ORDER OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN NATURAL RESOURCES BOARD
REPEALING, AMENDING, AND CREATING RULES
The statement of scope for this rule, SS 153-13, was approved by the Governor on November 21, 2013, published in Register No. 696A on December 14, 2013, and approved by the Natural Resources Board on January 22, 2014. This permanent rule was approved by the Governor on February 27, 2015.
Wisconsin Natural Resources Board proposes an order to repeal NR 20.20 (1) (a), (2) (a), (3) (a), (4) (a) 1., (6) (a), (7) (a), (9) (a), (10)(a), (11) (a), (12) (a), (13) (a) 1., (14)(a), (16)(a)1., (17) (a), (18)(a), (21) (a), (22) (a), (24) (a), (25) (a), (28)(a), (29) (a), (30) (a) 1., (32) (a), (33)(a), (34)(a)1., (38) (a), (43) (a), (45)(a)1., (47) (a), (49) (a), (50) (a), (51) (a), (52) (a) 1., (53) (a), (54)(a)1., (55)(a), (56) (a), (58) (a), (60)(a), (61)(a), (65) (a)1., (66) (a), (68) (a)1., (69) (a), (71) (a), and (72) (a); to amend NR 20.03 (40), 20.06(1), 20.15(4), 20.20 (15) (a) 1., (19) (a) 1., (27) (a) 1., (35) (a) 1., (37) (a) 1., (39) (a)1., (44) (a) 1., (57)(a)1., (59)(a)1., (67)(a)1., (73) (a) and 23.08; and to create NR 20.15 (4) relating to fishing regulations on inland and boundary waters of Wisconsin.
Analysis Prepared by Department of Natural Resources
1. Statutes interpreted. Sections 29.014(1) and 29.041, Stats., have been interpreted as giving the department the authority to make changes to fishing regulations on inland, outlying, and boundary waters of Wisconsin.
3. Explanation of agency authority to promulgate the proposed rules under the statutory authority.
Section 29.014(1), Stats., directs the department to establish and maintain conditions governing the taking of fish that will conserve the fish supply and ensure the citizens of this state continued opportunities for good fishing. Section 29.041, Stats., provides that the department may regulate fishing on and in all interstate boundary waters and outlying waters.
4. Related statutes or rules. N/A
5. Plain language analysis of the proposed rule.
The proposed rule would make modifications to chs. NR 20 and 23 pertaining to trolling on inland and boundary waters of Wisconsin.
This rule would allow trolling on all inland waters in Wisconsin, which would reduce confusion between trolling and position fishing. Trolling means fishing by trailing any lure, bait, or similar device that may be used to attract or catch fish from a boat propelled by a means other than drifting or rowing. Drifting or “row trolling” is allowed on all waters statewide. Position fishing means fishing from a boat in a manner where the fishing line extends vertically into the water while the boat is maneuvered by the use of a motor. An angler fishing with a sucker or other live bait trailing behind the boat while the motor is running is considered to be trolling, which is currently prohibited on many waters. Many anglers would like to have the option of trailing a bait or lure behind the boat without having to worry about whether they are considered to be trolling. Allowing trolling statewide would:
1) Simplify regulations by eliminating confusion about where trolling is or is not allowed;
2) Allow anglers to trail at least 2 suckers, minnows or other baits or lures behind a moving motor boat, whether or not the occupants are casting other lures;
3) Eliminate the need for disabled anglers to apply for trolling permits, unless they want to troll with more than one hook, bait, or lure in “1-line” trolling waters; and
4) Provide additional fishing opportunities for anglers who may have difficulty fishing by other methods.
The rule allows fishing by the method of trolling on all inland waters with one hook, bait, or lure and – depending on location – with up to three hooks, baits, or lures. In waters where trolling is allowed with only one hook, bait, or lure per person, the following additional conditions apply: 1) no more than two fishing lines may be used from a boat to fish by the method of trolling; and 2) any line used to fish by the method of trolling is limited to one hook, bait or lure per line. As directed by the Natural Resources Board, the rule has a 3-year sunset date and will expire on May 4, 2018, immediately prior to the general fishing season opening day.
Section 1 of this rule adds pedaling and paddling to the list of propulsion methods which, if utilized while trailing a lure or bait, would not constitute trolling.
(See PDF for image)Section 2 (amending s. NR 20.06(1)) provides for trolling with one hook, bait, or lure per person statewide, except on specifically identified waters (Section 4) where trolling would be allowed with up to three hooks, baits, or lures per person. Where trolling is allowed with only one hook, bait, or lure per person, no more than two fishing lines – each limited to one hook, bait, or lure per line – may be used from a single boat to fish by the method of trolling. Trolling will be allowed with only one hook, bait, or lure and up to two hooks, baits, or lures per boat in Fond du Lac, Iron, Menominee, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Vilas, and Waushara counties. However, anglers may use up to three hooks, baits, or lures when trolling Lake Winnebago system waters in Fond du Lac and Waushara counties. Section 4 (creating s. NR 20.15(4)), identifies counties where trolling would be allowed with up to three hooks, baits, or lures per person on all waters. There is no limit to the number of trolling lines on a single boat, except no individual can fish with more than three hooks, baits or lures. These counties include: Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Forest, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lafayette, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Monroe, Oconto, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Racine, Richland, Rock, Rusk, Sauk, Shawano, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washburn, Waukesha, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood.
Sections 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 (amendments throughout NR 20.20 and NR 23) identify specific waters where trolling is allowed with three hooks, baits, or lures per person. All other waters in those counties are limited to trolling with one hook, bait, or lure per person, with a limit of up to two hooks, baits, or lures from a boat that may be used for trolling. These waters and counties include:
Clark and Kangaroo Lakes, Door County;
Halsey Lake, Florence County;
Arbutus Lake, Jackson County;
Spirit River flowage, Wisconsin river downstream from CTH A including sloughs, bayous and flowages upstream to the first dam or highway bridge, except Lake Mohawksin, Lincoln County;
Big Eau Pleine reservoir upstream to the first state hwy. 153 bridge, Wisconsin river including sloughs, bayous and flowages upstream to the first dam or highway bridge (the eastern boundary of the Wisconsin River and Peplin and Johnson Creeks and the Little Eau Claire River, at Lake DuBay, is the south-bound lane of Interstate 39), Marathon County;
Buffalo lake, Mason lake, Fox river downstream from Buffalo lake, and Lake Winnebago system waters, Marquette County;
Columbus lake, Rainbow flowage, Sugar Camp lake, Thunder lake and Willow flowage, Oneida County;
Chetac lake, Grindstone lake, Lac Courte Oreilles lake, Nelson lake, Round lake, Whitefish lake, and Windigo lake, Sawyer County;
Sheboygan marsh, Sheboygan County; and
Big Cedar and Pike lakes, Washington County.
All remaining sections repeal existing rule language for counties that will now be governed by Section 4 or are sections inserted to reflect the sunset of the rule changes on May 4, 2018. In particular, Section 5 amends the newly created Section 4 after the rule sunsets. The language will not revert back to sections within the NR 20.20 table, but rather be included in the amended NR 20.15(4).
The number of hooks, baits, or lures allowed for trolling on the inland tributaries to Lake Michigan and Green Bay will match the number allowed in the respective counties.
Trolling with up to 3 hooks, baits, or lures per person will be allowed on all Lake Winnebago system waters.
There is no change to trolling rules on outlying waters or on WI-MN, WI-IA or WI-MI boundary waters (except for boundary waters of Vilas County), where trolling is already allowed with up to three hooks, baits, or lures. Trolling with one hook, bait, or lure per person and up to two hooks, baits, or lures per boat will now be allowed on WI-MI boundary waters of Vilas County, which currently have no trolling allowed.