Fishing Tournament Rules Discussion Back Before Committee Later This Year

 Proposed rule changes for fishing tournaments using City of Sturgeon Bay facilities won’t be back on the city’s Joint Parks and Recreation Committee/Board agenda until the November or December meeting, said District 1 Alder Helen Bacon, who chairs the committee.

Bacon said Monday the item won’t be on the committee’s Oct. 26 agenda because she expects the bulk of that meeting to be spent on considering how to manage water weeds in the bay of Sturgeon Bay, with a representative of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources invited to be on hand. 

Committee members took no action on the proposed rules changes during their Sept. 28 meeting, when the majority of people who spoke opposed the revisions. 

The two proposed changes state that: 

  • Due to the timing of the smallmouth bass spawn, no permits for bass tournaments will be issued prior to June 30 unless the tournament uses a “weigh-on-the-water” format. Scales are available at no cost through the Sturgeon Bay Bass Tournament. Contact the city’s Parks Department for a point of contact.
  • No permits will be issued for walleye tournaments prior to May 15 unless a weigh-on-the-water format is used.

Municipal Services Director Mike Barker said the rationale for the proposed rule changes involves weighing the fish where they are caught and releasing them in that area so they are not moved off their spawning beds, based on concerns about the fish population possibly being negatively affected by moving them during that time.

Barker said those revisions, if implemented, would not prevent tournaments that don’t use the weigh-on-the-water format from taking place in the bay of Sturgeon Bay during the spawning period if those tournaments were headquartered outside the city limits, such as in Little Sturgeon.