2016 Spring Hearings

Wisconsin's annual Spring Hearings will be held on Monday, April 11.  Public Hearings will be held in every county of the state starting at 7:00 pm.  This is your chance to weigh in on Wildlife and Fishery rule changes and advisory questions.

Find your Hearing Location HERE.


We are particularily concerned with question #14.

WCC Advisory Question #14 reads "Do you favor eliminating the "artificial-only" restriction from the regular season trout regulations?"


Wisconsin Trout Unlimited urges its members to VOTE NO TO QUESTION 14.


The DNR recently completed a major review and revision to the trout fishing regulations in the State.  This three + year effort invited all individuals and groups to participate and used their input to both streamline the State's regulations and support continued improvements to our trout fishery.  During this review, the special regulations that were retained were done at the request of the State's fisheries biologists who felt a much smaller set of special regulations was still needed to protect and enhance this resource.  At the end of the day we need to trust the professionals to manage our resource.


This regulation impacts approximately 2.25% of the State's trout stream miles and does not prevent anyone from fishing a particular stretch of stream as long as they change their approach.  With over 13,000 miles of trout streams in this state (more than any other state in the lower 48) why can't we support opportunities for all types of anglers?  Trout Unlimited counts among it's 5,000+ members in Wisconsin, anglers who pursue trout with all different methods and we support diverse angling opportunities for all of our members.

Less than 2.5% of Wisconsin’s 13,175 miles of trout streams are “artificial-only” 


The placement of artificial only water is not widespread, and does not impact even close to a significant number of Wisconsin’s 2,989 designated trout streams. 


Designation of this small percentage of water as “artificial-only” was been done by trained fisheries biologists.  Reasons for designation include, but are not limited to:


•           protecting critical headwater areas,

•           protecting trout populations in marginal water, and,

•           encouraging various types of angling opportunities. 


Trout Unlimited strongly supports our fisheries biologists, and strongly supports providing them with more management tools to face ever changing challenges, not less.


Wisconsin Trout Unlimited urges its members to VOTE NO TO QUESTION 14.


Preview all of the Spring Hearing Questions HERE.

Question 14 reads as follows:


14. Eliminate the “artificial-only” restriction from regular season trout regulations.


The Wisconsin Conservation Congress has joined the effort to make the rules governing hunting, fishing and trapping more understandable to the state’s sportsmen and women and thus add to their enjoyment of the outdoors. At its most recent meeting, the members of the WCC Rule Simplification Committee advanced a proposal to remove artificial restrictions from all trout waters in Wisconsin. The WCC Executive Council voted to forward the proposal for public input. Surveys of trout anglers in Wisconsin show preferences for the use of both artificial and live baits and this proposal would respect the rights of both. While some studies have shown that post-release mortality of trout caught with bait can exceed that of trout caught with artificial lures, there are no rigorous studies on population-level effects of post-release mortality of trout caught by bait in Wisconsin streams.


Do you favor eliminating the "artificial-only" restriction from the regular season trout regulations?





Spring Hearing Results are in...

Question #14.  Eliminate "Artificial Only" from special regulations...

1,784  Yes

1,780  No

Passed in 42 Counties.  Failed in 25 counties.  Tied in 6 Counties.


It will be interesting to see what the Conservation Congress does with this at their annual meeting in May.


Complete Spring Hearing Results can be found HERE.