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One-fish walleye limit now on Fox

There’s still ice along the Fox River but plenty of open water now, too, signaling the beginning of the end of the hard water fishery there. The channel is open from De Pere to the mouth at Green Bay, and boats soon will pack below the dam refuge area for a shot at a trophy walleye.

The Fox River’s one-fish, 28-inch minimum size limit on spawning-season walleyes began Monday.

Miles north of Green Bay there’s a solid 2 feet of ice or more in most areas, with snow slowly starting to melt. Outside of Saturday, nights are expected to stay well below freezing in the coming week.

Whitefish are being caught in less than 10 feet of water in the southern bay all the way to 60 feet or more off southern Door County. Some bonus perch, walleye and pike also are being hooked from Dyckesville to Sturgeon Bay and Geanos to Marinette, as well as north along the Door Peninsula all the way to Washington Island.

- The game fish season closed Sunday on most smaller tributary streams and ditches of Green Bay and the Fox River up to the first dam or lake. However, perch fishing remains open until March 15, and nine major Green Bay tributaries remain open. Ice shacks on the bay and tributaries must be removed by March 17.

- Most lakeshore ports are iced in, but there are pockets of open water below dams and bridges. Ice anglers are soaking spawn or shiners for a shot at steelhead and brown trout.

More on ice fishing: Ice fishing news from around the state | Your ice fishing photos | Build a map | Read ice fishing reports | We're blogging about ice fishing

Comment on panfish at meetings or online

Anglers can comment on the state’s panfish fisheries at any of more than a dozen upcoming meetings across the state, including tonight at Fisherman’s Road Fishing Club in Fond du Lac (7 p.m.), Tuesday at Germania Hall in Menasha (7 p.m.), Wednesday at the Brown County Central Library Auditorium in Green Bay (6:30 p.m.), March 14 at the Waupaca Area Library (5:30 p.m.) and March 18 at the Crivitz High School Auditorium (6:30 p.m.).

Attendees will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire. If you can’t attend but are passionate about panfish, click on “panfish survey” at www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/outreach/panfishplan.html.

- Sunday was the deadline to remove ice shelters from inland waters south of Wisconsin 64, though portable shelters still can be used daily. The deadline for waters north of Wisconsin 64 is March 17.

- The DNR has mailed 263,000 boat renewal notifications in recent weeks, with the old stickers expiring March 31. Registrations renewed will be good until March 31, 2016.

Noon chat today on deer report

Deer hunters and other whitetail enthusiasts can join a live online chat at noon today on the DNR home page, www.dnr.wi.gov, to discuss implementation of the Deer Trustee Report.

Dr. James Kroll — aka Dr. Deer — along with Drs. Gary Alt and David Guynn, came up with 62 recommendations in their final report; the chat is being held in advance of a series of meetings in which public input will help move ideas forward, including one from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Hunters and others interested can learn more about the meetings and four action teams identified by visiting www.dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/trustee.html.

The four teams will focus on recommendations for a Deer Management Assistance Program, herd health, regulations and season structure, and science and research.

Deer hunter forums March 18-29 in area

Thirty-four public forums will be held soon to allow hunters and other whitetail enthusiasts to talk with wildlife biologists about deer populations in area management units.

Those unable to attend a meeting can provide input with an online herd status summary and survey until April 12; search “Deer Hunter Forum” at www.dnr.wi.gov, beginning March 18. Comments and survey results will be compiled and provided to the wildlife biologist responsible for each county.

Area meetings include March 18 at the Reedsville Sportsman Club, March 20 at Clintonville High School, March 26 at Crivitz Town Hall, March 28 at Appleton North High School and March 29 at the Luxemburg Sportsman’s Club. All run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and are open-house format.

Cowles' bill may help slow lampreys

Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Allouez, is working on a bill that would provide funding to repair a lamprey barrier on the Kewaunee River, construct one on the Lake Superior’s Nemadji River and allow the DNR to investigate many tributaries for new sea lamprey production. It would also provide money to use for ongoing sea lamprey management.

Funding would be supported by the Great Lakes Salmon and Trout Stamp, which has a 2013 opening balance of more than $3.18 million with annual revenues in recent years between $1.68 and $1.83 million and expenditures ranging from $1.64 to $1.75 million.

The total amount for the sea lamprey management bill would be $364,500 in onetime costs for the two barriers and tributary assessments and an ongoing appropriation of $200,000.

- New license year hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor licenses are on sale. The current license year ends March 31. Some licenses are available to residents for as little as $5 if they are first time buyers or haven’t purchased a license in more than a decade.

— Kevin Naze, wildtimes@wizunwired.net

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