Fishing & Hatcheries in Wisconsin

Whether you’re an avid fisherman, woman, child, or newbie, Wisconsin has streams, rivers, and lakes of all sizes for your fishing enjoyment. Wisconsin has over 15,000 inland lakes and 42,000 miles of streams and rivers in addition to the Great Lakes, providing Wisconsin with more species of fish than anywhere else in the Midwest.

Did you ever wonder why there are fishing regulations and licenses required?

Fishing regulations are used as a tool to ensure good fishing exists in the future. The Department of Natural Resources uses 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; and
  • make access to fishing as fair as possible.

Fishing seasons are year-round on some waters and for some species, but are more limited for some species and waters. For more information, check out the 2015-2016 fishing season calendar that starts April 1st each year.

Do you have your license? For resident and nonresident fishing license information, click here. Are you creating special memories fishing with your children? If so, the DNR fish biologists have developed a kid-friendly fishing spot list. Also see the list of over 2,000 public boat and shore fishing access sites and the most recent Wisconsin fishing reports!

For fishing regulations on your favorite inland lake, click here. You can search by inland lake name or county. Click the following links for Wisconsin DNR regulations on:

If you love fishing and want to learn more about Wisconsin’s 17 state fish hatcheries, egg collection facilities and/or  rearing stations, add a trip to one of them this summer! You can view exhibits that trace the life cycles of the fish reared there.

Did you know that although all hatcheries raise fish, not all hatcheries hatch fish eggs? Some hatcheries raise fish that were transferred to them from other hatcheries called “rearing stations.” Check out the list of Hatcheries and Rearing Stations or Spawning (egg taking) Facilities in Wisconsin.

For some Wisconsin fishing charters or guides, click  here. Also check out or order online Mouldy’s Tackle Co. world famous musky lures as well as fishing tackle including rods, reels, live bait, wobblers, stoppers, toppers, and spinners.

Explore Wisconsin hopes you enjoy your fishing experience whether it’s by yourself or with some friends or family!

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