DNR Would Like One Year Extension Of Walleye Protections On Minocqua Chain

Oct 17, 2019

Credit pixnio.com Engbretson Eric, USFWS

Some improvement has been reported but the DNR would like to extend protections for walleyes on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes for one more year.

The DNR will host a public informational session in Woodruff next week to discuss walleye management on the Minocqua Chain.

The meeting will give the public a chance to give opinions on a walleye rehabilitation plan, along with a recommendation to extend the catch and release regulation for one more year.

The adult walleye population on the Minocqua Chain has experienced a substantial decline that state and tribal fisheries biologists attribute to poor natural reproduction and low recruitment of young fish into the population. With tribal cooperation, they began a moratorium on adult harvest to restore the population.

DNR North District Fisheries Supervisor Mike Vogelsang says surveys were done last spring to monitor walleye populations..

"...We're seeing some really good results with the walleye stocking and zero harvest for anglers and spearers out there. But we're still missing the mark in a couple of areas and we're proposing extending the zero bag limit one additional year to allow those walleye populations to rebound a little better...."

Vogelsang says the low natural reproduction levels has caused concern...

"...It was a good year around the area for natural reproduction. Some of the other surveys on area lakes have shown really, really good results. We've got the adult numbers in the Minocqua Chain to do it, but we haven't seen any significant natural reproduction, just a few individuals..."

The walleye rehabilitation plan includes five years of no walleye harvest, no tribal walleye spearing and catch and release for anglers followed by five years of reduced walleye harvest by both anglers and spearers. The proposal would extend the moratorium one more year.

The meeting is set for Wednesday, October 23rd at 6 p.m. at the Woodruff town hall.