LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will enforce new rules in an effort to stabilize the declining walleye populations starting April 1.
The new DNR rules apply to the Mississippi River boundary waters between Wisconsin and Minnesota and Wisconsin and Iowa.
Upstream from the Genoa Damn: Anglers can bag 4 minimum sized walleye and only keep one walleye over 20 inches.
Downstream from the Genoa Damn: Anglers can still bag 6 minimum sized walleye but they cannot keep any between 20 to 27 inches.
DNR representatives said these regulations come as they try to figure out why walleye populations are decreasing in the midwest.
"We've got some research ongoing now we're not exactly sure why they're declining throughout the midwest but it may have to do with warming waters," Wisconsin DNR Senior Mississippi River Biologist David Heath said. "In response to this… Wisconsin has been stocking more walleyes and we've changed our stocking strategy on the lakes especially in northern Wisconsin to include larger fish that are stocked in the fall that are raised in hatcheries rather than stocked in the summer when they're smaller… and these fish seem to be surviving better."
The minimum size walleye is still set at 15 inches.
The new regulations include saugers.