Political Fish Fry

Some will argue a cold Spring is to thank for preserving state funds for a new Lac du Flambeau Cultural Center. Those Building Commission funds were threatened by State Representative Dean Kaufert earlier this year when the Ojibwe projected spearfishing numbers that could have reduced the walleye bag limit for hook and line anglers, set by the state DNR, on some off-reservation lakes.

However a cold spring season delayed ice-out on Northern waters and shortened the time spearers harvest in the comparatively warmer shallows during walleye spawning. According to the DNR, the tribes have speared only 28,350 walleye. Spawning is almost over. Kaufert has now told the Building Commission he won’t attempt to rescind the tribal cultural center money.

Even as the lakes up north were thawing, Governor Walker was hatching a new “Walleye Initiative” which he announced this week: $13 million of (mostly) new borrowing to expand the state’s fisheries and boost the walleye population.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp is scheduled to release new walleye bag limit numbers for sports fisherman today.

Those numbers as of 3:00 p.m. Thursday: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=2813

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