Draft Fisheries Management Plan 2020–2029 available for public comment
Last month the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources presented their Draft Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan 2020–2029. It was developed through Advisory Panel Meetings from the initial stakeholder meeting on June 26, 2017, through to the final Advisory Panel Meeting on March 5, 2018. The Outline was released for public comment until July 20, 2018. The Draft Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan 2020–2029 is available for public comment until Oct 20, 2019.
Previous management plan directed management from 1988 to 1998
Fisheries in Lake Superior have come a long way from damage due to industrial development, invasive species and poor management. The last management plan was established for 1988 to 1998 and it did a lot to improve the status of Lake Superior fisheries, but the emphasis in that plan was to achieve “optimum sustained harvest.” The 1988–1998 plan sought to ensure self-sustaining fish stocks, understand the economic value of these stocks, protect fish habitats, control sea lamprey and increase public fishing boat access.
New management plan accounts for improving technology and changing perspectives
Today we have a better understanding of fish habitat management thanks to scientific and technological advancement. As a result the Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan was due for an update. The Draft 2020–2029 plan is more comprehensive and its goals are more focused on protection over harvest. The goals were laid out as follows in a presentation that can be viewed on the Wisconsin DNR webpage:
- Protect habitat
- Enhance diversity, sustainability and viability of state and tribal sport, commercial and subsistence fishing
- Enhance science and monitoring
- Maximize resiliency
- Maintain social value
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