Get Your Wisconsin Fishing License Online Today!

Get Your Wisconsin Fishing License Online Today!

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable fishing journey across Wisconsin’s pristine waters? Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newcomer to the sport, obtaining your fishing license is the first step towards creating lifelong memories on the state’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), securing your license has never been more convenient – you can now get it online in just a few simple steps!

Why Get a Wisconsin Fishing License?

Fishing is more than just a hobby in Wisconsin; it’s a cherished tradition deeply woven into the state’s culture and heritage. With over 15,000 lakes, 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, and access to the Great Lakes, Wisconsin offers an unparalleled angling experience for all skill levels. By obtaining a fishing license, you’re not only complying with state regulations but also contributing to the conservation efforts that ensure the sustainability of these aquatic resources for generations to come.

Types of Wisconsin Fishing Licenses

Before we dive into the online licensing process, let’s explore the different types of licenses available to cater to your specific needs:

Annual Fishing Licenses

  • Resident License: For Wisconsin residents, an annual fishing license costs $20 .
  • Non-Resident License: For those visiting from out of state, an annual non-resident license is $50 .
  • Spousal License: Wisconsin offers a discounted spousal license for $31, allowing you and your spouse to fish together .

Short-Term Licenses

  • 1-Day License: Perfect for a spontaneous fishing trip, the 1-day license costs $8 for residents and $10 for non-residents .
  • 4-Day Non-Resident License: Out-of-state visitors can opt for a 4-day license for $24 .
  • 15-Day Non-Resident License: For extended stays, a 15-day non-resident license is available for $28 .

Specialty Licenses and Stamps

  • Inland Trout Stamp: Required for fishing inland trout waters, this stamp costs $10 for residents and non-residents .
  • Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp: Necessary for targeting trout and salmon in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, also $10 .
  • Sturgeon Spearing License: Ranging from $20 to $65, this license is required for sturgeon spearing .

Obtaining Your License Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you’re familiar with the different license options, let’s walk through the process of getting your license online using the DNR’s GoWild system:

  1. Visit the GoWild Website: Head to the GoWild website and click on the “Buy Licenses” button.
  2. Select Your License Type: Choose the appropriate license type based on your residency status, duration of stay, and fishing preferences.
  3. Create an Account or Log In: If you’re a first-time user, create an account by providing your personal information, including your name, address, and date of birth. Returning users can simply log in with their existing credentials.
  4. Provide Identification: You’ll need to enter your social security number or Wisconsin driver’s license number to verify your residency status.
  5. Review and Confirm: Carefully review your license selection and personal information before proceeding to the payment page.
  6. Make Payment: Select your preferred payment method (credit card, debit card, or electronic check) and complete the transaction securely.
  7. Print or Save Your License: Once your payment is processed, you’ll have the option to print a physical copy of your license or save a digital version on your mobile device or computer.

Remember, your fishing license must be readily available whenever you’re out on the water, so be sure to keep it with you at all times.

New Regulations for the 2024-2025 Season

The Wisconsin DNR has implemented several changes to the fishing regulations for the 2024-2025 season, effective April 1, 2024 . Here are some of the key updates you should be aware of:

  • Walleye/Sauger Bag Limit: A statewide daily bag limit of three walleye/sauger per day on all inland waters, with some exceptions for specific waterbodies .
  • Small Tournament Registration: A new requirement for registering small fishing tournaments .
  • Panfish Limit on Lake Mendota: A daily bag limit of 10 panfish in Lake Mendota, Dane County .
  • Musky Minimum Length Limit: The minimum length limit for muskies has been changed to 50 inches on the Wisconsin River from the Lake DuBay Dam upstream to the first dam in Merrill .
  • Urban Fishing Pond: A new urban fishing pond has been created in the Village of Suamico, Brown County .

Be sure to review the complete list of regulation changes on the DNR’s website to stay informed and ensure a compliant fishing experience.

Responsible Angling: Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

As you prepare for your fishing adventures, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential threat of aquatic invasive species. These non-native organisms can cause significant harm to Wisconsin’s ecosystems and disrupt the delicate balance of our waterways. To help prevent their spread, the DNR recommends following these guidelines :

  • Inspect and Remove: Thoroughly inspect your boat, trailer, and equipment, removing any attached aquatic plants or animals before launching, after loading, and before transporting on public highways.
  • Drain All Water: Drain all water from your boat, motor, and equipment to avoid transferring organisms between waterbodies.
  • Never Move Live Fish: Refrain from moving live fish away from the waterbody where they were caught.
  • Dispose of Unwanted Bait: Discard any unwanted bait in the trash, and purchase new minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer for each fishing trip.
  • Use Leftover Minnows Responsibly: You may use leftover minnows on the same waterbody, but avoid transferring them to other lakes or rivers unless no additional water or fish were added to their container.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help protect Wisconsin’s aquatic ecosystems and ensure a sustainable fishing experience for years to come.

Explore Wisconsin’s Fishing Hotspots

With your fishing license in hand, it’s time to explore the diverse array of fishing opportunities Wisconsin has to offer. From the crystal-clear waters of the Northwoods to the mighty Mississippi River, here are just a few of the state’s top fishing destinations:

Lake Superior and Lake Michigan

These Great Lakes offer world-class fishing for a variety of species, including trout, salmon, walleye, and bass. Popular spots along Lake Superior include the Apostle Islands and the Brule River, while Lake Michigan boasts renowned fisheries in Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Racine.

The Wisconsin River

Winding its way through the heart of the state, the Wisconsin River is a premier destination for walleye, musky, and smallmouth bass fishing. The river’s diverse habitats, from rocky outcroppings to deep pools, provide ample opportunities for anglers of all skill levels.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

This vast wilderness area in northern Wisconsin is home to countless lakes and streams teeming with trout, bass, and panfish. Anglers can enjoy a true backcountry experience while pursuing their favorite species in pristine surroundings.

Mississippi River

The mighty Mississippi River forms Wisconsin’s western border and offers exceptional fishing for catfish, walleye, sauger, and bass. Popular fishing spots along the river include the tailwaters below dams and the backwater sloughs and oxbows.

No matter where your fishing adventures take you in Wisconsin, remember to respect the regulations, practice catch-and-release when appropriate, and leave no trace behind. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that these incredible fishing destinations remain pristine for generations to come.

Conclusion: Embark on Your Wisconsin Fishing Journey Today!

With its diverse waterways, abundant fish populations, and convenient online licensing system, Wisconsin is truly an angler’s paradise. By obtaining your fishing license through the DNR’s GoWild platform, you’ll gain access to a world of unforgettable fishing experiences, from the tranquil Northwoods lakes to the mighty Mississippi River.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your Wisconsin fishing license online today and embark on an adventure that will create lasting memories and forge a deeper connection with the great outdoors.

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