WHITEWATER — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hold a public meeting Dec. 17 in Whitewater to discuss a temporary fishing season closure on Cravath and Trippe lakes in Walworth County to conserve fish populations and habitat during a scheduled drawdown of water levels.

The city of Whitewater has undertaken a drawdown of water levels on the lakes as part of a project aimed at controlling invasive aquatic plants, compacting sediment and improving water quality. The city has requested a temporary closure of the fishing season for the remainder of the drawdown, with completion of the project and return to normal water levels slated for spring 2021.

Fish habitat will be limited during the drawdown, which can concentrate fish and make them more susceptible to fishing and overharvest. To limit the potential impacts to fish populations, the state DNR temporarily will close fishing during the drawdown until further notice is issued.

The fishing season closure would protect the vulnerable fishery from harvest, protect habitat and provide for the personal safety of the public by preventing access to the spring-fed lakes, especially during the ice fishing season.

Fisheries biologists are proposing to close fishing on both lakes beginning Dec. 18, and extending through the spring of 2021.

The public informational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the common council room in city hall, 312 W. Whitewater St., Whitewater.

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