perchWI closes Commercial fishery

Will seek permanent order to close commercial perch fishery.

MADISON, WI - June/96

Wisconsin NATURAL RESOURCES BOARD (NRB) voted on June26, 1996 to approve an emergency order limiting the daily sport fishing bag limit of yellow perch to 5 and postponing the start of the commercial season from September 15 to October 1.

While emergency order FM-39-96(E) is temporary, Wisconsin's fish chief Lee Kernen also received approval for the NRB to hold public hearings on permanent rule order FM-40-96. Following public hearings the implementation of the permanent rule will establish a permanent daily sportfishing bag limit of 5 and close the yellow perch commercial fishery in Lake Michigan.

Wisconsin DNR personnel say prior to the September NRB meeting, they will have additional information on their productive success of yellow perch in 1996. If reproduction is poor, the NRB will be asked in September for approval of an emergency closure of the commercial season and adoption of the permanent order.

"We have seen six consecutive years of extremely poor reproduction and the remaining adult stock is rapidly declining," states DNR secretary George E. Meyer.

Illinois' fish chief Mike Conlin said in response to Wisconsin's actions, "We've already cut commercial quotas more than 50%, but we're going to look at all the data before we make any additional moves". Conlin reminded us Illinois wanted to reduce recreational perch quotas to 5 back in 1994, but the other Lake Michigan states wouldn't go along.

Michigan's , John Robertson did not return our call.

When Jim Butterbrodt addresses the NRB he stated " We can't wait any more. The fishery cannot continue to take exploitation and have a shot at coming back." Butterbrodt is president of the Wisconsin Federation of Great lakes Sportfishing Clubs and chairman of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Great Lakes Study Committee.


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