So much to sea ... 

The City of De Pere and the Fox River are renowned for the abundant fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities in our area. Whether you're standing on the De Pere Riverwalk for a one-of-a-kind vantage point of walleye or sturgeon spawning with your family, you're resting on our docks and shores for a relaxing fishing experience, or you're launching your boat out into the Fox River for an afternoon of fishing fun, De Pere is a destination for anyone looking to connect with nature. 

  • For information on our De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier, click here. 
  • For updates on sturgeon spawning times, follow De Pere Parks, Recreation & Forestry on Facebook. 
  • For information on boat launch passes, click here.
  • For a look at our fishing locations and rules, click here.
  • Below are some of the fish species most commonly found in our area. 

*During your time on or around the Fox River, please adhere to all guidelines set forth by the Wisconsin DNR. 

walleye

Walleye

Walleye can be found year round in the Fox River, however they are most visible during their annual spawning run that typically occurs in late March and April.  During this period, thousands can be viewed swimming in shallow water near the rapids below the De Pere Dam and around the viewing Pier. Adult walleye range from 3 to 15 years in age and from 14” to 30” in length and are a favorite fish of area sport anglers.
sturgeon

Sturgeon

The lake sturgeon is the largest and oldest fish found in the Fox River and in the Great Lakes. They can live for over 100 years and grow to over 7 feet and 200 pounds. Adult lake sturgeon return to the Fox River each spring to spawn in the rapids below the De Pere dam. The best time to view these large and glorious fish is in late April and early May when waters reach 50-60 degrees.

Their distinctive long dark bodies and pointed tails can be spotted all along the Viewing Pier and platforms throughout the Riverwalk.

After spawning, the adult sturgeon return and roam the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan while their eggs incubate in the rocky rapids. Larval sturgeon hatch in 1-2 weeks and then drift downstream into the lower Fox River and eventually into Green Bay where they feed and grow for 10-20 years before returning to spawn as young adults.

Hundreds of years ago, sturgeon were numerous in the Fox River but they were almost wiped out during the late 1800s. Today, industry and governments cooperate to protect sturgeon and their habitat so that populations can slowly recover.

musky

Muskellunge

The Fox River hosts a thriving population of this popular game fish. The Great Lakes Spotted Musky lives throughout the Fox River and Bay of Green Bay. Musky will migrate to the De Pere area during the spring for spawning purposes, and during the late months of fall to feed. Musky are famous for their enormous size and in this area can exceed 60” in length.

gar

Gar

The Gar has an elongated body and is heavily armored with ganoid scales. Similarly, the Gar has an elongated jaw filled with long sharp teeth. These fish are known to surface periodically to take a gulp of air, as their swim bladders can function as lungs.

carp

Carp

The common Carp can be seen in large numbers during the spring. Carp are omnivorous and prefer to eat a diet of water plants and scavenge the bottom looking for insects, crustaceans crawfish, and worms. A typical adult female carp can lay as many as 300,000 eggs.

sucker

Sucker

Found in most of the eastern half of the United States, this fish is not highly thought of by fishermen. There are 68 different species of “Sucker”, which get their name from their fleshy mouth with lips. The “Sucker” can be found around the De Pere Dam all seasons.

yellow perch

Yellow Perch

Native to much of North America, this fish was a highly popular game fish in the Green Bay area. Populations saw a sharp decline in the 1990’s, however have been improving since. The Yellow Perch can be found around the De Pere Dam all seasons.

gizzard shad

Gizzard Shad

The Gizzard Shad is a member of the herring family and can be found residing around the De Pere Dam during all seasons. This fish is a preferred food of largemouth bass, and can reproduce rapidly.

lake wf

Whitefish

The Whitefish, also referred to as the “Lake Whitefish”, will commonly reach a weight of 4 lbs, and a length of 20 inches. However, they have been known to grow over 10 lbs and reach lengths of 30 inches. The whitefish is a cool water fish and can be found in large numbers. The whitefish will spawn from September to January in shallow waters during the night. Whitefish are an important commercial fish in North America and the Great Lakes. An average of 11 million pounds of fish were harvested annually from 1981-1999.

smallmouth

Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass is generally brown with dark brown vertical bands and can reach typical weights of up to 6 lbs. A carnivore, this fish feeds on crayfish, insects, and smaller fish. Being known as one of the toughest fighting fish, it is very popular with anglers.

largemouth

Large Mouth Bass

Arguably one of the most popular game fish, this fish can be found around the De Pere Dam. Juvenile bass will feed on small bait fish and insects, while adults will feed on fish, snails, crawfish, frogs, snakes, and even small water birds. This fish has the ability to prey on and consume other fish that are as large as 50% of their body length.

channel c

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish are abundant in the Fox River. They possess a very keen sense of smell and taste. At the pits of their nostrils are very sensitive odor sensing organs. This bottom dwelling fish has been known to reach 50 lbs. 

lake t

Lake Trout

Info coming.

c sal

Chinook Salmon

Also known as the "King" Salmon, the Chinook Salmon is not a frequent visitor to the Fox River and De Pere Dam area, but can be seen during the fall months as some fish come to the De Pere Dam to spawn. This large and popular game fish was replanted in 1967 to control the alewife population. A prized game fish because of their size and fighting ability, the King Salmon can grow as large as 40 lbs.