DNR names new north district fisheries supervisor Submitted: 04/15/2015
Story By Adam Fox

DNR names new north district fisheries supervisor
WOODRUFF - A Woodruff DNR worker will serve as the DNR's new north district fisheries supervisor starting Monday.

Mike Vogelsang will oversee fisheries from Florence County to Bayfield County to St. Croix County. He's taking over in what he calls a busy part of the season.

"All of our staff is out day and night now doing our monitoring and our surveys. We'll be at this for probably another three weeks or so until the peak of the spawning activity winds down," Vogelsang said.

Vogelsang has 24 years of fisheries experience. He says he's excited to start working with all of the DNR staff across Northern Wisconsin.

"We have an excellent biologists, technicians, heavy equipment operators and seasonal staff, and I'm really looking forward to work with those folks into the future and looking forward to the challenges of the new job," Vogelsang said.

Vogelsang says he wants to continue growing the organization's digital fish information database. He says much of the department's older fish data, documents before the mid-90s, is only on paper files.

An updated backlog could help state workers use the digital database to provide data for statewide fish decisions.

"A lot of the data that we have in there right now is used to come up with the three bag rule change that went through recently, and big decisions like that are made from the data that goes into that database, " Vogelsang said.

Vogelsang will also oversee parts of Wisconsin's walleye initiative.

The state will spend $8.2 million for infrastructure improvements, and $1.3 million each year for annual operating costs will be provided to expand production at DNR state fish hatcheries, according to the DNR. Walleye production should increase from 60,000 to 120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016.

Fish experts like Vogelsang believe the larger 6-8 inch extended fingerlings will help grow populations in struggling lakes.

"So they are just like little, mini-walleyes, and they go into the lake very healthy and with good survival rates. And typically we harvest the ponds for those extended growth walleye around early September."

Vogelsang will fill the position left open by Steve Avelallemant. He retired from the position in 2014.

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