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Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinFish with a wire antenna

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.

DNR discourages anglers from tagging their own fish.

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.

Fish with wire antennas (radio transmitters)

If a wire antenna is found extending out from the body of a fish you have caught, it is likely that the DNR has implanted a radio transmitter in it. These transmitters are used to track the movements and behavioral patterns of the fish. Radio transmitters have been used in the following areas:

  • walleye and smallmouth bass in the Lower Milwaukee River Harbor
  • walleye, musky and sturgeon in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage and connecting Manitowish River
Fish with Wire Antenna

This picture shows a fish with a wire antenna properly inserted.
WDNR Photo

Requested information and notifying the DNR

If you catch a walleye or smallmouth bass in the Lower Milwaukee River Harbor with a wire antenna extending out from its body, please release the fish safely back to the water and call the DNR office below with the fish species, location, time and date of capture.

Wisconsin DNR
Pradeep Hirethota
600 E. Greenfield Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 382-7928
email:pradeep.hirethota@wisconsin.gov

If you catch a walleye, musky or sturgeon in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage or Manitowish River with a wire antenna extending out from its body, please release the fish safely back to the water and call the DNR office below with the fish species, accurate length, location, time and date of capture.

Wisconsin DNR
Zach Lawson
5291 State House Circle
Mercer, WI 54547
(715) 476-7847
email:zachary.lawson@wisconsin.gov

If the fish appears dead, please bring the fish to the DNR office above, along with the transmitter.

Fish with radio transmitters are not to be consumed!

If you catch a fish with a tag, please see our web page on catching a tagged fish.

If you catch a fish with a missing adipose (back) fin, please see our web page on catching a fish with a missing adipose fin.

If you are unsure who to report your information to, please contact the Bureau of Fisheries Management.

Last revised: Thursday November 02 2017