Public hearing set for Nov. 14 on Lake Superior cisco rule

Discussion in 'Outdoor News' started by Wisconsin DNR News, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. By Central Office November 8, 2016

    Contact(s): Terry Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries manager, 715-779-4035, [email protected]; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, [email protected]

    BAYFIELD, Wis. - A public hearing on an emergency and permanent rule to guide sustainable harvests of cisco - or lake herring -- from Lake Superior will be held Nov. 14 in Bayfield by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

    Cisco hold significant commercial value and also represent a key link in the Lake Superior food chain, eating zooplankton and serving as prey for lake trout. Cisco eggs serve as a primary food source for whitefish - another valuable commercial and recreational species. They are harvested for commercial, recreational and subsistence purposes by state licensees, members of the Bad River and Red Cliff bands of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and some recreational anglers.

    Terry Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor, said the rule is needed to manage long-term sustainable populations of the fish, which are most valuable and also easiest to catch during fall spawning when they congregate in easily accessible spawning grounds in Wisconsin waters. Cisco roe is popular in Scandinavian countries and can fetch $3.75 per ounce here in the U.S.

    The permanent rule allows for harvests at or near current levels and reflects limits established in an emergency rule approved by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board in August. However, Margenau said it is important to put the permanent rule in place because it includes provisions to adjust harvest levels should cisco populations grow or decline over time.

    The emergency and permanent rule:

    • Establishes the total allowable cisco harvest at 7.5 percent of the cisco biomass and allocates equal portions among the 10 state commercial licenses for Lake Superior;
    • Provides an allocation to the state, which will split its quota among various user groups including recreational anglers and researchers; and
    • Applies daily phone reporting requirements from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 for commercial licensees upon harvesting 70 percent or more of their individual quotas.

    The rule was developed with extensive input from stakeholders and is expected to have minimal economic impact given the current population.

    DNR will hold a public hearing on the rule Nov. 14 beginning at 5 p.m. in Bayfield at the Bayfield Heritage Association, 30 N. Broad St., Bayfield, Wis. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until Nov. 21 and may be emailed to [email protected] or sent to: Department of Natural Resources, Attn: Terry Margenau, P.O. Box 589, 141 South 3rd St., Bayfield, WI 54814.

    For more information about the meeting, details of the rule or on management of the Lake Superior fishery, search the DNR website,, for "Lake Superior fisheries management." The emergency rule went into effect on Oct. 1, 2016 and will last for 150 days. The permanent rule will go into effect prior to the end date of the emergency rule.

    Last Revised: Tuesday, November 08, 2016