Skip to main content

Great Lakes Fishing Guide Information

Great Lakes Fishing Guide Information

For purpose of maintaining sustainable fisheries in the Great Lakes, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has broad authority under established rules (NR 20.65) to require guide reporting in the Great Lakes. The Department issues a guide license which allows the licensee to be compensated to guide, direct, or assist any other person fishing on the Great Lakes and tributaries. The department conducted an extensive outreach program to engage stakeholders on this issue and crafted the rule to obtain critical fishing information and provide a simple and easy way for guides to report their harvest.

In July 2021, the Natural Resources Board, Governor and Legislators passed a rule that clarifies who is a guide, when they have to report and how they report to the Department.

Starting in January 2022, all guides who take clients on trips to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Green Bay or their tributary streams/rivers may be required to report electronically. The department is not requiring ALL guides on the Great Lakes to report ALL fishing activities for ALL locations guided. Reporting will only be required for specific locations, based on current management needs (see 2023 reporting locations below).

The following sections will provide the necessary details to set up your electronic report, view your guide reporting dashboard and report your daily fishing activities.

Electronic Reporting Setup

Reporting Options

2023 Reporting Locations

Instruction manual and other forms

Electronic Reporting Setup

To set up electronic reporting please follow the instructions below.

SMARTPHONE

  1. Download and install ESRI Survey123 Field App to your device from your app store
    Survey123
  2. Click on the URL:  https://arcg.is/0aPnq1 
  3. Choose: Open the app in the Survey123 field app

  4. Click "Continue without signing in"

  5. Once the survey is installed, go to the X at the top left of the screen, then select "Close survey and lose changes". The Survey123 app and the Great Lakes Fishing Guide Report are now loaded onto your phone and ready for you to record your observations. Upon your next fishing trip, open Survey123, click "Continue without signing in" and then Great Lakes Fishing Guide Report to record your trip. GOTO Step 6.

COMPUTER

  1. Download and install ESRI Survey123 Field App to your PC

    Windows (64): https://links.esri.com/survey123/windows64

    Windows (86): https://links.esri.com/survey123/windows

    Mac: https://links.esri.com/survey123/macos

  2. Click on the URL:  https://arcg.is/0aPnq1 
  3. Choose: Open the app in the Survey123 field app

  4. Click "Continue without signing in"

  5. Once the survey is installed, go to the X at the top left of the screen, then select "Close survey and lose changes". The Survey123 app and the Great Lakes Fishing Guide Report are now loaded onto your phone and ready for you to record your observations. Upon your next fishing trip, open Survey123, click "Continue without signing in" and then Great Lakes Fishing Guide Report to record your trip. GOTO Step 6.

BOTH SMARTPHONES AND COMPUTER

      6. Fill out the form for each fishing trip within 24 hours of the conclusion of the trip and submit it.
      7. If the electronic form is not available, download and print this form and record your daily information. Once the system is back online or you have connectivity, enter the information from the form into the electronic application. NO paper copies will be accepted for your fishing trips.

Reporting Options

Great Lakes Fishing Guides have a few options for reporting their trips. In all three cases, guides will use the Survey123 application and Great Lakes Fishing Guide Report to record the information.

  1. Report as an individual. If you are conducting a trip as the sole guide, complete the information within 24 hours from the end of the trip.
  2. Report as a group. If you are conducting a trip with a group of guides you can designate one of the guides to report the full trip information. The other guides only have to fill out the first part of the form, all reporting needs to be completed within 24 hours from the end of the trip.
  3. Report as a company. If you own a business that hires guides to take clients on fishing trips, you can obtain a guide license and report on behalf of your staff. Please fill out this form and note that once the form is approved you will be required to register on behalf of your employees for the entire calendar year. You may not switch back and forth.  As in individual or group reporting, all reporting needs to be completed within 24 hours from the end of the trip.

2023 Reporting Locations

Green Bay – All species - All waters - including tributaries up to the first barrier impassable to fish

Lake Superior – All Species – All Waters – including tributaries up to the first lake or barrier impassable to fish

Instructions and forms

Learn more about becoming a licensed guide [PDF].