MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced a new walleye slot limit this spring on Clear and Katherine lakes in Oneida County and Anvil and Laura lakes in Vilas County.
As part of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan, the new regulation for all four lakes is an 18-inch minimum length for walleye, and fish from 22 to 28 inches may not be kept. The daily bag limit is one walleye.
Katherine Lake also received a new bass regulation of no minimum length on bass with a daily bag limit of five largemouth and smallmouth bass in combination. The new regulation will allow anglers more opportunities to harvest bass on Katherine Lake, where the bass population has increased dramatically in recent years. Harvest season begins May 7, 2022 for largemouth bass and June 18, 2022 for smallmouth bass.
“These new regulations aim to help walleye rebound while continuing to provide harvest opportunities for both walleye and bass,” said John Kubisiak, DNR Treaty Fisheries Team Supervisor.
All four lakes are in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory, an area where sovereign nations of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians retain federally recognized harvest rights. Tribal fish harvest by highly efficient methods is capped by a quota on each water. In recognition of the declining walleye populations on these lakes, in 2021 and 2022, Lac du Flambeau reduced their harvest to about half as many walleye as would have been allowed under the management system for the lakes.
Since 2018, Lac du Flambeau and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission have collaborated with the DNR to address poor walleye recruitment, or the number of young fish entering the fishery, on the four lakes. The group has conducted additional fisheries and habitat surveys on the lakes, walleye have been stocked by DNR and Lac du Flambeau hatchery crews, and the group is completing a Lakes of Concern Rehabilitation Plan for the lakes.