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Contact: Bradd Sims, DNR Stream and River Systems Biologist or 608-574-2604

Inland Trout Early Catch And Release Season Opens Jan. 6, 2024

A brown trout in a net is staged for a picture in the water next to a fly rod. Early catch and release season for inland trout opens on Jan. 6, 2024. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that early catch and release season for inland trout starts Jan. 6, 2024.

On designated inland waters, anglers can target any of Wisconsin’s four inland trout species from Jan. 6 through May 3, 2024, using artificial tackle only. Any trout caught need to be immediately released. Check the Guide to Wisconsin’s Trout Fishing Regulations for more information.

Once the general hook and line season opens on May 4, 2024, anglers can keep the trout they catch, provided length requirements are met and bag limits are observed.

Anyone wishing to participate in the season will need a 2023-2024 fishing license and an inland trout stamp, which are good until March 31, 2024, and can be purchased through Go Wild, the DNR’s license portal, or an authorized license agent. As of April 1, 2024, anglers will need a 2024-2025 fishing license and inland trout stamp.

All anglers are encouraged to continue to practice responsible catch and release and reduce their reel and fish handling time as much as possible. Tips on releasing your catch responsibly can be found on the DNR's responsible catch and release webpage.

You can also find more information on trout fishing on the DNR’s trout fishing webpage.