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"Wisconsin Walleye Initiative" unveiled by Gov. Scott Walker

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state DNR has created a new program to improve Wisconsin fishing by expanding the walleye population.

Governor Scott Walker unveiled the “Wisconsin Walleye Initiative” Wednesday.

It seeks to increase the number of walleye in the state’s fishing spots, by expanding production at state, tribal, and privately-owned fish hatcheries.

The Republican governor calls it an “historic investment” which will make long-term improvements to Wisconsin lakes – as well as the state’s fishing and tourist industries.

The goal is to expand large walleye fingerlings from a minimum of 60,000 to over a half-million by 2016. The package would use over $8 million in available bonding authority to expand the capacities of fish hatcheries.

Among other things, it will also create a competitive grant program for private groups to expand walleye production – contract with groups to acquire more walleye fingerlings – expand the state’s Tribal Youth program, in which school-aged tribal youngsters work on natural resource projects – and have the UW Extension continue its work with private aquaculture for at least the next year.

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress praised the new initiative, calling it a “substantial investment” to improve the walleye fishery in the north.