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Wisconsin. State Conservation Committee (1915-27) / Biennial report of the State Conservation Commission of Wisconsin for the years 1915 and 1916

Survey of trough streams,   pp. 26-30 PDF (1008.0 KB)

Page 27

secure trout from the state, and then post the streams "No Fishing
Allowed." At the expense of the state and the taxpayer they maintain
good trout fishing stream. In the future such streams will not be supplied
unless the public may enjoy the fishing.
   During the past season unusual and remarkably large catches of pike
 and bass have been made with hook and line in the waters of Lake Winne-
 bago and its tributaries. A peculiar condition was the catch of white bass
 in those waters, being all of practically uniform size and smaller fish,
 few if any of the large white bass as of former years being caught. Summer
 resorts reported splendid fishing throughout the north territory. This is
 also true all over the state.
   Since the advent of the automobile trout fishing particularly has
 suffered. In my opinion the auto is the great cause in the rapid depletion
 of our fish and game. With an auto, hunters and fishermen can cover as
 much territory in one day as formerly took a week. The sportsmen can
 run from one hunting ground or trout stream to another, covering several
 in a day, even though they be miles from one another. The streams are
 fished out as fast as the state stocks them. We have a minimum size
 law, but, nowadays trout fishermen seem, as a rule, to be fishing for num-
 bers instead of the size of fish. Unless a reduction is made in the daily
 bag limit, I am in fear that we will be unable to keep our streams properly
   In our general recommendations we will cover the change in the law
 reducing the bag limit on trout and lengthening the closed season on black
 bass, but I wish to make a few particular remarks regarding these two
 changes. We intend to reduce the bag limit on trout from 45 to 25. Any
 true trout fisherman will admit that in this day and age, a catch of 25
 trout in one day should satisfy any fisherman.
   As to black bass. For many years I have advocated a law permitting
no bass to be caught until July first. Of all Wisconsin fishes, the black
bass is the only game fish of importance that builds a nest and protects
the eggs and young fish. From the time the eggs are deposited on the
nest until the young are about 10 days old, the pair of old bass continually
remain in the immediate vicinity, driving away any enemy that may seek
to destroy the eggs or young. The present law opens the season for the
catching of bass at the very time the bass should be protected, i. e., at
time the fish are on the nests. You may take a general average for 10, 20
or even 40 years, and you will find that the bass are on their nests during
the month of June. Not one year out of ten will show that black bass
have left the spawning grounds by June first, or years when they are still
on the grounds in early July. Any real fisherman will tell you that if you
will keep out of the shallow bass grounds in June that no bass will be
caught. Some fishermen make the hue and cry that if fishing for all
varieties of fish except bass is opened on May 29, that they cannot help
catching black bass. Let the fishermen keep out of the bays and shallows
during June and no bass will be caught. Go out on the lakes on May 29
and see where the men are fishing-every boat is up in some bay among
the lily pads or on some gravel bar where the small-mouthed bass spawn-
and all the men will be casting for bass. The fishermen destroy millions
of bass every year. If the reader is one of those who fishes for black

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