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Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinWisconsin's record fish program

Live Release Record Fish Category

Change planned for record fish program in 2014

Wisconsin's record fish program will receive a change in 2014 with the addition of the Live Release record fish category. The addition of this new category should bring some excitement into Wisconsin fishing and provide more anglers with an opportunity to catch a verified record fish.

  • Live release records

    The Live Release Record Fish category will be length-only records for the catch and live release of selected species in Wisconsin waters. It has been designed to promote the conservation of fisheries resources and quality fishing by encouraging the careful release of trophy-size popular sport species. Category details [PDF]

Catching a record fish

Fishing Wisconsin's waters is enjoyed by many, but only a few anglers apply their skills to the extent that they catch a verified record fish. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recognizes anglers who have legally taken the largest fish on record by hook and line, as well as those fish that have been taken by alternate methods (for example, spearing or bowfishing).

The DNR does not keep line-class or lake-specific records. However, you may contact the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame [exit DNR] for national line class records.


You think you've caught a record fish?

If you think you or someone you know has caught a fish that might be a state record, there are a number of things you should do:

  • don't clean or freeze the fish
  • keep the fish cool - preferably on ice
  • get the fish weighed as soon as possible on a certified scale (found in grocery, hardware stores, etc.) and witnessed by an observer
  • contact the nearest DNR office to get the fish species positively identified and to find out whether the fish is a state record
  • obtain and complete a record fish application [PDF]

An official record fish application must accompany all prospective record fish entries.

Complete list of Wisconsin's record fish [PDF]

For questions about record fish or comments about these pages send mail to: Bureau of Fisheries Management

Last revised: Monday March 10 2014