minocqua chain

Wisconsin DNR

Madison--The state Natural Resources Board has approved extending for one more year a catch-and-release walleye fishery on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes.

A zero bag limit, catch-and-release only season has been in effect for the past five years after fisheries scientists found a sharply declining walleye population.

The goal is to restore natural reproduction. DNR Northern Fisheries Supervisor Mike Vogelsang says in 2009 they noticed a sharp trend downward in walleye populations. He says prior to that time, there was good natural reproduction.

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The state Natural Resources Board Tuesday agreed with a preliminary DNR recommendation to limit the Minocqua Chain of Lakes to catch and release walleye fishing for one more year.

In 2015, with the approval of tribes in the ceded territory of Wisconsin, the state closed walleye harvest fishing on the chain after surveys revealed a population crash. The goal is to restock the popular chain to rebuild populations along with improving natural reproduction.

Greg Matzke

Perhaps more than any other fish, northern Wisconsin identifies with the walleye.

But walleye populations in many local lakes have been struggling.            

Some are even at risk of disappearing completely, as the populations are no longer naturally reproducing.

Fisheries biologists have had to get creative to try to address the problem, and they’re doing it in different ways in different parts of the Northwoods.

The Minocqua chain is a prime example.