Lake Superior lake trout emergency rule takes effect
February 11, 2015
An emergency rule reducing daily bag limits to protect the lake trout population in the Apostle Islands region of Lake Superior is now in effect, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The 2015 emergency rule, approved by the Natural Resources Board at its December meeting, reduces the daily bag limit from three lake trout to two lake trout, one 20 to 25 inches in length and one longer than 35 inches. For waters west of Bark Point, regulations for lake trout remain unchanged; three lake trout with a 15 inch minimum length and only one lake trout longer than 25 inches.
The goal of the new regulations is to reduce the overall harvest to 50,000 fish. The recreational and commercial lake trout fishing seasons run through Sept. 30.
Terry Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor, said the rule was developed based on population assessments over the last six to eight years indicating a decline in the lake trout population tied to harvest levels. Lake trout are a slow-growing species and the emergency rule is designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishery as well as the welfare of the state-licensed commercial fishers, Chippewa commercial fishers, recreational anglers and associated businesses that depend on lake trout.
In addition to developing the emergency rule, DNR held a stakeholder meeting in December and has sought public input to identify Lake Superior fisheries priorities and guide long-term management of the resource. For more information about the public meeting and management of the Lake Superior fishery, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for “Lake Superior fisheries management.”