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Statewide Fisheries Management Advisory Question 1.

3/28/18 @ 5:41 PM
ORIGNAL POST
n.pike
n.pike
User since 4/2/02

Thoughts?

QUESTION 1: Establish a statewide, continuous open season for bass fishing but allow harvest only during the current traditional season Some people have expressed an interest in increasing fishing opportunity by allowing year-round fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Under current rules, bass fishing is generally allowed during the traditional fishing season that begins on the first Saturday in May and continues through the first Sunday in March and is closed for two months in early spring. Many rivers, their impoundments, and Lake Winnebago currently have a continuous open season. There is already a catch-and-release season for smallmouth bass in the northern bass zone that begins on the first Saturday in May and continues through the Friday preceding the third Saturday in June. Our surrounding states do not have closed seasons for bass. The current closed season does not protect bass from fishing pressure during their May to June spawning season and is not needed for that purpose. A catch-and-release bass season in March and April is not expected to result in an increase of bass mortality. A catch-and-release bass season could make it more difficult to enforce the closed season for other species such as walleyes and northern-pike during March and April. However, possession of bass, walleyes, or northern-pike would continue to be prohibited and would continue to be readily enforceable by conservation wardens. 1. Do you favor establishing a statewide, continuous open season for bass fishing but allow harvest only during the current traditional season? 1. YES____ NO_____

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4/12/18 @ 6:52 PM
n.pike
n.pike
User since 4/2/02

The WDNR took care of the wording is my understanding. 

I would have to believe that some public individuals or groups in the bass fishing community have expressed interest in this and possibly communicated with the WDNR at some point. 


I know in 2013, legislator Joel Kleefisch introduced AB 6 which aimed to create a catch and release bass fishing during the closed season. 


I’m excited about the possibilities and have confidence in the WDNR that they’ll take care to proceed wisely, while strongly considering the possibilities of implementing this public recommendation. 




4/11/18 @ 9:46 PM
Ulbian
User since 9/24/03

Do you know the origin of this question? Meaning...was it brought up by the public or by the WDNR? 

Since it did pass the statewide advisory vote it’ll now head back to the warm water committee. Any odd language in it can and will be cleaned up and more than likely it will show up on next year’s ballot as a rule change question. If it passes then, in 2019, it’ll be a regulation change that takes effect in 2020. Or...if the need to change the wording is quite high it could return as a modified advisory question and set it back a year. This doesn’t fit into the category of an emergency rule change it won’t get fast tracked the way some things do. That’s when the WDNR can step in and make an “emergency” change to a proposal. 

The process does seem a bit inefficient but at least we have a say in things. Other states don’t allow you to provide input and make proposals yourself. 

4/11/18 @ 4:18 PM
n.pike
n.pike
User since 4/2/02

2995 voted Yes. 2554 voted No.

49 counties approved. 21 rejected. 2 tied. 

Now, the DNR will likely discuss this topic internally and consider this potential regulation change knowing that the public had more Yes than No votes. 

3/31/18 @ 8:38 AM
nihsif
nihsif
MEMBER since 6/15/01

a "few" years ago, bass season didn't open until June... bass fishing seems better now than it was then... but I am guessing it's more about C&R becoming more the norm for bass fishers, than about seasonal dates by the DNR... that observation is all I have, I don't really care about one way or the other about changing anything unless the DNR presents it as an option

3/30/18 @ 10:14 PM
n.pike
n.pike
User since 4/2/02

Is there really a strong biological reason to have a closed season where catch and release is not allowed? 

With spawning times for game fish varying so much, and catch and release generally resulting in fish returning to waters unharmed, I’d have to say no. I think it’s a mind set more than anything. Because we’ve always had the opening day, we are just used to that 2 month break for the fish where no fishing is allowed. But, maybe it’s time to rethink the “Why” that catch and release is not allowed and ask ourselves if it’s time to follow the states around us and give it a shot. I agree, all gamefish catch and release would be easier to enforce than just bass,  but bass would at least be a start.

And, there is a lake up here I fish that has walleye open all year. 28 inch limit though, so essentially catch And release. A few people are out there chasing walleyes in March and April, but not many.  Catch and release just isn’t appealing to everyone. Even musky is open year round on this lake. I havem’t ever seen anyone target them in March or April either.

So, if we do eventually open Up game fish to catch and release in March and April, I still think it would be just a slim fraction of the total fishing statewide in any given year. 

But, I can totally respect people who would vote “no” on this. And I can definitely respect their reasons for voting no. I just think, in general, more fishing opportunities are always good, and if you can do it while protecting and respecting the resource, it’s a win-win. I’m guessing that, the overwhelming majority of people who would be the ones catching and releasing game fish during March and April would be very careful when handling a fish and doing their best to assure a proper release and would be very respectful of the resource and opportunity. 


3/29/18 @ 4:24 PM
n.pike
n.pike
User since 4/2/02

About catching bass on the ice,  I do agree that it can be somewhat rare. And, they seem lethargic, and they really don’t put up too much of a fight. And in an average ice fishing situation, it’s a whole lot easier to catch a pike for me than a bass on almost any water. Bass can be really hard to find or are just not hungry. 

But Jaybee’s story is one I certainly believe. There are certain bass opportunities on the ice that are fantastic. Tip ups or jigging.  I never really believed this to be the case, until I experienced it myself. 

There is a very strong bass population in northern Wisconsin. 

In many lakes, bass are the only predator fish. 

Even in southern Wisconsin, I remember catching bass ice fishing on a construction pit pond and it was somewhat common to get quite a few in a day. 

If our surrounding states can have this fishing opportunity without a whole lot of problems, I think we can as well.  Another option is just to have all game fish open like some of your mentioned-catch and release only.  I fished pike, where legal, in April before. Seemed to be a struggle for me.  Really hard to do. Crummy weather. Just not that fun. Really, I think the Majority of fishing in Wisconsin will always be during the ice when you can keep game fish, and in the summer months anyways.   Even now today in Vilas County, as I drive around, the lakes are pretty empty.   Most people are just done.  Adding a catch and release Bass season wouldn’t change that in my opinion.  Fisheries would survive just fine.  But it would give the few of us who want to give catch and release for bass a shot, that opportunity. 

All my opinion guys. This has been an interesting thread and I appreciate all the comments both for and against this proposal.








3/29/18 @ 2:37 PM
Mr.Bass1984
Mr.Bass1984
User since 6/12/10

Bass fishing on most of the lakes I fish in Illinois and Michigan is as good if not better than the lakes I fish in the state of Wisconsin without all of the regs.  I don't think closing it down in these colder spring months makes a difference considering bass don't really spawn until May/June anyway.

3/29/18 @ 2:35 PM
Ulbian
User since 9/24/03

To keep things simple you either have a catch and release season for all gamefish or close it. As it stands now there are plenty of muskie anglers who “pike/bass” fish before Memorial Day north of Hwy 10. Low profile baitcasters, lighter rods, heavy line...sure, they’re not chucking 9 inch baits but they sure as heck aren’t targeting bass or pike. Only opening it for one species but not for three others creates an enforcement headache. Open it for all or close it for all. 

Comparing a C&R season for warm water species to an early C&R season for trout doesn’t work. Trout streams don’t have the species diversity that lakes do. You’re not using spinners and spoons to catch chubs or suckers. Not much of an opportunity for an incidental catch of something that has a closed season. 

3/29/18 @ 1:52 PM
badgerbass
User since 8/20/07

I would have no problem with a catch and release season for all gamefish...and make it artificial baits only.

Bass is a no brainer...changes nothing for enforcement, you currently cant possess a gamefish, if its a c and r season you still cant possess a gamefish. Catch, photo and release

3/29/18 @ 1:41 PM
jaybeeturtle
User since 3/17/06

True story, USAbrams. The last time I went ice fishing at the end of February, I was fishing for jumbo perch but instead caught 26 smallie and 10 largemouth on jig rod and 2 tip downs. No perch landedbut the smallie put up a fun fight on the perch noodle rod! Lake is completely overpopulated by bass. I  kept the 5 smallest I could, 14 to 15 inches.    The warden came by and gave me a pat on the back for that. He knows there is too many bass in the lake

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