Free mobile Wisconsin Fish Identification tools now available

Sept. 10, 2013

Photo: Fish identifier app on cell phone

The mobile site and apps are populated with thousands of photos snapped by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologist John Lyons.

Exactly 174 Wisconsin fish can now fit into your pocket. And they’re not even wet, or smelly. Visit UW Sea Grant’s Wisconsin Fish Identification website and download the free Android or iOS app to quickly identify the fish of Wisconsin’s lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. There is a mobile website as well.

“You visit your favorite fishing hole but what if you can’t get to the Internet? What is that fish you just caught? Now, you can just load your app and flip through a comprehensive set of search characteristics to solve the mystery of what’s on the end of your line,” says Titus Seilheimer, a Sea Grant Institute fisheries specialist.

Anglers can search by fish name, similar fish in the family or physical features — shape, distinctive features, pattern and type of fins, mouth, scales, spine, tail or coloring. Each entry depicts the fish, sometimes from several angles, and offers a short write-up about fish features.

“Now, you can just load your app and flip through a comprehensive set of search characteristics to solve the mystery of what’s on the end of your line.”

Titus Seilheimer

Those using tablet devices will find the mobile site loads with greater ease and offers finger-friendly searching.

The mobile site and apps are populated with thousands of photos snapped by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologist John Lyons. The overall project is a partnership of the DNR, the UW-Madison Center for Limnology, and Sea Grant.

“Wisconsin puts a lot of time and money into preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species,” Seilheimer says. “This new mobile site and the apps could aid the anti-invasive effort. Anglers could assist in the identification of aquatic invasive species and possible range expansion, and report those findings to resource managers.

“Invasive species such as the sea lamprey and round goby are a part of this ID parade. You’ll find all your favorite sport fish, but also many fishes many people aren’t that familiar with, like minnows, suckers and other species in Wisconsin’s diverse fish communities.”

—UW Sea Grant Institute