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Public mixed on DNR panfish plan

UNDATED (WXPR) - Studies of fish populations showing panfish size going down statewide have spurred the DNR to develop a management plan. While the agency has management plans for other popular species, panfish were left unmanaged.

Earlier this year, DNR officials went out to get input on a possible plan. Another meeting is planned in a few days.

Fisheries biologist Joanna Griffin says the upcoming meeting will convene several groups involved in the decision. “In the winter we had a series of public meetings around the state and we also had a survey. This meeting is to get the stakeholders to look at the results and help us form goals and objectives for panfish management."

The Conservation Congress has recommended reducing the daily 25 fish limit on select lakes for bluegills, sunfish, crappies, perch and other panfish. The stakeholder meeting runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 14, in the Legacy Room at UW- Stevens Point Dreyfus University Center. The meeting is open to the public but there are no formal input opportunities.

The results of a survey have been tabulated, and Griffin says some people think the current way is ok. “There are a lot of people very satisfied with the way panfish are being managed now so, it's up to the stakeholder group to see what we know biologically, what needs to happen based on what we know."

She says if regulations are recommended, more hearings would be held in 2015 and possible regulations would occur in 2016. More information is on the DNR website.