Results for POLL S928

Is Wisconsin doing enough to protect surface water quality?

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Do you approve of the DNR’s Draft Lake Michigan Fisheries Management Plan?


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“DNR Lake Michigan DRAFT Management Plan .. Good or Not?

The Question: “Do you approve of the DNR’s Draft Lake Michigan Fisheries Management Plan?”

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photo c. WDNR ©2014

Comments sought on Lake Michigan fisheries management plan update

MADISON — State fisheries biologists are revising the long-term fisheries management plan for Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan waters and invite the public to provide input during a second round of public review. Lake Michigan has seen drastic ecological changes in recent years and the new plan will guide fisheries management through the next 10 years.

“We listened to what the public said during an initial public input session and incorporated some of those ideas along with our own thoughts in this draft 10-year plan,” said Brad Eggold, Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Now, it’s time to see whether we are on track with the expectations and desires of the public. We’re planning a second round of meetings in early August to give stakeholders additional opportunities for input.”

All of the meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and are set for:

  • Monday, Aug. 4, Green Bay – Wisconsin DNR Green Bay Service Center, 2984 Shawano Ave.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 5, Cleveland – Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave.
  • Thursday, Aug. 7, Milwaukee – at UW-Milwaukee GLRF-SFS, 600 E. Greenfield Ave.
  • Thursday, Aug. 7, Peshtigo – Wisconsin DNR Peshtigo Service Center, 101 N. Ogden Road.


The Wisconsin DNR manages Lake Michigan fisheries in partnership with other state, federal and tribal agencies and in consultation with the public, particularly sport and commercial fishers. The draft 2015-2024 Lake Michigan Integrated Fisheries Management Plan focuses on five areas or visions for the future:

  • A balanced, healthy ecosystem. This vision focuses on protecting and maintaining habitat while minimizing the effects of invasive species.
  • A multi-species sport fishery. This vision includes sustaining a salmon and trout species mix that supports sport harvests. Other elements include improvements to the statewide fish hatchery system that produces fish for Lake Michigan and enhanced near-shore fishing opportunities.
  • A sustainable and viable commercial fishery. This aspect of the plan centers on maintaining the current number of commercial fishing licenses at 80 while adjusting harvest limits to sustain viable populations of key commercial species such as lake whitefish, yellow perch, round whitefish, rainbow smelt and bloater chubs over time.
  • Application of science-based management principles. This vision recognizes the ongoing need for staff training, the ability to employ continually evolving tools and modeling technologies, inter-jurisdictional cooperation and the involvement of trained scientists as well as public stakeholders.
  • Effective internal and external communication. This vision focuses on maintaining a full and open exchange of information and ideas among the public, elected officials, fisheries managers and neighboring states.


“Over the last 10-year planning cycle, we have made good progress and accomplished much of what we set out to do in our previous plan,” Eggold said. “We’ve managed chinook salmon populations to fuel a decade of fantastic fishing. Supplies of trout and salmon for stocking have been enhanced following renovation of the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery while sturgeon and musky stocking also has improved. In addition, we’ve removed some barriers to fish passage and constructed a natural fish passage on the Milwaukee River.”

However, over the last decade Lake Michigan has undergone major ecological changes and is less productive due to the arrival and proliferation of the exotic quagga mussel. These small freshwater mussels remove large quantities of plankton as they filter the water, short circuiting the food chain and ultimately leaving less for prey fish to eat while negatively impacting some important fish species such as yellow perch.

Beyond the difficulties caused by invasive species, an additional challenge is the need to maintain, update and operate the state’s fish production system, including renovating the Kettle Moraine Springs State Fish Hatchery in Sheboygan County, which produces all the steelhead rainbow trout stocked in Lake Michigan.

“Given the challenges and opportunities before us, input from anglers and others is critical in developing a plan that keeps Lake Michigan healthy and reflects the interests of sport and commercial anglers,” Eggold said.

People who are interested in commenting can find the draft plan and summary information by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for “Lake Michigan Plan.” In addition to providing verbal comments at the public meetings, written comments can be sent to this special email address created for the plan.

Written comments also can be mailed to:

Brad Eggold

Department of Natural Resources

Great Lakes Water Institute

600 E. Greenfield Ave.

Milwaukee, WI, 53204



NEXT WEEK: Results for POLL S929

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DSORe Poll S928

Results for POLL S927

Do you feel comfortable eating Lake Michigan fish?

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Is Wisconsin doing enough to protect surface water quality?


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“Surface water quality: Protected or Not?

The Question: “Is Wisconsin doing enough to protect surface water quality?”

WHAT do YOU think of this?


photo c. WDNR ©2014

Public invited to share priorities for water quality standards

MADISON – Where should state environmental officials focus efforts to protect surface water quality in Wisconsin over the next three years?

State officials are seeking public input on 22 water quality standard topics for Wisconsin lakes and rivers related to the protection of public health, recreation, fish and other aquatic communities.

This process, which occurs every three years, is called the triennial standards review. The topics under consideration address things such as levels of pollutants, algae and nutrients as well as guidance for implementing water quality criteria.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is proposing to revise some existing standards because of new information on certain contaminants and to reflect changes in federal or state regulations. Also under consideration is the development of standards for certain emerging contaminants that may need to be monitored and controlled to protect people and the environment.

Any actual changes to standards must be approved by the Natural Resources Board, the Wisconsin Legislature and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There are many potential standards-related topics that may benefit from a review under this process. However, due to limited resources, not all of the changes can be addressed at the same time. To help prioritize which standards and policies should receive attention first, DNR is asking for input from the public.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the standards-related topic priorities through August 7, 2014 through an online survey tool. The goal of the survey is to determine which surface water quality standards and policies the public most strongly wants to see reviewed or developed in the next three years. The Public Ranking Survey and topic descriptions are available by searching the DNR website for triennial standards review.

After the survey, DNR will use the public priorities and DNR’s internal rankings to prepare a final list of topics for 2015-2017 as required under the Clean Water Act. The DNR will use that final priority list to plan its work over the ensuing three years and each topic will be addressed as resources allow.

A public hearing will be held on July 30, 2014 from 10 to 11 a.m. This hearing is for citizens to comment on or ask questions about the process and the topics presented. Anyone who would like to participate is invited to join online through a webinar using the link posted on the DNR website, or in person at the State Natural Resources Building, 101 S. Webster St., Madison, in Room 313 after signing in at the visitor’s desk.

Questions or comments on the triennial standards review process should be directed to Ashley Beranek by calling 608-267-9603, e-mailing ashley.beranek@wisconsin.gov, or mailing to Wisconsin DNR WT/3, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707.



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