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How Will Walleye Bag Limits Affect Guides?Submitted: 03/20/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

How Will Walleye Bag Limits Affect Guides?
MINOCQUA - Fishing tourism puts money in many pocketbooks in the Northwoods. For those who depend on that revenue lowered walleye bag limits are a big concern.

Both the DNR and local Chippewa tribes say they want a better agreement when it comes to walleye and managing resources. Until that happens though, towns that depend on fishing tourism could take a hit.

The links between the lakes and the economy are complicated to say the least. Still for fishing guides like Russ and Jake Smith of Minocqua, the conditions of the lakes and the populations of fish have a clear economic impact.

"I can remember when all the motels were full," said Russ Smith, "And all the bait shops were very busy… restaurants. It's a snowballing effect. It affects everybody when the fish population and the bag limits are down and people go other places."

The science of caring for fisheries is much more complicated. Life would be easy if the lakes held an unlimited number of walleye. But DNR fisheries expert John Kubisiak knows those desires can't always be met.

"You can make some changes and some tweaks to it, and you can change which species is dominant in a lake, if you push hard enough, but the basic parameters, the basic ability of a lake to sustain fish populations is finite. It's not unlimited."

Kubisiak says lake ecosystems change. There are dozens of reasons why: weather patterns, temperatures, quality of vegetation, number and balance of other predatory fish, shoreline development, and the introduction of non-native species all have an affect.

Economies can change though, and the people of the Northwoods are resilient.

For guides like the Smiths, walleye aren't their only target.
"Pike, perch, crappie, musky, and small mouth bass, and sometimes we take some real little kids out for bluegill and panfish too," says Jack Smith.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
One death in Ironwood fire.Submitted: 02/21/2018

IRONWOOD, MI - One person has died in a fire in downtown Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula.

Authorities say two buildings were badly damaged or destroyed early Wednesday, including one with apartments on two floors. Ironwood schools were closed due to poor air quality.

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SUGAR CAMP - A major fire destroyed a machinery repair shop in Sugar Camp on Wednesday morning, sending clouds of black smoke over the Northwoods.

The shop, next to a home on County Highway D west of Sugar Camp, caught fire around 10 a.m.

"There was a machinery malfunction that [the owner said] he was dealing with, and there could also be a heating issue," said Sugar Camp Fire Chief Jason Goeldner. "We got an area to look, but we haven't gotten in there yet to actually try to do a thorough investigation yet."

No one was hurt.

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PARK FALLS - People in Price County should keep an eye out for fake $20 bills.

The Park Falls Police Department is looking into several cases of a customer using the counterfeit money at various businesses.  The bills all have the same serial number and stand out when you use a detection marker on them.

Police Chief Scott Straetz says the bills look very similar to the real thing, but you can tell the difference if you hold them.

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THREE LAKES - Getting diagnosed with a rare disease can be a scary, isolating feeling. A Three Lakes girl and her mother don't view it that way, they want to show the disease doesn't define 11- year- old Ada.
"It came out of the blue you have a child and don't know you're going to encounter that," said Ada's mother Jennifer West.
Jennifer knew something was different when her two year old daughter was shrinking in size and had bowed legs.

"[It was] a turning point in my life as a mom," said Jennifer.
It took nearly 12 specialists to diagnose Ada with XL- Hypophosphatemia, a form of rickets. The genetic disorder that affects one in 20,000 people.
"It's kind of like finding a needle in the haystack and I found out I'm the needle," said Ada.
Ada's body can't properly handle phosphorus, making her bones soft and her figure smaller. That's led to dozens of doctor's appointments and a surgery last week. 

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MINOCQUA - Kevin Bolger worked hard to get to this moment.

The Lakeland Union High School grad has won his fair share of cross-country ski races since earning a high school state championship title in 2011.

But now he'll get the opportunity to represent the United States at the Cross Country World Cup series in Finland and Sweden next month. 

"Skiing at this level is kind of like the next step you want to get to and ski at. I'm just beyond, I can't really explain it, I'm just super excited," said Bolger. 

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WAUSAU - Anger over last Wednesday's Florida school shooting could force Congress to find some agreement on gun control. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) thinks it's about time.

The debate on gun rights and public safety has been a big focus since 17 people died at Stoneman Douglas High School.

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TOMAHAWK - A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

Strydonk donated $3,000 to the Honor Flight Foundation which will send six veterans on an upcoming flight. He also gave Wounded Warriors $1,000 and $500 to the Tomahawk VFW Post Wednesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me the gratitude and the love that the people of Tomahawk and surrounding A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

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