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ATTN: Wisconsin Trout Anglers


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I know many of you here fish in WI, so I figured you'd want to know about this....

At the April 10 spring conservation hearings, in every county in Wisconsin, voters will be asked whether to adopt a single, statewide trout regulation for every stream in the state:

Do you favor a single statewide trout regulation with a three-fish bag limit, minimum size of 7 inches?

Since all our Wisconsin coldwater streams, and their trout populations are alike, we ought to have a single regulation, right?

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress Executive Council and its Trout Study Committee. This is a statewide advisory question. Following the vote, the congress will decide whether to pass the question on to the DNR Fisheries staff for study and a recommendation for further action.

A noted Wisconsin fisheries biologist, now retired, asked recently, "why would you want to take the tiered system that's helped give the state its best trout fishing ever, and replace it with something like this?" Might have been rhetorical, I'm guessing.

You can find out where the hearing will take place in your county by checking out the DNR website http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/ . Voting will take place by electronic ballots, and you don't need to wait all night for this particular question to come up.

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The meetings take place in every county in the state the same night, the second Monday in April, (April 10 this year), beginning at 7 a.m. Voting will be by electronic ballot this year in all counties. Voters will have a chance to weigh in on both DNR questions (concerning specific rule changes and a couple advisory questions) and Congress advisory questions. Non-residents CAN vote on either type of questions, but CANNOT vote in selecting members of a county's WCC delegation.

The following language was adopted by the WCC Executive Council for an advisory question at its January meeting:


Create a Single Standardized Statewide Trout Regulation

In 1990, trout streams were grouped into five categories that allowed various streams and fisheries to be managed according to their biological potential. In 2003, the regulations were reviewed and modified to reduce the category number of four, simplify the regulations and continue to manage the streams dependent on their biological and physical capabilities.

While some anglers feel there is a need to manage trout streams on a category basis to optimize the fishery, there is concern by others that regulations are still too complicated and have driven fishers away fromthe sport of trout fishing. Although not supported by scientific evidence, some individuals feel that regulations may be responsible for the drop off in youth recruitment to the trout fishing ranks.

Would you support the standardization of a statewide trout regulation that would allow for a 3 bag trout limit with a seven inch size restriction? Yes___ No___

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The Category system in Wisconsin has been a key part of making trout fishing in the state some of the finest anywhere. A "one size fits all" regulation seems simply senseless to many of us, but there seems to be a set of folks who are automatically against anything the DNR is for - and they tend to show up and vote at the hearings. If quality trout fishing is important to you, you need to show up on this issue.

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