NORTHWOODS - Bass fishermen now think of Northwoods lakes as great fishing water. But twenty years ago, that wasn't the case. It was bad enough, the DNR voted to push the start of bass season from early-May to mid-June. That keeps spawning fish from being harvested.
But now, the DNR wants to let people catch and keep largemouth bass in early May once again. Eagle Sports Owner George Langley has been selling fishing gear for over 3-decades.
He's aware of how mediocre bass fishing used to be before the current rule.
"It just was not a large factor, everybody fished for walleye, and they fished for musky of course and northerns. We now have a world-class bass-fishery up here and it's because of the present regulations so why change it?"
DNR fisheries biologist John Kubisiak can see why people don't want a change. But on some lakes, the regulations might hurt the largemouth bass quality.
"The concern with the catch and release season going off isn't that we're going to harvest too many bass. It's that we're going to find the biggest fish in the lake and remove them. So trying to find a balance where there are enough special rules, but not over doing it where you don't know the ruling on any individual water."
If you want to voice your opinion on bass-fishing---attend your county's Spring Fish and Wildlife Public Hearing on April 8th.
Check out the link below to learn about other topics the DNR will cover at this year's public hearing.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
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