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June 25, 2019

5/4/2019 7:30:00 AM
Results from Spring Hearings released
Jacob Friede
Of The Lakeland Times

The results from the 2019 Department of Natural Resources Spring Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearing and Wisconsin Conservation Congress county meetings have been released.

Over 10,500 people provided input from across the state - 3,302 in person and 7,310 online - and there was heavy favor for change on a number of topics of local interest including bass and musky fishing.

The state as whole supported consistent Michigan-Wisconsin boundary water regulations for largemouth bass, meaning a continuous open season with harvest only permitted during the traditional open season.

The state also favored allowing conservatively regulated bass lakes to temporarily allow a 14-inch minimum size limit and a five fish catch-and-release bag limit so tournaments could be held.

As far as musky fishing, Wisconsinites were in favor of extending the Northern Zone Fishing season, on open water only, through December. They were also in favor of changing the opening date of the musky season on all Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters from May 15 to June 1, and establishing a minimum 50-inch size limit on musky on those waters.

Though the vote was close, one proposition voted down was creating a catch-and-release musky season during the closed harvest season (Jan. 1-May 31) on Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.

On other topics, state survey respondents were in favor of increasing the setback from fields to trout streams to 30 feet, conducting a pilot CWD Pay for Positives program for the 2019 deer season, and restoring the traditional deer tagging requirements.

Additionally, the state, as a whole, was in favor of a state-wide baiting and feeding ban, as well as not permitting anyone under 10 to obtain a hunting license. Wisconsinites also voted in favor of allowing high schools to construct temporary, lead-free, shooting ranges for trap shooting teams that don't have access to one.

State respondents were not in favor of a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle.

Six local citizen resolutions were also passed, four in Vilas County and two in Oneida.

In Vilas County, resolutions to reduce the brook trout size limit on Elvoy Creek to eight inches, increase the musky size limit on Presque Isle Lake to 50 inches, change the opening of the musky season to the fist Saturday in May, and remove the largemouth bass size limits on Buckatabon Lakes all passed.

In Oneida County, resolutions to change the opening of the musky season to the first Saturday in May and make trolling laws consistent statewide both passed.

All six local citizen resolutions that passed will be assigned to an advisory committee for further review and may then, if they pass those committees, be referred to the District Leadership Council. If the council passes them then they will be placed on next year's questionnaire as advisory questions.

For full results, including a county by county breakdown, visit and keyword search "Spring Hearing."

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