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

Wisconsin Fishery Project

Advancing broodstock selection to optimize brook trout stocking in Wisconsin

January 2022 - December 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Conservation agencies often stocks hatchery-raised trout to restore or rehabilitate wild trout fisheries and to support put-and-take fisheries. Agencies are increasingly concerned that domestic strains of hatchery-reared trout may exhibited poor post-stocking survival and fail to successfully reproduce. We are experimentally evaluating that concern by quantifying relative reproductive success of domestic brook trout and those with wild parents that were stocked into a stream that previously contained no brook trout. Additionally, we are conducting a broad-scale survey of over 60 brook trout populations to identify those that could serve as suitable broodstock sources based on their genetic characteristics. This project is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Our research results may help inform brook trout propagation strategies to better achieve conservation, restoration, and recreational fishery goals.