State of Wisconsin Fast Facts The Fish: Wisconsin waters are home to 165 fish species; 150 of these species are native to the state and 15 are introduced non-native species. The sturgeon is the state's largest, and longest-lived fish; in fact, the world's record sturgeon taken by hook and line was a 170-pound, 10-ounce giant hauled from Wisconsin's Yellow Lake in Burnett County in 1979. The state record for a speared sturgeon was set that same year, when a 195-pound lake sturgeon was speared on Pokegama Lake in Vilas County by a tribal member exercising his treaty rights. The muskellunge, or musky, is the state fish. More world record musky have been landed here than anywhere else. In 2006, for example, anglers reported catching more than 60 musky over 48 inches, including a 53-inch Vilas County fish that weighted 51 pounds and 2 ounces. Walleye are Wisconsin anglers' favorite targets, followed by bass. Collectively, panfish are caught most frequently. By far, most Wisconsin fish are the result of naturally reproducing populations. But the DNR typically raises and stocks about 12 million fish of larger sizes.
The Waters: 15,081 inland lakes, 42,000 miles of perennial streams and rivers, 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and 260 miles of the Mississippi River. Wisconsin boasts 10, 266 miles of trout streams, with 4,136 of those miles being high quality, Class 1 trout streams. Vilas and Oneida counties in northern Wisconsin boast the world's largest collection of kettle lakes, with more than 2,000 lakes between them. More than 90 percent of Wisconsin waters are supported entirely by natural reproduction resulting from good aquatic habitat.
The Anglers: Wisconsin annually sells about 1.4 million fishing licenses to adult anglers. Anglers spent 20.8 million days fishing in Wisconsin in 2006. Nearly 41 percent of Wisconsin residents 16 and over participate in fishing Wisconsin is the second favorite destination spot for nonresident anglers Anglers annually catch 88 million fish and keep 33 million fish of all kinds, releasing the rest to challenge anglers another day. Wisconsin ranks among the top 5 states in terms of numbers of anglers, behind the more populous coastal states of Florida, California and Texas.
The Economic Impact: Fishing generates a $2.75 billion economic impact in Wisconsin More than 30,000 Wisconsin jobs are supported by fishing Fishing related activities and sales generate $200 million in state tax revenues for local and state government. Less than 1 percent is returned to DNR for traditional fisheries management. 381,000 nonresident anglers fished in Wisconsin in 2006, spending a total of 3.8 million days and $280 million on retail goods.
PLEASE HELP KEEP WISCONSIN BEAUTIFUL - DON'T LITTER!