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Fisheries Management

Fishing Wisconsin The Wisconsin Walleye Initiative

Wisconsin means walleye

More waters will be stocked with larger walleye fingerlings. More walleye will lead to better fishing in years to come.

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.

Walleye harvest

You gotta see this! Harvesting walleye at Governor Thompson State Fish Hatchery for the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative


Funding

$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.

Stocking

Wisconsin means walleye

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

Production grants

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. The total grant amount awarded to an individual grantee or hatchery may not exceed $500,000.

Production grant awards: The walleye production grant award recipients have been determined. The list of the award recipients is listed below:

Grantee Award amount
Gollon Bait and Fish Farm $423,535
Northside Enterprises $136,344
Coolwater Farms, LLC $76,600
Sokaogon Chippewa Community $298,900
Hayward Bait & Bottle Shoppe $125,000
Central Wisconsin Fish Farm, LLC $29,841
St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin $283,253
Taal Lake Hatchery $194,370
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa $432,157

Grant reimbursement payment requests

Questions?
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
608-267-0848

Staff contacts

Fisheries Director

Mike Staggs
Phone: 608/267-0796

Management

Steve Hewett
Phone: 608/267-7501

Public participation and outreach

Ron Bruch
Phone: 608/267-7591

Last revised: Wednesday April 23 2014