14 of 21 lakes named yesterday receiving higher daily walleye bag limits are in Oneida, Vilas and Price counties.
The DNR announced changes Monday increasing daily limits from one to two on 21 lakes. May 28, Governor Walker approved an emergency rule adopted by the Natural Resources Board allowing the increases.
The department routinely adjusts bag limits in late May or early June after tribal harvest activity diminishes, and did so for 447 lakes last month. Under rules in place at that time, the department was not able to consider changes for the 21 lakes affected in the announcement.
DNR Treaty Fisheries Coordinator Joe Hennessy says more study led to the changes...
"...basically what we did is we looked at the patterns of angler harvest over the last 30 years, using that information to determine that have a one-daily bag limit for the remainder of the angling season would have been an unnecessary restriction on anglers...."
Hennessy says angler success rates are highest in May, with more than 25 percent of annual walleye harvest happening then. The rule allows biologists to consider the impacts had on total annual angler harvest and set the higher bag limit for the remainder of the fishing season.
In Oneida county, the bodies of water now with a two-daily bag limit are the Tomahawk Chain, Clear, and Buckskin lakes. In Vilas county, Allequash, Anvil, Big Arbor Vitae, Big Gibson, Big Lake in Boulder Junction, Big Muskellunge, Island, Star, and West Bay lakes are included. In Price county, Butternut and Round lakes have a two walleye limit.
The remainder of the named lakes are in northwestern Wisconsin.