I am proposing two rule changes during the spring hearings after extensive talks with several local bait shop owners. There is extreme concern over pan fish limits by these men and I agree, Right now it is difficult to find a lake in east central Wisconsin where you can go and catch quality pan fish on a consistent basis. I have watched the total collapse of pan fish fisheries on Fox Lake and Lake Emily and despite the protests of a vocal few that have claimed everything from pelican diets to water lice infestations and protest because 25/10 limits don't provide them enough fish for a meal, I am going through with this proposal. I am doing it for the future of the resource. I want the kids I taught to be able to catch decent pan fish in the wonderful lakes we have in east central Wisconsin. As technology improves, even the novice fisherman can become an effective fisherman that can easily harvest too many pan fish. I have also been given the excuse that local businesses will suffer as a result of these proposals but I contend that businesses are struggling now as few fisherman are venturing to this area to pan fish any more because of the lack of productive lakes.
These two proposals are aimed at improving the pan fish populations and giving anglers an opportunity to harvest smaller northern pike. Large game fish can be contaminated by mercury and heavy metals in Wisconsin. All large game fish are under a mercury warning in Wisconsin. Here are the proposals. Lake Emily is not included as the DNR already has oked a pan fish restriction and a reduction in the pike size limit.
Pan fish bag limit decrease proposaI
We are proposing a reduction in the allowable bag limit of pan fish from the current limit of 25 to the 25/10 limits on some lakes in Wisconsin. There are currently no lakes in the three counties we wish to decrease the numbers in that have a reduced bag limit. This proposal applies to lakes that have historically produced large panfish but due to over harvest have had the numbers drastically reduced. These lakes see a lot of pressure on the resource especially during the ice fishing season. This proposal aligns with the goals set for forth by the Pan fish Management Team on the 10 year Strategic Plan For Managing Wisconsin’s Pan fish. I have received support from Travis Motl, Dodge county fisheries biologist, and Dave Bartz, Green Lake and Marquette county fisheries biologist on these proposals.
The counties and lakes included in the proposal are: Dodge County-Fox Lake. Green Lake County- Big Green Lake, Grand Lake (Kingston Mill Pond), Little Green Lake, Big and Little Twin Lake, and Spring Lake. Marquette County- Buffalo Lake , Montello Lake, and Lake Puckaway.
Northern slot proposal
I am proposing a reduction in the size limit of northern pike from the 26” and 32” size limits on Kingston Mill Pond (Grand Lake) in Green Lake County and Fox Lake (Dodge County) respectively. I am proposing a 3 fish limit with 2 fish limit between 20-26” and a 1 over 36”. Every large old fish in Wisconsin is under a mercury advisory. The older they are , the greater the chance of having high levels of mercury in them. Reducing the population of northern pike would relieve some pressure on the prey fish populations and allow more growth of the remaining pike. This proposal has received approval from Greg Sass, lead fisheries biologist for the state of Wisconsin, Travis Motl, Dodge county fisheries biologist and Dave Bartz, Green Lake county fisheries biologist.