Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

State Roundup

Dean Bortz

Wisconsin Editor

THINGS ARE SHAPING UP for this to be a great year for
late-winter panfishing. As of late last week, we were still making
ice in northern Wisconsin, believe it or not. Daytime highs above
freezing have burned off much of the snow cover on most lakes, but
overnight lows were hitting the single digits and low teens ’Äì
perfect conditions for keeping lake access points firmed up while
also providing great ice travel conditions.

Most area lakes had at least 30 inches of ice as of late last
week. Panfishermen are having a great time; they can travel
anywhere in search of fish. We should have good ice for at least
two weeks from March 28 forward, and probably even three.

DNR SECRETARY MATT FRANK called a meeting on March 14 to
’Äúdiscuss strategy on efforts to ban baiting and feeding,’Äù
according to a couple of e-mails that arrived at Wisconsin Outdoor
News world headquarters here in Arbor Vitae. It doesn’Äôt sound as
if any concrete plans came out of the meeting, with Frank was more
or less looking to continue discussions on a baiting and feeding
ban, especially in light of a Conservation Congress advisory
question on the April 14 spring hearing agenda, and the bovine TB
troubles in Minnesota and Michigan.

According to a recent report in Michigan Outdoor News, a sister
publication, three deer outside of Michigan’Äôs TB zone are
believed to be TB-positive. Perhaps an indication the disease is
moving? Also, those attending Frank’Äôs meeting learned that
Minnesota’Äôs strain of bovine TB is from Mexico, so it most likely
was brought in by livestock, not transferred to livestock from wild
deer.

THE LATEST WORD ON TRIBAL WALLEYE QUOTAS ’Äì and an unofficial
one at that ’Äì is that the Lac du Flambeau tribe will stick with
its agreement with the state that calls for the tribe to set
walleye spearing quotas low enough to allow a three-walleye bag
limit on the lakes it has named for harvest this spring.

Earlier ramblings on a tribal news website said Lac du Flambeau
would declare all of the walleyes available to the tribe, leaving
hook-and-line anglers with a zero bag limit. There has been no word
from the DNR yet as to when the agency expects to announce 2008
limits.

SPORTSMEN SHOULD ATTEND the two remaining public meetings on the
land access requirement in the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship
reauthorization. Outdoor groups fear that land trusts will push for
restrictions on hunting access. The two meetings both begin at 6
p.m. and are April 3 at the RCU Corporate Center, Eau Claire River
Room, 200 Riverfront Terrace, Eau Claire, and April 8 at DNR
Headquarters, Lake Michigan Community Conference Room, 2984 Shawano
Ave., in Green Bay. For more information, go to www.wisducks.org to read the
Gathering Waters statement.

WE’ÄôLL SEE YOU AT THE DEER AND TURKEY EXPO in Madison on April
4-6. Ad rep Dan Durbin
and I, along with a few of the other usual suspects, will be
manning the Wisconsin Outdoor News booth at the show. Stop by to
say howdy, and to renew that subscription.

GOV. JIM DOYLE has appointed agriculture proponent Gary Rohde,
of River Falls, to the Natural Resources Board. Rhode served as the
secretary of DATCP from 1976 to 1981, and as dean of the UW-River
Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences from
1981 to 1999. At least Gov. Doyle appears to finally be listening
to sportsmen. Now, if we could just get the legislators to pass
some of our bills ’Ķ

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