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Dick Ellis Blog:
10/9/2019
Fall brings with it something for everyone in the field from the angler to the hunter.  Just a few recent sessions of shooting the bull tell me that autumn is for the youngest of outdoorsman just learning the games to those of us more seasoned with our eyes focused dead ahead on for example, the whitetail rut. James Wallace captured this great buck on trail camera during summer scouting. James Wallace, my nephew-in-law (is there such a ...
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DNR sets public hearing in Ashland for emergency rule on Lake Superior lake trout

http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4151 

ASHLAND, Wis. - A public hearing on an emergency rule to support continued recovery of lake trout populations in Lake Superior will be held by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland.

The emergency rule reflects recent research findings and provides for different harvest levels in two Lake Superior fisheries zones based on lake trout abundance in those areas, said Terry Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor. The emergency rule was approved by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board at its December meeting.

The recreational season for lake trout started Dec. 1, 2016 and runs through Sept. 30, 2017. The commercial fishing season is open from Nov. 28, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017.

Under the new rule, in the area known as WI-2 extending east of Bark Point, only two lake trout may be harvested per day. In WI-2, lake trout must be greater than 15 inches and only one may be greater than 25 inches. If the recreational harvest reaches 7,350 fish or 75 percent of the total allowable recreational lake trout harvest of 9,800 fish, the recreational lake trout season will close with no further harvest or fishing for lake trout allowed in the WI-2 area.

West of Bark Point, in the area known as WI-1, the current three fish daily bag limit will remain for lake trout with a 15 inch minimum size limit and only one lake trout may be harvested over 25 inches. Even if the recreational season closes east of Bark Point, up to three lake trout per day may continue to be harvested west of Bark Point.

The emergency rule separates lake trout from the current five fish total daily bag limit for trout on Lake Superior. Under the rule, anglers will be able to take up to two (WI-2) or three (WI-1) lake trout per day as well as up to five other trout per day. So, for example, the new rule will allow anglers to harvest five brown trout plus a total of up to three lake trout per day.

"The new rule lowers the minimum length to 15 inches to account for hooking mortality," Margenau said. "A recent study determined lake trout hooking mortality was higher than previously thought. We wanted to account for higher mortality by allowing anglers the opportunity to keep smaller fish that may not survive. The minimum length for this year's rule is similar to that for WI-1. The minimum length for lake trout last year was 20 inches."

The rule also revises harvests for commercial fishers and prohibits previously allowed fishing in the Gull Island refuge. However, because of agreements among the parties to the Lake Superior Fishing Agreement, the rule also removes restrictions from the Hagen's Beach area, opening this area to commercial fishing between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2016.

The rule was developed with public input including two public meetings in October 2016, additional comments and participation in an online survey. The public hearing on the emergency rule will be held January 19 at 6 p.m. at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, 29270 Highway G, Ashland.

The rule may be reviewed at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code by searching for "FH-17-16(E)." Comments on the emergency rule must be received on or before Jan. 19, 2017. Written comments may be submitted by email to Terry.Margenau@iwsconsin.gov or sent by mail to: Terry Margenau, P.O. Box 589, Bayfield, WI 54814-0589.

For more on the rule development process for lake trout in Lake Superior, visit dnr.wi.gov and search "Lake Superior fisheries management."