Walker Announces Wis. Walleye Initiative
Posted at: 05/22/2013 11:56 AM
| Updated at: 05/22/2013 6:20 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
Governor Scott Walker announced the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative Wednesday morning.
Walker's office said the initiative, developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will dramatically increase the number of walleyes in the state by expanding production at state, private, and tribal fish hatcheries.
The head of Wisconsin DNR Fisheries, Mike Staggs, said the initiative could improve walleye fishing across the state. Walleyes are the state's most popular game fish, but Staggs said natural reproduction in lakes isn't keeping up with demand.
"There's a lot of resort owners, fishing businesses, and anglers that we hear form directly that say walleye fishing isn't what it used to be," said Staggs. "We would really like to do what we can to improve the fishing."
The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative includes the following:
- $8.2 million in existing unencumbered bonding authority to expand hatchery capacities.
- $1.8 million for operating costs over the biennium.
- $2 million over the biennium for a competitive grant program for private organizations to expand walleye production to cover operational costs.
- $160,000 in one-time funds for the UW Extension to continue their work with private aquaculture through the end of Fiscal Year 2014.
- $500,000 annually beginning in Fiscal Year 2015 to contract with organizations to acquire additional walleye fingerlings.
- $250,000 annually to expand the summer Tribal Youth Program. The program is a state-tribal partnership giving high school-aged tribal youth the opportunity to work on natural resource-related projects.
Walker's office said under this initiative, production is estimated to increase from 60,000-120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016.