Apply for 2012 fishing tournament permits starting April 1

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MADISON – Organizers of fishing tournaments planning events for 2012 can apply for their permits starting April 1, 2011.

“If you plan on holding a tournament in 2012, we recommend that you apply in the open period that starts April 1 and runs through June 30 to have the best chance of getting your desired dates and waters,” says Jon Hansen, the Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist who coordinates the fishing tournament permit system.

Under the new tournament rule, effective May 2009, there is a cap on the maximum amount of tournament fishing pressure allowed on some waters. To give tournament organizers a fair shot at reserving their spots, an open application period will run from April 1 through June 30.

All applications received during the open period will be reviewed by Aug. 1, 2011, and in the unlikely event that another tournament conflicts with an organizer’s choice of dates or waters, DNR fisheries staff will discuss options with the tournament organizers, Hansen says.

Permit applications from tournament organizers applying after June 30, 2011, for events in 2012 will be considered on a first-come first-served basis.

Organizers can still apply for 2011 tournaments

Tournament organizers can still apply for 2011 tournaments, but the DNR must receive completed applications at least 30 days before the start of the applicant’s tournament. These applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the caps have been reached.

Tournament organizers will need a permit if any of the following apply:

  • the tournament involves 20 or more boats, or 100 or more participants;
  • the tournament targets any trout species on waters classified as trout streams;
  • the tournament is a catch-hold-release tournament with an off-site weigh-in; or
  • the total prize value is $10,000 or greater.

An application fee must accompany all permit applications. The fee will vary depending on the type of tournament and the value of prizes awarded.

For more details on the tournament rules and fee structure, to submit an application, or to view a tournament event calendar, visit the fishing tournaments page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Hansen for questions about the online application system, (608) 266-6883, jonathan [dot] hansen [at] wisconsin [dot] gov. For other tournament related questions contact local fisheries biologists.