It’s been more than 20 years since the current DNR walleye management plan in Wisconsin was created.
A lot has changed since then including the current state of the walleye population.
“When we think about northern Wisconsin, there’s some very specific issues that walleye are facing that just didn’t exist in the 90s that we need to take into account with our plan. That includes lower rates of natural reproduction and more reliance on stocking,” said Max Wolter. Wolter is a fisheries biologist with the DNR and he’s the co-leader of the Wisconsin DNR walleye management team.
From stocking to habitat, the plan is the document the DNR uses to manage walleye in the state.
There will be a couple different ways people can give their input on the new plan. The DNR can’t do its normal public hearings because of COVID.
There is a public comment form on the DNR’s website.
“[The form] has kind of a list of questions that people can answer and also a place where people can leave comments for our planning team. This is where they can share their own walleye fishing experiences and the types of changes they might be hoping to see,” said Wolter.
It will also be hosting virtual hearings for different regions between now and February.
“This is where we’re really going to be hoping to sit down with some of the folks I mentioned like tourism, guides, bait shop owners, lake association leaders and really get into the nitty gritty on some of the things we could all work on together to improve walleye fishing in the area,” said Wolter.
The first regional meeting will be for Iron, Bayfield, Ashland, and Douglas counties on October 13th. You can email Wolter at firstname.lastname@example.org if you fall into one of the above mentioned groups and would like to participate.
The DNR hopes to have a draft of the plan available by next summer and the final version done by the end of next year.