State needs to step up
The combination of ice-covered lakes and severely reduced walleye bag limits for the start of the open water fishing season means a devastating blow for the tourism industry, but state government is not powerless on one of those issues.
While there is nothing that can be done to change whatever Mother Nature throws our way, it’s time the state gets serious about urging the Chippewa tribes to provide sport anglers with more than two-walleye and one-walleye bag limits.
If the tribes aren’t going to be good business neighbors, those actions should compel state leaders to get involved. With negotiated payments for a guaranteed three-fish bag limit falling apart last year, it could be time to think about providing nontribal tourism businesses with some measure of legal gaming. It may be necessary to allow them to compete with tribal casinos.
To be clear, two-fish and one-fish daily bag limits for walleye anglers have been labeled as a tourism killer by chamber officials and sport shop owners. They say walleye anglers book a fishing trip based on what the maximum legal catch could be, because they dream of trophy fish and big catches every time they fish.
Even if the reality of annual creel census information shows the average angler catches one or fewer walleyes per outing, it’s all about opportunity and a perception about how great the outing might be. Plain and simple, one-walleye and two-walleye bag limits kill the dream.
One massive problem here is that the tribes are declaring a spearing harvest on hundreds of lakes they will never see this spring, effectively tying up bag limits and angling harvest in the peak fishing weeks of early May.
At the very least, it is important that the Department of Natural Resources updates the daily walleye bag limits the moment that spearing success diminishes at the end of the spawning season. Every day that anglers get the opportunity for a bigger catch is good for tourism.
Teachers do vital work
As we enter Teacher Appreciation Week in Wisconsin, it is important for all of us to remember that teachers are key to building and maintaining our future through their efforts to ensure our children learn the knowledge and skills needed to be college and career ready.
An increasingly diverse population of students in our state demands that teachers have academic, teaching and assessment skills along with knowledge of child development. We call upon them to meet the ever-changing needs of our young people.
Also, teaching is a profession that plays an essential role in preparing youth to become contributing members of communities.
Area schools are blessed with career-minded, experienced educators. We thank them for the important work they do in educating and nurturing our young people.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:49 AM|