Fish Hotel Kit

Illustration by Justin Sipiorski

The Fish Hotel Kit contains a variety of instructional materials designed to help children and adults alike learn about the benefits of leaving trees in lakes. Trees in lakes not only provide areas for fish to spawn, but also offer shelter to help some species protect their incubating brood. Large submerged trees can host entire fish communities!

The Fish Hotels Kit includes:​

  • Fish Hotels, non-fiction (20 student copies) - Full-color, 20 page companion booklet *
  • Fish Cards - Color photos of 19 Wisconsin fish with Impervious Surfaces game instructions
  • Fish Hotel Lesson Plans
  • Fish Hotel Poster​
  • How to Help Fish & Wildlife Poster
  • Video links to short videos of real fish swimming through swimming though fallen trees
  • Video link of Fish Hotel (picture book) being read.
  • Educator Resources:
    ​     - Impervious Surfaces: How They Impact Fish, Wildlife and Waterfront Property Values
         - Water's Edge
         - Field Journal
         - Wisconsin Wildcards - Fish**​
* The books marked by an asterisk are tailored to the Wisconsin standards for science for grades 3-5 (Standards SCILS1 and SCI.LS2), but have been used with a wide variety of audiences including camps and special education classrooms.

** Wisconsin Fish Wildcards are provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Fish Hotel Kits are provided by the Center for Land Use Education and the University of Wisconsin-Division of Extension. 

UW Extension-Madison Logo.jpg          Center for Land Use Education Brand Extension - Horizontal (Jan 2013) - Copy.jpg

Presentations, Book Readings, Video Links

Fish Hotel: Children's Picture Book Reading

Listen to Fish Hotel, a children's book about Tessa and her cousin Hugo who go on an underwater adventure learning that trees in the water are helpful to fish. A friendly neighbor teaches them how downed trees are like a fish hotel, providing shelter, food and a place to lay their eggs. When the kids find out Uncle Henry is going to remove a downed tree from the water, they make the case to keep it in the lake as a fish hotel.

​​​​​​​Fish Hotel Reading: link to stream file


Magic Goggles Picture Book Reading

Listen to The Magic Goggles as you view the story of Maggie and her little brother Tate as they explore the lake making new discoveries with their magic goggles. 

The Magic Goggles Reading: link to stream file

The Magic Goggles: Discovering the Secrets of the Lake 

A complimentary book to Fish Hotel. Magic Goggles explains why trees are important around lakes and in the water. Go on an adventure with Maggie and her little brother Tate at their grandparents’ lake cabin. They discover two pairs of really weird, old goggles with leather straps in a dusty old trunk in the attic. Down at the lake with their goggles, the kids make magical discoveries. 

Purchase The Magic Goggles children's book.​

Shorelines PowerPoint Presentation

Learn how to identify healthy shorelines for fish and what you can do to help.

Shorelines PowerPoint Presentation


Fish Hotels PowerPoint Presentation

Describes what fish hotels are, and the simple steps we can take to provide fish with what they need. Contains a diverse set of shoreline photos with the question “Could you survive as a fish here?” to prompt class discussions.

Fish Hotel Power Point Presentation

shorelandzoningppt_convention2016.jpgEngbretson fish video links:

Three short recorded live videos are available by Engbretson Underwater Photography. Links are contained in a PowerPoint slide and in a printable document.

lake_lucerne_fish_stick.jpgLake Lucerne Fish Stick (Fish Hotel) Project

During the 2021 winter, over 40 fish sticks were created along the Lake Lucerne southern shorelines by Lake Lucerne Advancement Association. Read about the project and view photos of the fish stick building from start to finish. 

Lake Lucerne Fish Stick Projcet Summary - March 2021

fish hotel w fish.jpgFish Sticks: Improving Lake Habitat

The Wisconsin DNR website, Fish Sticks: Improving Lake Habitat, explains how these projects improve lake habitat and how to get involved.

shorelandzoningppt_convention2016.jpgImpervious Surfaces: PowerPoint Presentation

Explains how runoff from impervious (hard) surfaces lead to decreased fish populations in lakes and streams. For example, more nutrients from runoff result in less oxygen in the water; more sediments cover spawning beds of fish;  and warmer water can eliminate cold water fish like trout, northern pike and walleye.

Impacts of Impervious Surfaces on Fish, Wildlife, and Waterfront Property Values - Video

​Order Your Kit!

Fish Hotel Kits are available for FREE for a limited time.​​

​Fish Hotel Kit O​rder Form​

Need Additonal Kit Materials?

Order additional kit materials, such as Fish Hotel non-fiction booklets for students, posters and more.


Fish Cards

Fish Cards are contained in a pdf file. 

Fish Hotel Teaching Guide 2021

Freshwater Fish Book Series 

Bluegills, Iowa Darter and more species coming! Visit the
UW-Extension Lakes Bookstore.