The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Oshkosh fisheries staff have started a new sonic tagging study on the movement of walleye on the Winnebago System to evaluate adult walleye movement and habitat use on the system, including spring spawning runs on the upper Fox and Wolf Rivers.
The study will include tagging adult walleye with sonic tags (photo at left) during electrofishing surveys throughout the system, including Lake Winnebago and the upper Fox River. The sonic tags with be surgically implanted in the abdomen.
In addition to sonic tagging of walleye, the network of acoustic receivers placed along riverbanks and crossing areas throughout the Winnebago System was expanded on the upper Fox River upstream to Portage to better understand spawning marsh and fishway use. As part of the study, 20 releasable acoustic receivers will also be placed in deep water areas on Lake Winnebago.
DNR staff recently tagged 74 fish during fall electrofishing surveys on Lake Winnebago in several areas including Black Wolf (24), Grundman County Boat Landing (19), Asylum Bay (14), Paynes Point (13), Pipe (3) and Fond du Lac (1).
Any sonic tagged fish that swim within a quarter mile of the receivers will be logged with the date and time at that location. Receiver data will be downloaded annually to help gather movement information.
All sonic tagged fish are also equipped with an orange loop tag that reads, “RESEARCH REWARD,” and are worth $100 to anglers that report them (the reward expires Dec. 31, 2025). Receiving found tags from harvested fish is crucial as they can be reused for future studies.
To report tags and receive the reward, anglers must send a confirmation picture and catch information to DNRWINNEBAGOSYSTEMTAGRETURNS@wisconsin.gov or by calling 920-303-5429.
Reported tags can also be mailed to:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
625 East County Road Y
Oshkosh WI 54901