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Walleye harvest might resume on Minocqua Chain of Lakes this year

Source: Canva

Walleye harvest might resume on Minocqua Chain of Lakes this year

April 18, 2024 11:12 AM CDT

By: Brittney Merlot

WAUSAU, Wis. (WXCO) – The zero bag limit may be lifted after the Lac Du Flambeau Tribe put in an intent to harvest during spear fishing season this Spring.

A close-up of a walleye in a fishing net.

The Lac Du Flambeau Tribe declared its intent to harvest during spear fishing season this spring. The Wisconsin DNR requested the ability to begin drafting emergency regulations in case the Lac du Flambeau tribe did so.

If this harvest is to occur the DNR wants to open the chain to public harvest a year earlier then they anticipated. The Minocqua chain zero bag limit for walleye was lengthened from 2021 to 2025.

“Our plan is to push through a rule as quickly as we can to allow angler harvest on the Minocqua chain, and I’m still not sure of the date that rule change will be effective so it’s closed until further notice,” said John Kubisiak, the DNR Fisheries Program Supervisor. “We’re trying to make that happen by opening weekend but it’s a pretty tight timeline there’s a number of steps we have to check off before that can happen.”

The walleye population on the chain has been an ongoing problem since the 90’s. Stocking levels have been met but the natural reproduction continues to see its struggles.

If the DNR does allow harvest this season the bag limit will be 1 walleye per person per day. They must measure within 18″ to 22″ or surpass 28″ in order to be kept. Any fish measuring in 22″ to 28″ or under 17″ must be released.

Despite if the DNR will or will not open walleye harvest on the chain this year, it is set to re-open in the spring of 2025.

The Minocqua Chain is a 5,929-acre chain of lakes in Oneida County. The chain includes Kawaguesaga, Minocqua, Jerome, Mid, Tomahawk, Little Tomahawk and Mud lakes, along with the Minocqua and Tomahawk thoroughfares. The Minocqua Chain forms the headwaters of the Tomahawk River and is part of the Upper Wisconsin River watershed. Tomahawk (3,462 acres), Minocqua (1,339 acres) and Kawaguesaga (700 acres) are the largest lakes of the chain and provide the majority of the walleye spawning habitat.

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