Contact(s): Steve Hewett, fisheries section chief, (608) 267-7501; Joe Hennessy, treaty fisheries coordinator, (608) 267-9427
MADISON – Daily walleye bag limits will increase May 27 on 384 lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory to reflect spring spearing harvest by six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa.
A daily bag limit of two walleye will increase to three walleye per day on 88 lakes while 294 lakes will go from an initial bag limit of two or three walleyes per day to the state daily bag limit of five, according to Joe Hennessy, who coordinates the treaty fisheries management program for the Department of Natural Resources. The daily bag limit in Grindstone Lake (Sawyer County) will be increased from 1 to 2 walleye per day, while the bag limit for walleye in Potato Lake (Rusk County) will be increased from 1 to 3 walleye per day.
All of the bag limit increases were made to reflect actual spear harvest through the month of May. Bag limit increases from 2 to 3 walleye per day in Willow Flowage and the Tomahawk Lake Chain (Oneida County), made just before the May 7 regular-season fishing opener, were facilitated by the Lac du Flambeau band revising its harvest target on those lakes.
Anglers should consult the 2011-12 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations, signs at boat landings, and the Revised Ceded Territory Walleye Bag Limits phamplet for lake-specific information.
As part of a 1983 Federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. To assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not exceed a sustainable level, the state reduces recreational bag limits in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands.
An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits annually to reflect actual spring spearing harvests and projected summer harvests.
Of the 245 lakes with bag limits less than five, 70 lakes will have a bag limit of two walleye per day, and 175 lakes will have a daily bag of three walleye per day. The six Chippewa tribes together harvested 28,883 walleye and 199 musky as of May 19, 2011.