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  • Wisconsin Outdoor News

    Early inland trout season opens March 3 with exceptional fishing prospects
    Location: Wisconsin

    EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- Anybody with a fishing rod and an itch to get outside will want to take note: the scant snow and poor ice behind a disappointing winter for sportsmen and women have set the stage for what state fisheries biologists say should be a fantastic early trout season opening March 3 on inland waters.

    “Unless a major snowstorm or Arctic blast hits our area, anglers could see one of the best early trout season's on record this spring,” says Heath Benike, Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist based in Eau Claire.

    “Trout populations are strong across most trout streams right now and fish should be very active especially from early to late afternoon.”

    Benike's assessment was widely echoed across the state.

    Kurt Welke, longtime fisheries biologist for Dane, Green and Rock counties, reports: “There are lots of fine fish and experiences to be had…NOW is the ‘good old days’ of trout fishing.”

    Jordan Weeks, fisheries biologist for Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe and Vernon counties, agrees:

    “Anglers are going to find a lot of fish," Weeks says. “They are going to find hungry fish and easily accessible streams because of no snow. They're going to be able to go where they want to go. I think it's going to be fantastic as long as we don’t get a big rain or snow to slow or stop it.”

    Weeks noted that even though his area was supposed to get snow overnight on Feb. 20, a predicted warm up later in the week would likely melt the snow with little effect on the streams.

    Season details

    The early catch-and-release trout season opens at 5 a.m. on March 3 and runs until midnight April 29.

    Most trout streams are open to early fishing with the exception of most Lake Superior tributaries and most streams in northeast Wisconsin; check the current trout fishing Regulations pamphlet for specific waters.

    Anglers are not required to use barbless hooks but must use artificial lures and flies.

    Trout population reports for 2012

    Trout populations have generally increased statewide, and the number of fish in all sizes examined have increased, since 1950, according to a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point analysis released in 2011 and discussed in "A Trout Treasury," an April 2011 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine article.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Heath Benike - 715-839-2877, Kurt Welke - 608-273-5946 or Jordan Weeks - 608-785-9002

    News Source: Wisconsin DNR - Feb. 21, 2012

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