The Wisconsin DNR Is Lying To You!!!
By Craig Sandell © 2013

At this year’s Conservation Congress meetings in April the DNR will be pointing to a pamphlet assembled for the spring fish and game hearings citing that trolling is allowed in many Wisconsin waters and surrounding states with no known adverse effects. This pamphlet is being shoved in your face as justification for the DNR push to have Trolling allowed on the 383 Class A Musky waters in Wisconsin. Currently, trolling is only allowed on bodies of water that do not have a self sustaining Musky populations (Class B).

Class A Musky water is a fishery that has a self sustaining population without the intervention of stocking. It is noteworthy that motor trolling on Class A Musky bodies of water in Wisconsin has always been prohibited due the self-sustaining Musky population on those 383 bodies of water.

There has been no consideration given by the current DNR Bureaucracy to the impact that the increase of motor bilge from prolonged motor trolling will have on the self sustaining Musky population on these lakes as the excess bilge settles on the remnant vegetation serving as spawning beds. In essence, the WDNR, by proposing trolling on Class A Musky waters, is supporting a de-facto oil spill. There was no independent Environmental Impact assessment done on the implication of trolling on self sustaining musky populations. Despite a lack of sound biological science, the DNR contends that there is no known effect of trolling on self sustaining Musky populations…Are they blind or just plain stupid?

I find it hard to believe that anyone with a degree in fishery biology would characterize this pamphlet as anything other than an ASSUMPTION. Has the DNR had its common sense degraded to the level that it is now ready to propose regulation changes based upon ASSUMPTIONS rather than sound biological science?

In addition, there has been no consideration given to the increase in cost related to a necessary increase in manpower needed to enforce a new trolling regulation on these 383 Class A bodies of water. Indeed, the current 2013-2015 DNR budget proposal has NO additional funds proposed to address the enforcement of new or existing regulations on the 383 Class A Musky bodies of water.

Trolling is allowed on many lakes in Wisconsin that are classified as Class B. Lakes like Grindstone, Lac Oreilles and Namekagon spring to mind. I am sure that you know of many lakes in your area where trolling is allowed. With all of the trolling options available to Musky and Walleye anglers throughout the state, why does the DNR seek to put these pristine Class A Musky waters at risk and ignore the need to increase manpower to enforce such a trolling regulation should it be enacted? This is a regulation mandate being passed down from the Governor's office in Madison in an attempt to simplify the regiment of regulations...IT IS A DISMAL FAILURE.

Click Here for the DNR’s List Of Waters where trolling is allowed.

By opening trolling for Walleye and Musky on Class A Musky bodies of water, many of which are under 5,000 acres, the DNR is increasing the likelihood of incidents on the water related to trolling lines being cut-off by motoring anglers, especially if more than 1 line per angler is allowed, as well as the use of planar boards. Picture, if you will, a pontoon boat with 6 anglers using two lines an angler most of whom are using planar boards.

Is someone going to be cutoff?

Will there be confrontations on the water?

Will there be lines tangled in the props of Musky anglers speeding to another fishing location on the lake?

Will complaints to the DNR increase as boaters petition for enforcement?

It doesn’t take an Einstein to recognize that this is an obviously ill-advised and unnecessary regulation change.

The DNR will try to point to the need for this regulation change to accommodate anglers with disabilities who cannot cast. This too is a bogus assertion since disabled anglers can already troll once they fill out the proper paperwork…(, there are plenty of Class B bodies of water where no additional paperwork is needed to be able to troll for people with disabilities.

There is no significant increase in capture success when trolling and casting are compared, so it makes no sense to put Class A fisheries at risk by allowing trolling. Don’t take my word for it…See what the DNR has had posted on their website regarding the trolling matter long before the current attempt at trolling propaganda contained in this 2013 pamphlet being shoved in the face of anglers in April.

Tom Gelb sent a letter to Governor Walker expressing his concern regarding this ill-advised and unnecessary trolling proposal by the WDNR. As you might suspect, the Governor could not be bothered by the genuine concerns of one of Wisconsin's most prominent Musky anglers; so he dumped the letter on the desk of his political appointee, Cathy Stepp, the Secretary of the DNR. Ms. Stepp also could not be bothered by legitimate concerns for the health of Wisconsin's Musky fisheries, so she dumped it onto the desk of Tim Simonson; leaving it to him to explain to Tom Gelb the WDNR rationale for the trolling regulation change.

Click Here to view the full text of the letters and Tom Gelb's
response to Mr. Simonson...It is an Eye Opener!!!

The DNR attempt to justify its trolling rationale is pathetic. It has no basis in fact and is exposed in the letter to Tom Gelb as an action fueled by bureaucratic ignorance rather than by thoughtful scientific analysis.

Don’t let yourself be duped into supporting this blatant Bureaucratic Ignorance. Don’t be one of the DNR’s "sheep" being led to be sheered while DNR Bureaucrats continue to squander the tax and license dollars that feed their salaries. Stand up at this year’s Conservation Congress and voice your concern for the health of our Class A Musky fisheries and vote NO to trolling on any of Wisconsin’s Class A bodies of water.

We Are All In This Together!!!