Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
NR 20.40(10)(g)4. 4. Except as provided in par. (gm) 4., no person may hold fish in a catch-hold-release tournament in on-shore holding tanks unless the tanks have the capacity to hold at least one gallon of water per pound of fish held and are equipped with an aeration or oxygenation system that maintains the dissolved oxygen at 5 parts per million or higher.
NR 20.40(10)(g)5. 5. No person may conduct a catch-hold-release tournament with an off-site weigh-in unless the fish holding equipment and fish handling procedures at the weigh in site are approved by the department and the approval is specified on the permit.
NR 20.40(10)(g)6. 6. The department shall include permit conditions that specify fish handling requirements during weigh-in for catch-hold-release tournaments.
NR 20.40(10)(g)7. 7. The department may include the following permit conditions related to tournament operation for permitted catch-hold-release tournaments at the point of permit issuance when it determines that environmental conditions are not conducive to survival of fish intended for release and the release may constitute unreasonable waste of natural resources or when it determines that the transport and release of fish is detrimental to the fish population under the provisions of s. 23.095 (1g), Stats.
NR 20.40(10)(g)7.a. a. The department may restrict the area that may be fished by fishing tournament participants to reduce the time that fish are held in live wells, the distance fish are transported to a weigh-in site or both.
NR 20.40(10)(g)7.b. b. The department may require redistribution of released fish.
NR 20.40(10)(g)8. 8. The department shall restrict the area that may be fished by participants in catch-hold-release bass and walleye tournaments on Green Bay to reduce the potential for biological harm to the bass population and to reduce the potential for unreasonable waste of walleye. Participants in catch-hold-release bass and walleye fishing tournaments with a weigh-in site north of the mouth of the Pensaukee River (N44°49'18.876", W-87°53'56.04") may not fish north of a line extending from Gills Rock (N45°17'38.9724", W-87°1'23.0376") to the Wisconsin state line and south of a line running from Brown County line (N44°40'39.6510", W-87°59'15.5004") to the Kewaunee County line (N44°40'36.8898", W-87°44'11.8026"). Participants in catch-hold-release bass fishing tournaments with a weigh-in site north of the mouth of Pensaukee River (N44°49'18.876", W-87°53'56.04") may not fish beyond 5 miles of the Green Bay shoreline on which the weigh-in site is located. Participants in catch-hold-release bass fishing tournaments with a weigh-in site north of the mouth of Pensaukee River located on the eastern shore of Green Bay may fish beyond 5 miles of the eastern shore only to access Green Bay waters within 1.5 miles surrounding Chambers Island. Participants in catch-hold-release bass and walleye fishing tournaments with a weigh-in site south of the mouth of the Pensaukee River (N44°49'18.876", W-87°53'56.04") may not fish south of the DePere Dam (N44°26'50.9928", W-88°4'3.7050") and north of a line running from the mouth of the Pensaukee River (N44°49'18.876", W-87°53'56.04") to Chaudoirs Dock (N44°44'50.28", W-87°41'56.4"). Notwithstanding these fishing area restrictions, the department may allow one bass and one walleye tournament per year on Green Bay to fish all waters of Green Bay south of a line extending from Gills Rock (N45°17'38.9724", W-87°1'23.0376") to the Wisconsin state line provided that the tournament will promote national public awareness of fishing on Green Bay and is planned to have more than 60 boats. Tournaments promoting national public awareness include, but are not limited to, events that are part of a national tour and statewide or regional championships that qualify participants for a national event.
NR 20.40 Note Note: Anglers are not restricted from fishing in Michigan waters, however, to minimize potential for biological harm and unreasonable waste of natural resources, the department encourages tournament organizers to restrict fishing in Michigan waters to south of a line extending due east from Rochereau Point (N45°18'13.92", W-87°26'2.436") to the Wisconsin state line.
NR 20.40(10)(g)9. 9. To reduce the potential for unreasonable waste of natural resources, the department shall:
NR 20.40(10)(g)9.a. a. Require a reduced daily bag limit of 3 walleye for catch-hold-release tournaments on all waters with a daily bag limit of 3 walleye or greater from the second Saturday in June to the first Sunday in September, unless the department determines that the temperature of the primary waterbody to be fished is expected to be less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
NR 20.40(10)(g)9.b. b. Require a reduced daily bag limit of 3 bass for catch-hold-release tournaments on all waters with a daily bag limit of 3 bass or greater from the first Saturday in July to the second Sunday in August unless the department determines that the temperature of the primary waterbody to be fished is expected to be less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit for smallmouth bass or less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit for largemouth bass. Notwithstanding these bag limit requirements, the department may allow one catch-hold-release bass tournament per year per waterbody with a 5 fish bag limit from the first Saturday in July to the second Sunday in August provided the tournament will promote national public awareness of fishing and is planned to have 60 or more boats and the primary waterbody fished will be 2000 or more acres. Tournaments promoting national public awareness include, but are not limited to, events that are part of a national tour and statewide or regional championships that qualify participants for a national event.
NR 20.40(10)(g)10. 10. Subject to the requirements in this section, the department may issue a permit for a catch-hold-release bass tournament when the season is open for harvesting bass that allows each participant in the tournament to take up to five bass of a minimum of 14 inches in length. All live bass shall be returned to the water from which they were taken as specified in the permit and no later than the day of the conclusion of the tournament.
NR 20.40(10)(gm) (gm) In addition to the provisions in par. (g), all of the following provisions apply to participants in catch-hold-release muskellunge tournaments:
NR 20.40(10)(gm)1. 1. Participants shall use boats equipped with a functioning live well or other container large enough to hold muskellunge and equipped with a pump for aerating and exchanging freshwater that is operated continuously once a fish is placed in the live well or other container.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)2. 2. Participants shall immediately transport muskellunge placed in a live well or other container to the designated weigh-in site. All transported fish must meet legal length limits for the water body being fished.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)3. 3. Either multiple weigh-in sites shall be designated by the tournament organizer or the areas open to fishing limited so that muskellunge will not be transported for more than 30 minutes.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)4. 4. Tournament officials or judges shall immediately register muskellunge brought to the weigh-in site. No pens, tanks, or other means of confinement may be used to hold the fish at the weigh-in site.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)5. 5. Registration of muskellunge is restricted to a measurement of length. In-water measurement of the fish is recommended whenever possible.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)6. 6. Muskellunge may be retained at the weigh-in site only until capable of swimming upright under its own power and shall be released from the weigh-in site.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)7. 7. Participants may not leave the weigh-in site until the fish they transported to the weigh-in site has been successfully released. If the fish cannot be released alive, final disposition of the fish is the responsibility of that participant and shall not violate s. 23.095 (1g), Stats.
NR 20.40(10)(gm)8. 8. A participant shall count muskellunge transported to a weigh-in site towards the participant's daily bag limit and that person may not fish for muskellunge during the remainder of that day.
NR 20.40 Note Note: Section 23.095 (1g), Stats., states that no person may damage or attempt to damage any natural resource within the state. “Damage" means to commit a physical act that unreasonably destroys, molests, defaces, removes, or wastes.
NR 20.40(10)(h) (h) All permits for fishing tournaments shall do the following:
NR 20.40(10)(h)1. 1. Identify areas where competitive fishing is prohibited for the following reasons:
NR 20.40(10)(h)1.a. a. To protect critical habitat, including areas designated by local ordinance for aquatic vegetation preservation or areas where habitat enhancement activity is underway.
NR 20.40(10)(h)1.b. b. To protect public rights, interests or safety, including designated swimming areas, mooring areas, access areas, navigational channels, staging areas, beaches or other special use areas.
NR 20.40(10)(h)2. 2. Prohibit the use of tagged fish, except when approved by the department for any of the following reasons:
NR 20.40(10)(h)2.a. a. To enhance collection of data for management purposes as part of a scientific study.
NR 20.40(10)(h)2.b. b. The tagged fish are legally obtained from a licensed private fish hatchery and are planted under a stocking or introduction permit issued by the department under s. 29.736, Stats., and s. NR 19.05.
NR 20.40(10)(h)2.c. c. Specific authorization is granted by the department to capture, tag and immediately release fish from the wild using lawful methods for purposes of a fishing contest.
NR 20.40(10)(i) (i) Pursuant to s. NR 20.05 (7), any fish taken into possession by an individual and not released immediately shall be included as part of the individual's daily bag limit.
NR 20.40(10)(j) (j) The time limitations upon the length of a fishing tournament under this section do not include fishing activities by tournament participants carried out prior to the time when the tournament begins.
NR 20.40(10)(k) (k) Except for tournaments on the Great Lakes, the fishing portion of any tournament may not run for more than 10 consecutive hours each day or more than 4 consecutive days.
NR 20.40(10)(L) (L) The fishing portion of tournaments on the Great Lakes is not limited in duration.
NR 20.40(10)(m) (m) Upon permit approval, tournament organizers shall notify the county and city, village, or town within which the access site, weigh-in site, or headquarters for the tournament is located of the date, time, location and size of tournament.
NR 20.40(11) (11) Aquatic invasive species.
NR 20.40(11)(a)(a) All tournament participants shall comply with s. 30.07, Stats., and all department rules pertaining to control of aquatic invasive species.
NR 20.40(11)(b) (b) Fishing tournament organizers shall inform all tournament participants of procedures recommended by the department to clean and decontaminate boats and equipment of aquatic plants and invasive species prior to the tournament.
NR 20.40(11)(c) (c) The department may include permit conditions necessary to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
NR 20.40(12) (12) Reporting. Each organizer shall report the results of the organizer's tournament and other information which the department deems necessary on forms available from the department no later than 30 days following the last day of the tournament.
NR 20.40 Note Note: Reporting forms will be issued with permits.
NR 20.40 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99; CR 01-012: am. (4) (b) and (5), r. (9), Register November 2001 No. 551, eff. 4-1-02; except (9) eff. 12-31-01; correction in (6) (c) 4. made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register September 2002 No. 561; CR 04-112: cr. (1) (am), (d), and (6m), am. (6) (d) and (f) Register June 2005 No. 594, eff. 7-1-05; CR 06-108: r. and recr. Register April 2009 No. 640, eff. 5-1-09; correction in (7) (a) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register April 2009 No. 640; corrections in (2) (b) and (11) (a) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2010 No. 650; CR 10-053: am. (1) Register December 2010 No. 660, eff. 1-1-11; CR 13-079: cr. (2) (dm), am. (3) (intro.), cr. (3) (e), (3m) (intro.), am. (3m) (a), (b), cr. (3m) (c), am. (4) (b) 2., 3., (c) 2., (d) 2., r. and recr. (5), am. (7) (intro.), (a) (table), cr. (7) (f) 2m., am. (10) (g) 3., cr. (10) (g) 3m., am. (10) (g) 4., 7. (intro.), r. (10) (g) 7. c., cr. (10) (g) 8., 9., (gm) Register May 2014 No. 701, eff. 6-1-14; correction in (10) (g) 4. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register May 2014 No. 701; correction in (10) (g) 8. made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register May 2014 No. 701; correction in (10) 9. (gm) (intro.) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register June 2015 No. 714; CR 19-016: am. (3) (intro.), cr. (3) (f), am. (3m) (intro.), cr. (10) (g) (10), Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20; CR 19-016: am. (3) (intro.), cr. (3) (f), am. (3m) (intro.) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20; CR 19-091: am. (3m) (a), cr. (10) (h) 2. c. Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20; CR 19-078: am. (2) (a) Register May 2020 No. 773, eff. 6-1-20.
NR 20.41 NR 20.41Experimental waters.
NR 20.41(1)(1)Designated. The following waters are designated as experimental waters: Nebish, Spruce, Mystery, Escanaba and Pallette lakes situated in sections 34 and 35, township 42 north, range 7 east, and sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12, township 41 north, range 7 east, Vilas county.
NR 20.41(2) (2) Permit required.
NR 20.41(2)(a)(a) No person may fish in experimental waters unless a permit has been issued to the person by the department.
NR 20.41 Note Note: Permits may be obtained at the checking station indicated by posted signs in the immediate area of these experimental waters.
NR 20.41(2)(b) (b) Permits issued under this section are valid only for the date issued.
NR 20.41(3) (3) Reporting.
NR 20.41(3)(a)(a) Permits issued under this section shall be returned to the checking station upon termination of fishing activities by the angler.
NR 20.41(3)(b) (b) All fish taken pursuant to this section shall be exhibited to the department or its agents at the checking station for examination, identification and marking.
NR 20.41(4) (4) Authorized methods. No person may fish in Escanaba, Nebish, or Pallette lakes while possessing fishing line with attached lead-containing jig-heads, sinkers, and weights that weigh less than 1 ounce or that measure less than 1 inch in any dimension.
NR 20.41 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99; CR 13-019: cr. (4) Register December 2013 No. 696, eff. 4-1-14.
NR 20.60 NR 20.60Monthly sport trolling fishing reports.
NR 20.60(1)(1)A monthly sport trolling fishing report form required by s. 29.514 (2), Stats., shall be completed by the sport trolling licensee guiding persons in sport trolling. Copies of the report form shall be provided by the department. The licensee's name, license number, date, locations fished, number of anglers, number of lines fished, hours fished, total number of fish caught and other information required by the report form shall be accurately and legibly recorded on the form in the English language within 1/2 hour after completing each trip's fishing activities after returning to the dock or shore. The number of fish of each species caught and the tag numbers, if any, may be recorded on the form after returning to the dock or shore but shall be recorded on the form prior to midnight of the day of each trip. The report form shall be exhibited to a conservation warden upon request.
NR 20.60(2) (2)The entire monthly sport trolling fishing report form provided by the department, including any voided and unused pages, shall be signed and dated by the sport trolling licensee and submitted to the department on or before the 10th day of each month for the preceding calendar month.
NR 20.60 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99.
NR 20.65 NR 20.65Report of licensed guides. All Wisconsin guides licensed under the provisions of s. 29.512 (1), Stats., and operating in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Green Bay shall report to the department on blanks to be furnished by the department detailed information regarding their fishing activities which shall include the quantity, the varieties of fish taken, and any other information pertaining to their fishing activities required by the department.
NR 20.65 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.