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Wednesday, January 31 • 8:20am - 8:40am
SYMPOSIA-13: Reducing User Conflict Between Recreational and Commercial Fishers in Lake Michigan Through Effective Outreach

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AUTHORS. Titus Seilheimer, Wisconsin Sea Grant

ABSTRACT. Recreational and commercial fishers have deep rooted, but sometimes differing, interests in Great Lakes fisheries. The Lake Michigan commercial Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis fishery in the Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin area is primarily a trap net fishery. Trap nets are large fixed gear that can be an entanglement risk for anglers. Wisconsin Sea Grant has provided online and in person outreach for net location since 2010, which has reduced user conflict in this area. Education on how to read net buoys has also helped anglers navigate commercial nets, which benefits both anglers by not losing fishing gear, and commercial fishers by not having to repair damaged nets. Wisconsin Sea Grant is now working directly with commercial fishers to study an alternative fishing gear, bottom trawling. Trawling has a low catch rate of non-target species (2.8% of the total catch). This alterative gear for lake whitefish benefits the commercial fishers by reducing the need to set and clean large set gear as well as extending the length of the fishing season. Anglers benefit from fewer trap nets in the coastal waters and a reduced risk of entanglement.

Wednesday January 31, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am CST