Jul 19, 2012, 1:11 PM EDT
This phrase has been used for many things over the years, but I thought it has a done good job summarizing my feelings of how Wisconsin has handled things on a state and fisheries level as far as impacts to bass tournaments. Wisconsin law makers were widely celebrated last year for abolishing their long standing no culling rules for permitted tournaments. This was the great step forward, and because of this, Wisconsin was awarded several national and regional large bass events, surely bringing in tons of revenue to the local economy though tourism and anglers visiting these communities.
But another law/statute that was slipped in under the radar, the WI DNR is allowed to reduce bag limits from five to three via tournament permits on rivers and certain bodies of water during the months of July and August. So the recent FLW Outdoors BFL tournament I fished out of Alma, WI, (moved across river from Wabasha, MN because of culling & MN Permit costs) was reduced to a three fish limit. Also, I have put my money in for an FLW Everstart Central Division next week in La Crosse, this is the first time they had been to the area since 2001, likely returning because of the culling change and now they get slapped with a three fish bag limit as well. In my opinion, I am guessing this three fish limit will not be received well by many participants, definitely increases luck factor, and will likely keep a large event like the Everstart away for awhile again. Also possibility the BFL event may launch out of MN again in the future.
The Bassmaster Elite Series also brought to huge tournaments this summer to Wisconsin, the first out of La Crosse in June before the cut off for reduced bag limits, was a huge success in just about everyone’s eyes. The second was a late mystery event that was revealed to be Lake Michigan out of Green Bay. Just hours after the announcement, the excitement was dampened by a boundry set by the local DNR agency. The boundry set cut off arguably the best smallmouth bass fishing in the world going right now, so what could have showcased a fishing mecca destination for the local tourism on a national level, just turned out to be another okay event.
While many of these measures are cited to be for reducing mortality of fish and I and most bass anglers agree that we need to protect our resources, we all have fishing licenses and could go harvest and fillet our limit of fish to eat every day. The real losers are the businesses and communities surrounding these fisheries; most of these areas depend largely on tourism dollars and they could be getting so much more! So if you are some of the effected tax paying business owners, let your voice be heard!
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