The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has tabled a proposal to stock salmon in Big Green Lake.
Department staff reviewed more than 50 submitted comments about an idea to stock landlocked Atlantic salmon in the lake. The DNR studied testimonials and data from numerous fisheries, according to a news release.
The DNR determined that it needed more information on Green Lake’s fish community. Atlantic salmon may compete with lake trout, a population that has flourished in Big Green Lake.
The proposal to stock landlocked Atlantic salmon was developed by Green Lake Coldwater Fishery Advisory Committee, a group of anglers and community leaders interested in adding a new dimension to local fishing. Anglers seek out the species due to its fight, flavor and “catchability,” according to the DNR release.
Dave Bartz, the local DNR fisheries biologist assisting with the evaluation, said the proposal has numerous exciting elements and presents an important opportunity for DNR to work in partnership with interested parties.
“The innovative ideas and leadership demonstrated by the Green Lake Coldwater Fishery Advisory Committee brought a variety of stakeholders together for an important discussion about the future of the fishery,” Bartz said in the release. “We appreciated the excellent attendance at our community meeting and the thoughtful comments we received both for and against the proposal. Clearly, we have an extremely well-educated community of anglers and we appreciate everyone’s thoughtful contributions to the process.”
Bartz noted that critics have been most concerned about Atlantic salmon having a negative impact on the lake’s forage fish population, particularly the native cisco, and the lack of a monitoring program to measure the cisco population.
Steve Siders, a representative of the Green Lake Coldwater Fishery Advisory Committee, said the group appreciated the opportunity to hear what the public had to say about the proposal.
“We discussed their comments within the committee and with the DNR,” Siders said in the release. “We now would like to take some time and see if we can help develop a meaningful cisco monitoring program; and, at the same time, more thoroughly discuss this project with those who expressed concerns.”
Siders said his group is eager to participate in a cisco monitoring project because “it is important for the Lake we care so much about — Atlantic salmon or not.”
For more information about the proposal, visit dnr.wi.gov and search for “landlocked Atlantic salmon.”
Source: Action Reporter Media