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Natural Resources Board approves emergency rule for walleye harvest on the Minocqua Chain


Anglers will be allowed to fish for walleye on the Minocqua Chain this year, but not for the opening weekend.

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved an emergency rule to allow for walleye harvest on the chain this year.

The chain has been catch and release for nearly a decade. It was set to go to a one walleye bag limit in 2025.

This year, the Lac du Flambeau Tribe harvested walleye during the spearing season. The DNR wanted to open the chain to the public for walleye fishing to “promote fair and equitable use of the walleye resource.”

Scott Loomans with the DNR says it will be a one walleye bag limit. The fish needs to be a minimum of 18 inches, but can’t be kept between 22 and 28 inches.

“The harvest strategy or the regulation that we're proposing is one that fisheries use when the goal is rehabilitation of a walleye fishery. That's still the goal for this fishery. It's a regulation that is in place on a couple other lakes in that county. It's one standard regulation type from fisheries toolbox for this purpose,” Loomans told the board.

As WXPR has previously reported, work to improve the walleye fishery on the Minocqua chain has been ongoing.

They’re still not seeing the natural reproduction they were hoping for.

Multiple stakeholder groups have been involved in the project including the DNR, the Lac du Flambeau Tribe, and the Walleyes for Tomorrow group.

Kurt Justice is a member of the Headwaters Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow.

“We had hoped that this was going to be a blueprint for us to be able to help fix other lakes. And so far, we still don't have all the answers. But we thank you for all the help from all the all the partners that helped us to get this far,” said Justice during public comment.

He told the board that since the tribe harvested this year, the group is in favor of opening it up to the public.

Loomans told WXPR there are still some statutory things that need to be done before the emergency rule can go into effect. It will likely go into effect at the end of next week.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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