LA CROSSE -- Natural resource departments in Minnesota and Wisconsin will host three public open houses in November to discuss proposed changes to bag and size limits for gamefish on the Mississippi River between Hastings, Minn., and the Iowa border.
The public meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. as follows:
- Nov. 13, Red Wing Environmental Learning Center, 442 Guernsey Lane, Red Wing, Minn.
- Nov. 14, Winona Middle School, 1570 Homer Rd., Winona, Minn.
- Nov. 15, State Office Building, 3550 Mormon Coulee Rd., La Crosse, Wis.
The two DNRs started gathering input related to existing regulations for gamefish on the Mississippi River that runs between the two states earlier this year with a series of five public meetings and an online questionnaire. Out of that feedback, they have crafted a number of proposals, including:
- Reducing the daily bag limit for sunfish, crappie and perch from 25 for each species to 10 or 15.
- Reducing the combined daily bag limit for walleye and sauger from six to four, with one over 20 inches, and an option to further reduce the bag limit for sauger in Pools 5 through 9; the existing 15-inch minimum length for walleye would remain.
- No changes are being proposed for regulations on largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Minnesota and Wisconsin are working together on the package of changes with an eye toward maintaining consistent regulations on the Mississippi River flowing between the two states. Many of the regulations there have not been changed in decades. Complete details of the proposed changes can be found online at bit.ly/LakeCityAreaFisheriesMN (exit DNR).
The open house meetings will consist of several stations highlighting fisheries data and proposed rule changes for different species. No formal presentations will be provided, but information will be displayed on poster boards and staff from Minnesota and Wisconsin DNRs will be available for questions and discussion. Those interested in the regulation proposals are invited to come any time during the two-hour meetings. An online survey will be available for people unable to attend one of the open houses. Comments and completed questionnaires on the regulation proposals will be accepted through Nov. 30.
Feedback will be used to assemble a final recommendation on regulation changes. The earliest any new regulations might go into effect would be March 2020, and there will be additional opportunities for public review and input in both states prior to any final decisions.