(WQOW) - Anglers are itching to get out on the lakes in search of one of the most prized game fish in Wisconsin.
Although the fishing season has not started yet, the DNR is busy reviewing new guidelines. In the next few weeks, it will do fish counts and evaluate size and health to set bag limits for each lake. The Chippewa tribes recently declared they want to spearfish a record number of walleye this spring, more than 63,000. This could force the state to enforce strict bag limits on anglers to preserve the fishery resource.
"We been raising more fish, we're engaging our partners in private aquacultures as well as tribal hatcheries to raise more walleye fingerlings," says Wisconsin's DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "We're trying to get them a little bit bigger size than what we've usually been stocking. They have a better survival rate. It's going to take a few years to see the results of that, but one thing that can be agreed on is that people want walleye."
As it sets bag limits, the DNR says it wants to make sure it is protecting Wisconsin's walleye population so it's not impacted by tribal spearing or by anglers.