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Holy Regulations Batman!

5/21/18 @ 3:44 PM
Keeping it Reel
Keeping it Reel
User since 4/8/16

So I'm planning a family fishing trip up North in a few weeks. I have a hand full of lakes picked out. I sat down and looked at size/bag limits for the species and various lakes. I hate to sound ungrateful, but regulation overload is upon us, my friends. 

To determine walleye regs on Tenderfoot, here's what you have to do: Go to page 63 for GENERAL REGULATIONS for walleye. But wait, you must go to page 11 CEDED TERRITORY REGS. Ok, got it figured out. What? See page 28 SPECIAL REGS BY COUNTY? OK, go there. No special regulations that I can see, but IT'S A WIS/MICH BORDER LAKE! Go to page 64. Confusion setting in. Someone get Dad a beer...

OK. I'm reasonably sure Tenderfoot is a 3 fish limit. Must be 15" but less than 20". 1 fish allowed over 24". That only took 20 minutes. 

Glug, glug, glug. Get Dad another beer, please. Only 4 more lakes to check. Not to mention bass, musky and panfish. Gonna be here awhile. 

5/22/18 @ 4:50 PM
User since 4/2/02
Every lake is so different as far as what it can handle, fish balance, fish growth opportunities etc....I don't mind specific regulations on each lake. There are some lakes up north that could really use a slot limit on pike or at least the 26 inch 2 fish limit that southern Wi. uses. The growth potential is high for good sized pike due to a number of circumstances....Instead, almost every lake up here has the exact same regulation. 5 pike kept. No size.  Not sure that makes sense to me. 

5/22/18 @ 2:43 PM
User since 7/30/16

To comment on Jerry's post, you also need the paper copy on state boundary waters, so if your on the Menominee river in the upper peninsula in the Iron Mountain area you need the paper copy.

5/22/18 @ 12:19 PM
User since 7/20/09

Always check ceded territory regulations for walleyes if fishing in the northwoods. I wouldn't even check the General Inland regs for that.

For anything else look at the General regulations.  Start with the county regs first, that is where you'll see your special rules like 10" crappies.  If nothing there then I know it falls under the general inland regulations.

If you do that it won't take 20 minutes per lake. Should take 1-2 minutes.  If you search online, open the ceded territory regs in one tab and the General regs in another.  Then you can flip back and forth quickly and also search the documents for your lake.  Once you get used to it, its pretty easy.

5/22/18 @ 10:32 AM
User since 10/1/05

It's so funny listening to some people on this subject. You get people who say "the regulations are too much!" then on the other hand (sometimes the same person) say "I wanna see a slot limit on X lake" or " I wanna see X minimum length on Lake X". Just saying!

As to actually answer your question, it lists Tenderfoot as a Boundary water in the ceded territory. It says right in the Ceded Territory Walleye Regs the following:

With the exceptions listed below, all inland lakes wholly or partially within, and all river segments within the Ceded

Territory have a daily bag limit of THREE walleye. The total statewide daily bag limit is five walleyes. In the Ceded

Territory no more than three walleye may be taken from any individual water, but you can fish other waters to fill your

statewide daily bag limit. While fishing, you cannot possess fish in excess of that lake or river’s daily bag limit.

Therefore, remember to remove all fish from your boat prior to fishing on a second lake or river.

In any Ceded Territory water NOT listed in this pamphlet, only walleye and sauger from 15”

but less than 20” may be kept, except one fish may be over 24”.


1 - Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters have a 3-fish daily bag limit and a 15” minimum size limit.

So you're fishing on a "3 at 15" minimum lake" is all you need to know. It's really not all that difficult.

5/22/18 @ 8:49 AM
MEMBER since 6/15/01

It's the responsibility of the license holder to know the rules and regulations...

trout regulations,  deer, ducks, etc... all require knowing them... and more complex

Would be better if Feds kept their nose out of it 

5/22/18 @ 8:01 AM
Keeping it Reel
Keeping it Reel
User since 4/8/16

As for walleye up North, I guess one should assume it's going to be Ceded Territory regulations but also check the Special Regs by county in case there's something different. I guess that's simple enough.

I wrote this to illustrate what someone unfamiliar with Wis. Fishing Regs has to do to be legally keeping a fish. (I CPR almost everything personally)

I was actually surprised to see some lakes have different rules for crappie vs panfish. I have no complaint about that, but I bet the average joe would assume crappie were panfish from a bag limit standpoint. And let's face it, Wardens usually don't give warnings.

5/21/18 @ 7:54 PM
Jerry Ruffolo
User since 6/18/01
I too feel your pain.  One of the most overlooked regs in the books is the requirement to carry a paper copy of your license while fishing the Great Lakes and tribs.

5/21/18 @ 4:50 PM
User since 2/19/15

I feel your pain. I usually try to get a good understanding but then when we get up north i always double check with our resort owner. Ours is a fisherman himself and so I trust him but otherwise the local baitshops should be able to help with all of the local "wrinkles". Good luck, tight lines and keep the beer flowing!

5/21/18 @ 4:40 PM
User since 7/9/12

Welcome to Regulation Nation!!

5/21/18 @ 4:39 PM
Annes Regret
User since 7/7/11
I feel your pain. One of many reasons I don't fish inland waters any more.

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