MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public comments on the economic impacts of a proposed permanent rule relating to whitefish commercial harvest in Lake Michigan (including Green Bay), and electronic harvest reporting for all Lake Michigan and Lake Superior commercial fishers. Comments will be accepted until Nov. 11.

This rule revises the total allowable commercial harvest for Green Bay and Lake Michigan to reflect lake whitefish population abundance and distribution. It also establishes how the harvest for Green Bay and Lake Michigan will be divided between the three zones of Lake Michigan and implements a harvest cap mechanism for Zone 2 to prevent overharvest while still allowing commercial fishing throughout the zone.

The rule would also create a new restricted area for trap nets set for whitefish in southern Green Bay. In addition, it would require commercial fishers in Lake Michigan and Green Bay to report the location and name of trap nets set for whitefish.

Daily electronic harvest reporting for all Lake Michigan and Lake Superior commercial fishers would also be required, making reporting quicker and more accurate than biweekly paper reporting. There would also be an option for fishers to first record the information on a paper form before entering it into the electronic harvest reporting system by the end of the day.

Comments on the potential economic impacts of this rule will help the DNR enhance the economic impact analysis on the rule’s potential economic effects.

To view the full text of the draft rule, click here.

To view the economic impact analysis, click here.

Please submit comments by email to [email protected]gov by Nov. 11.

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