Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists will lead a meeting for local walleye fishing enthusiasts at 6:30 p.m. March 11 at the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library.
Lake Michigan Fisheries Biologist Scott Hansen said the focus of the meeting is to provide current and historical information on walleye population dynamics and management in the Sturgeon Bay area.
In addition, senior DNR fisheries biologist Steve Hogler will provide some insight into walleye data and proposed research in the greater Green Bay waters of Wisconsin.
Hansen said the second objective of the meeting is to discuss future management plans for the Sturgeon Bay area walleye population.
All area anglers are invited to attend. There will be time for questions and answers as well.
Cold weather and insulating snow means bay ice anglers could be walking on hard water long after the March 17 deadline to remove shacks is past. Perch fishing closes March 15, but all other popular species remain open.
Trucker Woodgate’s late-month entry in Howie’s Bait and Tackle’s February ice fishing contest, a 2.02-pounder, took first place in the yellow perch category.
Anglers are really starting to spread out, from the shallower bays and harbors to the deep offshore reefs and mud flats. There’s been action in as little as 5 to 15 feet of water in some areas to as deep as 45 to 65 in others.
Whitefish remain the most-caught species, followed by perch. A few walleyes, pike, brown trout, burbot and smelt are also being hooked.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is closing the Bayview Bridge to traffic on Monday, but will continue to allow snowmobiles to cross the bridge through Sunday, March 10.
Snowmobilers should exercise caution and remain within the limits of the established trail.
For the latest trail conditions across the county, visit http://map.co.door.wi.us/parks.
Birders who participated in the Great Backyard Bird County Feb. 15-18 were a part of something historic, as the event went global for the first time and more than 3,300 species of birds were seen.
In Wisconsin, 137 species were reported on more than 3,600 lists. You can see who spotted the most birds in Door County by scouring the data at http://ebird.org/ebird/gbbc/top100Location.form or www.birdcount.org.
The public may comment on proposed interagency guidelines for wetland compensatory mitigation through March 15.
State law now requires property owners to mitigate for wetland impacts if they receive permission to fill wetlands under an individual permit. Compensatory mitigation involves restoring, enhancing, creating or preserving a wetland to "compensate" for wetland loss either by buying credits from a pre-approved mitigation bank or completing mitigation projects.
The Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service worked together to develop the proposed updates to the interagency guidelines.
The DNR is currently developing an in-lieu fee program as a third option for property owners to fulfill the mitigation requirement by submitting an additional fee directly to DNR.
A summary of key changes proposed to the existing guidelines is available at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wetlands/mitigation.
Since the beginning of the year, demand for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s safety and education materials has increased substantially.
Orders for the popular educational brochure “Firearms Safety Depends on You” were up 110 percent in January compared to the same period last year. There were 217,486 copies of the brochure ordered during the month, up from 103,431 in January 2012.
Orders for the group’s firearm safety DVD compilation jumped 1,700 percent, with the majority of the 2,250 copies being ordered by educators and childcare professionals.
“Firearms Safety Depends on You” reviews the ten rules of firearms safety every shooter must know and obey to ensure safe and responsible use of firearms. The brochure is popular with manufacturers, state agencies, retailers, hunter education and firearms safety programs and other groups or individuals involved in the shooting sports, hunting and firearms industry.
The firearm safety videos — four are geared to different ages — help teach students how to react when encountering a firearm in an unsupervised situation. Learn more at nssf.org/safety.
New 2013-2014 fishing and hunting licenses go on sale beginning March 6, with the 2012-13 licenses expiring March 31.
• Students can enter the 15th annual State-Fish Art Contest by the end of March for a chance at prizes. Educators, homeschoolers and parents can visit www.statefishart.org for complete details or to download a free Fish On! Lesson Plan.
— Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at email@example.com or call (920) 883-9792.