For waters lacking adequate public access and for waters surrounded by private lands, the department shall determine if:
The applicant provided the department with the name, mailing address and telephone number of the person granting the applicant legal access to the water.
NR 20.39 Note
Under s. NR 19.057
, a bait dealer also must have a wild harvest permit from the department to take wild minnows for use as bait.
Permits issued by the department under this subsection shall:
Include the permit holder's name, address and bait dealer's license number,
Describe the minnow seines, minnow dip nets or minnow traps authorized,
Include an expiration date of December 31 of the calendar year in which the permit is issued, unless an earlier date is set under par. (c)
Prohibit the removal or destruction of vegetation, logs and other habitat features,
Require that minnows be transported only in tanks equipped with either an oxygen tank or an adequate aeration system,
Require that transport tanks and holding facilities not be loaded beyond their capacity to keep the minnows alive and healthy,
Require that all minnows taken under the permit be sold or used only for angling or rearing of fish in department or private fish hatcheries, and
Require that all minnows which are not kept for use or sale and all game fish caught by the minnow seines, minnow dip nets or minnow traps be promptly returned unharmed to the water.
The department may require reporting of the permit holder's activities under the permit and may set reasonable permit conditions to insure that the requirements of par. (a)
The department shall act on a complete application for a permit under this section within 20 business days after it is received by the appropriate department regional office.
No permit holder may cause or allow the violation of any term or condition of a permit issued under this section. In addition to any other penalties, if a permit holder is convicted of causing or allowing a violation of any term or condition of a permit, the permit is terminated.
The department may, at any time, revoke or modify a permit issued under this section if it determines that the minnow supply is in danger of being depleted in the water for which the permit was issued. A permit revocation or modification shall become effective when it is received by the permit holder or 3 business days after it is mailed to the permit holder at the address shown on the permit, whichever occurs first.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the department under this section may, within 30 days of the mailing of the decision, request a contested-case hearing before the department on the decision under s. 227.42
NR 20.39 History
Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521
, eff. 6-1-99; CR 01-012
: am. (1) (intro.), cr. (1) (b) 3m., Register November 2001 No. 551
, eff. 4-1-02; emerg. am. (1) (intro.) and (a), eff. 11-2-07; CR 07-074
: am. (1) (intro.) and (a) Register May 2008 No. 629
, eff. 6-1-08.
This section applies to fishing tournaments on lakes, rivers, the Great Lakes, Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters as defined in s. NR 21.02 (39)
, Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters as defined in s. NR 22.02 (34)
, and Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters as defined in s. NR 23.02 (10)
"Catch and kill tournament" means a fishing tournament where fish are caught by participants, reduced to their possession, and retained as part of the participant's daily bag limit.
"Catch-hold-release tournament" means a fishing tournament where fish caught by participants are reduced to possession and transported, usually for purposes of recording, and live fish are then released to the water from which they came. This format was previously referred to as a "live-release" tournament.
"Fishing tournament" means any organized fishing activity, on any water of the state where competition is the primary purpose, and where incentives, such as money, prizes or points, are awarded.
"Immediate-release tournament" means a fishing tournament where fish caught by participants are not reduced to possession and transported, but are held only long enough for identification and to document length or weight or both, and released to the water from which they came.
"Live well" means a container designed to hold live fish on a boat.
"Off-site weigh-in" means a weigh-in of fish caught in a catch-hold-release tournament at a location that is not on the shoreline or adjacent to the waters listed on the fishing tournament permit.
"Open water fishing" means all fishing that occurs except when ice is used as a platform from which to fish.
"Opening weekend" means the first weekend of a calendar year that an angler is permitted to fish for that particular species of fish.
"Organize" means to advance, conduct, direct, establish, promote or otherwise be responsible for the operation of a fishing tournament.
"Organizer" means a person who advances, conducts, directs, establishes, organizes, promotes or otherwise is responsible for the operation of a fishing tournament, but does not include a person who only assists in advertising or publicizing another person's fishing tournament.
"Permitted fishing tournament" means a fishing tournament that requires a permit from the department.
"Permitted fishing tournament boat days" is a measure of tournament fishing pressure for open water permitted fishing tournaments. It is calculated by multiplying the number of boats participating in an open water permitted fishing tournament by the number of days the permitted fishing tournament is held. Any part of a day shall count as one day.
"Person" means any individual, partnership, association, organization or body politic or corporate.
"Possess" for the purposes of this section means to own, control, restrain, transport or keep. Once a fish is possessed, it shall be counted towards the angler's daily bag limit pursuant to s. NR 20.05 (7)
. Any of the following conditions constitute possession:
Holding a fish out of the water longer than necessary to remove hooks and measure the fish for length, weight or both.
Placing a fish into a live well except to revive a fish or to avoid imminent boating danger.
Holding a fish at the side of a stationary boat for longer than necessary to register and revive the fish.
Resuming fishing by any angler in the boat prior to the release of the fish.
"Prizes" means money or items that are provided to a tournament participant based on their performance in a competitive fishing event. This does not include "raffle" type prizes which are given to tournament participants independent of their performance in the competitive fishing event.
"Traditional fishing tournament" means a fishing tournament that was issued permits 4 out of 5 years from 2004 to 2008, for the same water or waters and time period. Beginning January 1, 2009, traditional fishing tournaments shall continue to be conducted at least 4 out of 5 years for the same waterbody and time period to remain a traditional fishing tournament.
"Weigh-in" means a registration process for catch-hold-release tournaments by which fish are measured and released.
(3) Permit required.
No person may carry out a fishing tournament that meets any of the criteria in pars. (a)
, without a permit. A person shall obtain a permit from the department to organize a fishing tournament when the waters to be fished are identified by name by the sponsor and one or more of the following apply:
The fishing tournament involves 20 or more boats, or 100 or more participants.
The fishing tournament includes any trout species on waters classified as trout streams under s. NR 1.02 (7)
The fishing tournament is a catch-hold-release tournament with an off-site weigh-in.
Fishing tournaments that are statewide or regional in nature do not require a permit.
Fishing tournaments that do not require identification or registration of participants prior to engaging in the tournament do not require a permit.
A person who wishes to organize a fishing tournament requiring a permit from the department shall apply on forms available from the department.
Permit applications shall specify an individual who is responsible for supervising the tournament to ensure compliance with all tournament permit conditions and regulations.
Applicants for a fishing tournament permit shall pay a $25.00 non-refundable permit application fee upon submission of the application when the following conditions apply:
Total prizes provided to tournament participants are valued at less than $1,000; or
The tournament targets salmon species on Lake Michigan, Green Bay, or Lake Superior; or
Applicants for a fishing tournament permit shall pay a $50.00 non-refundable permit application fee upon submission of the application when the following conditions apply:
The tournament format is catch-hold-release or catch and kill; and
Total prizes provided to tournament participants are valued at $1,000 or greater and less than $10,000.
Applicants for a fishing tournament permit shall pay a $200.00 non-refundable permit application fee upon submission of the application when the following conditions apply:
The tournament format is catch-hold-release or catch and kill; and
Total prizes provided to tournament participants are valued at $10,000 or greater.
There is no fee for a fishing tournament permit where
50% or more of the participants are younger than 18 years of age or are developmentally disabled as defined under s. 51.01 (5) (a)
, Stats., or physically disabled and eligible for a license under s. 29.193 (3)
NR 20.40 Note
Note: Application forms may be obtained at no charge from department service centers and regional offices.
Beginning April 1st each year, the department shall accept permit applications for fishing tournaments to be held in the following calendar year.
If the number of permit applications submitted to the department from April 1st through June 30th exceeds the limits specified in subs. (7)
, the department shall notify the affected applicants that their requested locations and time period are subject to a drawing. After notification, the department shall allow the affected applicants a minimum of 7 days to change the location or time period requested on their applications to a location or time period for which applications are not already at or above the limits specified in subs. (7)
. If June 30th falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted through the following Monday.
After the deadline to change applications as provided under par. (b)
, the department shall conduct a random drawing for each location and time period for which applications exceed limits established in subs. (7)
. Traditional fishing tournaments are not included in a random drawing unless they are competing with other traditional fishing tournaments for limited fishing tournament permits for a body of water. Only one permit application per organizer will be included in a drawing for the same location and time period.
By August 1st, the department shall approve or deny permit applications that are submitted by June 30th in compliance with the limits in subs. (7)
The department may approve a permit application that is received after June 30th if approving the application would not result in exceeding the limits in subs. (7)
and the application is received at least 30 days prior to the start of the tournament.
All participants in a permitted fishing tournament shall comply with all provisions of the permit.
If a participant fails to comply with the permit, the violating participant shall promptly be disqualified and expelled from the tournament by the organizer.
All organizers of a permitted fishing tournament shall comply with all permit terms and conditions and the rules of this section and shall take adequate measures to ensure that all participants comply with all provisions of the permit. The organizer of a permitted fishing tournament shall provide each participant a copy of the permit conditions and rules specific to the fishing tournament along with potential penalties for noncompliance prior to any participant being allowed to participate in the tournament.
Notwithstanding par. (b)
, the department may take other appropriate enforcement action against a participant or organizer found to be in violation of this chapter or ch. 29, Stats.
(7) Limits on size and number of fishing tournaments.
The size and number of permitted fishing tournaments allowed on a water body may not exceed the following limits except in Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior and Lake Winnebago where there are no limits on the size and number of permitted fishing tournaments. Traditional fishing tournaments may be permitted to exceed the limits established in this subsection up to the maximum level of participation or boat days associated with that tournament in the past 5 years.
The following monthly limits on permitted fishing tournament size, number, and total boat days are based on lake acreage are outlined in the table below.
- See PDF for table
Open water fishing tournaments on lakes or lake chains smaller than 100 acres may be permitted if the department finds that the tournament:
Will promote public awareness of fishing and the state's resources and conforms to the best management practices for the lake; or
The following shall apply to fishing tournaments permitted for any combination of lakes within a chain of interconnected lakes:
Permitted fishing tournaments may engage in fishing activities in lake chains or connected lakes but the tournament organizer must select a lake where the primary fishing activity or weigh-in will take place.
The availability of permits will be based on the acreage of the lake selected in subd. 1.
as outlined in par. (a)