2018 Spring Hearings on Monday, April 9

On Monday, April 9, there will be 72 Public Hearings, one in each Wisconsin county starting at 7 p.m. where people interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony to the DNR and the Conservation Congress on proposed natural resource related advisory questions that may impact future rule changes.




Regarding Question 31: 

Do you support opening the Wisconsin inland trout regular harvest season statewide on the first Saturday in April with existing bag limits, size limits and gear restrictions?

Wisconsin Trout Unlimited is urging all trout fishers and friends of conservation to attend the April 9th Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings and to vote NO on Question 31.
Question 31 is a proposal to move the start of the general trout fishing season from the first Saturday in May to the beginning of April. All regulations that now go into effect on the first Saturday in May would go
into effect at the beginning of April under the new proposal.
Trout Unlimited opposes Question 31 on scientific grounds. The current regulations are very new; having just been put into
effect in May, 2016. Those regulations were adopted after several years of study and discussions that involved hundreds of people and much input from science staff. The new 2016 regulations made significant changes to the previous regulations.
Normally, regulations are left in place for approximately 10 years. It takes that amount of time for the full impact of regulations to become apparent.
Impacts of regulations are normally determined by rigorous studies by DNR
scientists and biologists. Because the 2016 regulations have only been in place for two seasons the problems or benefits from the new regulations may not yet be obvious and, more importantly, the scientific studies of those regulations are lacking.
Trout Unlimited believes it would not be acceptable to make additional major changes to trout regulations before the impacts of previous changes have been studied. Only when the full scientific impacts of the 2016 regulations are understood because of rigorous science conducted by DNR science staff would it be appropriate to begin discussions about regulation changes.
Please, vote NO on Question 31.


Here are a few talking points that could be used as comments to be given at the Spring Hearing on Monday, April 9:

1- The question (#31) came from the Congress Trout Committee with the intent of providing  additional opportunity and encouraging youth to fish trout.  We agree those are good goals.
2-However, the Department spent 5 years developing the new regulations relying on random public surveys, public meetings, meetings with the congress, etc.  The rules  have only been in effect for 2 years.  Let's give them a chance.  They already address increased opportunity and season length for harvest and non-harvest fishing.  They simplified regulations for all anglers.
3-The Department is in the process of drafting a statewide trout management plan.  Rather than change rules again right out of the gate, we feel the Department should continue to look for additional trout fishing opportunities and continue to encourage youth, women, and other non-traditional anglers into the sport.  The new trout management plan gives us the perfect opportunity to do so.

Is there by chance a way to vote if I can't make it to the hearing on that night?

Sorry, the DNR doesn't currently allow "absentee" or online voting.  It has been discussed, but no formal action has been taken to set that up.