Fish Stocking Permits Now Available Online

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MADISON — Fishing clubs, lake associations and private pond owners who want to stock fish can now apply online for the permit they’ll need before transferring fish into any water in Wisconsin.

Filling out an online application may allow people to get a permit decision more quickly than if they fill out and mail in a paper form, says Paul Cunningham, the Department of Natural Resources fish biologist who coordinates fish stocking permits.

“We’ll continue to accept and process paper applications, but the online application may allow for quicker review and processing times,” he says.

The online application and a blank, printable application form can be found on DNR’s fisheries pages along with other information about private stocking efforts, including a listing of fish farms where fish may be purchased for stocking.

Hundreds of people apply for fish stocking permits every year. For instance, between June and December 2007, the department received more than 330 applications for fish stocking permits. Walleye was the most popularly species, with nearly one-third requesting to stock this angler favorite, followed by yellow perch.

Applicants who choose to fill out their application online will still need to print out their completed form and mail it in to the DNR, along with a copy of a fish health certificate for each species to be stocked from the fish farm where the fish were purchased, according to Joanna Griffin, DNR fisheries database manager.

“When you contact a fish farm to order fish, ask for a copy of the most recent Fish Health Certificate,” Griffin says. “You’ll need to attach a copy of the certificate to your stocking permit application.

Since January 2002, a fish health certificate from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has been required for all fish stocked in state waterbodies, including private ponds, to avoid spreading fish diseases to new waters.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Cunningham (608) 267-7502; Joanna Griffin (608) 264-8953