This just came up this weekend on Lac Vieux Desert. PK and I made an effort to show up Thursday because March first was the very last day for game fish on this border lake with Michigan. We had a blast catching both pike and bluegills. Friday we hit two inland Wisconsin lakes hoping for more, but barely caught anything. We went back to LVD Saturday with perch rigs and began catching pannies when a guy pulled up, and dropped big golden shiners down on tip ups. When he pulled a nice pike out and left it flopping on the ice I went over with the reg book in hand and he was grateful for the heads up, and slid the pike back down the hole. I was polite about the whole thing and he was polite back thanking me, and mentioning how big the fine might have been. Years back, a snowmobile pulled up and a Michigan warden checked us out. He said a Wisconsin warden also makes rounds on the lake.
US - I would think border waters would be March 15th. Would eliminate confusion, and allow anglers more opportunities. Those fish aren’t even close to spawn right now and there’s gotta be 30 inches of ice. Your basically in The U.P. while on those waters. Match 1st is really surprising. Even earlier than either state’s close? Hmmm.
That’s interesting. Must be frustrating because those are waters you fish.
To compound matters, looks like he went through by a river entrance.
Guy who died went through was an older gentleman on Lake Noquebay. People were driving vehicles driving all over the lake as well as area lakes.I heard he went through driving on a frequently utilized path. Just proves that no ice is safe ice. Haven't seen any news articles on it, just know some people out that way that knew the guy.
That being said, putting in a fishing regulation to get people not to drive out seems ridiculous so I doubt that is the reason. I don't chase game fish so I like the season closing early, significantly fewer people crowding the lakes from here on out I'd have to agree that it'd make more sense to keep it open an extra couple weeks though.
"The U.P is open for game fish until March 15. I think that's a good starting point for Vilas and Oneida Co."
I fish the Boundary Waters of the Cisco Chain during the winter, almost exclusively. What frustrates me is that WI closes the first Sunday in March, MI closes the 15th of March and the Boundary Waters closes the 1st of March. I've emailed both DNRs asking for change in regulations, but have run across nothing but, "it's not that simple" and "you should request a reg change through the Conservation Congress".
I 100% agree, the 15th of March would make perfect sense for the Northern Zone (north of Hwy 10). Ice safety is always a concern, no matter if you're fishing in January or March, but just as in open water,it's up to angers to make the choice to fish or not.
Very sorry to hear this. Always hard to hear of an ice fishing accident or fatality.
I hear what you are saying, but I think it's best left for people to personally decide ice safety risks. But, you may be onto something with your point.
There's just so much ice out there right now. It'll get soft eventually, but for now, it's great ice. Yesterday where I was my ION got buried with only an inch or two to spare while drilling. Very solid ice too. Just such a difference climate wise in our state. Not sure why the game fish regs are the same for opening and closing season throughout. The U.P is open for game fish until March 15. I think that's a good starting point for Vilas and Oneida Co.
I don’t know what the justification is for it...but a pretty harsh counterpoint to the ice amount argument is that a guy died on a lake in the Northern Zone over the weekend. This time of year 30 inches of ice is usually different than the 30 inches you’ll find in early February.
If closing the season now means that people put away their gear and won’t venture out in changing or bad conditions then I’ll be more than happy to feel inconvenienced if it means someone will be going home at the end of a day instead of in the ground. If that is one of the justifications for it just remember, it wasn’t put in place for those of us who won’t put ourselves in danger...laws are more often than not put in place to protect idiots from bringing about their own demise.
This is the time of year where I really wish the northern zone would allow game fish until March 15 or the third Sunday of the month or something similar. We have so much ice...fish are far behind the southern Wi. fish as far as spawning etc...I would think.
The justification must be either:
A. Keep the regulations simple.
B. The ice season in northern Wi is long enough. Enough fish have been harvested.
C. Protection from the spawn.
I can understand B. For Point A, I would argue that with cell phones, a reg book, and signs at many launches, A should not be an issue. Plus, the northern zone already has differences with bass and muskie etc..everyone seems to understand those differences.
I laid out my argument for C above. I would also question why it's ok to fish for pan fish all year everywhere and not game fish for two whole months? Why are pan fish not protected at all, but game fish have 2 months off....seems like it should be one way or the other for all fish...or at least narrow the gap a little bit.
Just thinking out loud. We all have our opinions. So much ice though. 30 inches in spots. Seems a shame to limit fishing to just pan fish now up here.