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Fishing Wisconsin The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
Bringing more walleye to Wisconsin's waters
The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative (WWI) was developed by the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s office to increase the number of walleyes in state walleye waters by expanding production of large fingerling walleye at state, private and tribal fish hatcheries for stocking in waters accessible to the public. This historic investment in Wisconsin’s walleye fishery will benefit all users and Wisconsin’s angling related economy.
You gotta see this! Harvesting walleye at Governor Thompson State Fish Hatchery for the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
$8.2 million for infrastructure improvements and $1.3 million each year for annual operating costs will be provided to expand production at DNR state fish hatcheries. Production should increase from 60,000 to 120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016.
One time funding of $2 million is also being provided for a competitive grant program for municipal, tribal and private aquaculture facilities to improve their infrastructure and enhance the capabilities to stock additional large fingerling walleye in Wisconsin’s waters.
- $500,000 is being provided annually starting in FY 14-15 to purchase large fingerling walleye for stocking in Wisconsin’s waters from private fish farms. Several states including Indiana and Minnesota have had success improving their walleye fisheries with purchases of walleye fingerlings from private sources.
- $250,000 General purpose revenue will be provided annually to expand the Summer Tribal Youth Program. This program is a state-tribal partnership, with a 50-50 funding split, that provides tribal high school-aged youth an opportunity to work on natural resource-related projects during the summer. This initiative has been in place since 2007 with the Chippewa---Lac du Flambeau, Lac Courte Oreilles and Red Cliff tribes. The proposal would expand the program and include the state’s remaining eight tribal nations. A new annual appropriation would be created to distribute funds for this program.
Walleye stocking strategy
The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative will make significant increases in the stocking of large walleye fingerlings from state, tribal and private hatcheries. To make the most effective use of walleye stocking, the DNR has developed the following DRAFT stocking guidance to prioritize stocking efforts:
Stocking final summary- November 20, 2013
Wisconsin Walleye Initiative production grant program
The DNR was directed to create and administer a competitive walleye production grant program to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants for the purpose of increasing production capacity of extended-growth walleye fingerlings (6-8 inches) for stocking in state waters. Eligible applicants include all Wisconsin cities, villages, towns and counties; federally recognized Indian tribes or bands located in Wisconsin; and private fish farms located in Wisconsin. Fish farms must be registered with Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and must be in compliance with all applicable state and federal environmental and fish health related laws.
The state will be awarding two million dollars in one grant application cycle. Applications for grant funding will be accepted by the DNR from December 4, 2013 until January 31, 2014. The total grant amount awarded to an individual grantee or hatchery may not exceed $500,000.
ATTENTION! The deadline for submitting production grant applications has passed. The applications will now be evaluated. Check back for the results of the evaluation process.
- If you have questions, please contact:
- Brian Goodman
Financial Assistance Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Bureau of Community Financial Assistance
P.O. Box 7921
101 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7921
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