutes

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Photos from the Kids Fishing Clinics 2014 #4

The Fourth batch of photos here was also supplied to us by: Brad Miller who from Walleyes Unlimited USA. Thanks again Brad and all those involved for sharing these photos with us.

Judging by the smiles on the faces and the size of some of these fish, it appears to have a very successful outing.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Photos from the Kids Fishing Clinics 2014 #3

The third batch of photos was  supplied to us by: Brad Miller who also represents Walleyes Unlimited USA. Thanks Brad for sharing the photos with us.


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Look at the size of that Perch!


Photos from the Kids Fishing Clinics 2014 #2

This second batch of photos was also supplied to us by: Brian Boelter from Walleyes Unlimited USA. Thanks Brian for all the great photos.

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Photos from the Kids Fishing Clinics 2014 #1

This first batch of photos was supplied to us by: Brian Boelter from Walleyes Unlimited USA. The event was held in southeastern Wisconsin on February 8.

The Kids not only learned about the fishing tackle, tying knots, baiting hooks and about the various fish, they even got the opportunity to catch them. And catch them they did. While checking out these fish, you’re going to see some that will make some of us old timers envious.

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