DNR moves to allow increased commercial take of Green Bay whitefish

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is moving toward a permanent rule change that would allow increased commercial harvest of lake whitefish in southern Green Bay.The modification has been years in the making and is a response to a good news, bad news situation.On the sunny side of the equation, the whitefish population in the bay has been increasing for more than a decade, according to DNR data.In a happy surprise the native fish successfully adapted to the onslaught of invasive species such as round gobies and zebra and quagga mussels and not only survived but restored spawning runs on several tributaries to the bay, including the Menomonie River.With a downturned mouth, whitefish are able to take advantage of the billions of new benthic, or bottom-dwelling, animals carpeting the lake bed.The increase in whitefish already spurred a thriving new winter sport fishery in the bay. Thousands of ice anglers now head to Sturgeon Bay and other Door County sites to try their luck on whitefish.

…And to its credit over the last several years the DNR worked with partners, including UW-Green Bay, commercial fishers and Wisconsin Sea Grant, to monitor the whitefish harvest in trap and gill nets.

Source: DNR moves to allow increased commercial take of Green Bay whitefish, Journal Sentinel

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