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Swearingen-Gudex "Fish Sticks" Bill Goes To The Governor


An idea from a Northwoods lake group will likely become law in a few days.

Tuesday, a bill authored in the Assembly by Representative Rob Swearingen would remove civil liability from property owners placing DNR-permitted structures in navigable waters and wetlands.

Swearingen says groups were interested in improving fishing habitat but were reluctant to do so, fearing liability. He was approached locallyto get into the DNR-sanctioned program called "Fish Sticks"...

"....I was approached by the Lake George Association in Rhinelander because there was some movement where they wanted to take advantage of a DNR program called "Fish Sticks"......you would drop a tree into the water and cable it properly. This would be DNR permitted. The tree sits in and out of the water so it would be fully exposed. Obviously it creates a new fish habitat similar to what a fish crib would be...."

Swearingen says the groups feared lawsuits if an accident would occur. He says they used language designed to remove liability from people placing buoys in waterways and adapted it to this bill. The state Senate has passed the bill and it will go on to the Governor for his consideration.

In the Senate, the bill was authored by  Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac.

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