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Meetings focus on recovering lake trout

Two public meetings in northern Wisconsin to discuss next steps in aiding recovery of lake trout populations in Lake Superior runs 6-8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

These public meetings will cover regulation options developed by Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists to improve long-term sustainability of the fishery. The meeting Wednesday ill be held at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center, 29270 County Highway G, Ashland; and Thursday meeting is held at Saxon Community Center, 2 Church St..

In addition to receiving public comments, the department will gather input through an online survey from that is available Wednesday to Nov. 5. Feedback can be sent to Terry L. Margenau, Lake Superior fisheries supervisor, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 589, 141 S. Third St., Bayfield, WI. 54814 or terry.margenau@wisconsin.gov.

"Population assessments over the last six to eight years indicate that the decline in lake trout abundance is largely due to harvest," said Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor. "The current emergency rule expired Sept. 30 and recent surveys by DNR fisheries staff show that lake trout numbers remain well below historical averages, but are showing signs of recovery.

Lake trout often live more than 40 years and do not reach sexual maturity until for eight to 10 years. As a result, lake trout stocking must be carefully managed to address the needs of many stakeholders, including commercial fishers, sport anglers and a host of associated businesses that depend on a strong lake trout fishery in Lake Superior's Wisconsin waters.

"DNR staff appreciate the continued engagement of our stakeholders and their strong interest in Lake Superior lake trout," said Margenau. "These upcoming public meetings will offer opportunities to discuss a new round of options and provide fisheries managers with information needed to move forward."

Feedback from stakeholders will help inform development of an emergency and a permanent rule covering the recreational lake trout open season, which runs from Dec. 1 to Sept. 30.

Following these public meetings, a public hearing will be held Nov. 8 at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Ashland Campus, Room 306, 2100 Beaser Ave.

For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "Lake Superior fisheries management." To learn more about the Lake Superior fishery, search keywords "fishing Lake Superior."

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