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Great Lakes Charter Information

Fishing Wisconsin

To correctly manage the salmon and trout fisheries of the Great Lakes, information from charter captains on their fishing activity is very important. Since the start of mandatory reporting in 1976, charter captains have been reporting on paper forms provided by the Department. As technology has advanced, the ability for a cost- and time-effective electronic solution has become a reality. 

The Department created a scope statement that allowed us to begin discussions with stakeholders on possible rule changes to help us manage this important fishery. This was the first step in the process and was approved by the Natural Resources Board. The next step was to hold an informational meeting so stakeholders could see the latest information and provide feedback on the appropriate electronic system to capture these critical data.

On Oct. 26, 2022, the Natural Resources Board adopted the permanent reporting rule for sport trolling licensees. This rule requires electronic trip reporting for those charter captains who are required to hold a sport trolling license under s. 29.514, Stats. The Governor approved the rule on Nov. 10, 2022, and the Legislature reviewed it in early 2023.

The Department worked with a small group of charter captains (20) to test the application and sport trolling form. The testing group provided excellent feedback, and enhancements were made to the form to ensure a seamless transition to electronic reporting.   

On May 1, 2023, this rule was approved, and electronic reporting is required for sport trollers on the Great Lakes.

Information on the new rule, training opportunities, video and paper instructions, and other critical information is posted below.

Rule information and presentations

Outlying Water Sport Trolling License Application - new applications only

Sport Trolling License Information - instructions, grid maps, monthly report form


Rule Information and presentations

Informational Meeting

May 16, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. An information meeting was held to inform stakeholders about the current and proposed electronic reporting system.

Public Hearing

Sept. 19, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. A public meeting was held to provide stakeholders with the proposed rule for charter reports and provided opportunities for questions and comments.


Outlying Water Sport Trolling License Application - new applicants only

Charter Application Form - 69K

Sport Trolling License Information

Starting May 1, 2023, electronic reporting via an application is required for reporting your fishing trips. 

Requirements in the new rule

1) Reporting via an electronic application is mandatory

2) Reporting of the following information is required within 30 minutes of returning to shore

  • Captain's DNR Customer ID number, name, boat information, location of the trip, number of anglers, number of hours fished and total fish harvested
  • This is the exact requirement currently mandated with the paper form.

3) Reporting of the following information is required by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the trip

  • Species-specific harvest numbers
  • This is the exact requirement currently mandated with the paper form.

4) Sending this information to the Department by the 10th of the month for the preceding months' fishing trips

  • This is the exact requirement currently mandated with the paper form.

Electronic Application Instructions

Please follow the following steps to install, download, and use the new electronic application. These are shortened steps compared to the instructional manual provided. To understand the steps necessary to use the application, refer to the instruction manual or video.

1) An email will be sent to you from This email will ask you to create a password and provide security questions for your secured ArcGIS credentials. This email will be sent within one week of purchasing your sport trolling license. Ensure your email address in Go Wild is accurate; otherwise, you will not get this critical email.

2) Please click on the link in the email to create your secure password and security question.

3) Download and install the application called Survey123

  1. Download and install the ESRI Survey123 Field App to your device from your app store


4) Start the application and "Sign in with ArcGIS Online" using the credentials from steps 1 and 2 above.

5) Download the Sport Trolling Report for the Great Lakes form.

6) Start entering trip information and submit your fishing information.


Sport Trolling Report for the Great Lakes Instructions - manual [PDF]

Sport Trolling Report for the Great Lakes Instructions - video

Lake Michigan Coded Wire Tag Information [PDF]

Lake Superior Grid Map [PDF]

Lake Michigan Grid Map [PDF]

Monthly Report Form - 105K [PDF]


Contact Information

Bradley Eggold, 414-303-0138

Bradley T. Eggold
Department of Natural Resources
600 E. Greenfield Ave.
Milwaukee, WI  53204