The Department of Natural Resources is considering several new restrictions and guidelines for fishing tournaments hosted on Wisconsin lakes. DNR fish biologist Patrick Schmalz says the rules help to cover gaps in the current regulations on tournaments. He says the DNR does very little right now to direct the size or location of those events.
The proposal would set up a permitting system for large tournaments, along with limits on the number of events each season and when they can be held. Schmalz says those permits would likely be limited to about 400 tournament permits a year, not including smaller tournaments that are currently not regulated.
Public hearings on the package will begin later this month. Schmalz says some of the proposed rules are likely to draw controversy, such as one banning certain types of catch and release tournaments from taking place in July and August.
The DNR was directed to craft the rules by a 2004 law, which was responding to public concerns about the effects of tournaments.
Related web sites:
Hearing dates & Rules summary