Naze: Goby-munching trout good for the fishery
Great Lakes fishery experts say we can expect fewer and smaller salmon this year, but that’s not necessarily all bad news.
A sharp stocking cut of chinooks that began in 2013 is, of course, part of the reason there are fewer out there, but researchers say there’s been a big drop in wild fish in recent years, too.
With salmon’s preferred baitfish, the alewife, at historically low numbers, having fewer large predators in the system might be a very good thing should the remaining alewives be able to pull off a good year class hatch or two.
In the meantime, many sport anglers would like to see an increase in hatchery plantings of brown and rainbow trout, two species that — unlike chinooks — will tackle the ever-abundant round goby as forage.
As a bonus, gobies are most abundant in shallow water, increasing the opportunity that trout may be looking for an easy meal within range of small boat, pier and shore anglers.
Kewaunee County’s Deer Advisory Committee has voted to recommend giving two free antlerless deer tags with each license allowing bow, crossbow or gun deer hunting in 2016.
Door County’s committee took it a step farther, recommending three free with each license, or a total of six if you hunt both the “broadhead and bullet” seasons.
The reason? In the absence of earn-a-buck, local hunters are shooting more bucks than antlerless deer, and the Peninsula herd is booming, increasing damage to habitat, crops and vehicles.
Both counties had record buck harvests last year, and both had record vehicle/deer accidents.
If hunters don’t target more antlerless deer, they could find themselves seeing a renewed push for other herd control measures such as a long holiday antlerless gun deer hunt, or a return to October doe hunts, or even earn-a-buck. The latter two measures are currently off the table due to legislative action, but things can change.
For now, at least, both Door and Kewaunee County CDAC members said no to the option of having an antlerless-only gun, bow and crossbow season, and were against a late December gun “holiday hunt” for antlerless deer.
Waupaca County certainly will get the attention of its hunters after recommending a total antlerless-only deer season in 2016.
The public will have a chance to comment online next week and can attend the April CDAC meetings. Check out the local meeting minutes and more at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/cdac.html.
The two-day spring youth turkey hunt is this weekend, and a regular turkey license, stamp and valid carcass tag is required.
Youths can hunt regardless of what time period their permit is issued for, but if successful can’t hunt during the regular season unless they purchased a leftover permit.
This is the 10th straight year of a special youth turkey hunting weekend in spring. It’s designed to give youth hunters ages 10-15 an opportunity to hunt turkey and gain valuable experience at a time when others are not yet hunting.
This is the seventh season that those ages 10 and 11 are eligible to participate with a mentor. That program began in 2010.
Youth may only harvest one turkey (male only) during the youth hunt, no matter how many spring tags they have.
If the youth doesn’t harvest a turkey this weekend, they may use the unfilled carcass tag during the time period in which it was issued.
Youth hunters shall be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. One adult may not accompany more than 2 youth hunters. If one youth is being mentored under the Mentored Hunting Program requirement, the adult may “accompany” no more than one other youth at the same time and only if the 2nd youth is at least 12-15 years of age and has completed hunter safety education.
For all youth hunters 10-11 years of age, or youth hunters 12-15 years of age who do not possess a Hunter Education certificate, but possess a current valid turkey license, stamp, and permit, hunters must be within arm’s reach of their mentor.
See additional youth hunt rules and regulations at dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/documents/turkyouthhunt.pdf.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Naze: Goby-munching trout good for the fishery