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Inland Fishing Season Opens May 4!

DNR reminds anglers of new regulations in 2024

Reposted from the WI Dept. of Natural Resources
Contact: DNR Office of Communications /

two women holding fishing rods on a dock
The 2024-2025 fishing season will open on Saturday, May 4. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers the 2024-2025 general inland fishing season will open on Saturday, May 4.

Fisheries biologists expect anglers to find success on opening day. No matter where anglers decide to fish, all Wisconsin residents and nonresidents over the age of 16 are required to purchase a fishing license. Anglers can buy licenses through Go Wild, the DNR’s license portal, or from a license agent.

This year, new fishing regulations are in effect, including a new small tournament registration requirement and a statewide daily bag limit of three walleye/sauger per day on all inland waters. There are also bag and length limit changes for fish species in the following counties: Brown, Chippewa, Dane, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iowa, Iron, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Oconto, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sauk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas, Walworth, Waukesha and Waushara.

The full 2024-2025 hook and line fishing and trout fishing regulations are available online and in print in EnglishSpanishHmong and large print versions.

As anglers head out to their favorite fishing locations, the DNR would like to remind them to:

  • Minimize the spread of aquatic invasive species by removing plants and animals from their boat before and after launching, draining all water from compartments and never moving live fish away from any waterbody.
  • To prevent the spread of fish diseases, remove all water, aquatic vegetation and/or mud from fishing equipment before leaving their fishing location. All fishing equipment, including boats, trailers, boots, waders, nets and float tubes, should be thoroughly cleaned and dried completely before being used again.
  • Practice responsible catch and release if they are letting their catch go.
  • Follow safe boating procedures and always wear a life jacket.

Those looking to fish one of Wisconsin’s 13,000 miles of trout streams can use the recently updated Trout Regulations and Opportunities User Tool (TROUT) to learn regulations and find locations of DNR fishing easements, public lands and classified trout waters. For anglers looking for spots with easy access, try one of the several ponds stocked with catchable trout in the area.

With more than 15,000 inland lakes, 42,000 miles of perennial streams and rivers, 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and 260 miles of the Mississippi River, Wisconsin offers anglers of all skill levels a variety of places to cast a line.

Discover new places to fish, launches, fishing locations and other fishing information on the DNR’s fishing webpage or by contacting your local fisheries biologist.