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Trolling will hurt lakes like Kentuck PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the passing of the motor trolling proposal during the Spring Fish and Wildlife Hearing on April 14.

I live on Kentuck Lake, a Vilas County lake. We had already voted against motor trolling in 2013, but it is obvious that our votes, and the nay votes of the other counties opposed to motor trolling aren’t worth the time and effort it took for us to attend the meetings and cast our votes.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been pushing for motor trolling for many years, and, as several of our friends and neighbors have stated, “This proposal was going to be passed this time around for sure,” no matter how the people voted.

The DNR wants to simplify the regulations, thereby making their jobs easier. The wardens don’t want to have to keep track of which counties allow motor trolling and those that don’t, claiming that it will also make it easier for the fishermen to know that trolling is allowed statewide.

The DNR claims that they protect the lakes, yet I have several legitimate concerns to the contrary. First, Kentuck Lake, along with many other area lakes, is battling invasive species. Here on Kentuck we have Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) and curlyleaf pondweed.

Imagine, if you will, several fishermen per boat, each with a single trolling line dragged behind a boat, pulling up the EWM and carrying it throughout the lake. It has already been well established that anglers are the No. 1 cause of the spread of invasive species.

Second, there were conflicts on Kentuck in the 1980s when motor trolling was allowed, and since Kentuck is a very popular lake and we now have many more people living on and using the lake for other sports besides fishing, these conflicts are bound to increase.

Already we have encountered fishermen casting for muskie or walleye react negatively toward us while we are enjoying a leisurely pontoon ride. Even though we are not even in close range, they make it very clear that we are in their way!

It is not uncommon to have 25 to 30 boats on Kentuck during the summer months, even more so on weekends and during fishing tournaments. Those of us who enjoy still-fishing, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, water-skiing, paddle boarding and such will not be able to enjoy our time on the water when going up against the trollers.

Even more of a concern to me is the very real impact motor trolling will have on suspended muskie and diving loons that can be hooked accidentally, leading to their deaths.

The original motor trolling proposal was for three lines. This year the wording was changed to allow a single line, which was passed. I don’t doubt for a single moment that the DNR will very swiftly and covertly change this to three lines without another vote.

Each year when I renew my fishing license, I receive a handbook of the current rules and relations. Since we, the taxpayers and homeowners living on the lakes that continue to oppose trolling honestly have no voice and it will be forced upon us, I propose that we just throw caution to the wind.

Toss out all the rules and regulations — no need to worry about bag limits, size limits or fishing seasons — and make things easier for everyone, and we can sit back and see what happens to our beautiful lakes and our peace and tranquility, all the reasons we live here to begin with.

Maribeth Park

Eagle River

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:41 AM


+3 #1 2014-04-30 17:15
Really? You're worried about a walleye angler trolling a jig and minnow so he might have a better chance to CATCH THE ONE WALLEYE HE'S ALLOWED TO KEEP? Nonsense

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