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Contact: DNR Office of Communications

General Inland Fishing Season Opens May 6

three people fishing on a pier The 2023-2024 fishing season will open on Saturday, May 6. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers the 2023-2024 general inland fishing season will open on Saturday, May 6. All regulations and license requirements apply.

Anglers participating in the opener will likely find a mixed bag of fishing conditions throughout the state but strong populations of their favorite fishes. No matter where anglers decide to fish, all Wisconsin residents and non-residents over the age of 16 are required to purchase a fishing license. Anglers can buy licenses through Go Wild, the DNR’s license portal, or from a license agent.

The hook and line fishing and trout fishing regulations are available online and in print in EnglishSpanish, Hmong and large print versions. 

As anglers head out to their favorite fishing locations, the DNR would like to remind them to:

  • Follow all regulations and license requirements.
  • Minimize the spread of aquatic invasive species by removing plants and animals from your boat before and after launching, draining all water from compartments and never moving live fish away from any waterbody.
  • Practice responsible catch and release if you are letting your catch go.
  • Follow safe boating procedures and always wear a life jacket.

Wisconsin boasts more than 13,000 miles of trout streams, with nearly 5,400 high quality, Class 1 trout streams. Those looking to fish trout streams can use the DNR TROUT tool to find locations of DNR fishing easements and classified trout waters. For anglers looking for spots with easy access, try one of the several ponds stocked with catchable trout in the area.

With more than 15,000 inland lakes, 42,000 miles of perennial streams and rivers, 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and 260 miles of the Mississippi River, Wisconsin offers anglers of all skill levels a variety of places to cast a line. To find new places to fish and other fishing information, download the 2023 Wisconsin Fishing Report or contact your local fisheries biologist for more information.