Fisheries Department

 715-779-3750       36420 Hwy 13, Bayfield, WI 54814
Responsibilities of the red cliff fisheries department

The Red Cliff Fisheries Department collects and synthesizes information to facilitate scientific management and restoration of the fishes on Reservation and in the 1842 ceded water of Lake Superior.


The Red Cliff Fisheries Department has conducted numerous routine assessments since the mid-1980's to monitor populations of Lake Superior fishes. Currently, we conduct assessments in the Wisconsin and Michigan waters of Lake Superior to assess the status of fishes such as Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Lake Herring, Lake Sturgeon, Brook Trout, and invasive fishes. Some of the information we collect may include what and how many fish we caught, length, weight, sex, maturity, sea lamprey wounding, age and diet. We also release many of the fish we catch alive and place a tag on the back of the fish. If you capture one of our tagged fish, please call the number on the tag and we would greatly appreciate if you could give us information on the tag color and number, when and where you caught the fish, and the size of the fish. If you release the fish alive, please leave the tag in the fish. We can also provide you with the capture history of the fish if data are available.

The data we collect is synthesized into reports and is often combined with data collected by other agencies that sample fish on Lake Superior. The synthesized information can be used to evaluate questions important to fisheries management such as:

  • How many fish are out there and how has their abundance changed with time?
  • How are the fish growing and has this changed with time?
  • How is recruitment and has it changed with time?
  • How many fish can be safely harvested?
  • Are we meeting restoration goals for species such as Lake Sturgeon and the Coaster Brook Trout?
  • Are we meeting control goals for Sea Lamprey?