DNR & Stakeholders Asking for Public Input on Walleye on Minocqua Chain

Nov 23, 2020

A DNR walleye monitoring crew member measures a walleye before releasing it. Because walleye monitoring on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes has been disrupted by COVID-19, the DNR seeks public input on next steps to protect the walleye population.
Credit Wisconsin DNR

Five years ago, the DNR put restrictions on walleye on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes.

Walleye populations had dropped significantly. In an attempt to revive the population, the walleye became catch and release only on the chain.

Since then, the population has recovered.

But the DNR isn’t sure if it’s recovered enough to lift that the catch and release regulations.

“We were supposed to do a very critical survey this past spring on Lake Tomahawk which is the largest lake on the chain and unfortunately due to COVID we weren’t able to get that survey completed. All of our staff was sidelined this spring,” said DNR Fisheries Supervisor Mike Vogelsang. “That survey would have really helped determine whether or not the chain was safe enough to open up to harvest.”

Vogelsang says the fisherman have been patient as the DNR and stakeholder have worked to restore the Walleye population.

“We don’t want to do things halfway. Along with that though, the anglers have really been supportive. We can’t always make everybody happy of course, but by and large a majority of the anglers have supported this and taken this under their wing. So we definitely appreciate that,” said Vogelsang.

The DNR along with the Minocqua Chain stakeholder group is seeking public input on a proposal to implement another year of catch and release.

Vogelsang says it takes five minutes to fill out the online form.

“The input provided by that survey will be put together with the information the stakeholder group is providing and their direction,” said Vogelsang. “Then the natural resources board will make a determination on that in early December.”

The public input survey closes a week from November 30. You can find the survey on the DNRs website.