Walker Pushes Proposal To Increase Northern Wisconsin Walleye Stock


A proposal to dramatically increase the number of walleye stocked in northern Wisconsin lakes is getting good reviews.

It’s called the “Wisconsin Walleye Initiative” and is being pushed by Governor Scott Walker. It would increase lake stocking by up to 120,000 fingerlings a year. That would mean half a million of the 6-8 inch baby walleye would be stocked annually by 2016.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Cathy Stepp says it’s good news for resorts and anglers.

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“There is a need and a desire and demand for more walleye in the north. This is a great way to engage all of our partners. We’ve got private aquaculture, we’ve got tribal partnerships, we’ve got the state side of things. [It’s a] great opportunity for people to come together, and to make that strong commitment to move that issue forward and to continue to remain a destination location from around the country.”

The proposal would spend $8.2 million to expand state, private and tribal fish hatcheries and spend $500,000 a year to buy more walleye fingerlings. Stepp says this isn’t an olive branch to tribes, which have quarreled with the DNR over mining, night deer and wolf hunting and this spring, fish spearing and bag limits.

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Chairman Mic Isham says the increase sounds good.

“It’s all about the total number of fish in the lake. So if we have good walleye reproduction, an increase in bass or any information on the lake, that’s more of an important thing to fund than funding lawyers and fighting about it.”

Cable Chamber of Commerce director James Bolen says this is an aggressive proposal to reverse a trend of a decreasing walleye population.