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Pierce County anglers want to see end of early trout season

If there was a clear message from the Pierce County portion of the state spring rules hearing and Conservation Congress meeting Monday it was this: Get rid of the early trout season.

"Just get rid of the whole thing," Ralph Schommer of Maiden Rock said.

The trout season came up for discussion and debate over a proposed resolution that called for expanding the start of the state inland fishing season to the beginning of April. That brought several voices against both the resolution and any early season fishing season in general.

"I've been fishing the Rush River for many, many years and I can tell that while there may be more fish overall in the river there quality isn't as good and they're getting smaller," Conservation Congress member Arby Linder of Ellsworth said.

The early trout season is catch-and-release and it begins in March. It reportedly draws many Minnesotans to fish in western Wisconsin trout streams like the Rush River due to its proximity and reputation. That's something that's not sitting well with local anglers.

"I'm getting tired of seeing fly-fishermen with Minnesota license plates pound that river for additional months," Vern Ellefson of Ellsworth said.

While some meetings across the state took up issue with the deer herd it was angling issues took up much of the vocal discussion of the many wildlife questions offered at the meeting.

For more, see next week's Herald.