Letter to the Editor: Weigh-on-the-Water Is Least Harmful for Fishery
I am writing this letter to let you know that I agree 100% with having immediate-release regulations for smallmouth and walleye tournaments in Sturgeon Bay, and really, all of Wisconsin.
I participated in the Sturgeon Bay Open spring smallie tournaments for several years during the smallmouth fishery heyday. My partner and I finished in the top 10 a few times.
We decided to stop participating because we felt that it was harming the fishery. Some of the fish we caught were 30-40 miles away from the weigh-in. Many fish were kept in a live well all day. There is no doubt that many died. And almost for sure none would spawn that year.
For the past several years, we have stayed away from Sturgeon Bay because the fishery has unquestionably declined. That is not good for the people of Sturgeon Bay or Wisconsin. Immediate weigh-in and release is easily enforceable and would make a big difference.