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.
ONEIDA COUNTY - If your truck cracks through the ice, your first thought might be, "get off ASAP."
There are workers who head the opposite way--onto the ice to help.
That describes one local team who carefully went to work on the Willow Flowage in Oneida County in Little Rice on Tuesday.
"This ain't no joke out here," said Tom Quandt, Jr., the owner of Bulldog Off-Road Recovery Service. "I do get nervous, and today's a day I'm nervous because of the ice conditions."
That nervous energy is what likely helps Quandt and his crew carefully cross the ice and get sunken vehicles back above water level.
It's not easy. Quandt and his crew set nerves aside, driving in a bombardier about two miles off the shore on Willow Dam Road to get to the truck, which was near an island.
"I was looking at the ice," Quandt says as he describes the drive out to the car. "I was looking for holes in the ice, I was looking for the color of the ice...There was water coming up out of spots as we were driving out here."
The crew tried a few times to get the truck back on safer ice, but the car fell through again. The crew then decided to drill a trench to a nearby island and pull the car out that way.
"We can sit and play that game all day and it's not going to get us anywhere without a lot of time and labor into this," Quandt said.
The team got the car out and onto the island around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Quandt said the owner of the car may try to tow his truck back to shore later this week.
The DNR is aware of the situation. By state statute, you have 30 days to remove your car from the ice or get a fine.
MCALLEN, TX - U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is visiting the Rio Grande valley for a firsthand look at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Trump administration steps up immigration enforcement and prepares to ask Congress to pay for a border wall.
It's the first time the Wisconsin Republican has visited the border, and protests have been announced to meet his arrival in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday.
RHINELANDER - If you did a double take driving down county highways this week, it was for good reason. Oneida County posted its weight limit restriction signs Monday. That's the earliest those signs have gone up in more than 15 years.
Usually weight limits go into effect in mid-March. Counties put them on to protect roads as frost comes out of the ground. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek tried to wait as long as possible.
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