Barbless Rules in Effect for Catch-and-Release Bass Seasons

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MADISON – Anglers gearing up for the May 3 opener of catch-and-release bass fishing season in the northern zone and on other waters with bass catch-and-release seasons should note a regulation change.

From May 3 through June 20, bass anglers in the northern zone or any other water body that has catch-and-release bass regulations are required to use artificial lures with barbless hooks only. That includes boundary waters and outlying waters and certain lakes in the southern zone.

The Wisconsin Legislature mandated the rule in the 2007-2009 budget bill adopted last fall.

The northern zone hook-and-line harvest season opens June 21 and runs through March 1, 2009, with a minimum length limit of 14 inches and a daily bag limit of five fish in total.

The northern zone (pdf) is the area north of highways 77, 64 and 29.

For more information on catch-and-release bass waters, consult the 2008-2009 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations, available at DNR service centers, license outlets and on the DNR Web site.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Joe Hennessy – (608) 267-9427