Sport anglers will have to carry wire-cutters when trolling in Lakes Michigan and Superior, under an order the DNR board has okayed. It's a change some say the Walker Administration unnecessarily delayed.
DNR fisheries specialist Bill Horns says it's a safety issue: making Great Lakes sport anglers trolling or dragging something behind their boat carry wire cutters that are accessible.
Horns says the snag may be on commercial fishing gear or some other obstruction. He says wire cutters cost as little as $5. Two years ago, a sport angler died on Lake Michigan when his boat got snagged on a commercial fishing trap net. The DNR board okayed the wire cutters in an emergency rule last year, but that has since expired. A state wildlife group wanted quicker action on a permanent wire-cutter rule, but a bill okayed last year by Republican lawmakers and Gov. Walker requires economic analysis for permanent rules, so $5 wire cutters that couldn't slice through government red tape became, to Walker critics, a symbol of over-regulation.