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Wisconsin's record fish program

Fishing Wisconsin

Please note: Because of the COVID-19 situation, staff working from home for the past year and recently returning to the office, we are behind in the administration of the record fish program. Letters and certificates to new record holders should be distributed within the next month. We appreciate your patience.

Catching a record fish

Fishing Wisconsin's waters are enjoyed by many, but only a few anglers apply their skills to the extent that they catch a verified record fish. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recognizes anglers who have legally taken the largest fish on record by hook and line, as well as those fish that have been taken by alternate methods (for example, spearing or bow fishing).

The DNR does not keep line-class or lake-specific records. However, you may contact the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame [exit DNR] for national line class records.

Do you think you've caught a record fish?

If you think you or someone you know has caught a fish that might be a state record, there are a number of things you should do:

  • don't clean or freeze the fish
  • keep the fish cool - preferably on ice
  • get the fish weighed as soon as possible on a certified scale (found in grocery, hardware stores, etc.) and witnessed by an observer
  • contact the nearest DNR office to get the fish species positively identified and to find out whether the fish is a state record
  • obtain and complete a record fish application [PDF]

An official record fish application must accompany all prospective record fish entries.

Complete list of Wisconsin's record fish [PDF]

For questions about record fish or comments about these pages send mail to Bureau of Fisheries Management