Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
NR 25.09(2)(a)6. 6. With a mesh size of not less than 4 inch and not more than 41/2 inch stretch measure:
NR 25.09(2)(a)6.a. a. Only in southern Green Bay in water less than 30 feet (5 fathoms) deep.
NR 25.09(2)(a)6.c. c. From May 20 to March 9, except during the closed season for whitefish.
NR 25.09(2)(a)6.d. d. Not more than 30 meshes in depth.
NR 25.09(2)(a)7. 7. With a mesh size of not less than 41/2 inch and not more than 61/2 inch stretch measure:
NR 25.09(2)(a)7.a. a. In those waters of Lake Michigan lying north of a line extending from the mid-channel marker buoy of Bailey's Harbor on 135° bearing.
NR 25.09(2)(a)7.b. b. In Green Bay.
NR 25.09(2)(a)7.c. c. Only during the open season for whitefish.
NR 25.09(2)(a)7.d. d. May not exceed 30 meshes in depth for one-half of the total length of these nets set at any time by a licensed commercial fisher, and the remaining half may not exceed 50 meshes in depth.
NR 25.09(2)(a)8. 8. With a mesh size of not less than 6½ inch stretch measure:
NR 25.09(2)(a)8.b. b. Only during the open seasons for whitefish and yellow perch.
NR 25.09(2)(a)8.c. c. Not more than 12 meshes in depth.
NR 25.09(2)(a)9. 9. With a mesh size of 4 inch or larger stretch measure, not to exceed 12,000 feet may be used under each license at any one time.
NR 25.09(2)(a)10. 10. Shall be lifted a minimum of:
NR 25.09(2)(a)10.a. a. Once every 24 hours (1 day) in open water less than 150 feet (25 fathoms) deep for all mesh sizes in Green Bay and Lake Michigan except as provided in subd. 10. d.
NR 25.09(2)(a)10.b. b. Once every 120 hours (5 days) in open water 150 feet (25 fathoms) deep or deeper for mesh sizes of not more than 23/4 inch stretch measure in Lake Michigan.
NR 25.09(2)(a)10.c. c. Once every 48 hours (2 days) in commercial ice fishing.
NR 25.09(2)(a)10.d. d. Once every 120 hours (5 days) in open water less than 150 feet (25 fathoms) deep for mesh sizes of not more than 23/4 inch stretch measure in Lake Michigan.
NR 25.09(2)(b) (b) Entrapping nets.
NR 25.09(2)(b)1.1. Drop nets and fyke nets:
NR 25.09(2)(b)1.a. a. Only during the open season for yellow perch, except by permit issued under s. NR 25.10 (4).
NR 25.09(2)(b)1.b. b. May be used up to 30 drop nets or fyke nets in aggregate under each license, that being the maximum number of pots or cribs allowed.
NR 25.09(2)(b)1.c. c. Shall be lifted a minimum of once every 72 hours (3 days).
NR 25.09(2)(b)2. 2. Pound nets and trap nets:
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.a. a. Only when the pot or crib is set, placed or operated in water not more than 150 feet (25 fathoms) deep and from June 29 to Labor Day south of a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 44º52'30" north latitude only when entire net, including the lead, is set, placed or operated in water not more than 150 feet (25 fathoms) or less than 60 feet (10 fathoms).
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.b. b. No more than 12 pound nets and trap nets in aggregate may be used under each license, that being the maximum number of pots or cribs allowed, except that from June 29 to Labor Day no more than 3 pound nets and trap nets in aggregate may be used under each license in the waters of Lake Michigan lying south of a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 44°5230 north latitude.
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.c. c. Shall be lifted a minimum of once every 120 hours (5 days).
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.d. d. Shall have the fish holding or pot portion rendered inoperable during the closed season for whitefish and shall have the webbing removed from the water within 14 days after the close of the whitefish season.
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.e. e. May be used to take fish in the waters of Lake Michigan lying between a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 44º5230 north latitude and a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 44º855 north latitude, between a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 44º533 north latitude and a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 43º4050 north latitude, and south of a line extending from the Lake Michigan shoreline along 43º3439 north latitude only during the period including the day after Labor Day to June 28. Unless the department has granted an extension of time, the webbing shall be removed from the water by June 28 and may not be reinstalled until the day after Labor Day. If adverse weather conditions or unanticipated equipment problems prevent removal of the webbing by June 28, a licensee may request and the department may grant a brief extension of time sufficient to allow safe removal.
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.f. f. Shall each be marked and maintained with 2 flags, one above the other, on a single staff attached to the inside or shallow lead end of the net, one flag on a staff attached to the pot or lifting buoy, one flag on a staff attached to the anchor at the outward end of the king line, and one float measuring a minimum of 5 inches in diameter attached to the anchor at the outward end of each net wing. All staffs shall be marked with reflective tape. All flags shall measure not less than 9 inches high by 18 inches wide and shall be displayed so that the top edge of the flag is not less than 5 feet above the water, except that the lower of 2 flags on one staff shall be displayed so that the bottom edge is not less than 3 feet above the water. Two flags displayed on one staff shall be separated by not less than 6 inches. All floats and all flags except the flag attached to the king line anchor shall be of a highly visible color commonly referred to as hunter orange or blaze orange with a color range between 595 nm and 605 nm. The flag attached to the king line anchor shall be a dark color other than orange. The license number or fleet reporting number of the commercial fishing license holder to whom each net belongs shall be displayed and maintained in legible, block figures at least 1 inch high on the bowl of the pot or lifting buoy. Flags are not required October 16 through April 14.
NR 25.09(2)(b)2.g. g. For legal fish species in Lake Michigan and Green Bay.
NR 25.09(2)(c) (c) Seines.
NR 25.09(2)(c)1.1. With a mesh size of not less than 3 inch stretch measure.
NR 25.09(2)(c)2. 2. Not less than 75 feet in length.
NR 25.09(2)(d) (d) Trawls.
NR 25.09(2)(d)1.1. In southern Green Bay:
NR 25.09(2)(d)1.a. a. Only for taking smelt under s. NR 25.06 (2) (c).
NR 25.09(2)(d)1.b. b. Only in water more than 65 feet deep.
NR 25.09(2)(d)1.c. c. Only north of a line from the southernmost point of Little Tail point to the Green Bay navigation channel entrance light.
NR 25.09(2)(d)1.d. d. When used to harvest smelt in Green Bay, diverters with openings no larger than 7/8 inch wide shall be used.
NR 25.09(2)(d)2. 2. In Lake Michigan:
NR 25.09(2)(d)2.a. a. Only in waters 60 feet (10 fathoms) deep or deeper bounded by a line beginning at a point where 44° 30 north latitude intersects with the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan, then proceeding east along 44° 30 north latitude, to its intersection with 87° 10 west longitude, then proceeding south along 87° 10west longitude to its intersection with 44° 10north latitude then proceeding west along 44° 10north latitude to its intersection with 87° 20 west longitude, then proceeding south along 87° 20west longitude to its intersection with 43° 50north latitude, then proceeding west along 43° 50north latitude to its intersection with 87° 40 west longitude, then proceeding north along 87° 40 west longitude to its intersection with 44° 00 north latitude, then proceeding west along 44° 00north latitude to the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan and then north along the shore to the point of beginning. This area can also be described as all of grids 1105, 1205, 1304, 1403 and 1404, and part of grids 1104, 1204 and 1303.
NR 25.09(2)(d)2.b. b. Only for taking smelt as provided in s. NR 25.06 (2) (c) except chubs may be harvested during the trawling season for smelt, subject to s. NR 25.07 (2) (a), and whitefish may be harvested subject to the requirements in this subdivision and s. NR 25.09 (2m).
NR 25.09(2)(d)2.c. c. Beginning July 1, 1991, when used to harvest smelt in Lake Michigan, diverters with openings no larger than 11 /2 inch wide shall be used.
NR 25.09(2)(d)2.d. d. Until October 31, 2025, whitefish may be taken by trawling from December 1 to August 31 from one hour before sunrise to one hour before sunset. Trawls shall consist of a head rope height not greater than 45 meters. The wing mesh shall not be less than 4.5 inches stretch measure. The beginning of the trawl bag where it attaches to the wing shall not be less than 2 inches stretch measure and not greater than 4.5 inches stretch measure and shall have a fishing circle not greater than 250 meshes. The cod end of the trawl bag shall not be less than 4.5 inches stretch measure and shall begin with a fishing circle not greater than 80 meshes. The net shall be composed of twine material capable of remaining open under tension. No trawl may be deployed for longer than one hour per drag, measured from the time the trawl door enters the water until the time the trawl door leaves the water upon retrieval.
NR 25.09(2)(d)2.e. e. Any person taking whitefish using a trawl under this subdivision shall submit commercial fishing reports on whitefish subject to the requirements in s. NR 25.13 (2), and on incidental harvest subject to the requirements in s. NR 25.13 (2) (g).
NR 25.09(2m) (2m)Video surveillance. A licensee taking whitefish using a trawl under sub. (2) (d) 2. shall capture a video record of the on-board activity on any vessel engaged in trawling for whitefish as provided in this subsection. The licensee shall comply with all the video surveillance system requirements in this subsection unless the licensee notifies the department of a system malfunction as described in subd. 3. The video record shall be made by using a video surveillance system that complies with all of the following requirements:
NR 25.09(2m)(a)1.1. The system shall consist of not fewer than two cameras capable of recording video in color and infrared, at not less than 5 frames per second and 470 TV lines resolution. The licensee shall position one camera to clearly capture the area of the vessel in which fish are emptied from the bag of the trawl net, and the licensee shall position one camera to clearly capture the area of the vessel where incidentally caught fish are measured before being returned to the water. Placement of the cameras is subject to all of the following:
NR 25.09(2m)(a)1.a. a. The licensee shall place a measuring board with visible measuring units in inches near the bycatch chute, arranged so that each incidentally caught fish passes across the measuring board in a manner allowing determination of species and length in view of the camera prior to the fish's return to the water.
NR 25.09(2m)(a)1.b. b. Upon direction from the department, the licensee shall reposition any of the cameras if the activities identified in this paragraph are not visible or are unclear in any video record generated under this section after being viewed by the department under par. (c).
NR 25.09(2m)(a)2. 2. The video record generated by the cameras described in subd. 1. shall be recorded on a hard drive that has memory capacity of not less than 1 terabyte and is capable of retaining not less than 30 days of video records generated as required under par. (b), with each frame of the video record stamped with the date and time of capture.
NR 25.09(2m)(a)3. 3. The video recording system shall be equipped with an audible alarm warning that indicates system malfunction. If a system malfunction occurs, the licensee shall immediately cease trawling and shall contact the department within 2 hours of returning to the dock. Upon restoration of system functionality, the licensee shall notify the department and shall resume using the system.
NR 25.09(2m)(b) (b) The licensee shall activate the video recording system under par. (a) upon engine ignition each time a vessel is operated for the purpose of taking whitefish with a trawl and shall provide that the video recording system remains in operation until the vessel returns to its dock and the engine is turned off.
NR 25.09(2m)(c) (c) The licensee shall maintain all video records captured under this subsection for 30 days following their recording. The licensee shall provide the video record to the department upon request through a wireless internet transmission or with a removable storage device.
NR 25.09(3) (3)Net operating requirement.
NR 25.09(3)(a) (a) Nets do not have to be lifted on Sunday, except as required by notice issued under s. NR 25.07.
NR 25.09(3)(b) (b) The lifting requirements of this section shall apply except during extreme adverse weather conditions which would place a fisher in danger of serious injury or death.
NR 25.09(3)(c) (c) Upon finding that a net has been lost, stolen or is missing, the owner or operator of the net shall immediately inform the department by notifying a department conservation warden. A net owner or operator who recovers a lost, stolen or missing net shall also immediately notify a department conservation warden of the recovery of the net.
NR 25.09(3)(d) (d) A commercial fisher who is engaged in fleet reporting shall display the fleet reporting number issued by the department on the buoys of all nets operated under the fleet reporting program of s. NR 25.135 in place of the individual commercial fishing license numbers.
NR 25.09(3)(e)1.1. All gill nets in the water and marked with a commercial fishing license number or a fleet reporting number shall count toward the total allowable gill net effort authorized under sub. (1) (am) or the linear feet of nets authorized under sub. (2) (a) 9.
NR 25.09(3)(e)2. 2. All entrapment gear in the water and marked with a commercial fishing license number or fleet reporting number shall count toward the total allowable number of nets under subs. (1) (b) 3. and (2) (b) 1. b. and 2. b., whether the pots are open or closed.
NR 25.09(4) (4)Net mesh measurement. Whenever the size of mesh of any net is specified in this chapter, the size shall be considered stretch measure.
NR 25.09(4)(a) (a) Stretch measure shall be determined by exerting a one pound strain on a mesh knot and measuring the mesh opening immediately above that knot on which the strain is applied from the inside edge of that knot to the inside edge of the knot directly opposite. Measurement shall be made by inserting the measuring device at the uppermost knot in the mesh and reading at the lowermost knot.
NR 25.09(4)(b) (b) The weight and measuring devices to be used under par. (a) shall be tested, approved and certified by the Wisconsin department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, or other governmental entity authorized to do so.
NR 25.09(4)(c) (c) Measurement shall be made of meshes in a wet condition.
NR 25.09(4)(d) (d) If the majority of 10 or more meshes selected at random by the enforcement officer from any part or parts of the net are found to be illegal, the entire net shall be considered illegal and shall be seized and held subject to the order of the court.
NR 25.09(5) (5)Movement of commercial fishing gear.
NR 25.09(5)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (bm), whenever any gill net lift, encircling net lift or trawl drag catches illegal fish of any species in an amount equal to 10% or more by weight or numbers of the total legal catch, the licensee shall immediately remove the net from the water, and may not reset, place, replace, recast, or operate the net during that same day unless:
NR 25.09(5)(a)1. 1. All parts of the net are moved a distance of at least 3 miles from that site; or
NR 25.09(5)(a)2. 2. Moved to a water depth where no part of the net is within 30 feet (5 fathoms) in depth of the water depth at which the catch of illegal fish was made.
NR 25.09(5)(bm) (bm) When trawling for whitefish from August 1 to 31 pursuant to sub. (2) (d) 2. d., all of the following requirements apply:
NR 25.09(5)(bm)1. 1. When a single trawl drag catches illegal fish of any species in an amount equal to 10% or more by weight or numbers of the total legal catch, the licensee shall immediately remove the trawl from the water, and may not reset, replace, recast, or operate any trawl during the same day unless the licensee moves and operates all parts of the trawl a distance of at least 3 miles from that site or to a water depth where no part of the trawl operates within 30 feet (5 fathoms) in depth of the water depth at which the catch of illegal fish was made.
NR 25.09(5)(bm)2. 2. Notwithstanding the requirement in subd. 1., when a single trawling vessel catches a daily average of at least 2 lake sturgeon, or a daily average of 10 to 49.9% by weight of incidental catch of illegal fish and any whitefish returned to the water, out of the dressed whitefish reported harvested by weight in a single week from Sunday to Saturday, the licensee may not reset, replace, recast, or operate any trawl during the following week unless the licensee moves and operates all parts of the trawl a distance of at least 6 miles from that site.
NR 25.09(5)(bm)3. 3. Notwithstanding the requirements in subds. 1. and 2., when a single trawling vessel catches 3 or more lake sturgeon or catches more than 50% by weight of incidental catch of illegal fish and any whitefish returned to the water out of the dressed whitefish reported harvested by weight in a single day, the licensee shall cease all trawling activities for the following 3 days.
NR 25.09(5)(bm)4. 4. The following formula shall be used to determine the percentage of incidental catch of illegal fish out of the reported whitefish harvest for the purposes of subds. 1. to 3.: [((number of whitefish x 1.37) + (number of lake trout and other incidentally caught species x 5.86)) / reported whitefish harvest in pounds] x 100.
NR 25.09 Note Note: Weights are determined for incidental catch based on average fish weights.
NR 25.09(6) (6)Lake Superior open water permit. The department may issue a permit authorizing the setting of nets from a boat or watercraft in the waters of Lake Superior for specific time periods during the period of January 15 to March 31 if it determines that open water conditions exist and weather forecasts predict that there will be adequate time to recover the nets prior to ice formation.
NR 25.09 History History: Cr. Register, September, 1976, No. 249, eff. 10-1-76; am. (2) (b) 2., Register, November, 1977, No. 263, eff. 12-1-77; am. (2) (a) 5., Register, June, 1978, No. 270, eff. 7-1-78; emerg. am (1), (2) (a) (intro.), 3. and 9., eff. 5-16-79; am. Register, October, 1979, No. 286, eff. 11-1-79; am. (2) (a) 3., Register, May, 1981, No. 305, eff. 7-1-81; emerg. r. and recr. (3) (a) 4., r. (5) (a) 3., renum. (5) (b) to be (5) (c), cr. (5) (b), eff. 7-1-81; r. and recr. (3) (a) 4., r. (5) (a) 3., renum. (5) (b) to be (5) (c), cr. (5) (b), Register, August, 1981, No. 308, eff. 9-1-81; renum. (5) and (6) to be (6) and (7), renum. (4) (g) to be (5) (a), renum. (4) (h) and (i) to be (5) (b) and (c) and am., cr. (5) (intro.), Register, November, 1981, No. 311, eff. 12-1-81; am. (2) (a) 9. and (2) (b) 2., Register, April, 1982, No. 316, eff. 5-1-82; renum. (5) and (6) to be (6) and (6m), cr. (5), Register, October, 1982, No. 322, eff. 11-1-82; am. (2) (a) 2. and (5) and r. (6) (b) and (c), Register, April, 1983, No. 328, eff. 5-1-83; r. and recr. Register, June, 1984, No. 342, eff. 7-1-84; renum. from NR 25.08 and am. (1) (b) 2. and (2) (b) 1.a., Register, January, 1985, No. 349, eff. 2-1-85; am. (2) (a) 6.a., Register, August, 1985, No. 356, eff. 9-1-85; emerg. am. (1) (a) 4. b., eff. 4-22-86; am. (1) (a) 4. b., renum. (2) (a) 3. to 9. to be 4. to 10. and am. 5. and 10. a. and b., cr. (2) (a) 3., 4. c. and d., r. and recr. (2) (d) 2., Register, October, 1986, No. 370, eff. 11-1-86; am. (2) (d) 2. c., Register, April, 1988, No. 388, eff. 5-1-88; am. (2) (a) 10. a., cr. (2) (a) 10. d., Register, July, 1988, No. 391, eff. 8-1-88; am. (2) (a) 1. and 2., 4.a., c. and d., (b) 2.d., r. and recr. (2) (a) 3., r. (2) (a) 5., 6.b. and 8.a., cr. (2) (b) 2.c. and (d) 1.d., Register, June, 1989, No. 402, eff. 7-1-89; emerg. am. (1) (a) 4. a., (2) (b) 2. e., (d) 1. a., b. and d., 2. b., cr. (1) (a) 4. bm. and d. to g., (b) 6., r. and recr. (2) (d) 2. c., eff. 4-1-91; am. (1) (a) 4. a., cr. (1) (a) 4. bm., d. to g. and (b) 6., Register, July, 1991, No. 427, eff. 8-1-91; am. (2) (b) 2. e., (2) (d) 1. a., b. and d., 2. b., r. and recr. (2) (d) 2. c., Register, August, 1991, No. 428, eff. 9-1-91; am. (1), Register, November, 1993, No. 455, eff. 12-1-93; am. (2) (b) 2. e., Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95; corrections and renumbering of (1) (a) 1. to 5. to be (1) (ad), (ah), (am), (ar) and (av) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., 2. and 7., Stats., Register, April, 1997, No. 496; am. (1) (am) 3. c., 5. and (b) 2., cr. (1) (b) 9., Register, June, 1997, No. 498, eff. 7-1-97; am. (2) (b) 2. a., Register, April, 1999, No. 520, eff. 5-1-99; CR 01-115: am. (2) (b) 2. a. and e., Register February 2002 No. 554, eff. 3-1-02; CR 02-096: am. (1) (ah) 3., r. (1) (am) 3. c., cr. (1) (as) Register April 2003 No. 568, eff. 5-1-03; CR 02-143: am. (2) (b) 2. a., b. and e. Register September 2003 No. 573, eff. 10-1-03; CR 03-106: cr. (2) (b) 2. f. Register July 2004 No. 583, eff. 8-1-04; CR 05-115: am. (1) (am) 3. d. and (b) 7. Register July 2006 No. 607, eff. 8-1-06; CR 08-060: am. (1) (am) 5., 6., (as), (2) (a) 9., (b) 1. b., 2. b. and f., cr. (2) (b) 2. g., (3) (c), (d), (e) and (6) Register June 2009 No. 642, eff. 7-1-09; correction in (1) (am) 3. f. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register June 2009 No. 642; correction in (1) (am) 4. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register January 2010 No. 649; CR 11-008: cr. (1) (b) 11., am. (2) (b) 2. a., f. Register November 2011 No. 671, eff. 12-1-11; CR 15-074: am. (1) (am) 3. f. Register May 2016 No. 725, eff. 6-1-16; CR 19-134: am. (2) (d) 2. b., cr. (2) (d) 2. d., e., (2m), renum. (5) (intro.) to (5) (a) (intro.) and am., renum. (5) (a), (b) to (5) (a) 1., 2., cr. (5) (bm) Register April 2020 No. 772, eff. 5-1-20; corrections in (2) (d) 2. b., (2m) (a) 3., (5) (a) (intro.), (bm) (intro.), 3., 4. made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register April 2020 No. 772; EmR1923: emerg. am. (1) (am) 3. b., (b) 5., 9., cr. (1) (bm), (d), (e), eff. 12-30-19; CR 19-103: am. (1) (am) 3. b., (b) 5., 9., cr. (1) (bm), (d), (e) Register July 2020 No. 775, eff. 8-1-20; correction in (1) (d) made under s. 35.17, Stats., and (1) (d) (title) created under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 2. Register July 2020 No. 775; correction in (5) (a) (intro.) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2021 No. 782.
NR 25.09 Note Note: See the table of Appellate Court Citations for Wisconsin appellate cases citing s. NR 25.09.
NR 25.10 NR 25.10 Restricted commercial fishing areas. The following restrictions apply to the use of the specified commercial fishing gear in the indicated areas:
NR 25.10(1) (1)Lake superior.
NR 25.10(1)(a) (a) Areas restricted to the taking of rough or detrimental fish and whitefish. No commercial fishing gear of any kind except nets by permit issued under sub. (4) for the taking of rough or detrimental fish, or entrapping nets by permit issued under sub. (4) for the taking of whitefish may be used, set, placed or operated in the following waters:
NR 25.10(1)(a)1. 1. Allouez bay, Superior bay, and St. Louis bay, all in Douglas county and as described in s. 29.417, Stats.
NR 25.10(1)(a)2. 2. All waters within one-fourth mile of the mouth of any navigable stream flowing into Lake Superior.
NR 25.10(1)(a)3. 3. All waters within one-fourth mile of any harbor, pier or breakwater from April 15 through November 30.
NR 25.10(1)(a)4. 4. That portion of Chequamegon bay lying south of a line beginning at the easternmost point of Houghton point in section 27, township 49 north, range 4 west, Bayfield county, then proceeding northeasterly to the signal light on the western end of Long island in section 13, township 48 north, range 4 west, Ashland county, then along the south or west shore of Long island and on across the cut, if present, along the south or west shore of Chequamegon point to where Chequamegon point joins the mainland in section 1 or 12, township 48 north, range 3 west, Ashland county.
NR 25.10(1)(b) (b) Areas restricted to the taking of rough or detrimental fish only. No commercial fishing gear of any kind except nets by permit issued under sub. (4) for the taking of rough or detrimental fish may be used, set, placed or operated in the following waters:
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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.