Is Your Wisconsin Fishing License Expired? Renew Now!

Is Your Wisconsin Fishing License Expired? Renew Now!

Fishing is a beloved pastime in Wisconsin, offering relaxation and enjoyment to anglers of all ages. But before you cast your line, it’s essential to ensure that your fishing license is up to date. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Wisconsin fishing licenses, including how to check if your license has expired, how to renew it, and the various options available for residents and non-residents.

Understanding Wisconsin Fishing Licenses

Who Needs A License?

In Wisconsin, the joy of fishing is accessible to many, but there are specific regulations to follow. Children under 15 and anglers born before 1927 are privileged to fish without a license, embracing the state’s rich fishing heritage. For everyone else, a valid fishing license is a legal requirement.

Special provisions are also made for our nation’s heroes. Active-duty military personnel on furlough or leave, as well as veterans, may have unique options and discounts available to them, reflecting Wisconsin’s commitment to those who have served.

Types Of Licenses

Wisconsin’s diverse water bodies and fish species necessitate a variety of fishing license options, each tailored to different needs and preferences:

Resident General Fishing

These licenses cater to Wisconsin’s residents, with options ranging from annual to one-day licenses. Special rates are available for seniors, juniors, and first-time buyers, making fishing an affordable and accessible pastime.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

For those visiting the Badger State, non-resident fishing licenses offer flexibility with annual, family, short-term, and military fishing licenses. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended family vacation, these licenses accommodate various needs.

Resident Sturgeon Fishing

Sturgeon fishing is a unique experience, and Wisconsin offers special licenses for sturgeon fishing, including spearing and hook & line options. These licenses ensure the conservation of this prehistoric fish while providing thrilling opportunities for anglers.

Resident Miscellaneous Fishing

Wisconsin’s inclusivity shines through licenses designed for disabled anglers, veterans, and armed forces residents. These licenses acknowledge individual circumstances and promote fishing as a universal enjoyment.

Pricing And Availability

The cost of fishing licenses in Wisconsin is thoughtfully structured, reflecting the state’s commitment to both conservation and accessibility:

  • Resident Annual Fishing: $20.00
  • Non-resident Annual Fishing: $55.00
  • First-time Buyer License: $5.00 for residents, $25.75 for non-residents
  • Sturgeon Spearing Lake Winnebago: $20.00 for residents, $65.00 for non-residents

These licenses can be purchased online through Go Wild, at various sales locations, or at DNR Service Centers. The convenience of purchasing ensures that more time can be spent enjoying Wisconsin’s beautiful waters.

Wisconsin’s fishing licenses are more than mere regulations; they are a testament to the state’s rich fishing culture, conservation ethics, and commitment to inclusivity. Whether a resident or visitor, young or old, novice or expert, Wisconsin’s fishing licenses provide the gateway to an unforgettable angling experience.

Is Your License Expired? How To Check And Renew

Navigating the process of checking and renewing your Wisconsin fishing license is a vital aspect of responsible angling. Here’s a step-by-step guide that demystifies the process:

Checking Your License Status

If you find yourself uncertain about the status of your Wisconsin fishing license, the Go Wild system offers a seamless way to verify it. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Visit the Go Wild Website: Start by navigating to the Go Wild portal. This is Wisconsin’s official platform for managing outdoor recreational licenses and permits.
  2. Enter Your Information: You’ll need to provide your driver’s license or social security number. This information is used to identify your existing records securely.
  3. View Your License Status: Once logged in, your current license status will be displayed, including any expiration dates. This information is presented clearly, allowing you to quickly determine whether your license is still valid.

Renewing Your License

Should you discover that your license has expired, fear not. Renewing it is a straightforward and user-friendly process:

  1. Select the Desired License: Begin by choosing the type of license you want to renew. Options include resident, non-resident, or specific to sturgeon fishing. Each category offers various choices to suit your fishing plans.
  2. Provide Necessary Information: You’ll be prompted to enter your personal details and payment information. This step is conducted on a secure platform, ensuring the privacy of your data.
  3. Confirm and Purchase: Before completing the purchase, you’ll have the opportunity to review your selection. This step allows you to double-check the details, ensuring that everything is in order. Once satisfied, you can complete the purchase.
  4. Print or Download Your License: After purchasing, you’ll have the option to print or download your license. Some anglers prefer to have a physical copy, while others opt for a digital version on their mobile device.
  5. Understanding the Terms and Regulations: It’s also wise to review any terms and regulations associated with the license you’ve chosen. Understanding these rules ensures that you fish within the legal guidelines.

The process of checking and renewing a Wisconsin fishing license is designed with the user in mind. Through the Go Wild system, anglers can effortlessly verify the status of their license and renew it if necessary. This streamlined process reflects Wisconsin’s commitment to making outdoor recreation accessible and enjoyable, all while upholding the principles of conservation and responsible stewardship. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the joys of fishing in Wisconsin’s abundant waters, this guide ensures that you’re well-prepared for your next adventure.


What If I Don’t Hunt Or Fish?

Even if you don’t hunt or fish, you may still find value in supporting conservation efforts through the purchase of a license or collector stamps. A portion of the license fees goes towards protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources and maintaining public lands for outdoor recreation.

What About Stamps For Duck, Pheasant, And Trout?

Stamps are required for specific types of fishing and hunting. They can be purchased alongside your license or separately. For example, a trout stamp is required for anglers fishing for trout on inland waters in Wisconsin.

Will This New System Result In More Expensive Licenses?

The Go Wild system aims to streamline the process without increasing the cost of licenses. In fact, the online purchasing option may help reduce administrative costs, potentially keeping license fees stable or even lowering them in the future.


Fishing in Wisconsin offers a rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. Ensuring that your fishing license is valid and up to date is a crucial step in enjoying this pastime responsibly. With various options available for residents and non-residents, and an easy-to-use online system, keeping your license current has never been more convenient.

Remember, fishing without a valid license can lead to penalties and fines. So before you head out to your favorite fishing spot, make sure to check if your Wisconsin fishing license has expired and renew it if necessary.

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