Transportation, shipment, and storage of fish

Fish prepared for transportation, shipment, or storage are defined as follows:

Undressed fish must have head, tails, fins, and skin intact. Entrails, gills, and scales may be removed.

Dressed fish may have heads and scales or skin removed, in addition to gills and entrails.

Fillets are fish flesh, excluding cheeks, that has been removed from a fish. Scales or skin may be removed or intact.

• Licensed anglers and resident children under 16 may transport up to a possession limit of any fish species. However, fish must be packaged in such a way that they can be readily unwrapped, separated, identified, and counted.

• Northern pike and walleye may be transported dress or as fillets, but must retain a one-square-inch patch of skin. Exception: Northern pike and walleye must be undressed while on experimental or special regulation waters. Other fish species with statewide length limits (muskellunge, sturgeon, splake, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon) must be transported undressed so that they can be measured.

• To reduce the spread of harmful aquatic exotic species, anglers may not transport live fish, except for home aquariums. This includes taking live fish home in the livewell of your trailered boat. All fish must be killed or released before transportation. This does not apply to minnows.

• A fish cannot be reduced to more than two fillets.

• All dressed fish and fillets must have a one-square-inch patch of skin with scales intact from a portion of the body other than the belly. Sauger prepared in this manner are counted as walleye. The exceptions are bullhead, sunfish, and crappie, which may be completely filleted and skinned.

• Licensed anglers may make three shipments of fish per year. A permit issued by a conservation officer is required for each shipment. A shipment cannot contain more than a possession limit of one species.

• Fish which have been prepared, packed, and labeled by a licensed fish packer must comply with regulations governing licensed fish packers and those regarding fish species length limits. From March 15 through November 30, filleted sauger are counted as walleye.

• Fish in cold storage count toward a possession limit.

• Frozen fish should be packaged in a way that they can be counted and identified.

• A person who stores fish for another must plainly mark the package, in ink, with the name, address, and fishing license number of the owner, and the number of fish in the package.

One of the best ways to transport your fish so they can be counted and identified is in clear plastic freezer bags.

Fillets must show at least a one-square-inch patch of skin with scales so fish species can be identified.

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