Unfortunately, Wisconsin customers need to obtain a DATCP License or DNR Permit in order to stock fish. But don't worry! There are some pretty easy options.
The reason that a license or permit is needed in Wisconsin is that it is a public water state, which means that all water in Wisconsin is public. The only exceptions are licensed fish farms, which creates one of the 3 options below.
So if you want to stock fish in Wisconsin, please do not be discouraged. Look over the options below and let us know if you have any questions.
Please be aware that you DO NOT NEED ALL 3...only one of the following:
- DATCP License. One way to comply with Wisconsin regulations is to obtain a Type 1 DATCP Fish Farm License. This license allows you to stock properly certified fish when you want without a DNR permit. The downside is that there is a license review and issuing process, plus an annual fee. For more information, call 608-224-4887, email DATCPfishfarms@wi.gov or visit their WEB PAGE.
- DNR General Permit. If you do not have a DATCP License and you want to stock fish in Wisconsin, then you need a DNR Permit. Fortunately, there is a very simple self-certifying permit if your pond is 100% on your personal property (businesses and other entities are not eligible, and neither are ponds that are on more than one private property) and the fish do not have a pathway to swim in or out of the pond. It is called the Pond Stocking General Permit and you can find a copy HERE. Complete the permit, send one copy to the DNR, and another to us when you place a fish order, and then you are covered for a year.
- DNR Fish Stocking Permit. If you do not qualify for the above permit, then there is a more involved permit that Keystone Hatcheries completes for you, along with your fish order. We will get the info we need from you for the permit when you place the order. We do charge $10 for this permit, and there is an application process, but we can usually do most of the work for you.