Minocqua is one site of three picked by the DNR to get public input on proposed rules to limit the number of panfish taken on 110 lakes, including many in the Northwoods.
Fisheries Manager Section Chief Steve Hewett says the proposed regulations include on some lakes, anglers could keep 25 panfish, but no more than 10 of one species..another option is 15 total fish, but no more than 5 of any species, or 25 but no more than five could be over 7 inches.
Hewett says fishing pressure on the easier-to-catch panfish has led them to notice a trend..
".....we think on our panfish lakes that the pressure has increased over the years so we're sort of cropping them down as the bigger fish are being harvested...."
Hewett says other species have not shown the long term gradual downward trend in size like the varieties of panfish have seen....
".....if you plot the mean size and the maximum size from each survey across years, you see this very gradual decline where for the past 30 years where panfish mean size and maximum size gradually have been declining..."
He says if implemented, the regulations would be evaluatated in 6 years to see if they are improving panfish size. Several lakes in Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Iron, Lincoln, Florence and Langlade counties are named. The public input meetings are designed to get input now so the plan can be presented during the annual spring meetings.
The Minocqua meeting is set for August 26 at the Minocqua Public Library. More information is on the DNR website....