Wisconsin DNR Information

Fishing regulations are used as a tool to ensure good fishing exists into the future. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has used different types of fishing regulations to:

  • Control angler impacts on fish populations.
  • Maintain numbers and sizes of fish in a lake or stream.
  • Provide different types of fishing experiences, such as fishing for dinner or for a trophy fish.
  • Make access to fishing as fair as possible.
Fishing Seasons

People can fish year-round on some waters and for some species, but regulations set more limited open seasons for certain species and waters. Check our fishing seasons calendar as the seasons do not coincide with the calendar year.

A current fishing license for 2016 season is required on April 1st, 2016.

Exceptions – Not all Wisconsin waters follow the fishing season dates for a species for general inland waters or boundary and outlying waters. Exceptions do exist! You must consult the special county regulations in the current hook and line or trout regulations guides, as appropriate, to determine if any special season dates exist for the particular waters you plan to fish. This is the only way to determine whether or not the waters you plan to fish follow the season dates for general inland or boundary and outlying waters listed below. Dates are inclusive and may be subject to change.

You must also consult the current fishing regulations for information concerning bag and minimum length limits for a species.

Smallmouth Bass Catch and Release Season
  • NORTHERN ZONE – First Saturday in May through the Friday preceding the third Saturday in June
  • NORTHWOODS BASS IS 100% CATCH AND RELEASE ALL SEASON LONG!
  • WE WILL REFUSE ANGLERS REQUESTING TRIPS WHO DO NOT PRACTICE CATCH AND RELEASE.

 

 

Smallmouth Fishing Resources

Catch and release fishing in Wisconsin’s northwoods has grown popular over the past 20 years. Bass anglers today realize that in order to preserve the sportfish we love, we need to free the fighter.

Wisconsin DNR Contact Information

DNRlogoprocess

Report a violation

1-800-TIP-WDNR
1-800-847-9367

101 S. Webster Street . PO Box 7921
Madison, Wisconsin 53707

 

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Fishing Reports

Northwoods Bass Fishing Report, End of July and Early August, 2017

Hi all, I recently concluded a 2 week block of trips that took place from July 24th through August 6th. End of July through early August was a period of two contrasting weeks of fishing but comprised with bass of excellent average sizes. The inland bass fisheries of Vilas and Oneida County showcased its world […]

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