DNR 2013 spring fish and wildlife hearings set for April 8, questionnaire available online
The questionnaire package for the 2013 Department of Natural Resources spring fish and wildlife proposed rules hearing and annual Conservation Congress county meeting and the list of meeting locations is now available for review on the Department of Natural Resources website.
On Monday, April 8, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each Wisconsin county starting at 7 p.m. where people interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony to the Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed hunting and fishing rule changes and advisory questions. The Oneida County meeting will be at James Williams Middle School, 915 Acacia Lane, Rhinelander.
The hearings, held annually, are combined with the county meetings during which residents can vote on and introduce their solutions to natural resources related issues.
The spring hearings cover three major areas: elections for county Conservation Congress delegates; proposed wildlife and fisheries rule changes that have been developed through previous Conservation Congress meetings; and Conservation Congress proposals for future rule development.
Among the fisheries rule change proposals are: shifting the hours to legally spear sturgeon on lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan to 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and shifting the daily deadline for sturgeon spearers to register their fish to 2 p.m.; removing the northern bass management zone early catch-and-release season for largemouth bass and allowing harvest under existing size and bag limits; and allowing motor trolling statewide.
Among the wildlife rule proposals being considered are: allowing the use of rifles for deer hunting statewide; simplifying pheasant hunting regulations; establishing that, when the bear hunting season is open, hunting hours apply to people who are training bear hunting dogs as well as to people who are hunting bears; and allowing unattended, overnight placement of portable stands and blinds on Department owned and managed lands.
In addition to the department’s rule proposals, there are a variety of advisory questions, including a number pertaining to regulations for training dogs that will be used to hunt wolves, expanding bobcat hunting and trapping areas, and simplifying Canada goose hunter rules.
The Conservation Congress also has a variety of advisory questions asking citizens to gauge public support on various natural resource issues including a proposal to eliminate the backtag requirement, expanding the definition of artificial lights for predator hunting, possible changes to the concealment rule for waterfowl hunting, and a proposal to require the registration of non-motorized boats.
During the Conservation Congress county meetings, county residents have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their views regarding natural resources issues on the Conservation Congress, the citizen advisory body to the Natural Resources Board and DNR. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process.