Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Fishery
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Fishery Project

Understanding smallmouth bass recruitment in relation to nest fishing along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula

January 2022 - October 2024


Participating Agencies

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Smallmouth bass support important fisheries along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, but recent declines in catch rates for smallmouth bass ≥ 18 inches have prompted concerns among stakeholders. Determining reasons for declining catch rates is difficult because the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources lacks a method for indexing smallmouth bass recruitment before bass enter the fishery at ages 3 and 4. This project is a collaboration of researchers across multiple agencies and includes the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Our research will help fishery managers determine a sampling method to index recruitment before smallmouth bass enter the fishery and address concerns regarding the effects of nest fishing on recruitment.