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Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinTagged fish

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries biologists track fish for research purposes. There are various ways DNR marks fish which are part of these research studies:

  • a tag is attached to the fish, or
  • a radio transmitter is implanted, as noted by a wire antenna, or
  • a code wire tag is implanted, as identified by a missing adipose fin.

It is illegal to tag fish unless given a permit by the DNR.

Should you catch a DNR tagged fish, it is very important to report the requested information promptly. The information provided by the angler helps DNR to determine fish population estimates, and harvest and exploitation rates. Your cooperation and participation is greatly appreciated.

If you release the fish, please do not remove the tags.

The tag

Walleye with Tag

This photo of a walleye shows the long tag attached by the fin.
WDNR Photo

One common type of tag looks like a 2-inch piece of spaghetti and is located near the base of the dorsal fin (i.e., the fin along the top of the back). The tag can be of several colors. For example, on the Winnebago system, it will either be orange or yellow. Look carefully, as the tag may be covered with algae and look like a piece of a weed. Another type is a metal tag found on the dorsal fin of the fish. Each tag has a unique serial number stamped on it that identifies that fish. It may also have an address to send the tag to.

Requested information

Should you catch a tagged fish, it is very important to report it promptly. The information that DNR fish biologists request is fairly simple:

  • the species of fish caught,
  • the date the fish was caught,
  • the specific location where it was caught,
  • whether it was kept or not, and
  • most importantly, the tag (i.e., serial) number.

You may also include the fish's length and weight if you know it.

If you release the fish:

  • Do not remove the tag.
  • Record the information requested above and send it in promptly to DNR or other agency listed below.

If you keep the fish:

  • Remove the tag.
  • Don't scrape off any algae, because you may also remove the lettering on the tag.
  • Tape the tag to a card and send it in promptly to the DNR.

Sending in your information

If the tag has an address on it, send the information to that address. If your fish was caught on the following waters, follow the link to find the name and address below where you may send your information.

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On Allequash, Camp or Sparkling Lakes in Vilas County, report your tagged fish to:
U.W. Trout Lake Station
Attn: Theo Willis - Allequash Lake, or
Attn: Greg Sass - Camp Lake, or
Attn: Brian Roth - Sparkling Lake
10810 County Highway N
Boulder Juntion, WI 54512

On Annebelle, Kentuck, Squaw and Squirrel Lakes in Vilas County, the Gile Flowage in Iron County, or Bearskin Lake in Oneida County, report your tagged fish to:
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC)
Attn: Mark Luehring
P.O. Box 9
Odanah, WI 54861
email: mLuehring@glifwc.org

On the Baraboo River and adjacent waters of the Wisconsin River, report your tagged fish to:
Paul Kanehl, Research Technician
Wisconsin DNR Research Center
2801 Progress Road - SS/RC
Madison, WI 53716
(608) 221-6332
email: paul.kanehl@wisconsin.gov
Note: if you include your name and address, we will send you information on the tagged fish in this study.

On Big Round Lake in Polk County, report your tagged walleye to:
Beth Greiff, Program Director
St. Croix Tribal Natural Resources Department
24663 Angeline Avenue
Webster, WI 54893
(715) 349-2195, ext. 5141
FAX: (715) 349-5447
email: bethg@stcroixtribalcenter.com

On the Black River Jackson, Monroe, Trempealeau and La Crosse Counties, report your tagged walleye (as much information as possible - size of fish, tag number, location where the fish was caught) to:
Dan Hatleli, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR Research Center
910 Highway 54 East
Black River Falls WI 54615
(715) 284-1428
email: daniel.hatleli@wisconsin.gov
Note: if you include your name and address, we will send you information on the tagged fish in this study.

On Bond Lake in Douglas County, on Middle McKenzie Lake in Wasburn County or Half Moon Lake in Polk County, report your tagged walleyes to:
Jamison Wendel, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
810 W. Maple Street
Spooner, WI 54801
(715) 635-4095
email: jamison.wendel@wisconsin.gov

On Bone Lake in Polk County, report your tagged musky to:
Terry Margenau, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
810 W Maple Street
Spooner WI  54801
(715) 635-4162
email: terry.margenau@wisconsin.gov

On the Chippewa River report your tagged lake sturgeon to:
Heath Benike, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
1300 W Clairemont Avenue
Eau Claire WI  54701
(715) 839-2877


On the Lower Chippewa River and its flowages in Eau Claire, Dunn, and Pepin counties, report your tagged bass, walleye, and catfish to:
Heath Benike, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
1300 W Clairemont Avenue
Eau Claire WI  54701
(715) 839-2877

On the Lower Chippewa River report your shovelnose sturgeon with a floy tag (several colors) labeled Baldwin, Chippewa Falls or Eau Claire to:
Marty Engel, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
890 Spruce Street
Baldwin, WI 54002
(715) 684-2914
email: marty.engel@wisconsin.gov

On Delavan Lake in Walworth County, report your tagged fish to:
Douglas "Doug" Welch, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Sturtevant Sevice Center
9531 Rayne Road, Suite 4
Sturtevant, WI 53177
(262) 884-2364
email: douglas.welch@wisconsin.gov
Note: if you include your name and address, we will send you information on the tagged fish in this study.

On the Door County waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, report tagged fish to:

Scott Hansen, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
110 South Neenah Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
(920) 746-2864
scott.hansen@wisconsin.gov

or

Tim Kroeff, Fisheries Technician
Wisconsin DNR
110 South Neenah Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
920 746 5107
timothy.kroeff@wisconsin.gov

Middle Eau Claire Lake, Bayfield County, report your tagged fish to:
Jamison Wendel, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
810 W Maple Street
Spooner WI 54801
(715) 635-4095
email: jamison.wendel@wisconsin.gov

On Fish Lake in Dane County, report your tagged fish to:
Paul Kanehl, Research Technician
Wisconsin DNR Research Center
2801 Progress Road - SS/RC
Madison, WI 53716
(608) 221-6332
email: paul.kanehl@wisconsin.gov

On the Lower Fox and Green Bay, report your tagged fish to:
Rod Lange, Fisheries Technician
Wisconsin DNR - Northeast Region
P.O. Box 10448
Green Bay, WI 54307-0448
(920) 662-5457
email: rodney.lange@wisconsin.gov

On the Upper Fox, report your tagged fish to:
David Bartz
Wisconsin DNR
427 East Tower Drive, Suite 100
Wautoma, WI 54982-6927
(920) 787-3016
email: david.bartz@wisconsin.gov

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On the Lac du Flambeau Chain, report your tagged fish to:
Lac du Flambeau Band
P.O. Box 67
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538

On the Manitowish chain of lakes in Vilas County, report your tagged fish to:
University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
College of Natural Resources
1900 Franklin St.
Stevens Point, WI 54481-3897

On the Menominee River in Marinette County, report your fish with Wisconsin tags to:
Mike Donofrio, Fisheries Team Supervisor
Wisconsin DNR
P.O. Box 208
Peshtigo, WI 54157
(715) 582-5050
email: michael.donofrio@wisconsin.gov

On Lake Michigan, report your tagged yellow perch or on the Lower Milwaukee River and harbor report your tagged smallmouth bass and northern pike to:
Pradeep Hirethota, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
Lake Michigan Unit
600 E. Greenfield Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 382-7928
email: pradeep.hirethota@wisconsin.gov

On the Mississippi River report your shovelnose sturgeon with an orange or yellow floy labeled "LAX" to:
Patrick Short, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
1502 E Lessard Street
Prarie du Chien, WI 53821
(608) 326-8818
email: patrick.short@wisconsin.gov
or
David Heath, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
3550 Mormon Coulee Road
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-9993
email: David.Heath@wisconsin.gov

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On Namekagon River, in Burnette or Washburn Counties, report your tagged (Dangler tags) Lake Sturgeon to:
Jamison Wendel, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
810 W. Maple Street
Spooner, WI 54801
(715) 635-4095
email: jamison.wendel@wisconsin.gov


or

Jeffrey Kampa, Research Scientist
Wisconsin DNR
810 W Maple Street
Spooner WI 54801
(715) 635-4166
email: jeffrey.kampa@wisconsin.gov

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Pine Lake in Waukesha County, report your tagged fish to:
Ben Heussner, Fisheries Biologist
DNR Waukesha Service Center
141 NW Barstow St, Room 180
Waukesha, WI 53188
(262) 574-2152
e-mail: benjamin.heussner@wisconsin.gov

On the Rock River and Lake Koshkonong, in Dane/Jefferson/Rock Counties, report your tagged fish to:
Laura Stremick-Thompson, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
N7725 Highway 28
Horicon, WI 53032-9782
(920) 387-7876
email: laura.stremickthompson@wisconsin.gov

On St. Croix River, in Burnette, Douglas, or Polk Counties, report your tagged (Dangler tags on dorsal ray) Lake Sturgeon (Joint project with Minnesota, so some tags say WI-DNR some MN-DNR but we share tagging info between states so contact either state. In Wisconsin you can contact Larry Damman or go on line to MInnesotas DNR)
Jamison Wendel, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
810 W. Maple Street
Spooner, WI 54801
(715) 635-4095
email: jamison.wendel@wisconsin.gov

On Snipe Lake in Vilas County, report your tagged fish to:
Mike Coshun, Fisheries Biologist
DNR Service Center
8770 Hwy J
Woodruff, WI 54568
(715) 358-9209
email: michael.coshun@wisconsin.gov

On Lake Superior, report your tagged fish to:
Scott Sapper, Fisheries Technician
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
141 S Third Street
Bayfield WI  54814
(715) 779-4035
email: scott.sapper@wisconsin.gov

On the White River System, report your tagged brown trout to:
Scott Toshner, Fisheries Biologist
Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR, Brule Office
6250 South Ranger Road
Brule, WI 54820
(715) 372-8539 ext. 121
email: scott.toshner@wisconsin.gov

On the Winnebago system, report your tagged fish to:
Bob Olynyk, Fisheries Management Technician
Wisconsin DNR
625 E. Cty. Rd. Y, Ste. 700
Oshkosh, WI   54901-9731
office: (920) 424-7881, cell: (920) 420-0331
email: robert.olynyk@wisconsin.gov

On the Wisconsin River, Lake Wisconsin, and inland waters of Sauk and Columbia Counties report your tagged fish to:
Nate Nye
Wisconsin DNR
N3344 Stebbins Road
Poynette, WI 53955
(608) 635-8122
email: nathan.nye@wisconsin.gov

On Yellow Lake, in Burnette County, report your tagged (Dangler tags on dorsal ray) Lake Sturgeon to:
Jamison Wendel, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin DNR
810 W. Maple Street
Spooner, WI 54801
(715) 635-4095
email: jamison.wendel@wisconsin.gov

On Yellow River, Engle and Hickey Creeks in Barron County, report your tagged (tags are white and say WDNR, Barron 54812 with a four digit number beginning with zero (e.g., 0501) trout to:
Terry Margenau, Fisheries Biologist
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
810 W Maple Street
Spooner WI  54801
(715) 635-4162
email: terry.margenau@wisconsin.gov

If you catch a fish with a wire antenna.

If you catch a fish with a missing adipose (back) fin.

If you are unsure who to report your information to, please send us an e-mail at the Bureau of Fisheries Management.

Last revised: Thursday June 12 2014