ATTENTION ALL FISHERMEN

Due to dropping water levels and fishing pressure, the Lake Mildred Property Owners Association is requesting that all fishermen adhere to the guidelines listed below for the next two years.  They will be reviewed again at the September 2011 Association meeting.  These guidelines are not enforced by the Wisconsin DNR but as members of the Association we are very concerned about the future of fishing and the health of our beautiful lake.  We ask that you help us by following these guidelines so that everyone can enjoy Lake Mildred fishing for years to come. 

MUSKIES AND WALLEYES - Catch and release all regardless of size

BASS (Smallmouth and largemouth) -  Release all less than 21 inches, limit of one over 21 inches

PANFISH (All species) - Limit of 10 per person, release all over 8 inches

NORTHERN PIKE - Limit one, release all over 38 inches

Please help us keep Lake Mildred the special place it is for future generations.  
Lake Mildred Property Owners Association
Lower Lake Levels - What is the impact on the fish?  What should we do?
 
As the lake levels continue to drop our concerns about our beautiful lake go up.  We are all worried about potential damage to shorelines, if our docks will reach out far enough to float our boats and pontoons, will we be even able to safely navigate between narrows or around islands, can we land our boats at the landing, or will there be a good nesting spot for the loons.  I am sure you can add more to the list.
A number of us have also been curious and worried about what impact the lowering levels have on fish.  What happens when obvious spawning areas are no longer under water and where to small fry hide while they grow when rock bars and shorelines and weed areas are no longer under water?  If we harvest the same number of fish this year as we have in the past will it negatively impact the health of the fishery for years?  We obviously don't know.  The DNR tells us that fish are able to adapt to changing conditions, but is what is happening now more than a normal cycle of changes to water levels.  I think it is.  Our family has been on the lake for over 45 years.  I have witnessed over those years many changes in water levels, ups and downs, but nothing like this.  Over those years I have also seen changes to the fishing.  Numbers, dominant species, and typical sizes of fish have all changed over those years.  And it is not as good as it was "in the old days".
So, what should we do?  What can we do?  I shared my concerns at last summer's Lake Association meetings and suggested to those in attendance that maybe we should consider asking those who fish the lake to voluntarily reduce the numbers of fish they keep and even change the size limits for some species.  Those at the meeting shared my concern for the fishing and were interesting in considering a volunteer campaign.  I had contacted the DNR about such a campaign and they did not oppose the idea as long as we were clear in our materials that it was voluntary and not enforced by the DNR.
The suggested limits were approved at this spring's Lake Association Executive meeting.  The content of the poster is in this newsletter and is now posted at the landing and on the web site.  None of us really know if this will make a difference.  But I think many of us think we need to try something.  Lake Mildred is a very special place for a lot of reasons.  Let's all try these limits this year and see if we can help.
 
Paul Evans
2005 Copyright Lake Mildred Property Owners Association