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Great Lakes Charter Information

Fishing Wisconsin

To properly 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 an electronic solution that was both cost and time effective 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 information meeting so that stakeholders can see the latest information we have and provide feedback on the appropriate electronic system to capture these critical data.

On October 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 November 10, 2022, and the rule will begin several months of review in the Legislature in January 2023.

Starting in 2023, the informational packet that was sent out via USPS will now only be available online. That information is located at the bottom of this page. In addition, monthly report forms will have to be printed out so that you can report your daily fishing information until the electronic reporting rule is approved by the legislature and the system is functional.  Once the system is up and running, you will be notified by email that you need to begin reporting electronically.


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 provide stakeholders with information 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 in 2023, information packets normally sent via USPS are now available online. Please carefully read the instructions and CWT information prior to your first trip of the year. In addition, a link to the monthly report form is shown below so you can print the form for each month of activity. 

General Instructions

Lake Michigan Coded Wire Tag Information

Lake Superior Grid Map

Lake Michigan Grid Map

Monthly Report Form - 105K