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DNR Board Finalizes New Walleye Bag Limits

State Tribes Oppose The Change

walleye monitoring
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Management (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Rules for walleye bag limits on some northern Wisconsin lakes have been made final over a tribal group’s objections.

The state’s Natural Resources Board has updated emergency rules passed last spring that establish a daily bag limit of three walleyes on most state waters where Ojibwe tribes have retained spearfishing rights. The Department of Natural Resources said the permanent rule gives sport anglers more certainty about those lakes.

Sokaogon tribal chair Chris McGeshick of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission asked the board to delay the rule. He said more research is needed, and many tribal anglers fish to feed their families.

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“We are looking to harvest those fish for subsistence purposes. It’s not to generate somebody to go out there to catch and release fish,” McGeshick said.

But the DNR board passed the rule after hearing staff advice that the item needed approval now, so state lawmakers could review the rule in time for next spring’s fishing season.