Yellow perch join whitefish, walleyes on ice
For the first time in a number of years, decent numbers of eating-size yellow perch have been caught off Door County as well as off the Kewaunee County ice at Dyckesville.
Good fishing is where you find it, but generally, many anglers are targeting the 15- to 30-foot depths. A few are working shallower in Little Sturgeon and Sawyer Harbor, or deeper off Sherwood Point.
While most of the fish are running 7 to 11 inches long, Howie’s Tackle weighed a giant 2.12-pound perch recently. Check out the photo on the Facebook page.
Whitefish are still dominating the action at many locations, with a wide variety of depths producing. Some anglers favor 20 to 40 feet, while others say the bite stays more consistent out to 60 feet.
Walleyes are hitting at dawn and dusk, mainly in 15 to 25 feet of water while using Jigging Rapalas tipped with minnow pieces, Oddball jigs with a minnow head and other similar baits.
A few fishermen are targeting northern pike in the weedy shallows or along reef edges, and fewer still are soaking spawn or shiners for brown trout in bay harbors.
Closer to home, the Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers are giving up an occasional trout or pike, and the county’s inland lakes offer a variety of panfish.
Senate committees have approved bills that would eliminate the minimum age that youths can participate in mentored hunts in Wisconsin and would allow bright pink clothing to join blaze orange as a legal color for hunters during gun deer seasons.
Another bill eliminating deer and black bear tags also appears headed toward Gov. Walker.
More recently, a public hearing was held last week on a bill that would change the date on which any wolf hunting and trapping season could begin to the first Saturday in November.
Additionally, bills relating to interfering with hunting, fishing, and trapping and providing criminal penalties, and authorizing a person to shoot to kill an animal wounded by certain hunters have been referred to the committee on Rules.
Check out the text of these and other hunting and fishing bills and amendments at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015.
You can also view legislative and public testimony at hearings on any bills — archived or live — by searching http://www.wiseye.org. By watching, you can hear what various legislators, DNR officials, representatives of various groups and concerned citizens have to say.
With the El Niño weather phenomenon warming Pacific waters to temperatures matching the highest ever recorded, participants in the 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count may be in for a few surprises.
The 19th annual GBBC is taking place Feb. 12-15. Information gathered and reported online will help scientists track changes in bird distribution, some of which may be traced to El Niño storms and unusual weather patterns.
“The most recent big El Niño took place during the winter of 1997-98,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program that collects worldwide bird counts year-round and also provides the backbone for the GBBC. “The GBBC was launched in February 1998 and was pretty small at first. This will be the first time we’ll have tens of thousands of people doing the count during a whopper El Niño.”
Learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count at birdcount.org.
One of three regulations will be placed on 94 state lakes beginning this spring in an effort to identify the most acceptable regulation to improve underperforming panfish populations.
These regulations are intended to increase panfish average size on waters that are currently not meeting management objectives but have the growth potential to improve.
Biologists and anglers will evaluate the rules over the next five years. Ultimately, the best regulation will be selected as the standard regulation option for addressing similar issues.
No county lakes are included. For a list of lakes and regulations, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/outreach/panfishplan.html.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Yellow perch join whitefish, walleyes on ice