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Teaching materials

All about fish

You have arrived at your one-stop shop for classroom and field day materials related to fish and fishing. Don't feel constrained by our suggested grade levels - mix and match to suit your students' needs, abilities and interests. Most importantly, have fun introducing them to the joys of fishing and their role in protecting Wisconsin's aquatic resources.

Lesson plans in Junior Angler and Hook, Line, & Thinker! support the new Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, making the program an easy fit in the classroom, yet flexible enough for lively recreation programs.

Big Splash coloring book

A Big Splash of Color - Grades Pre-K-3


This 12-page booklet offers games, activities and information for young anglers. There's even a spot to record their first catch!

¡En Español!

My First Fish Certificate

Here's a way to combine fishing and writing skills. Print the My First Fish [PDF] certificate to help launch the next Hemingway.

Fish Fact Sheets and more - Middle school - adult


Learn about habitat, distribution, identification and much more with our Fish Fact Sheets. Companion links offer a boatload of related information.

Catch 'n Color - Grades 3 - 6

Download a coloring page and learn about two popular fish, native to Wisconsin; the brook trout and the largemouth bass.

Junior Angler - Grades 4 - 8

Junior Angler

Junior Angler Program materials help to reinforce Wisconsin's academic standards. Click on the following links to download and print the pages that meet your needs. Printed Junior Angler booklets are still available in classroom quantities to DNR-certified Angler Education Instructors. To obtain certification, attend a training workshop.

Fish Packs - Grades 6 - 8, & younger siblings!

Check out a backpack stuffed with fish-related games, stories and activities. Fish Packs are available at many Tackle Loaner Sites.

Hook, Line, & Thinker! - Grades 7 - 12

Field Guide Cover

Hook, Line, & Thinker addresses life sciences and related social issues through the eyes of an angler. A companion field guide incorporates a fishing experience.

The Hook, Line & Thinker Guides are posted as individual lesson plans to make downloading much faster and this program easier to use.

Science Guide
The Science Guide uses fish and water as focal points for teaching broader life science concepts and supports many academic standards for science, environmental education, language arts and social studies.
Field Guide
The Field Guide is aimed at physical education students or those in after-school programs, summer camps or other places that have the ability to provide a fishing field trip. We encourage instructors to work together to give their students the full Hook, Line, & Thinker experience.

Fish Wildcards - For everybody!

Download the popular Fish Wildcards, Match Your Catch, Low-Res Version [PDF], or Match Your Catch, Hi-Res Version [PDF]. Print the whole set of 45 fish, plus games, knots, basic fish anatomy, a common fish parasite and a handy trick to estimate your fish's weight with a ruler!

Fishing for Dinner

Fishing for Dinner is an R3 program - recruitment, retention and reactivation - that focuses on adults who have an interest in local, sustainably raised food, but missed the fishing boat as kids. It includes Fishing for Dinner - An Instructor's Guide, Fishing for Dinner - Got Kids? and a collection of activities in Fishing Games to reinforce skills.

Fishing for Dinner ~ An Instructor's Guide

Fishing for Dinner ~ An Instructor's Guide (76 pages) outlines strategies and activities to help you teach adults about fish and fishing in your community. Materials are adaptable to family programming and additional support materials are available to individuals who attend an instructor training and certification workshop.

Fishing for Dinner - Got Kids?

Fishing for Dinner - Got Kids? (48 pages) serves as a supplement to Fishing for Dinner - An Instructor's Guide for when you, well, got kids. It provides classroom and scouting connections and offers tips for the occasional teacher.

Fishing Games

Fishing Games (18 pages) - because who doesn't like playing fishing games to learn basic techniques and fish biology?

A Fine Kettle of Fish - For chefs of all ages

Pickled suckers, anyone? Perhaps a plate of mock sardines or carp patties would be more to your liking. Ladle up some recipes from the classic DNR cookbook, "A Fine Kettle of Fish" by the late Vern Hacker and sample some of Wisconsin's under-appreciated culinary surprises. Mr. Hacker was a Fish Control Specialist with the department, and in 1977 came up with a creative way to control "rough" fish populations. Carpe Carp - Seize the Carp!

When Fish Rode the Rails - For history buffs from 3 to 103

Follow the story of the Badger #2, a train car that transported millions of fish from early Wisconsin fish hatcheries to lakes and streams across the state. Download a coloring page; note that there are two sizes of the coloring page, 11" X 17" and 8.5" X 11".