By Kevin Naze
BROWN COUNTY – Don’t be silly and go fishing without first purchasing a new 2022 fishing license.
While it’s true that Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation rangers can exercise discretion when deciding whether to issue a warning or citation, fishing without a license is one of those times when you are unlikely to get a break.
There are many options, from conservation boss to first-time buyers to combined husband and wife licenses.
The most popular is a direct resident fishing license.
Purchase the Salmon and Trout Stamp Lien if you are targeting either of those in the Great Lakes or their tributaries, or the Inland Trout Stamp Lien for inland waters.
The new Hooks and Lines, Inland Trout and Harpoon and Nets Regulations are available in booklet form from most licensing agents or online.
Residents and non-residents 16 years of age and older must purchase a fishing license.
For more information, visit dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing.
Bipartisan Wolf Bill
The two US senators from Wisconsin, Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin, joined forces with two senators from Wyoming last month to introduce a bill to remove federal protections for the gray wolf.
The effort comes after a California federal court judge ordered in February that Endangered Species Act protections be reinstated for wolves in most of the United States, effectively banning lethal control .
Baldwin said she has supported efforts to remove wolves from Wisconsin since 2011 due to the scientific conclusion that the population has recovered in the Great Lakes region.
Johnson said national wildlife agencies should manage the recovered population so the wolf’s continued role in the ecosystem doesn’t come at the expense of farmers, loggers, sportsmen and people who simply live in those areas.
Farms and forests
Wisconsin has approximately 14.3 million acres devoted to agriculture, an industry that contributes more than $100 billion to the state’s economy.
Many hunters are given permission to pursue deer, turkeys, geese, and other wild game on farmland.
Sometimes these opportunities are lost when small farms are bought up by larger operations or developed.
A new report on the status of the Farmland Preservation Program can be viewed at datcp.wi.gov/Documents2/FPPBiennialReport201921.pdf.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Council of Forestry released a summary of landowner and stakeholder group discussions on the future of Wisconsin’s forest products economy.
The state’s forestry industry provides over 60,000 jobs and has a total output of approximately $25 billion.
There are about 17 million acres of forest land, which covers about 46% of the state’s total area.
Healthy forests provide essential wildlife habitat, help keep water and air clean, and are essential to mitigating the effects of climate change.
They provide various production inputs, environmental goods, food, fuel, medicine, household equipment, building materials and raw materials for industrial processing.
A link to the report is available at Councilonforestry.wi.gov.
Two trout tournaments
A pair of Lake Michigan and Green Bay brown trout fishing tournaments will take place this month – April 7-10 in Door and Kewaunee counties and April 23 in Kewaunee.
The first, the Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament, allows fishing off Door and Kewaunee counties, as well as Green’s Bay and Lake Michigan.
There are daily postage prizes in addition to the top 40 final payout.
Visit the event’s Facebook page or learn more at baileysharbor.doorcounty.com.
The second is a team event where you weigh up your five heaviest browns.
There will be prizes for the top four team weights and the heaviest brown.
Call Merrick Malach for details at (920) 366-7706 or email [email protected]
Online Spring Audience
The DNR’s annual spring fish and wildlife hearings and county meetings of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress are canceled for the third year in a row, but citizens can still provide input on more than 60 issues.
A 72-hour voting period begins at 7 p.m. on April 11.
The results are only advisory, but are often a good indicator of public opinion and sometimes lead to rule changes.
Learn more at dnr.wisconsin.gov/about/wcc/springhearing.
Commentary on deer hunts
Area hunters can view and comment on the County Deer Advisory Council’s draft 2022 season recommendations via dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac.
Many counties in agricultural areas plan to offer two or three free antlerless deer tags with every license sold this fall.
An antlerless deer hunt during the Christmas and New Year holidays and an extended bow and crossbow deer hunt through January will also take place.
Editor’s note Sports: To read another column In the Outdoors by Kevin Naze, CLICK HERE.