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Fisheries Management

Fish farming in WisconsinWater diversion

If you are planning to divert water from a navigable lake, pond or stream as part of your aquaculture operation, a permit may be required under Sections 30.12 or 30.18, Wisconsin Statutes.

No person, except a person required to obtain an approval under Section 281.41 may divert water from any lake or stream in this state without a 30.18 permit if the diversion will result in a water loss averaging 2,000,000 gallons per day in any 30-day period above the person's authorized base level of water loss.

No permit is needed for aquaculture if the water diversion is less than 2,000,000 gallons per day.

A permit may also be required under Section 30.12, Wisconsin Statutes for the placement of the pump or other device on the bed of the water body. This permit may be required even if no permit is required under Section 30.18, Wisconsin Statutes.

Depending upon the construction of the diversion equipment, a dredging permit may also be required.

If you plan to withdraw water for a new or existing fish farm, water use registration, reporting and permitting may apply to you. A withdrawal is the taking or redirection of water from its natural course (surface water or groundwater), making it unavailable for other purposes, even if only temporarily.

Note: The information provided on this web page is for general orientation purposes only. Do not rely solely on the information provided on these Web pages. For more information, please contact your local DNR Fish Farm Environmental Permits Coordinator.

Last revised: Thursday April 02 2015