Most Trout Anglers Satisfied With DNR Management

Jun 3, 2014

A survey of Wisconsin trout anglers finds more than half are satisfied with DNR regulations. 

Credit Bill Blevins via

The DNR says the survey was the most comprehensive of Wisconsin trout anglers ever done, with more than 500 anglers returning the nearly 20 page survey. 
DNR sociobiologist Jordan Petchenik says its goal was to get a better measure of what trout anglers are doing and thinking. 

“Not just their behavior, in terms of their time on the water, but also in terms of their preferences and their assessment of the program itself.”

In the state’s northern 28 counties, two-thirds of anglers reported they have no trouble understanding trout regulations.  Just over half said they’re satisfied with the rules, and one quarter said they’re dissatisfied. 

Petchenik says many anglers expressed desire for more uniformity in the regulations within a single stream and across multiple streams.  But he points out implementation of those concepts is trickier than it sounds because of varying stream conditions. 

“The desire of the angler is for simplification.  But the application may not make it possible.  But those are the types of deliberations that are occurring within those trout management meetings.” 

He says DNR managers are using survey results to inform their review of inland trout fishing.

Petchenik says there were some surprises as a result of the survey….especially in regards to disproving common perceptions of who fishes for trout. 

“We’re not all the dry fly, technique setting specialists that are often portrayed by the media.  We have many anglers, most in fact that use a variety of methods and are just as likely to use live bait as they are to use dry flies.” 

Another surprise – Petchenik says than 60 percent of brook and brown trout anglers were interested in keeping and eating their catch.