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Contact information
To learn more about the Fishing for dinner initiative and get involved, contact:
Theresa Stabo
R3 Coordinator
Recruitment·Retention·Reactivation
608-577-6332

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.

Drop by to say hello!

We'll have a fish and game cooking demo [exit DNR] on Friday, June 21 at 9 a.m. and an exhibit table all weekend at the Energy Fair [exit DNR] in Custer, just 7.6 miles east of Stevens Point on Highway 10, June 21-23, 2019.
Yum-yum, it's what's for breakfast!

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 with the FiN'terns*
*Fishing in the Neighborhood Interns

Come aboard with the FiN’terns this summer and fish Lake Monona or Lake Mendota from the Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) pontoon boats. FiN’terns Isaiah Scheffler and Maddy Reick will be on hand to help you out at these mini-sessions. We’ll have two boats during each outing with room for 6 anglers per boat.

Time & Place: Boats leave the dock at Tenney Park [exit DNR] in Madison at 5 p.m. and return by 8 p.m. The FiN'terns and/or DNR staff will be at the dock to help you rig your fishing pole by 4:30.
Dates and Lakes:
  • Monday evening, June 24, 2019 – Lake Monona
  • Friday evening, June 28, 2019 – Lake Mendota
  • Wednesday evening, July 17, 2019 – Lake Monona
Registration Use registration form [PDF] to register by email or fax with Andrew Krismer, (Fax:608-266-3696, Phone:608-333-2057) and 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
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.

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.

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]. Planning is underway for mentor training workshops, so watch this site for workshop notices.

Last revised: Monday June 17 2019