Fish stocking operations are considered essential business and continue as planned.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to boost natural fish populations through stocking to provide anglers with high quality and diverse fishing opportunities.

“From large lakes and rivers to small streams and ponds, Wisconsin has some of the most diverse fishing opportunities in the country,” said Justine Hasz, DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management Director. “We are committed to maintaining and sustaining these fishing resources for the use and enjoyment of all anglers and are happy to announce the spring fish stocking numbers.”

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the DNR made a variety of short-term management decisions earlier this spring to protect the health and safety of the public and DNR staff. As such, stocking operations have been altered to comply with public health guidelines.

Additional management decisions that were necessary to protect the public, DNR staff, and fishery resources include the temporary suspension of the following operations:

• Stocking partnerships and collaborations (such as net pens in Lake Michigan)

• Offshore stocking of brown trout in Green Bay

• Offshore stocking conducted on Lake Superior

• Stocking of urban and small ponds

“We realize some of these decisions impact our partners and result in temporary changes to the way we manage our public trust resources,” said Hasz. “However, we believe these decisions are necessary to protect our most important resource which is our staff and the public we serve.”

These suspensions have not impacted Lake Michigan and Lake Superior stocking numbers. Currently, no fish surveys or creel surveys are being conducted. The department recognizes the importance of urban and small pond fishing opportunities. Anglers who normally utilize these resources should contact their local fisheries biologist for alternate fishing locations this year. Normal stocking partnerships and collaborations, fisheries surveys and creel surveys will resume once the public health emergency has subsided.

Wisconsin waters continue to offer some of the most diverse and high-quality fishing experiences in the country. Anglers are encouraged to enjoy these fisheries resources responsibly and adhere to the most recent public health and safety guidelines and fishing regulations.

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