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May 1, 2012

MADISON -- More than 330,000 catchable size trout are being stocked in dozens of inland trout waters across Wisconsin before the May 5 inland fishing season opener. A list of waters receiving fish [pdf]] and how many were planned for stocking is now available. Search "where to fish" on the Department of Natural Resources website and then look under "Trout Fishing."

Coregonus being loaded.
DNR's new Lake Michigan research boat, the RV Coregonus, being loaded with brown trout to be stocked into Green Bay waters
WDNR Photo

"We should be finishing with trout stocking this week - right before the opener," says David Giehtbrock, DNR statewide fish production manager. "We were able to start a little earlier this year, and we had good conditions for stocking the entire spring."

DNR fisheries crews have been stocking rainbow, brown, and brook trout raised at Nevin Fish Hatchery, Osceola Fish Hatchery and St. Croix Falls Hatchery. They've also been working with fishing club volunteers, students, and others to help stock the fish club members raised under cooperative rearing agreements with DNR.

Coop stocking.
The Rolling Hills Sportsman's Club and Hillsboro High School raised and stocked 7,371 wild brook trout in streams in Vernon and Monroe counties.
WDNR Photo

Some of the fish were stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds cooperatively managed with the local municipality and used as a place for fishing clinics and kids fishing.

Altogether, there will be 331,731 catchable-size trout stocked this spring, with rainbow trout comprising the largest share, 155,822, followed by brook trout at 105,160 fish, and 70,749 brown trout, according to Rachel Koehler, DNR assistant production manager and microbiologist.

The trout are stocked in waters where the habitat is marginal and there is no natural reproduction. They are a small subset of the state's overall trout treasury -- more than 13,000 miles of classified trout water and trout populations that have generally increased statewide over the last 60 years.

Stocking database for all fish species updated and can give a line on where to go

In other stocking news, anglers can go online to see which waters have been stocked over time, including in 2011, when 21 million fish were stocked, including nearly 8 million larger fish.

"We had an extremely good year with muskellunge production and average or above-average years on walleye and northern pike production," Giehtbrock says.

The stocking database contains information on stocking from 1972 through 2011. Stocking data for 2012 isn't available because those fish are being stocked now and the process will continue through the fall. To access the database, search the DNR website for "fish stocking" and then click on the link for the "stocking database."

The vast majority of Wisconsin lakes and rivers are naturally reproducing, but some people like to fish waters where stocking supplements low natural reproduction or provides a fishery that otherwise wouldn't exist, Giehtbrock says. The stocking database will give them an idea of what was stocked when and where, and what kind of fish.

In 2011, DNR raised and stocked 21,206,820 fish weighing a total of 430,919 pounds. About 13 million of these fish were fry, days old fish.

The rest, 7,871,706 fish were fingerling or larger. The numbers mentioned include fish stocked by DNR hatcheries, ponds or coop ponds. No private stocking is recorded in this table of data, Giehtbrock says.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Giehtbrock (608) 266-8229

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 01, 2012

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