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For more information on the panfish project, contact:
Joanna Griffin
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Fishing WisconsinPlanning for panfish

Do you have a passion for panfish? Read on ...

A pile of panfish

A pile of panfish is a welcome sight to many Wisconsin anglers.

Panfish are the most common fish caught by anglers in Wisconsin.  In a 2006-07 statewide survey, Wisconsin anglers reported catching 88 million fish, of which 57.7 million were panfish (bluegill, yellow perch, crappies). Public concern regarding panfish appears to be increasing and, in recent years, the Conservation Congress (a long-standing DNR advisory organization) has proposed reducing the 25 panfish bag limit on select lakes. Analysis of many years’ worth of fisheries surveys is starting to tell us about the status of panfish in the state, and we would like to share the results.

Conservation Congress concerns, in combination with data analyses and modeling efforts, lead us to believe we should take the next step and develop a panfish management plan. A series of public meetings have been held to better connect with Wisconsin panfish anglers. Angler feedback will help guide us in the direction and prioritization of panfish management goals. 

Message from Secretary

An invitation from Secretary Cathy Stepp


“Whether you’re seeking a tasty meal … introducing your kids to the fun of fishing … or just looking for some great action … Wisconsin panfish deliver. We want to make sure they keep delivering food and fishing fun into the future.”

Department of Natural Resources’ Secretary Cathy Stepp invites Wisconsin anglers to participate in public meetings on panfish management that will be held around the state in February and March.

Public meetings

Public meetings

Fisheries biologists held public meetings around the state in February and March. The information gathered from these meetings will be used to help develop a panfish management plan for Wisconsin.

Panfish survey

Panfish survey

Passion for Panfish

Interested anglers who attended panfish public meetings, fishing expos, sport shows and Conservation Congress meetings, in February and March had the opportunity to complete a panfish survey. The results of the panfish survey have been analyzed and are found below:

Panfish survey results [PDF]

Input will help guide the development of a statewide plan for managing panfish populations. We hope to provide our anglers with a variety of panfishing opportunities.

Panfish press

A panfish reality check [PDF] - a reality check on the misconceptions of panfish management and biology

Sharing a passion for panfish. Natural Resources magazine, June 2013

Last revised: Wednesday July 31 2013