Effort to develop 10-year inland trout management plan gets underway

MADISON – Work on developing a plan to guide inland trout management in Wisconsin over the next decade is getting underway, with an advisory team helping the Department of Natural Resources with that task meeting Jan. 27 for the first time.

The plan will address trout habitat, stocking, and other management issues in Wisconsin. The advisory team will meet at least twice this winter to help DNR staff brainstorm issues, set broad goals and define needs, says Joanna Griffin, DNR trout coordinator.

“We’re excited to get this effort underway to sustain our great trout fishing into the future,” Griffin says. “We want to thank everyone who is serving on the advisory team and everyone who applied to be an at-large member. We appreciate your time and dedication to inland trout management in Wisconsin.”

DNR randomly selected a volunteer from each of four districts, and these at-large members are serving alongside two anglers, landowners, business/tourism officials, people representing non-consumptive interests in trout waters, Wisconsin Conservation Congress members, and tribal representatives selected by DNR biologists to represent diverse interests.

For meeting location details and the first agenda search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for inland trout management. While the meeting is open to the public to attend there is no public comment opportunity scheduled; such opportunities are built-in later in the process.

Griffin says the stakeholder team will meet two to three times this winter. In the spring and summer, DNR’s trout team will write a draft plan which will go through DNR’s internal approval process.

Public hearings on the draft plan would be held in the fall, with a goal of bringing the finalized plan to DNR’s policymaking board for approval next fall or winter, Griffin says.

In recent years, DNR has been creating or updating management plans for different fish species and major waters. Management plans have recently been created for panfish and bass and for the Lake Michigan fishery, Griffin says.

Wisconsin has more than 13,000 miles of trout streams, including more than 5,300 miles, or 40 percent, that are Class 1 streams with naturally self-sustaining populations of wild trout. Another 46 percent, or 6,120 miles, are Class 2 trout streams that have some natural reproduction but require stocking to maintain a desirable sport fishery.