WDNR Statewide Inland Trout Management Plan

Stakeholder Group Meeting

January 27, 2018

Stevens Point, WI


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has begun the process of creating a Statewide Inland Trout Management Plan.  Currently, no inland trout management plan exists; so this new plan will support the 10-Year Strategic Plan for Fisheries Management in Wisconsin: 2015-2025.  The scope of the new plan covers inland trout waters only, excluding the Great Lakes, but including Great Lakes tributaries.  Inland brook, brown, rainbow, and lake trout will be included in the management plan.

To obtain public, private, and partner input on the creation of this new plan, WDNR has assembled a group of stakeholders from the 4 state fisheries districts (north, south, east, west).  Eight stakeholders have been selected to represent each district, with members from the following groups: 2 anglers (including 1 TU angler), 1 landowner, 1 “non-consumptive” member (not affiliated with an angler group), 1 tribal representative, 1 WI Conservation Congress member, 1 business/tourism member, and 1 member-at-large.  Kent Johnson from the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter is the TU angler representing the West District.

The initial meeting of the stakeholder group was held on Saturday, January 27 in Stevens Point, WI.  WDNR staff were on hand to provide background information on Wisconsin’s current trout management program, including the fisheries management structure, funding, public access standards, and major program components, which include: 1) surveys and assessment; 2) stocking and wild trout management; 3) classifications and regulations; 4) habitat development; 5) beaver management; 6) angler access; 7) public education and outreach; and 8) research.  To solicit stakeholder input on these issues and more, WDNR staff asked the following questions:

  1. What do you value about WI’s coldwater trout fishery?
  2. What are your concerns about trout resources and trout management in the future (what are the risks and threats)?
  3. 10 years from now, what would you like to see accomplished via a trout management plan?

Stakeholder feedback at the January 27 meeting particularly emphasized the topics of climate change, stream restoration, public education and outreach (how to nurture the interest and support of future trout lovers), partnerships for trout management, public access, funding and prioritization of resources, and maintaining a strong science- and research-based approach to trout management.

The next stakeholder group meeting is scheduled for March 3 in Stevens Point.  Stakeholder input received by the WDNR at the January 27 and March 3 meetings (and possibly a third meeting) will provide a framework for WDNR staff to prepare a draft inland trout management plan this spring.  After internal review and approval of the draft plan, public meetings on the draft plan will be held sometime this summer.  The ultimate goal is for the WI Natural Resources Board to approve the inland trout management plan by late 2018 or early 2019.

As the West District’s TU angler representative, I am open to hearing any and all of your ideas about issues and topics that should be included in the new WI Inland Trout Management Plan.  As the stakeholder group did, feel free to use the 3 questions above if they’re helpful for your thought process.  Please e-mail your suggestions to me prior to the next stakeholder group meeting on March 3, and I’ll bring your ideas along.  Collectively, we can make this a strong plan for the future of trout management in Wisconsin.  Thanks for your input and support.

Kent Johnson

Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter, Trout Unlimited



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