DNR Spring Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress County Meetings
Monday, April 9, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Craig High School, Small Auditorium, 401 South Randall, Janesville, WI 53545
Jefferson High School, Cafeteria, 700 West Milwaukee Street, Jefferson, WI 53549

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QUESTIONS 6-7: Walleye regulations on Koshkonong Lake and the Rock River from the Indianford Dam to the Jefferson Dam in Jefferson/Rock Counties.

This proposal seeks to gather public input on the regulation of walleye, sauger and their hybrid on Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River from the Indianford Dam to the Jefferson Dam. Currently, these waters are managed at the statewide minimum length limit of 15 inches with a daily bag limit of 5. There is a year-round open season. These regulations attract high angling pressure, especially in the spring when the majority of other waters are closed. During a 2008-2009 creel survey, walleye were the species most frequently targeted by anglers. That creel survey showed above average catch and harvest rates of 61,396 walleyes caught and 19% or 11,455 of those fish harvested. Data collected from 2002 to 2016 showed average exploitation rates of 42%, which exceeds the widely accepted 35% maximum exploitation rate for sustainable walleye populations.
Recently, there has been local interest in exploring regulation changes to offer greater protection for this popular fishery. A three-fish daily bag limit and 18-inch size limit would provide that increased protection. A traditional open season instead of the current continuous season, but keeping the 5-fish bag and 15-inch size limits would also provide protection for the walleye population.
6. Do you favor increasing the minimum length limit for walleye, sauger and their hybrids from 15 inches to 18 inches and reducing the daily bag limit from 5 to 3 and maintaining the year round open season on Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River from the Indianford Dam to the Jefferson Dam? . YES____ NO_____
7. Do you favor a season closure during the standard gamefish closure for all gamefish on Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River from the Indianford Dam to the Jefferson Dam, but maintaining the 5 fish bag and 15-inch size limit for walleye, sauger and their hybrids?  YES____ NO_____

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress will hold its election of county delegates in each county. Upon completion of the delegate elections, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hold public hearings and informational meetings at the same locations. The purpose of this portion of the meeting will be to gather public input on fisheries and wildlife management related advisory questions, which are being asked in order to gauge public opinion. The Conservation Congress County Meeting will convene following the close of the DNR informational meeting. Immediately following the close of the Conservation Congress County Meeting, the WCC delegates (including those newly elected) will meet to elect the county delegation’s chair and vice-chair.

This hearing is not a debate but rather an opportunity for public input. Everyone will be given an opportunity to comment on the questions, but you will be limited to a maximum of three (3) minutes for each question that you wish to discuss. If comments become repetitive, the hearing officer may limit comments to issues not previously presented. Written comments on all DNR advisory questions will be accepted until April 9, 2018.
Comments on DNR advisory questions may be submitted to the agency contact person no later than April 9, 2018:
• Fisheries Rule Coordinator, Scott Loomans, 101 South Webster St. PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 266-5206, scott.loomans@wisconsin.gov
• Wildlife Rule Coordinator, Scott Karel, 101 South Webster St., PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 267-2452, scottr.karel@wisconsin.gov.

Written comments, whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail, will be summarized for the Natural Resources Board, however, they will not be tallied along with the votes received at the county hearings.