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Fisheries Management

Fishing Wisconsin Net pens: floating production ponds

What are net pens?

Net pens are designed to hold fish for a short period at a particular stocking site. The process can be more effective than direct stocking because predation is reduced, fish tend to acclimate better and fish imprinting may improve.

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Fish around habitat The net pen placement process.

Net pen implementation

Beginning in 2014, the DNR will work with angling groups to develop and implement net pen projects for trout and salmon at stocking locations in Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and their major tributaries.

Angling groups that have interests in operating net pens should contact the local fisheries biologist to determine if net pens are appropriate at the stocking locations of interest.  Fisheries biologists will assist angling groups in developing a net pen implementation plan that will include assisting with the net pen General permit, General Permit application and placement of additional net pens.

Wisconsin DNR staff will develop and implement a training program to train angling group volunteers on the rearing of fish that are put in the net pen for rearing.  Angling groups involved with these projects will be responsible for:

  • acquiring and maintaining equipment,
  • caring for stocked fish and
  • monitoring site and fish conditions. 

The Department will provide the technical assistance as needed during the net pen rearing period.

Last revised: Monday April 06 2015