The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has posted a list of fish farms that have applied for Natural Waterbody Permit renewals on the DNR public website in accordance with the 2011 Wisconsin Act 207.
Fifty fish farms in 26 counties, operating in natural waters, have applied to renew their permits to operate in those waters under the 1997 state law governing aquaculture in Wisconsin. Since all navigable waters in the state belong to the public, state law requires the department to request if anyone has an objection to the permit. The public has 30 days to file an objection and request a hearing on permit applications.
The DNR will grant the permits if the following criteria are met:
- No objection is filed
- The agency finds no substantial public interest exists in the waters where the fish farm is located
- The operation of the fish farm does not have a negative impact on public or private rights to those waters
These public rights include:
- Plant and wild animal habitat or populations
- Water quality and quantity in lakes, streams or rivers
- Threatened or endangered species or their habitats
- The public’s right to navigate and associated incidents to navigation including fishing, swimming, wading and canoeing
The list of Natural Waterbody Permit applications to be publicly noticed may be found on the DNR website here.