Is Your Wisconsin Fishing License Expiring Soon?

Before reeling in the big one on Wisconsin’s pristine lakes this year, make sure your fishing license is up to date. Nothing kills the vibe like a warden slapping you with a ticket!

Trust me, I learned the hard way after getting busted for expired tags. The fishing may have been fine, but my bank account sure wasn’t! Let’s make sure you don’t end up in hot water by covering everything you need to know about Wisconsin fishing licenses in 2024.

Resident? Tourist? Your License Type Matters

Wisconsin offers licenses tailored to residents and out-of-state visitors. According to the DNR, residents are folks who’ve lived in WI for at least 90 consecutive days. Tourists fall into the non-resident category.

Choose wisely – the DNR doesn’t take kindly to residents pretending to be tourists! Penalties for fishing without a valid license start at $263.50, enough to turn that trophy catch into a costly mistake.

When Do Wisconsin Fishing Licenses Expire?

Here’s the deal: All Wisconsin fishing licenses expire each year on March 31st no matter when you bought them.

So if you scored your license in April 2022, it still vanishes on March 31st, 2023. I guess it’s so people don’t try finagling an extra few months for the $7 annual fee. Hey, I get it – inflation’s hitting hard. But probably best to avoid fishing with expired credentials!

Renewing Your License is Easy as 1-2-3

Luckily, it’s super easy to renew your Wisconsin fishing license online, by phone, or in person. Let’s quickly cover how it works:


Renewing on the DNR’s website takes just minutes. Simply login, select your license type, pay the fee, and print your new certificate. Easy as catching a nap in the boat under a sunny sky!


You can also dial 1-888-936-7463 and renew over the phone. I recommend having your credit card ready so you can input payment details. Not sure I’d trust the DNR with my banking info, but maybe that’s just me!


Finally, visit any DNR service center or authorized retailer. Show your ID, pay in cash or card, and they’ll hand you an updated fishing license immediately. No lollygagging required.

Conclusion: Renew Early and Avoid Issues

At the end of the day, buying a license takes no time at all. Whether online, over the phone, or in person – it’s a smooth, painless process.

As the legendary fisherman Jeremy Wade says: “If there’s two things I’ve learned in life, it’s to renew your fishing license early and never ignore something that thinks you’re food!”

So seriously, mark your calendar and renew that license before March 31st. Because fishing without one in Wisconsin? Well, that’s just bad form, folks. The warden will be reeling you in before you can say “catch and release!”

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