STOCKING FISH FOR MICHIGAN'S FISHERIES
We produce tens of millions of fish for stocking each year, both coolwater and coldwater species. Coolwater species include walleye, muskellunge, northern pike and sturgeon. Coldwater species include trout and salmon. We don't rear warmwater fish such as bass and panfish as they are prolific breeders and can sustain viable populations without stocking. Instead, fishing regulations are used to manage their populations.
Many factors go into determining where fish are stocked - in fact, it's one of the most frequently asked questions we receive. Factors include the current habitat, forage and predators and/or competitors of the waterbody. Have you wondered why your favorite lake isn't stocked? It's probably because it does a fine job of maintaining its fish populations all on its own - which is a great thing!
- Where, why & how the DNR stocks and rears fish
Stocking Private Ponds and Public Water Bodies
Are you looking to add fish to your private pond? If the water body you are stocking is not permanently connected to any other water body and does not have public access, you do not need a Public Waters Stocking Permit. If it does, then you need to get a permit before you can stock fish. If you are unsure, please contact a fisheries management office.
As a private party, you can also stock fish into public waters of the state, which requires a Public Waters Stocking Permit. The permit process protects our fisheries resources by preventing potential longterm and expensive problems before they occur.
- Where to purchase fish for stocking
- Public Water Stocking Permit
- Fish Health Testing Requirements
- Invasive Species Information