Wisconsin Fishing Licenses in Minnesota: A Comprehensive Guide

Wisconsin Fishing Licenses in Minnesota: A Comprehensive Guide

As an avid angler, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of casting your line into the pristine waters of Minnesota, hoping to reel in a trophy catch. But before you embark on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations and licensing requirements, especially if you’re a Wisconsin resident planning to fish in Minnesota waters in 2024. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details of Wisconsin fishing licenses valid in Minnesota, including the latest regulations, fees, and frequently asked questions, to ensure you’re well-prepared for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Understanding the Basics: Wisconsin Fishing Licenses in Minnesota

When it comes to fishing in Minnesota as a Wisconsin resident, the first step is to obtain a valid fishing license. Minnesota and Wisconsin have a reciprocal agreement that allows anglers from either state to fish in the other state’s boundary waters with their respective state licenses. This means that if you hold a valid Wisconsin fishing license, you can legally fish in Minnesota’s boundary waters, which include the Mississippi River, St. Croix River, and Lake Superior.

However, it’s important to note that if you plan to fish in Minnesota’s inland waters (lakes and rivers not shared with Wisconsin), you’ll need to purchase a non-resident Minnesota fishing license. These licenses can be easily obtained online, at local bait shops, or through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices.

2024 Wisconsin Fishing License Options and Fees

When purchasing your Wisconsin fishing license for the 2024 season, you have several options to choose from, depending on your age, residency status, and the duration of your fishing trip. Here are the main license types and their corresponding fees:

  1. Annual Fishing License (Resident): If you’re a Wisconsin resident aged 16 or older, you’ll need to purchase an annual fishing license, which is valid from the date of purchase through March 31, 2025. The fee for this license is $20.
  2. Annual Fishing License (Non-Resident): Non-residents of Wisconsin aged 16 or older must purchase an annual non-resident fishing license, which costs $50 and is valid from the date of purchase through March 31, 2025.
  3. 1-Day Fishing License (Resident): For short fishing trips, Wisconsin residents can opt for a 1-day fishing license, which costs $8.
  4. 1-Day Fishing License (Non-Resident): Non-residents can purchase a 1-day fishing license for $10.
  5. Reduced-Rate Licenses: Wisconsin offers reduced-rate licenses for certain groups, such as seniors (aged 65 and older), disabled veterans, and active-duty military personnel. These licenses have varying fees and requirements, so it’s best to check with the Wisconsin DNR for more information.

In addition to the base fishing license, anglers may need to purchase additional stamps or permits, depending on the species they plan to target. For example, if you intend to fish for trout or salmon in Wisconsin’s Great Lakes waters, you’ll need to purchase a Great Lakes Salmon and Trout Stamp ($10 for residents, $15 for non-residents).

New Fishing Regulations for the 2024 Season

As with any fishing season, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest regulations and changes. For the 2024 season, the Wisconsin DNR has implemented several new rules and bag limit adjustments, which include:

  1. Statewide Walleye Bag Limit: The daily bag limit for walleye has been set to 3 fish per day on all inland waters, with the exception of the Great Lakes, boundary waters, and waters with previously lower bag limits.
  2. Panfish Limit on Lake Mendota: Anglers fishing on Lake Mendota in Dane County will have a daily bag limit of 10 panfish.
  3. Musky Size Limit Increase: The minimum length limit for muskellunge on the Wisconsin River from the Lake DuBay Dam upstream to the first dam in Merrill has been increased to 50 inches.
  4. New Urban Fishing Pond: A new urban fishing pond has been created in the Village of Suamico, Brown County.

It’s crucial to review the complete list of regulation changes on the Wisconsin DNR’s fishing regulations webpage to ensure you’re following the most up-to-date rules for the specific waterbody you plan to fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: Do I need a Minnesota fishing license if I have a valid Wisconsin license? A: If you plan to fish in Minnesota’s boundary waters (Mississippi River, St. Croix River, or Lake Superior), your Wisconsin fishing license is valid. However, if you intend to fish in Minnesota’s inland waters, you’ll need to purchase a non-resident Minnesota fishing license.
  2. Q: Can I purchase my Wisconsin fishing license online? A: Yes, you can easily purchase your Wisconsin fishing license online through the Wisconsin DNR’s Go Wild website (https://gowild.wi.gov/). You can also buy licenses at authorized license agents or DNR service centers throughout the state.
  3. Q: What is the minimum age requirement for a fishing license in Wisconsin? A: In Wisconsin, anglers aged 16 and older must have a valid fishing license. Children under 16 can fish without a license but must adhere to all other fishing regulations and bag limits.
  4. Q: Are there any free fishing days in Wisconsin? A: Yes, Wisconsin typically offers a few free fishing weekends each year, during which residents and non-residents can fish without a license. However, all other fishing regulations, such as bag limits and size restrictions, still apply. Check the Wisconsin DNR website for the most current information on free fishing days.
  5. Q: What should I do if I witness a fishing violation? A: If you observe a fishing violation, such as someone fishing without a license or exceeding bag limits, you should report it to the Wisconsin DNR’s confidential tip line at 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367) or submit a violation report online.


Fishing in Minnesota with your Wisconsin fishing license can be an incredibly rewarding experience, offering the chance to explore new waters and target a variety of species. By staying informed about the latest regulations, fees, and licensing requirements, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable fishing trip. Remember to always practice responsible angling, respect the environment, and follow the rules set forth by the Wisconsin and Minnesota DNRs. With this comprehensive guide in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your 2024 fishing adventures in Minnesota. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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