Huger and other speculators: Please do some research on the WISCONSIN DNR website! Great information available (actual facts, not speculation). The DNR works hard to maintain and manage our resources. However, like so many employers, they are subject to "budget cuts" and government b.s. They are not a perfect organization but a very necessary one. FACT: Without the DNR, we would have little to no deer population. And, the same would go for fish populations. Generally speaking, give an inch and people will take their mile because they believe it is theirs first and foremost. Imagine that outcome. FACT: The Lake Winnebago system is one of the top walleye and whitebass fisheries IN THE NATION! How do you think it became this good? Can't be because of the DNR, can it? Please have a little faith in their service and enjoy the blessing of the resources that are available. Also, feel free to contribute to the sustainability of the resources whether that means reporting violators, volunteering or donating to conservation efforts, keeping or releasing any size fish (within the regulations), or picking up garbage on and off the water. These are a few ways to assist the DNR in maintaining and managing the resources.
Regarding the number of whitebass that should be kept... it is clear to me that there is absolutely no need to put a limit on whitebass. I personally view whitebass as a plague on the system, as they become annoying to me in the summer and I personally do not enjoy eating them. They can be fun to catch though (especially through the ice). Our high whitebass populations are excellent for the local economies, as many anglers enjoy catching them and eating them. Whitebass are a necessary evil in my opinion; however, as a walleye angler primarily, I have a theory (or speculation if you will ) that after the walleyes spawn and their fry hatch what species follows... those minnow eating machines... whitebass. The whitebass population is here to stay. You can try to put a dent in the population but you won't. No limit necessary. As a matter of fact, I have been considering keeping them for fertilizing the garden but I would be condemned so I won't.
Walleyes are very plentiful in the system, too. Many walleyes have been harvested year after year and guess what... they are still thriving and will continue to do so. Thank you DNR and others who contribute! I keep a lot of fish and eat a lot of fish. I have a large family. I keep several limits of walleyes throughout the year (never more than I need), and my family and I enjoy these rewards. I have heavily invested time, effort, and money into my passion for fishing (and so do many others), and I take great pride in the end result. What a process: Purchase necessary (or in my case excessive) equipment and supplies to catch fish, then I find fish (not always easy), then I have to catch them (not always easy), then I fillet the fish, then I prepare, cook and serve the fish to family and friends, and the best part of all... seeing the enjoyment on their faces and feeling that sense of pride in the investments I made.
Everything is going to be ok with regards to our local fishery! Take a deep breath and enjoy. Take a kid or ten (yikes) fishing and teach them some tricks and good conservation habits.
I personally do not know anyone (out of friends and family) who have kept more than their daily bag limit. If you know someone who is breaking the law, tell them to stop or report them. If you don't know them, don't confront them, just report them. I have reported a few people for double-dipping on the Fox in Appleton. I do agree that we could use more enforcement out there, but we gotta watch our budgets. Go Fish!
A concerned angler.