All nets or set hooks when set or placed in any waters shall be marked with a number corresponding to the license number authorizing the use of the nets or set hooks. The method of marking the nets shall be as follows: On drop nets, submarine trap nets and fyke nets, when set below the surface of the water, there shall be a buoy attached to the pot rope, on all gill nets and set hooks there shall be a buoy on each end of the gang, the buoys shall have a staff extending at least 3 feet above the surface of the water, upon the upper end of the staff there shall be a flag at least 10 inches square. Upon the bowl of the buoys there shall be maintained in plain figures the license number authorizing the use of the nets or set hooks. On pound nets and stake fyke nets there shall be maintained at least 3 feet above the surface of the water, or the surface of the ice, when set through the ice, a board or similar material, which shall bear the license number authorizing the use of the nets. On gill nets or set hooks when set through the ice there shall be maintained on each end of the gang a board or similar material which shall bear the license number authorizing the use of the nets or set hooks.
The licensees of licensed nets or setlines used in outlying waters while engaged in the regular process of lifting nets or setlines shall, on their boats, carry the department's agents to and from their nets or setlines when set and, on demand of the agent, shall raise the nets or setlines for inspection. Any agent may, in the presence or absence of the licensees, at any time, raise any setline or nets, in any waters, with as little damage as may be, for inspection. If a licensee refuses to carry an agent the license shall be revoked.
No licensed net shall be drawn or lifted at any time between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise of the following morning, except as otherwise approved by the department or, in the case of an emergency, following notice to the nearest U.S. coast guard station.
Except as provided in s. 29.33 (4m)
, no fish of any kind shall be taken or retained in any net, when drawn or lifted, other than the kind or kinds expressly authorized to be taken or retained in such net, as provided in this chapter; and except as provided by department order any such other kind or kinds of fish coming into or taken in such nets shall be immediately returned, carefully and with as little injury as possible, to the waters from which they were taken.
See note to 29.09, citing State v. Gurnoe, 53 W (2d) 390, 192 NW (2d) 892.
Commercial fishing in outlying waters. 29.33(1)(1)
Any person desiring to conduct commercial fishing operations on any of the outlying waters shall first obtain a commercial fishing license. The department may limit the number of licenses issued under this section and designate the areas in the outlying waters under the jurisdiction of this state where commercial fishing operations shall be restricted. The department may establish harvest limits and allocate the harvest limits among commercial fishing licensees. The department may designate the kind, size and amount of gear to be used in the harvest. The limitations on licenses, restricted fishing areas, harvests and gear shall be based on the available harvestable population of fish and in the wise use and conservation of the fish so as to prevent overexploitation. The department may promulgate rules defining the qualifications of licensees in the reasonable exercise of this authority, giving due consideration to residency, past record including compliance with the reporting requirements of sub. (5)
, fishing and navigation ability and quantity and quality of equipment possessed. Rules relating to licensing commercial fishers shall be based on criteria provided by the commercial fishing boards under sub. (7)
. The application for the license shall be made to the department on a blank provided for that purpose, accompanied by the fee specified in s. 29.092 (7)
. The application shall state the name, birthdate, description and residence of the applicant, the manner in which he or she proposes to fish, the name or number and overall length of his or her boats, the name of the hailing port from which the boats will operate, and the number and kind of nets or other gear he or she intends to use in connection with commercial fishing and any other information required by the department for statistical purposes. The applicant shall provide an itemized listing of commercial fishing gear and equipment with the current values of those items of commercial fishing equipment, sufficient to meet the investment requirements for licensing as established in rules promulgated under this section. "Overall length" means the minimum distance between the extreme outside end of the bow and the stern using the nearest whole number of feet. The license shall be issued in accordance with s. 29.09
. No outlying waters commercial fishing license may be issued to a person under the age of 18 years.
(2) Residency; transfers; catch fees. 29.33(2)(c)(c)
For the purpose of this section, the term "nonresident" shall include any individual who is not a resident under s. 29.01 (12)
, any individual applying for a license for use of nets on a boat registered or of record at a port outside of the state, or any partnership, association, corporation or limited liability company any of whose stock, boats, nets and fishing equipment has been owned by a nonresident at any time during the 2 years immediately prior to the application for a license.
Transfer of license.
The department may, upon application, permit the transfer of a license to any similar boat during the time a licensed boat is disabled or undergoing repairs or upon the sale of a licensed boat. The department shall promulgate rules governing the transfer of commercial fishing licenses between individuals equally qualified to hold the licenses and to members of a licensee's immediate family provided the rules assure the wise use and conservation of the fish resources being harvested under the license. The rules shall relate only to those waters in which the number of licenses is limited. The commercial fishing boards, under sub. (7)
, shall approve or deny transfers of commercial fishing licenses in accordance with the rules promulgated under this section.
Any licensed boat used by a resident licensee shall be from a port of record in this state, its hailing port shall be a port in this state, and it shall be a registered or documented boat of this state. Any licensed boat used by a nonresident licensee shall be a registered or documented boat of the state of residency.
Each licensed boat in excess of 25 feet in overall length may be accompanied by and work with one attending boat without an additional license fee for the attending boat. Any attending boat that is a motorboat under s. 30.50 (2)
shall be a registered boat. An attending boat shall bear the name, if any, of the licensed boat and may be used only for attending the licensed boat.
Except as provided under subd. 2.
, the department may not issue commercial fishing licenses to nonresidents of a particular state in a number which exceeds the number of commercial fishing licenses that that particular state issues to residents of this state.
The reciprocity limitation on the issuance of commercial fishing licenses to nonresidents under subd. 1.
does not apply to a nonresident who held a commercial fishing license on or before July 1, 1982, or to a nonresident to whom such a commercial fishing license is or was transferred by a member of his or her immediate family if that license was renewed for at least 5 consecutive years by the nonresident or a member of his or her immediate family and subject to compliance with criteria and approvals required under this section.
The department may require a catch fee which shall be equivalent to the department's direct costs of providing fish for harvest, for species of fish designated by department order, as further consideration for obtaining the license. The fees shall be charged only for those species of fish whose populations are sustained or supplemented through stocking and only for those fish caught by the licensee. All the fees shall be used exclusively to pay for the stocking, including purchase or propagation, of the fish.
(3) Meaning of boat.
In this section the term "boat" includes all types of watercraft.
Any commercial fishing licensee may use licensed crew members when fishing with or without a boat. The number of crew members engaged under a single license may not exceed 4 when fishing with nets under the ice. The department, upon proper application for crew licenses, may issue with each commercial fishing license no more than 4 crew licenses for the specific purpose of fishing with nets under the ice and the number indicated on the application for the purpose of fishing in open water. Each crew license shall bear the number of the commercial fishing license, the purpose for which intended, the year for which issued and the name of the crew member to whom the crew license is issued. The crew license permits a person to engage in commercial fishing only as a member of a crew of a commercial fisher licensed under sub. (1)
Each member of a crew engaged in the setting, lifting or pulling of nets or other devices set under authority of a commercial fishing license shall carry the crew license on his or her person while so engaged and upon demand of any conservation warden shall exhibit the license. Persons using minnow seines and dip nets used for taking smelt and minnows are exempt from this subsection.
In case of illness or unavailability for good cause of a licensed crew member, an unlicensed person may work on a commercial fishing operation for a period not to exceed 48 hours under a temporary crew identification card, after which time he or she must obtain a crew license to engage in commercial fishing operations. Temporary crew identification cards shall be issued by the department to commercial fishing licensees for use as provided in this paragraph. Prior to use, the commercial licensee shall indicate on the temporary crew identification card the license number and name of the commercial fisher for whom the crew member will be working, the time and date the crew member commences work under the card and the crew member's name, address, description and his or her signature. The card shall be presented, upon request, to a conservation warden and must be in the possession of the crew member at all times while engaged in commercial fishing operations. The commercial fisher issuing the temporary crew identification card to an unlicensed person shall submit the card to the department with the commercial catch report submitted for the period in which work conducted under the card was performed.
The commercial fishing licensee is responsible for all acts of crew members conducting commercial fishing activities for the licensee. A commercial fishing licensee may be charged with and convicted of a violation committed by his or her crew member while the crew member is conducting commercial fishing activities for the licensee. Upon revocation of a commercial fishing license, all crew member licenses issued under that license are invalid, and no person may be issued a temporary crew identification card under that license.
(4m) Fishing for certain species of fish in Lake Michigan and Green Bay. 29.33(4m)(a)(a)
In this subsection, "incidental catch" means species of fish inadvertently caught while a commercial fisher licensed under sub. (1)
is fishing by trawl for other species of fish.
An incidental catch of smelt, chub or alewife from the waters of Green Bay or Lake Michigan may be brought to shore for the purpose of sorting or sale.
A commercial fisher licensed under sub. (1)
may fish by trawl for the total allowable commercial harvest of smelt, as set by rule by the department, on the waters of Green Bay at any time during nighttime hours if all of the following apply:
The smelt will be used or sold for human consumption.
The fishing occurs in the areas and during the seasons established by the department for the fishing of smelt.
Records and reports.
Each commercial fishing licensee shall maintain records and provide reports as required by the department by rule.
The licensee shall keep a complete, legible and accurate record of the licensee's daily fishing activities, in the manner required and on forms provided by the department. The record shall include the complete name, address and commercial fishing license number of the licensee; the name and number of the boat fished from; the location fished; the month and year the record is being kept for; the date of each day's fishing activity; the kind and amount of commercial fishing gear used; the kind of fish caught and the number of pounds of each kind of fish caught; and the signature of the licensee.
Catch disposition records.
The licensee shall keep a complete, legible and accurate record of the disposition of landed catch, in the manner required and on forms provided by the department. The record shall include the complete name, address and commercial fishing license number of the licensee; for each wholesale sale, the complete name, address and wholesale fish dealer license number, if any, of the buyer and the kinds of fish sold, the number of pounds of each kind and the description of the fish sold and the date of the transaction; for direct retail sales, the kinds of fish sold and the total pounds of each kind; and the signature of the licensee. In this paragraph, "landed catch" means those fish or fish parts caught in commercial fishing operations and brought to shore to sell or otherwise utilize.
On or before the 10th day of each month, each commercial fishing licensee shall submit the reports required under this subsection for the preceding month to the department. If the reports are mailed to the department, the date of the postmark constitutes the date of filing.
For purposes of enforcement of this section, conservation wardens or department employes duly authorized and designated by the secretary, upon presenting appropriate credentials to the licensee or agent in charge, are authorized:
To enter any building or structure, excluding a dwelling place, in which nets or fish are stored, processed, packed or held, or to enter any vessel or vehicle being used to transport nets or fish when the owner or agent in charge is present or upon 8 hours' notice at other times.
To inspect buildings, structures, vessels or vehicles, all pertinent equipment including nets used or stored in the places to be inspected and any fish stored, processed, packed or held in the places to be inspected.
(6m) Interference with inspections.
No licensee, licensed crew member, operator of a vehicle or boat for the licensee or an employe acting on behalf of the licensee may prohibit entry or prohibit an inspection to be conducted as authorized under sub. (6)
unless a court restrains or enjoins the entry or inspection.
(7) Commercial fishing boards.
The Lake Superior and Lake Michigan commercial fishing boards established under s. 15.345 (2)
shall review and consider applications for a transfer of license under this section and shall approve or deny applications on the basis of rules promulgated by the department. The boards shall establish criteria for the allotment of individual licensee catch quotas and shall allot the catch quotas when the department establishes species harvests limits for allocation among licensees. The boards shall assist the department in establishing criteria for identifying inactive licensees. The criteria established for identifying inactive licensees shall be the basis for rules governing the issuance of licenses.
See note to Art. I, sec. 11, citing State v. Erickson, 101 W (2d) 224, 303 NW (2d) 850 (Ct. App. 1981).
Employe was improperly charged with license violation under (1) since burden to obtain licenses for employes is on employer. State v. Filipczak, 132 W (2d) 208, 390 NW (2d) 110 (Ct. App. 1986).
Relationship between Indian fishing rights and commercial fishing quotas discussed. 68 Atty. Gen. 416.
Description of nets; use of. 29.336(1)(a)(a)
A fyke net is a composite net consisting of the following parts:
One net of a general hoop or circular-like structure commonly called a crib or pot with numbers of hoops holding, encasing or inclosing net webbing.
One or more small funnel-shaped nets commonly called tunnels with a large opening at one end and a small opening or throat at the other end through which the fish can pass from the outer part of the net into the crib or pot. This tunnel or these tunnels are attached to the inside of the crib or pot.
Two fence-like nets called wings or hearts attached to and extending obliquely outward from each side of the mouth of the net proper.
One fence-like net called a leader running from the center of the tunnel outward between the wings in a straight or angular line away from the net proper.
A drop net is a composite net consisting of the following parts:
One net of a general hoop or circular-like structure called a crib or pot with numbers of hoops holding, encasing or inclosing net webbing.
One or more small funnel-shaped nets commonly called tunnels with a large opening at one end and a small opening or throat at the other through which the fish can pass from the outer part of the net into the crib or pot. This tunnel or these tunnels are attached to the inside of the crib or pot.
One funnel- or hood-shaped net called a tunnel sloping upward and outward from the pot or crib.
Two fence-like nets called wings or hearts attached to and extending obliquely outward from each end of the tunnel.
One fence-like net called a leader running from the center of the tunnel outward between the wings in a straight or angular line away from the net proper.
Short tunnel pound net.
A short tunnel pound net is a composite net consisting of the following parts:
One boxlike receptacle closed at the bottom and sides and open at the top in which the fish are finally caught or impounded and variously known as a pound, pot or crib, but generally and commonly known in Wisconsin as a pot.
Two fence-like nets called hearts set one on each side of the tunnel mouth and used to form a preliminary inclosure resembling a heart in shape with no cover on the top or bottom.
One or more funnel-shaped nets commonly called a tunnel or tunnels with a large opening at one end and a small opening or throat at the other through which the fish can pass from the hearts into the pot.
One fence-like net called a leader running from the opening in the hearts in a straight or angular line away from the net proper.
All pound nets licensed or operated under this section must have their tunnels located and fastened entirely on the inside of the pot of the same, forming a net that is commonly known and called a short tunnel pound net.
A trammel net is made of 3 sheets of net webbing, one of them of comparatively small mesh and of fine twine being hung between 2 sheets of net webbing of much larger mesh and heavier twine. This net is equipped at the top and bottom with lead or maitre cord, line, or rope to which at the top are attached floats and at the bottom, sinkers. The inner web of this net is of considerably greater fullness than the outside web.
A gill net is a net designed to entangle fish and made of a single web of fine thread hung and fitted at the top and bottom with lead or maitre cord, line, or rope to which are attached at the top, floats, and at the bottom, sinkers.
(3) Drag nets; seine.
A seine is a net made of a circular, square or long webbing of coarse twine hung very full and fitted at the top and bottom with lead or maitre cord, line or rope. To such lines at the top are attached floats, and at the bottom, sinkers. This net is hung with such fullness that it creates or forms a kind of a bag near the center of the net which holds or entraps the fish while the net is being drawn through the waters.
History: 1977 c. 418
Net licenses, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. 29.34(1)(1)
Licenses which authorize the use of nets in the Mississippi river as limited herein and in that part of the St. Croix river downstream from the dam at St. Croix Falls shall be issued subject to s. 29.09
by the department to any resident applying therefor. This subsection as applicable to the St. Croix river shall not become effective until Minnesota has enacted similar legislation.
Each net license authorizes the use of one or more of the following nets only:
Except when lifting or setting a gill net, no person may use a seine, gill, bait, buffalo or frame net in the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers unless the net has the required number of metal tags stamped to designate the kind of net and number of the net license covering it securely fastened to it.
The required number of tags is as follows:
For a seine net, one tag for each 500 lineal feet, or fraction thereof.
For a gill net, one tag for each 2,000 lineal feet, or fraction thereof.
For a bait, buffalo or frame net, one tag for each net.
The department or the county clerk shall issue net tags to the licensee at the time of issuing the net license.
Each such licensee shall keep a strict record and account as to each variety of fish and the number of pounds thereof taken by the licensee in gear licensed to the licensee and such other information as the department requires; and shall report thereon to the department on or before the 10th day of each month during the license period.
Slat net fishing in the Mississippi river. 29.343(1)
A slat net license authorizing the taking of commercial fish through the use of slat nets in that part of the Mississippi river over which this state has jurisdiction between the Minnesota-Iowa boundary line extended and the Wisconsin-Illinois boundary line extended may be issued subject to s. 29.09
by the county clerk of a county bordering these waters to any resident who applies for this license.
A person who is issued a slat net license or a crew may operate not to exceed 50 properly tagged slat nets.
No person may use a slat net unless it is properly tagged. In order to be properly tagged a slat net is required to have attached to it a metal tag stamped to designate the kind of net and the number of the slat net license. Slat net tags are required to remain attached to the nets until replaced by renewal tags.
No slat net may be set within 100 feet of any muskrat or beaver house. Any slat net found in any waters during the closed season for the use of slat nets and any slat net found on the Wisconsin banks or shores without a slat net tag and showing evidence of being used in the previous 5 months shall be seized and held subject to the order of the court or judge under s. 29.05