Lake trout harvest outlook, fish population data among topics on agenda
ASHLAND, Wis. -- Anglers, commercial fishers, conservation stakeholders and interested citizens are encouraged to attend a public meeting hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Dec. 1 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland to discuss Lake Superior fisheries management plans including the lake trout harvest outlook for 2015.
For the coming year, lake trout population assessments show lower numbers of fish will meet the minimum size range of 15 inches, although models indicate that relatively strong lake trout reproduction in 2008 and 2009 should result in higher fish numbers and harvest quotas beginning in 2016. Public input is being sought to identify local fisheries issues and discuss management objectives as well as opportunities and challenges. The meeting aims to ensure all aspects of the fishery are considered and increase awareness of the resource.
"We look forward to exploring management options with the public and we welcome diverse viewpoints from stakeholders," said Bill Cosh, DNR spokesman. "We appreciate the vital role lake trout play in the region's economy as well as Lake Superior's ecology and we will use the public comments and latest scientific findings in our continuing efforts to sustain and enhance the fishery."
For the 2015 season, DNR anticipates reduced limits that will affect commercial, recreational and tribal anglers. A temporary rule will be proposed to cover the season for commercial and recreational anglers while long-term sustainability is discussed among stakeholders.
The Dec. 1 public meeting in Ashland will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (exit DNR), 29270 County Highway G, Ashland, WI 54806.