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Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
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Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.

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Contact information
To learn more about the Fishing for dinner initiative and get involved, contact:
Theresa Stabo
R3 Coordinator

Fishing Wisconsin Fishing for dinner initiative

Fishing for Dinner

Wisconsin waters are teeming with hungry fish. Learn how to land one on your dining table for a tasty, healthy meal, harvested from waters close to home.

Cooking Fish

Northern pike done to perfection by Chef Patrick McKormick.

Attend a class

Watch this page for a listing of classes where adults will learn what they've been missing - knot-tying, casting, fish identification and preparing your catch for the table.

Dane County
Community: Madison
Description: Pontoon Fishing Outings

Come aboard for late summer fishing on Lake Monona from the Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) pontoon boats. DNR staff and volunteers will be on hand to help you out at these mini-sessions. Arrive at the dock up to 30 minutes before departure time to get help in rigging your fishing pole. We'll have one boat during each outing with room for six anglers on the boat.

Place: Boats leave the dock at Tenney Park [exit DNR] in Madison, just off Sherman Avenue.
Dates & Times: Late Summer Outings
  • Wednesday evening, August 28, 2019 - 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday evening, September 18, 2019 - 5 p.m. to 8 p.m
  • Saturday afternoon, September 21, 2019 - 1 p.m. to 4 p.m

Registration Use registration form [PDF] for the pontoon fishing outings and register by email or fax with Andrew Krismer, (Fax:608-266-3696, Phone:608-333-2057). Indicate if you need a fishing pole or are bringing your own.
What to bring:
  • Water bottle
  • Snack or sandwich for yourself
  • Hat that won't blow off
  • Sunglass for the setting sun
  • Your current fishing license if you are age 16 or older
  • A light jacket if Fall is in the air
  • A small cooler to take home your catch after we help you clean it
What to expect::
  • Bait and gear if you need it
  • A few hours of fishing
  • The current water level of the Yahara River is at a point where access to Lake Monona could require all passengers to sit or kneel on the floor of the boat!
  • A chance to learn how to clean your catch to take home and cook.
Cost: Free; we just expect you to show up if you sign up, OK?

We schedule classes in areas where people have expressed an interest and where we have partners in place to host and help lead the sessions. Watch this site for updates on class offerings, dates and locations.

Become an instructor or mentor for adult beginners

We are also inviting seasoned anglers to mentor young adults (or adults of any age) who may have missed the fishing boat as kids, so lack fishing skills. Mentors will be asked to complete a background check by completing DNR Form 4100-217 [PDF].

Eat local – fish

The Farm to Fork concept is growing in popularity and suggests a parallel Pond to Plate companion, whether that "pond" is a stream or a lake – Great, large or small. As far as "food miles" are concerned, most Wisconsinites live within 50 miles of fishable waters that offer many places to catch a healthy and delicious dinner, with a low food-miles score. Sustainability is an important component, so filling the freezer does not fit the model, but savoring that occasional treat from familiar waters does.

Chefs, local foods advocates and community groups have joined us in this project to offer classes. Cleaning and cooking instructions will be part of the mix and we will include information on how to minimize consumption of fish contaminants such as mercury and PCBs.

Sound good to you? Then keep your eyes open and sign up for GovDelivery notifications so you'll be among the first to know when class registration materials are ready!

Angler R3

The Fishing for Dinner Initiative is an angler recruitment, retention and reactivation program - R3; its primary goal is to lure a new anglers to the water's edge and encourage them to join us as stewards of Wisconsin's bountiful fisheries. The focus is on young adults who have an interest in local, sustainably raised food – we hope they will consider the fish they catch as part of a healthy diet.

Last revised: Friday August 23 2019