Register July 2020 No. 775
Chapter NR 25
COMMERCIAL FISHING — OUTLYING WATERS
Commercial fishing licenses.
Transfer of commercial fishing licenses.
Open seasons; size limits; possession and harvest limits.
Quotas, catch fees and special regulations.
Individual licensee catch quotas.
Transfer of individual licensee catch quotas.
Commercial fishing gear.
Restricted commercial fishing areas.
Handling of illegal fish.
Processing of fish.
Commercial fishing reports.
Fleet reporting programs.
Possession of fishing equipment.
Taking of fish by or for the department.
Lake trout tagging and identification.
Wholesale fish dealer reports.
Landing and transportation of fish.
Vehicle identification requirements.
Ch. NR 25 Note
Chapter NR 25 as it existed on September 30, 1976, was repealed and a new chapter NR 25 was created effective October 1, 1976. Corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, December, 1998, No. 516
This chapter, along with other applicable rules and statutes, regulates commercial fishing in the outlying waters.
The rules contained in this chapter are not intended to, nor do they authorize, the sale or introduction into interstate commerce for purposes of human consumption or use fish taken from the outlying waters which fail to meet food and drug administration (FDA) standards.
The following shall apply to any agreements relating to the allocation or management of Lake Superior resources which are entered into between the department and a tribe or tribes with reserved treaty rights in the Lake Superior commercial fishery:
The department shall assess implementation of any agreements and any experimental regulations established by the agreements using factors including scientific data, biological indicators, and metrics related to the health, safety, and welfare of users.
In the event the department determines the sustainability of any Lake Superior resource or the health, safety and welfare of its users are or are likely to be jeopardized, the department shall take action to address the department's concerns, including good faith negotiation or the modification or termination of any agreement, in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
NR 25.01 Note
Note: In December 2018, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources entered into an agreement relating to the allocation and management of Lake Superior fishing resources (“the Agreement”). The Agreement contains provisions applicable to both tribal treaty fishers and non-tribal commercial fishers in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior. For tribal members, the Agreement provisions are enforceable through tribal codes adopted by the Tribes. For non-tribal members, the state's regulations have been amended to be consistent with applicable provisions in the Agreement. Biological representatives of the state and the two tribes have identified specific goals for assessing state and tribal commercial fishing seasons under the Agreement. Those specific goals are reviewed regularly and adjusted as necessary. The Agreement contains provisions for modification or, if necessary, for termination for any reason by any party. Grounds for amendment or termination include, but are not limited to, adverse conditions which, in the opinion of any party, could jeopardize the sustainability of the Lake Superior resources or the health, safety, and welfare of resource users.
Except as modified by an agreement with the tribe of the treaty fisher, the following sections of this chapter are applicable to treaty fishers fishing in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior:
NR 25.01 History
Cr. Register, September, 1976, No. 249
, eff. 10-1-76; r. and recr. Register, October, 1979, No. 286
, eff. 11-1-79; emerg. cr. (3), eff. 4-22-86; cr. (3), Register, October, 1986, No. 370
, eff. 11-1-86; emerg. am. (3) (intro.), eff. 3-10-87; am. (3) (intro.), Register, December, 1987, No. 384
, eff. 1-1-88; CR 19-103: cr. (2m) Register July 2020 No. 775, eff. 8-1-20.
Except as otherwise specifically defined in the statutes, the following terms, for the purposes of this chapter, are defined as follows:
“Allouez Bay" means that body of water in Douglas county lying south of a line commencing at the most northerly point in section 29, township 49 north, range 13 west, and running due east in a straight line to the water's edge on north line of section 28, same township and range.
“Baileys Harbor" means that body of water in Door county lying north of a line commencing at the most southerly point in section 21, township 30 north, range 28 east at N45°
, and running in a straight line westerly to the south line of section 20, same township and range at N45°
NR 25.02 Note
Note: All latitude and longitude coordinates are expressed in degrees and minutes.
Catch-per-unit-of-effort” means the average number of fish caught per 1,000-foot lift of gill net or per lift of trap net, and includes all dead and live fish.
“Chunked" means fish from which the viscera, head and tail have been removed.
“Cisco” means the fish species commonly known as lake herring or as cisco.
“Closed area" means any area designated as a refuge by rule or statute, or any area where fishing is restricted in any manner by rule.
“Closed season" means that period of the year not embraced within the open season for each species of fish therefor as provided in s. NR 25.05 (1)
during which the taking of the fish species enumerated is prohibited.
“Commercial fish" is any species of game or rough fish for which an open season has been provided in s. NR 25.05
“Commercial fishing" means fishing for fish regulated by this chapter with commercial gear or methods other than those commonly known as hook and line fishing or angling, the taking of smelt pursuant to s. NR 20.20
, or the taking of minnows.
“Commercial fishing gear" or “commercial gear" is that equipment identified in or regulated by this chapter, with the exception of hook and line or angling equipment, gear for the taking of smelt pursuant to s. NR 20.20
, or the taking of minnows.