The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the annual Spring Hearings will once again being held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The public will have the opportunity to provide input on the proposed natural resources rule changes from the DNR, and advisory questions from the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and WCC through the online input opportunity.
The 2021 Spring Hearing online input webpage will go live at 7 p.m. on April 12 and will remain open for three days (72 hours). Results will be posted as soon as they are available.
This year there are 23 proposed rule changes related to fisheries and five proposed rule changes related to wildlife management. There are also advisory questions from Fisheries, the Natural Resources Board, and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. All questions are available to preview here.
The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is the only statutory body in the state where the public elects delegates to advise the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources on how to responsibly manage Wisconsin’s natural resources for present and future generations. The Congress accomplishes this through open, impartial, broad-ranged actions.
Selected St. Croix River region issues:
Fisheries #14: Muskellunge trophy management – Namekagon River, Washburn and Burnett counties
The proposed regulation is a 50-inch minimum length limit and daily bag limit of one fish. The current regulation is a minimum length limit of 40 inches and daily bag limit of one. Namekagon River from the Trego Dam to the confluence with the St. Croix River, Washburn and Burnett counties,
The main goal of this regulation proposal is to preserve and promote a trophy musky fishery. This regulation would also simplify regulations for anglers with the connecting St. Croix River, which already has a 50-inch minimum length limit and daily bag limit of one.
Advisory #4: Establish perennial vegetative buffers along rivers, streams, and ditches
Clean water is a universally recognized conservation goal. Perennial vegetative buffers of native species along lakes, streams and ditches keep flowing water clean and perennial vegetative buffers of native species along lakes, streams and ditches provide wildlife habitat. Perennial vegetative buffers of native species along lakes, streams and ditches filter our phosphorous, nitrogen, and sediment and perennial vegetative buffers of native species along lakes, streams and ditches deter flooding by slowing run-off. Perennial vegetative buffers of native species along lakes, streams and ditches prevent erosion.
Advisory #21: Restore local control to counties on lake shore zoning ordinances
Currently state law mandates uniform lake shore rules. This means that county lake shore ordinances may not be stricter than state law. There is a belief by some that this has weakened zoning ordinances by removing local control and limiting a county’s ability to develop regulations that are unique to their environmental concerns