Science update: Fisher distribution

Our July #SuperSnap was all about fishers, and we’re just going to keep on rolling on the fisher train! This science update was inspired by recent comments on a photo of a fisher in central Wisconsin. The location of the photo might cause confusion if you base where fishers *should* be on the range map we have posted. The map shows fisher range extending to only the very northern part of the state:


Whereas we’ve seen fishers on Snapshot Wisconsin cameras in counties pretty far south:


In the case of a species like fisher, which was reintroduced to Wisconsin in the 1950s and expanded its range quickly, static distribution maps go out of date quickly. This brings up a larger point about range maps being inaccurate because they are based on old, incomplete or faulty data. We provide range maps to give volunteers an indication of where they are more likely to find a certain species, but these maps are by no means perfect. The fact that we do not have very good statewide data on the distribution of most species is indeed a major reason for starting a project like Snapshot Wisconsin!

Note that the above map shows counties where we’ve seen Snapshot Wisconsin photos correctly classified as fisher. Many of the gray counties do not have any Snapshot Wisconsin cameras and so we do not have any photos there yet. This is not to say there are no fishers in the gray counties!

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About Christina Locke

Researcher and program coordinator for Snapshot Wisconsin.

22 responses to “Science update: Fisher distribution”

  1. Mary Elizabeth Mirasola says :

    Hi Christine, I live in the Town of Delton and just this AM observed a Fischer crossing a field across the road from my home in pursuit of a group of turkeys. 4/18/19. Mary


  2. Wendy Mueller says :

    Fisher on trail cam in Waushara county several times over the last few months.


    • Mary Sue Braun says :

      We just saw a fisher in Waushara county on Monday June 1st at around 7:30 pm. A big raptor bird (maybe a large hawk) startled us by swooping down low in front of our car right as this fisher scooted across the road. It looked like the bird was hunting it down so it may have become dinner once it passed into the brush.


    • Jim says :

      We saw one today 9/26/22 on our property near Pine River in Waushara county


  3. Ron Piarowski says :

    We have a house on Big Hills Lake near Wild Rose and Wautoma in Waushara County and have seen a fisher in our woods several times, including yesterday. Trying to catch it on a trail cam


  4. Jon says :

    I think I have one on trail camera in portage county


  5. Hal Riches says :

    Fisher seen 0700 11.22.20 Richford, Wi


  6. Mary B says :

    Fisher sighted in a farmyard in NW Dunn County at 9:15 a.m. on 2-25-21.


  7. Rebecca H says :

    Fisher crossed Oconto river just west of Oconto Falls, 4-5-21 AM.


  8. Deanna K says :

    I just saw a fisher on my property today. Just to the east of Stevens Point.


  9. Linda Cunningham says :

    Have seen a Fisher twice. Once crossing the road in late evening and again at 10am in grassy area in same location in Rush Lake, Wi.


  10. Karen says :

    I think we have a Fisher living on our property near little chute wi. Looks like it made a home in an old log pile. Have seen it twice in the last two days.


  11. Jeff kohl says :

    I am no expert by any means but I live in a very wooded area near Palmyra which is in Jefferson county and I’d swear I saw a fisher in our driveway yesterday. Lived there 5 years first time I’ve seen it


  12. Linda L Mabb says :

    I live in the village of Readstown WI and I have been hearing something making short scream/squacking noises in the lot behind our house in the evenings and early morning hours (dark) and didn’t know what it was. Finally saw it early morning when I had the dog outside before work, crossing the street and running towards the woods.


  13. Peter Trudell says :

    trail came picture of fisher near New Lisbon


  14. Donovan says :

    Fisher attempted to attack 90lb boxer dog in shiocton, outagami County. Dog and self both charged fisher before it turned away. I was within 10ft of it. It did not want to back down.


  15. Amy Sullivan says :

    I am pretty certain I saw a Fisher this morning in Dane County.


  16. Mike Wessel says :

    I saw a Fisher while snowmobiling in the woods of Florence County on 3-12 2022 in ran across the trail in front of me.


  17. don gleason says :

    My dog treed a fisher today in St. Croix county. This is the third year I have seen one. Always in the spring. This one was smaller than usual.


  18. Jeff Eastllick says :

    We watched a Fisher cross our yard just north of Merrimac WI in Columbia County on Saturday, March 26, 2022.


  19. Jenny says :

    Watched a fisher cross the road in Adams county twice in one week near Rome, WI.


  20. Stan says :

    Saw fischer and two kits
    Around bluff road in Grant county yesterday 9/21/22


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