DNR to host meeting in Burlington Monday night
Local anglers and others are invited to share their expectations for fishing for panfish in Wisconsin at a meeting set for Monday, March 4, at Burlington High School.
The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. in the school library on the second floor at 400 McCanna Parkway.
“We want to hear from the public on what they want from their panfishing experience to help guide us in developing a statewide plan for managing panfish populations,” said Joanna Griffin, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries specialist coordinating the effort.
The Burlington meeting and dozens like it throughout the state mark the opening phases of outreach efforts by DNR fisheries management to better connect with anglers in Wisconsin. These meetings will focus on panfish management although other local fishery concerns may be covered at the meetings, according to Griffin.
Attendees at the meeting will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire to help the DNR understand their concerns, issues and priorities for panfish. The questionnaire and background materials presented at the meeting will be available online in coming weeks.
The DNR has long had management plans in place for game fish species such as walleye, bass, musky and northern pike, and biologists and some anglers believe such attention is necessary for panfish.
“We know there have been proposals from the Conservation Congress in recent years and again this year to reduce the daily 25 fish limit on panfish on select lakes,” Griffin said. “Their concerns, along with our data analyses and modeling efforts, lead us to believe we need to take the next step and develop a management plan.”
As a category, panfish are by far the most common fish caught by anglers in Wisconsin although anglers report walleye as their favorite target. Wisconsin anglers reported catching 88 million fish in the 2006-07 license year, of which 57.7 million were panfish, according to a statewide mail survey done that year. About 25.7 million of those panfish were kept.
“We hope the feedback we get from anglers can help us understand whether to stay the course, or if they want changes in their panfishing experience that could require us to do something different, depending on the particular waterbody and its capabilities,” Griffin said.