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.
People hoping to keep a violent child sex offender from moving into their Forest County community needed to go to Shawano County to make their case today. Newswatch 12's Dakota Sherek is there and will bring you updates on what happens at the hearing and the judge's ruling which we expect tonight.
We talk to two local resource officers about how their jobs have changed over the years. Some of that change has happened because of school violence across the country and right here in the Northwoods.
And we talk to the executive director of the Birkebeiner race in Hayward about the enthusiasm people in the area have with the big event coming up this weekend.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer. Those same attractions get some people to stay here. Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin. A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady.
MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.
Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.
For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.
This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.
"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."
HAYWARD - Trail conditions for this year's American Birkebeiner race will be just about perfect.
Executive Director Ben Popp said there's about a six inch base, three inches of snow on top, and more snow on the way in the Hayward area.
"The energy right now is just unreal. You can feel it here in Hayward and Cable and certainly around the world. Now with a gold medal, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, brings more excitement to not only this event, but the sport. So it's a really great time to be a cross country skier," said Popp.
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