How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hunters, anglers endorse favorite proposals at spring hearings

By Jim Lee Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
MADISON — By more than a 2-to-1 margin, muskie anglers at last week's fish and game hearings endorsed the mandatory use of quick-strike rigs and a longer muskie fishing season in southern Wisconsin.

More than 3,400 people attended the hearings, which are sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Conservation Congress. The sessions, held in every county, allow public votes on proposed regulations governing hunting, fishing or trapping.

A quick-strike rig would be required when anglers are using live bait longer than 8 inches. A tool primarily of muskie anglers while fishing with suckers, it is touted as a way to increase the odds of releasing a muskie without injury.

Extending the muskie fishing season through Dec. 31 would apply only to waters in the southern zone, primarily south of U.S. 10.

Muskie and salmon anglers supported elimination of a maximum size for landing nets.

Results of the hearing will be presented to the Natural Resources Board at its May 23 meeting. Changes could be in place for the 2008 season.

Deer hunters supported requiring portable ground blinds on state lands to display at least a square foot of blaze orange visible from all sides and to require unattended ground blinds on state lands to contain the name and address of the owner.

Turkey hunters backed a DNR plan to reduce the number of turkey hunting zones to seven.

A proposal to prohibit the discharge of firearms on state lands outside hunting seasons was rejected by more than 200 votes.

Efforts to change waterfowl refuge areas on the Mississippi River were soundly defeated.

In other votes of statewide significance, attendees endorsed:

A Congress proposal to consider increasing open-water duck hunting opportunities and to extend Canada goose hunting in the Exterior Zone into December.

Allowing the use of slugs and buckshot for hunting wild hogs, coyote, fox and bobcat.

Requiring a background check for anyone seeking to become an angler education instructor.

Allowing the use of dogs in fall turkey hunting in Crawford, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon and Wood counties as an experiment.

Use of non-toxic shot in dove hunting was endorsed, but a related question asking if non-toxic shot should be required in all bird hunting (other than turkey hunting) on state lands, was rejected.
Jim Lee is an outdoors writer for Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers. E-mail him at


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