Steve Johnson (Johnson’s Portside) sounds off after five DNR Advisory meetings of “all talk and no action.” (Click for his January reports.) He says the Committee is blocked from doing what it was created for in the first place: advising the DNR on how to solve identified issues. But then he says it’s not entirely the DNR’s fault.

In the first of a two-part interview, Steve comes up with a plain explanation of why the DNR’s management has been so ineffective. Short answer: the DNR starts and ends with protocols created under Treaty Fisheries Management.

The DNR is mandated by the protocols to manage the lake in order to meet the quotas. That means their well paid/educated experts don’t get a chance to biologically manage the lake.

The DNR doesn’t have the tools to deal with protocols overriding biology. So they are left with using fishing pressure and mortality rate to meet specific quotas based on estimates that have a 20 to 30 percent margin of error.


Steve believes the only change that will have an impact is to change the protocols. That means going back to analyze, and possibly re-negotiate, the protocols. It’s not about re-negotiating the treaty, it’s about reexamining the protocols. But “That is where it has to start.”

(Note: All Messenger attempts to reach the DNR for comment were unsuccessful.)

See Steve Johnson’s interview “Seeking change in lake management“.

Doug Meyenburg