MADISON – The lake trout fishing season on Lake Michigan is now open year-round and the bag limit is five fish per day under rules effective March 17, 2018.
Lake Michigan anglers can now enjoy a year-round season and a bag limit of five lake trout under rules effective March 17, 2018.Photo credit: Jason Richter
The five-bag limit and continuous open season make regulations for lake trout consistent with season structure and bag limits for other Lake Michigan trout and salmon, according to Brad Eggold, Great Lakes district fisheries supervisor with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The rules, adopted Feb. 28 by the state Natural Resources Board and effective upon publication March 17, seek to allow increased sport harvest opportunities for lake trout and maintain a sustainable population while pursuing restoration goals.
The increased bag limit reflects enhanced lake trout populations in certain areas of Lake Michigan and responds to anglers’ repeated requests to allow increased fishing opportunities for lake trout. Anglers made the requests over the course of 2016 and 2017 during DNR’s extensive stakeholder outreach and engagement to help determine the fish stocking plan for Lake Michigan trout and salmon from 2018-2020.
The rule establishes a sunset clause in 2021 reverting the season framework back to a two-fish bag limit with fishing allowed from March 1 through October 31. However, that sunset provision will be repealed through additional rulemaking if harvest information continues to show that a sustainable fishery can be maintained with the five fish bag limit, Eggold says.