Walleye Study Underway – You Could Get A Reward

Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

There’s a new walleye reward tag study for Green Bay and its major tributaries.

Green Bay and its tributaries support a world-class fishery boasting a robust walleye population and trophy-sized fish. Wisconsin DNR surveys have shown that the popularity of this fishery has grown in recent years. Staff has seen increased angler effort targeting walleyes.

The DNR will begin tagging up to 5,000 walleyes with green and yellow floy tags to get information on population levels and harvest. Watch for tags throughout Green Bay’s five major spawning areas in Wisconsin. The are the Fox, Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee Rivers, as well as Sturgeon Bay.

In addition to the yellow and green tags, 200 red reward tags are throughout these waters. Walleyes for Tomorrow is offering a $100 reward to anglers who report catching walleyes with red tags. Thanks to funding from Walleyes for Tomorrow, the DNR hopes to continue this tagging study for 3-5 years.

What Happens If I Catch A Tagged Walleye?

If you catch a tagged walleye of legal size, you can choose to harvest or release the fish. If you get a tagged fish that doesn’t meet minimum length requirements, release it after you get the tag information. Follow responsible catch-and-release practices and leave the tag intact for all released walleyes.

For all colored tags, anglers should report the tag number, tag color, fish length, location caught, date caught, and whether the fish was harvested. For red tags that read “REWARD $100” with a valid reward date listed, anglers must verify their tag to redeem the reward. This can be done by:

  • If harvested, present the physical tag or email a picture of the tag that includes the three-digit tag number to the DNR.
  • If released, take a close-up picture of the tag that includes the three-digit tag number and a picture of the angler holding the walleye with the attached tag visible.

To report your catch to the DNR, email DNRFHGBFISH@wisconsin.gov or call 920-662-5411.

Upon reporting a green or yellow floy tag, anglers will receive information about the fish, including the date, location, size, sex, and estimated age at the time of tagging. Anglers do not need to provide picture verification or mail in the physical tag when reporting walleyes with green or yellow tags. 

Reported tags from captured or harvested walleye will help guide walleye management throughout Green Bay and its tributaries by providing fisheries biologists with information about exploitation, harvest, spawning site fidelity, movement patterns, and growth rates.