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Wisconsin fishing report 2022

Fishing Wisconsin

Fishing Report Cover
2022 Wisconsin Fishing Report

Fishing is a great way to have fun with family and friends, but sometimes it's difficult to know where to fish. Have no fear. The Wisconsin Fishing Report provides fishing forecasts (along with other interesting information) for the upcoming season. Use the information to plan your next fishing trip. The water is open to everyone. 

The Wisconsin Fishing Report 2022 is available for download here in digital format only.

Download the entire Wisconsin fishing report 2022 [PDF]

On the inside

  • Popular, pesky and prolific panfish 
  • Dear Wisconsin angler 
  • Fantastic fisheries projects 
  • The purrrfect choice  - fishing catfish
  • Trout fishing: to spin or not to spin
  • Fishing forecasts
  • Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
  • Family-friendly fishing

Species fishing forecasts

Fishing report favorites


 

WALLEYE

 

BARRON COUNTY

Upper Turtle Lake - 438 acres. During a 2021 survey, Upper Turtle Lake had an adult walleye population of 2.0 adult walleye/acre. Of the 354 walleye handled in the survey, 41% were 15 inches or greater.

  • Current regulation:  Walleye in Upper Turtle Lake are managed with an 18-inch minimum length limit and 3 fish daily bag limit.
  • Access information: There is one boat landing and fishing pier on the south end of the lake which is located off Highway 8. In addition to walleye, Upper Turtle Lake is a fertile lake and a good lake for most other species, especially largemouth bass and northern pike.


CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, OUTAGAMIE, SHAWANO, WAUSHARA, WAUPACA, and WINNEBAGO COUNTIES

The Winnebago System - Includes the four lakes (Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan) along with all their tributaries from their mouths upstream to the first dam including the upper Fox and Wolf Rivers.

  • Acres and River Length: 165,246 acres for the lakes and roughly 142 river miles.
  • Species Population Information: The Winnebago System continues to host a healthy self-sustaining walleye population that offers a variety of fishing opportunities to anglers throughout the Midwest. The annual Lake Winnebago trawling survey revealed an above-average walleye hatch for 2021 with a catch rate of 8.2 young of the year (YOY)/trawl, well above the long-term average of 4.6/trawl. The notable YOY walleye catch in 2021 should provide a boost to the adult population in future years, particularly if there is good over-winter survival. Since 2016, the average YOY walleye catch rate has surpassed 3.6/trawl annually. In 2022, anglers may notice some walleyes from the 2016 year class beginning to reach the 20-inch mark and should see fish recruiting to the adult fishery from the more recent year classes. The trawling survey also revealed a weak year-class of gizzard shad (0.5/YOY trawl). Gizzard shad can often drive walleye fishing success on the system and this year’s weak hatch could set up for another productive walleye bite on the system in 2022.
  • Current Regulations: The system is open year-round for walleye and sauger. There is a combined daily bag limit of 3 fish, of which only 1 may be a sauger. There is no minimum length limit for either species.
  • Access Information: There are numerous access points around the Winnebago system. Consult a map of the system to see what access is near where you want to launch or go to the DNR’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access website to search for access information.
  • Something Interesting: A new sonic tagging study is underway to evaluate adult walleye movement and habitat use in the system. DNR staff tagged 74 fish with internal sonic tags on Lake Winnebago during 2021 fall surveys in several areas including Black Wolf (24), Grundman County Boat Landing (19), Asylum Bay (14), Paynes Point (13), Pipe (3) and Fond du Lac (1). All sonic-tagged fish are also marked with an orange loop tag near the dorsal fin that reads, RESEARCH REWARD. Anglers that happen to catch a sonic-tagged fish are asked to record the tag number information and approximate length, take a photo with the fish and close up of both sides of the loop tag showing the number, and report their catch. If the fish is released please leave the loop tag intact. If the fish is harvested, please contact the DNR. The internal sonic tags have a battery life of 3 years and may be able to be reused. Anglers that report the catch or harvest of a loop-tagged fish and have proper confirmation (the physical loop tag or picture with fish and verifiable loop tag number) will receive a $100 reward (reward expires Dec. 31, 2025).  
  • To report tags and catch information: Anglers can email the information to DNRWinnebagoSystemTagReturns@wisconsin.gov, call 920-303-5429, or mail it to: Oshkosh DNR office (625 East County Road Y, Oshkosh WI 54901).

- Adam Nickel, Senior Fisheries Biologist, Oshkosh


CRAWFORD, GRANT AND VERNON COUNTIES

Mississippi River Pools 9-10-11- and Upper 12 - 74,850 acres and 97 miles of open water.

  • Species population information: In mid-October 2021, a DNR electrofishing crew collected 238 walleye and 181 saugers by electrofishing at night in the near-shore areas around wing dams in Mississippi River Pool 9, near Genoa, WI.  In our sample, adult walleyes were 6 to 26 inches and catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) was approximately 65 adult walleyes per hour. Adult sauger were 7 to 17.9 inches and CPUE was 50 adult sauger per hour. Our fall young-of-year (YOY) survey results in Mississippi River Pool 10, near Lynxville, WI showed above average reproduction during the spring of 2021 with a catch rate of 68 YOY walleye per hour and 86 YOY sauger per hour. YOY walleye and sauger reproduction in 2021 was above the long-term average which will help to maintain the fishery for years to come.
  • Current regulation in Pools 9-12: The Mississippi River is open year-round for walleye and sauger. New regulations were implemented for walleye with a minimum length limit of 15 inches, fish between 20 to 27 inches must be released and one fish over 27 inches is allowed. The bag limit is 6 fish combined walleye and sauger and there is no minimum length limit on the sauger.
  • Access information: There are many boat and shore fishing access locations along the Mississippi River. For more details, go to the DNR’s Boat and Shore Fishing Access website to search for access information. The waters of Pool 9 are part of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The refuge is located in four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois along the Mississippi River and was established in 1924 as a refuge for fish, wildlife and plants. The refuge encompasses one of the largest blocks of floodplain habitat in the lower 48 states and covers just over 240,000 acres which extends 261 river miles from the Chippewa River in Wisconsin to near Rock Island, Illinois.

DODGE COUNTY

Beaver Dam Lake - 6,718 acres. A total of 1,268 walleye were captured during 2021 spring netting and electrofishing surveys. The observed length range was 6.7 to 27.0 inches with an average length of 17.2 inches.  An impressive 48% of the walleye measured were above the 18-inch minimum length limit.

  • Current regulation: Daily bag of 3 minimum length limit of 18 inches.  
  • Access information: There are 7 public boat launches including a state-owned launch at the end of Sunset Beach Road. There are numerous City and County Parks that offer shore fishing opportunities. Though relatively large at 6,718 acres, Beaver Dam Lake has a maximum depth of only 7 feet.


DOUGLAS COUNTY

St. Louis River and Estuary - 12,000 acres. Spring 2021 spawning population survey showed good size structure, with fish from 10.5 to 31.7 inches. The highest frequency lengths were from 19 to 22 inches, mixed between males and females that would range from seven to 12 years old. A few hundred of the walleye handled were at least 28 inches.  

  • Current regulation: Open May 14 through March 1; 15-inch minimum length with a daily limit of two fish.
  • Access information: Arrowhead Landing and Fishing Pier: Located in the City of Superior where Belknap Street joins the river. Features paved parking, an ADA-accessible picnic area, and portable restrooms. Oliver Landing: Located in the Village of Oliver, just south of Superior, at end of East Detroit Street, features restrooms and paved parking. Barker’s Island Landing: Located in the City of Superior at the end of Marina Drive, features restrooms and paved parking. Loon’s Foot Landing: Located in the City of Superior just west of the Nemadji River, features restrooms and paved parking. View our digital map and complete information on these landings.
  • Wisconsin DNR and Minnesota DNR joined forces to tag nearly 7,000 adult walleye during the spring 2021 spawning migration in April. Each tag was light green with a unique number and was attached near the second dorsal fin. The tagging data during the survey were being used to estimate the population (i.e., the number of fish in the population). Though the survey is over, anglers will likely encounter tagged fish. These can be voluntarily reported to Wisconsin DNR – Superior Office; reporting is not required. Anglers who release fish are asked to keep the tag in the fish so that additional information can be recorded if the fish is caught again in the future. Tagged fish were observed from the Twin Ports and along the South Shore eastward to the Apostle Islands. Some tagged walleye were observed in over 100 feet of water in Lake Superior, likely because of the area’s very warm summer that warmed the upper layers of Lake Superior.

- Paul Piszczek, Fisheries Biologist, Superior

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY

Lake Altoona - 840 acres. The walleye population on Lake Altoona is in excellent shape according to recent fisheries survey data.  A walleye population estimate was conducted in the spring of 2021 and there were 7.9 adult walleye per acre in Lake Altoona which includes the Eau Claire River up to Big Falls. The walleye density is well above the statewide average, but the walleye fishery here flies under the radar as yellow perch is what many anglers are targeting on Lake Altoona. The majority of the walleye captured in this survey were in a good eating size range, from 15-18 inches. Even though walleye abundance is relatively high, the walleye may be ‘tight-lipped’ due to the strong perch population which is the preferred natural forage for walleye. The regulation on Lake Altoona is a daily bag limit of three walleye and they must be between 15-20 inches except one may be over 24 inches.

- Joseph Gerbyshak, Fisheries Biologist, Eau Claire

FOREST COUNTY

Patten Lake - 255 acres. Patten Lake is home to a very strong walleye population that will only be getting better in the near future. The population hit a low point in 2011, but a rehabilitation project has increased walleye abundance from 1 adult/acre to 3 adults/acre in the last decade. Incredibly high reproduction of walleye in recent years will likely double the adult abundance within the next few years. The size structure of the adult population is very good with 79% over 15 inches and 26% over 20 inches.

  • Current Regulation: 15” minimum, 20”-24” protected slot with only 1 fish allowed over 24”; a 3 bag.
  • Access information: Florence County owns the public landing on Patten Lake. There is a daily launch fee or you can purchase a yearly pass at the Resource Center in Florence.
  • Interesting Points: An overabundant black bullhead population is what limited walleye reproduction dropping walleye abundance to the low point in 2011. After a successful bullhead removal project, it is likely this will be a very strong walleye population for the foreseeable future.

- Greg Matzke, Fisheries Biologist, Florence and Forest counties

IOWA COUNTY

Blackhawk Lake - 32 acres.

  • Population Information: Walleyes are abundant in Blackhawk Lake as the total adult population is currently estimated at 6.8 Walleyes per acre. Walleye are stocked yearly at a rate of 10 large fingerlings per acre. During 2021 spring netting surveys, Walleye sampled ranged from 10.7 to 28.7 inches with an average of 19.1 inches. In fact, 57% of the Walleye sampled were of harvestable size (over 18”). Due to the high population density and size structure, anglers can expect good Walleye fishing in 2022 with plenty of opportunities for harvest.  
  • Current Regulation: Minimum length limit of 18 inches with a daily bag limit of 3.
  • Access information: An access fee to the recreational area is required and one public boat launch is available. Motors are permitted, although slow no wake rules are in effect at all times.  Accessible fishing piers and shore fishing opportunities are also available.
  • Interesting Points: Blackhawk Lake is located within the Blackhawk Lake Recreational Area. Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and biking are permitted within the recreational area and a public beach and picnic area are provided. Boat, canoe, and pontoon rentals are also available.  

- Justin Haglund, Fisheries Biologist, Dodgeville

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OCONTO COUNTY

Archibald Lake - 393 acres. In 2019, adult walleye density was 4.1 adults per acre. This was a significant improvement over what was observed in 2011 (1.9 adults/acre).  Walleye ranged in length from 7.5 to 24.4 inches and averaged 15.7 inches. Compared to other lakes in the area, walleye abundance was high. Large fingerling walleye stocking began in 2014 at the rate of 15/acre. These fish are now starting to enter the fishery.

  • Current Regulation: 18-inch minimum length with 3 fish per day.
  • Access information: Boat landing on the west side of the lake.
  • Of interest: East side of the lake is relatively undeveloped because the shoreline is owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Fish sticks – 100 trees were placed at 46 locations in 2009. Walleye spawning reefs were constructed; in 2008 (600’), 2017 (600’), and 2018 (2 reefs – 300’ each). Water levels have increased approximately 3 to 4 feet since 2011.


ONEIDA COUNTY 

Rainbow Flowage-  3,153 acres, 28 feet maximum depth. Recent survey results documented a healthy and abundant walleye population with a density of 6.6 adults per acre, sustained by natural reproduction. The size structure is moderate with most fish between 15–20”. The walleye regulation allows three walleye from 15” but less than 20” to be kept except one may be over 24”. There are 3 main public boat landings that have good access with ample parking: 1) Hwy D near Rainbow Dam, 2) Dave’s Landing Road off Hwy J, 3) Stormy Landing Rd off South Rainbow Drive from Hwy J.  

- Zach Woiak, Fisheries Biologist, Woodruff

PRICE COUNTY 

Solberg Lake - 859 acres. From netting and electrofishing samples in early spring 2021, we estimated that Solberg Lake’s walleye population had 2,640 adults or 3.1 adults per acre. Walleye density was below our goal in the Solberg Lake Fishery Management Plan to have 4-7 adults per acre. However, with 58% of walleye at least 15” and 4.2% at least 20”, the population met or exceeded its size objectives (30-40% ≥ 15” and 3-7% ≥ 20”). Concerned about declining reproductive success, in 2015 DNR began stocking walleye at a rate of 15 large fingerlings per acre in odd-numbered years. To date, Solberg Lake has received 51,400 fingerlings 6-8”—the only walleyes stocked into Solberg Lake since 1961. Fall electrofishing surveys show that natural recruitment to the walleye population has rebounded somewhat, but our fingerling catch per mile remains below average among walleye populations sustained by natural reproduction. Unless fall electrofishing captures more than 25 fingerlings per mile to indicate satisfactory natural recruitment, walleye stocking will continue while the broad-scale evaluation of the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative is completed. In addition, the special harvest regulation that allowed anglers to keep three walleye of any length, but only one over 14” will be replaced by the standard walleye regulation for Wisconsin’s Ceded Territory.  Effective April 1, 2022, only three walleyes from 15” but less than 20” may be kept, except one fish may be over 24”. The new rule will protect about 56% of the estimated adult walleyes population. Price County maintains two public boat landings, a campground, swimming beaches, and a pavilion. Several lakeside resorts have private boat ramps.

- Jeff Scheirer, Fishery Biologist, Park Falls


SAWYER COUNTY

Chippewa Flowage - 15,300 acres is a dynamic system brimming with recreational opportunities. Fishing is the main draw, of course, and walleye is one of the premier targets for anglers. Recent surveys have confirmed the health of the walleye fishery. In 2021, capture rates for adult walleye in DNR surveys were the highest they’ve been in over 10 years. We’re also seeing an increasing portion of “legal-sized” walleye in the survey catch. Fall surveys have shown increasingly strong year classes of natural-born young walleye entering the system as well, pointing to a lot of good years of walleye fishing in the future. There are lots of ways anglers can access “The Chip” including state ramps of County CC (2 ramps), off County B, and near the dam. There are many resorts and restaurants that would be happy to host you as well. The regulation for walleye is a 15-inch minimum length limit, no harvest from 20-24 inches, and only one over 24 inches as a part of a 3-daily bag limit. 


VILAS COUNTY 

Kentuck Lake - 958 acres. Kentuck Lake supports an up-and-coming population of walleye that should provide good angling opportunities. Recent population estimates indicate a population that has grown from approximately 2 adult walleye per acre in 2018 to over 7 per acre in 2021. The current size structure and regulation will make harvesting walleye more unlikely but would be great for those more interested in catch and release. Over 66% of the population is estimated to be under the 15” minimum length, providing action while the 20% over 20” will provide more memorable catches.

  • Current Regulation: 15” minimum, 20”-24” protected slot with only one fish allowed over 24”; daily bag limit of 3.
  • Access information: There are two very nice boat landings on Kentuck Lake, one on the northeastern shore in the National Forest campground and another provided by the town of Phelps on the southwestern shore.
  • Interesting Points: There is a National Forest campground located along the shore of Kentuck Lake with 31 campsites, hiking trails, and a boat launch.

- Eric Wegleitner, Fisheries Biologist

WAUKESHA COUNTY 

Nagawicka Lake - 970 acres. Average Length – 16 inches with a few fish greater than 18 inches. Nagawicka Lake continues to improve with natural reproduction and stocking efforts providing consistent recruitment.  White suckers and panfish are the primary forage base.

  • Current regulation: 18” minimum length, a daily bag limit of 3.
  • Access information: The public boat launch is located on the lake’s east side off of Mariner Drive in Naga-Waukee county park.  A public fishing pier is found in Saint John’s Park in the City of Delafield Park near Nagawicka Dam.
     

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MUSKELLUNGE

ASHLAND COUNTY 

Mineral Lake - Those who are looking to tangle with their first musky or are seeking a good musky action lake in the Northwoods might consider Mineral Lake. Located between Clam Lake and Mellen, Mineral Lake sizes up at 227 acres and has a nice boat launch just off of Hwy GG. Recent surveys indicate strong natural reproduction and above-average muskellunge relative abundance. In a recent electrofishing survey, crews sampled muskellunge at a high rate of 5.0/mile and documented individuals ranging from 9.5” – 34.9”. The smaller lake size helps shorten the learning curve for new anglers and can be a good choice for windy days. Currently, there is a 28” minimum length limit, and 1 fish daily bag limit. 

BAYFIELD COUNTY 

Lake Namekagon - 2,897 acres. During a recent spring fyke-netting survey, crews sampled muskellunge at the moderate rate of 0.5 fish/net-night. Throughout the spring surveys, crews handled 86 individuals ranging in length from 24.1”- 49.5”. 45% of these individuals were larger than 38” and 27% were larger than 42”. This musky population provides anglers with good numbers of quality fish and a legitimate shot at a trophy. There are 7 different public boat launches around the lake with restaurants and resorts, as well. Currently, the muskellunge regulation on Lake Namekagon is a 50” minimum length, 1-fish daily bag limit. 

BURNETT COUNTY

Yellow Lake - 2,283 acres. Based on the results of the 2021 survey, the muskellunge population is currently healthy in Yellow Lake. The average length was 35.6 inches and ranged from 24.3 to 50.0 inches. Twenty-five percent of the muskellunge collected was over 40 inches. A catch rate of 0.6 fish/net night was also observed.

  • Current Regulation: 40-inch minimum length limit, one fish daily bag limit.
  • Access: There are three public boat launches at Yellow Lake: Jeffries Rd, Lake Ave, and Yellow Lake Rd.
  • In addition to common gamefish, Yellow Lake has one of the best hook-line sturgeon fisheries in the state.

CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, OUTAGAMIE, SHAWANO, WAUSHARA, WAUPACA, and WINNEBAGO COUNTIES

The Winnebago System - Includes the four lakes (Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan) along with all their tributaries from their mouths upstream to the first dam including the upper Fox and Wolf Rivers.

  • Acres and River Length: 165,246 acres for the lakes and roughly 142 river miles.
  • Species Population Information: Great Lakes spotted strain muskellunge were stocked throughout the Winnebago System during the years 2002-2007. During this time span, 613,248 fish were stocked (589,643 fry, 1,162 small fingerlings, 22,397 large fingerlings, 40 yearlings and 6 adults).  As a result, the system currently supports a low-density muskellunge population that provides trophy (over 50 inches) opportunities for anglers. To help bolster the population, 2,943 yearling Great Lakes spotted muskellunge have been stocked in the Upriver Lakes since 2015. Stocking efforts increased in 2021 with approximately 10,000 fingerlings stocked in the Winnebago System including the Upriver Lakes, upper Fox River, Wolf River, and Lake Winnebago. These stockings should provide a boost to the adult population and provide additional angling opportunities in future years. All fish stocked receive ventral fin clips to indicate that the fish was stocked. Anglers who catch a muskellunge on the Winnebago System can help with management efforts by checking their fish for fin clips and reporting it to the Oshkosh DNR office.  
  • Current Regulations: The 2022 open season for muskellunge is May 7, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2022, with a daily bag limit of one fish and a minimum length limit of 50”.    
  • Access Information: There are numerous access points around the Winnebago system. Consult a system map or the DNR’s Boat Access website to search for launch information near where you want to fish.
  • Something Interesting: With the help of local fishing and conservation clubs, 46 acoustic tags were purchased and surgically implanted in the yearling muskellunge in 2016 and 2017. Acoustic receivers located throughout the Winnebago System are programmed to pick up the signal from acoustically tagged fish that swim by the receiver.  Because each tag has a unique signal, individual fish can be tracked as they move by receivers. Conducting this acoustic tag study has allowed for muskellunge movement and stocking strategies to be evaluated. The battery life of these tags is 5 years and has already provided valuable information. Fisheries staff will continue to collect information during the final 2022 study year.

- Adam Nickel, Senior Fisheries Biologist, Oshkosh

CHIPPEWA COUNTY

Round Lake -  A 216-acre natural lake located in northern Chippewa County that contains a healthy musky population. During a 2021 fisheries survey, 49 different muskies were captured, which is a relatively high catch given the lake’s size. Most of the musky ranged from 34-42 inches, but fish as large as 48 inches were captured. The second round of netting will be conducted in the spring of 2022 to complete a population estimate. Round Lake provides a good action fishery for the area with quality fish present in the lake. According to local anglers, these fish are fairly educated, so a fishing lure choice out of the ordinary may provide more action. There is a 40-inch minimum length limit and a one-fish daily bag limit for musky on Round Lake.

- Joseph Gerbyshak – Fisheries Biologist, Eau Claire

DANE COUNTY 

Lake Monona - 3359 acres.

  • Species information: DNR surveyed the lake in 2021 and will do so again in 2022 to calculate a population estimate. The average size musky in the 2021 survey was 37” while the largest fish was over 52 inches and weighed 35lbs.
  • Current regulation: 50” minimum length, 1 daily bag limit during the open harvest season May 7, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Access: several boat landings, launch pass required.
  • Interesting point: Many musky in the chain have PIT tags implanted in them to track growth, age and movement. Anglers with a PIT scanner can record and share the information with a local fish biologist to learn about the tag history including fish age, growth and movements. 

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JACKSON, MONROE, LA CROSSE, AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES 

Lower Black River (below the Black River Falls dam), Jackson, Monroe, La Crosse and Trempealeau counties - Catch rates are based on 2021 electrofishing results (expressed as the number of fish captured per mile of river surveyed). Black River, lower: Total catch rate was 0.7/mile, catch rate of 40”+ fish was 0.3/mile, and maximum length captured was 41.9”. In 2020, the total catch rate was 0.6/mile, the catch rate of 40”+ size fish was 0.1 mile, and the maximum length captured was 42.3”. Regulation: 40” minimum length limit/1 fish daily bag limit.

  • Access Information: Lower Black River – 3rd Street Canoe Landing (City of Black River Falls), Perry Creek Landing, Mason’s Landing, Irving Township Canoe Landing, Highway 108 Landing near Melrose, WI, North Bend Landing off CTH VV and Highway 35 landing in Van Loon Bottoms. 
  • Other Information: The 4-mile stretch of the Black River downstream of the Black River Falls Dam consistently yields one of the highest densities of 40”+ muskellunge found in annual surveys. 

MARATHON COUNTY

Mission Lake - 103 acres. This high-density population provides a notable action fishery. A recent fyke net catch rate of 6.6 fish per net-night, which exceeds the 75th percentile for A2 (Action Fisheries) classified musky waters.  Because the waterbody is only 103 acres and the density is high, the growth potential and size structure are limited. Mission Lake Musky range from 27”-42”, and 21% of adult fish are 38” or greater.

  • Current regulation: Statewide 40” minimum length limit.
  • Access information: Mission Lake County Park provides your only options for shore fishing and boat access on Mission Lake. Mission Lake is nearly surrounded by conservation land and natural shoreline and has an incredibly diverse set of native submerged plants inhabiting the lake, which provides excellent habitat for this stocked musky population. It should be noted that with recent survey work performed, we anticipate that up to 50-80% of the population may be tagged with Passive Integrated Transponders or PIT tags. This means that musky anglers involved with volunteer PIT-tag monitoring efforts with the DNR can come here and practice scanning fish. There is a high probability that you might catch a PIT-tagged fish!


MARINETTE COUNTY 

Caldron Falls Reservoir (1,018 acres) and High Falls Reservoir (1,498 acres) -
The musky fisheries are maintained through a combination of stocking and natural reproduction. The density (fish/ acre) of musky is higher in Caldron Falls than in High Falls but large fish are present in both flowages.

  • Current Regulation: 50-inch minimum length / 1 fish per day.
  • Access Information: There are 5 boat landings on Caldron Falls and 6 on High Falls.  Shore fishing opportunities are excellent.
  • Of interest: Musky was stocked in High Falls for the first time in 2017. A 50-inch minimum length limit went into effect in 2018.

ONEIDA COUNTY

Pelican Lake - 3545 acres, 16.7 miles of shoreline, 39 feet maximum depth. DNR hatchery crews were out on Pelican this spring fyke netting muskies for broodstock collection and noted a very healthy and thriving musky population with multiple strong year classes moving through the system. A total of 116 adult muskies were handled during netting with 28% over 40 inches and the largest being 45.4 inches. Anglers can expect to experience a moderate action fishery with trophy potential. The regulation is 1 fish over 50 inches. A state public boat launch with good access and ample parking is located off HWY G and multiple other public boat landings can be found around the lake.

- Zach Woiak, Fisheries Biologist, Woodruff

POLK COUNTY

Wapogasset & Bear Trap lakes  - 1,436 acres (both lakes combined)Muskellunge in Wapogasset and Bear Trap lakes are managed at a moderate density and have good size structure and condition.  In a 2019-2021 netting survey, muskellunge ranged from 25.2 to 48.5 inches.

  • Current regulation: 40-inch minimum length limit.
  • Access information: There are two boat landings on Wapogasset and one on Bear Trap. The southernmost boat landing on Wapogasset Lake is operated by the town of Garfield and is best suited for handling larger boats. Wapogasset muskellunge are capable of reaching large sizes with the lake’s diverse forage base that includes abundant white sucker and redhorse populations.

ST CROIX AND POLK COUNTIES 

Cedar Lake - 1100 acres. Musky was very abundant in the 2021 survey of Cedar Lake. Catch rates of Musky were 0.88 fish per net night which is in the 75th percentile for similar lakes across the state. Fish ranged from 10 to 47.7 inches within our sample with an average length of 37.6 inches. A population estimate will be completed in the spring of 2022. Approximately 11% of fish were larger than 45 inches. Fish were in very good condition during the survey and growth rates are likely excellent with plenty of preferred forage available.

  • Current regulation: 40-inch minimum length limit, 1 fish/day.
  • Access information: Boat landings are located on the south end of the lake near Meister’s Bar and Grill and at the north end of the lake at the intersection of County Highway M and 10th Ave. Shore fishing is also allowed at the north end boat ramp and parking lot along the Town of Alden park.
  • Cedar Lake is stocked bi-annually with musky fingerlings at a rate of 1/acre, however evidence of natural reproduction was documented in the 2021 survey. The musky population is much higher than in previous surveys and offers great fishing opportunities with the opportunity to catch a trophy.  

WAUKESHA COUNTY 

Oconomowoc Lake - 818 surface acres.

  • Species population information: Spring electrofishing revealed an average length of 39 inches with fish over 50” present. Trophy muskellunge are found throughout the Oconomowoc River chain of Lakes including Lac La Belle, Okauchee, Fowler and Oconomowoc Lake. Cisco is present in good densities in both Oconomowoc and Okauchee Lakes resulting in accelerated growth. Combined stocking efforts by local clubs and the DNR has provided consistent recruitment and excellent musky angling opportunities on this system.
  • Current regulation: 40” minimum length, the daily bag limit of 1.
  • Access information: The public boat launch is located upstream of Oconomowoc Lake on the Oconomowoc River, and downstream of Upper Oconomowoc Lake on the north side of Wisconsin Avenue.  

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LARGEMOUTH  BASS

ADAMS COUNTY

Big Roche-a-Cri Lake - 217 acres. A 2021 spring electrofishing survey was completed for bluegill and largemouth bass. We caught 151 largemouth bass that ranged from 4.3” to 17.1” with an average of 12.7”. 87% of the largemouth bass were 12” or greater and 38% were 14” or greater. Relative abundance was 45 fish per mile. Size structure and relative abundance are considered high (67-90th percentile) compared to other warm clear lakes like Big Roche-a-Cri Lake.  

  • Current regulation: General Inland Fishing Regulations.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch off State HWY 13 by the bridge and a launch off 13th Lane near the intersection with Cottonville Avenue.


Sherwood Lake - 216 acres. A 2021 spring electrofishing survey was completed for bluegill and largemouth bass to evaluate the special panfish regulation. We caught 228 largemouth bass, they ranged from 6.6” to 17.0” with an average of 11.8”.  24% of the largemouth bass were 14” or greater. Relative abundance was 38 fish per mile. Size structure is considered normal, yet relative abundance is considered high (67-90th percentile) compared to other warm turbid lakes like Sherwood Lake.  

  • Current regulation: General Inland Fishing Regulations.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch near State HWY 13 off W Queens Way.


BAYFIELD COUNTY

Cable Lake - 159 acres. During a recent spring electrofishing survey, crews sampled largemouth bass at a high rate of 30.0/mile. 120 individuals were sampled, ranging from 2.7-17.9”, with 88% of individuals being larger than 12” and 37% is larger than 15”. This largemouth population provides anglers with an opportunity for decent numbers of quality fish. Access is available via boat to launch just off-of West Cable Lake Road. Currently, the largemouth bass regulation on Cable Lake is an 18” minimum length, 1-fish daily bag limit. 

BURNETT COUNTY

Birch Island Lake - 768 acres. This lake holds a very high density of largemouth bass with trophy bass in the population. The 2021 catch rate was 63.5 fish/mile with an average length of 11.2 inches. DNR staff also observed six largemouth bass greater than 18 inches. This lake offers great harvest opportunities for bass with the chance at a bigger fish.

  • Current Regulation: No minimum length limit, five fish daily bag limit.
  • Access: Public boat launch off Kilkare Rd. Almost all of the lakes in Burnett County have a no minimum length limit, five fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass. This regulation offers anglers the opportunity to harvest eating-size bass and quickly have a large amount for a fish fry. Though not the most popular fish for eating, largemouth bass are good table fare.


Crooked Lake (in Siren) - 168 acres. This lake holds a lower density of largemouth bass with trophy bass in the population. The 2021 catch rate was 6.8  fish/mile with an average length of 14.6 inches. Sixty-three percent of bass collected were over 14.0 inches. DNR staff also observed five basses from 19 to 23.5 inches. This lake offers shoreline fishing opportunities via Crooked Lake Park in addition to fishing from a boat.

  • Current Regulation: No minimum length limit, five fish daily bag limit.
  • Access: Boat launch and shoreline angling opportunities adjacent to Hwy 35 in Siren. Almost all of the lakes in Burnett County have a no minimum length limit, five fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass. This regulation offers anglers the opportunity to harvest eating-size bass and quickly have a large amount for a fish fry. Though not the most popular fish for eating, bass are good table fare.

FLORENCE COUNTY

Sea Lion Lake - 123 acres. There may be no better place to catch a 20-inch largemouth bass than Sea Lion Lake. During a comprehensive survey in 2021, our DNR crew captured 7 different largemouths greater than 20-inches, 4.5% of our catch, from this 123-acre lake. An incredible size structure like this is often only observed in extremely low-density populations, however, Sea Lion lake has a solid abundance of largemouth bass estimated at 3 adults/acre. This lake should be on the shortlist for any serious bass angler.  

  • Current Regulation: Statewide 14-inch minimum, 5 fish daily bag limit.
  • Access information: Florence County owns the public landing on Sea Lion Lake. There is a daily launch fee or you can purchase a yearly pass at the Resource Center in Florence.  

- Greg Matzke, Fisheries Biologist, Florence and Forest counties

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IOWA COUNTY

Blackhawk Lake - 212 acres. Blackhawk Lake has a healthy and abundant Largemouth Bass fishery. During spring electrofishing surveys, fish were captured and ranged from 2.8 to 20.8 inches. The average size of Largemouth Bass captured was 13.0 inches. The density of fish is also high in Blackhawk Lake, with electrofishing catch rates at 78 fish per mile. Anglers can expect good action, as this catch rate is well above the median of 17 fish per mile in this lake classification.

  • Current Regulation: No minimum length, a daily bag limit of 5.
  • Access information: An access fee to the recreational area is required and one public boat launch is available.  Motors are permitted, although slow no wake rules are in effect at all times.  Accessible fishing piers and shore fishing opportunities are also available.
  • Interesting Points: Blackhawk Lake is located within the Blackhawk Lake Recreational Area. Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and biking are permitted within the recreational area and a public beach and picnic area are provided. Boat, canoe, and pontoon rentals are also available. 

- Justin Haglund, Fisheries Biologist, Dodgeville

IRON COUNTY

Grand Portage Lake - 148 acres. During a recent spring electrofishing survey, crews sampled largemouth bass at a moderate rate of 10.0/mile. Individuals ranged from 3.4-17.7”, with 71% measuring larger than 12” and 12% larger than 15”. This largemouth population provides anglers with an opportunity for decent numbers of quality fish. Access is available via boat launch on Ball Street, right in Mercer. Currently, the largemouth bass regulation on Grand Portage Lake is a 14” minimum length, 5-fish daily bag limit. 

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Lower Spring Lake - 105 acres. The 2021 spring electrofishing survey yielded a quality largemouth bass catch.  A total of 81 largemouth bass were captured with a length range of 5.2 to 19.1 inches and an average length of 13.3 inches.  The 2021 catch rate of 32 fish/mile is above average when compared with similar lakes in the state.

  • Current regulation: Daily bag limit 5, minimum length limit 14 inches.
  • Access information: A state-owned public boat launch is located on HWY 59 just east of Palmyra. Shore fishing opportunities along HWY 59 exist as well. Lower Spring Lake is near the heart of the Southern  Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Covering more than 22,000 acres of forested glacial hills, kettle lakes and prairies, the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is interlaced with more than 100 miles of mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking and nature trails. Paddling, boating, swimming, fishing, hunting and winter sports opportunities are all available.

OCONTO COUNTY

Wheeler Lake - 293 acres. Previous surveys showed that the largemouth bass population in Wheeler Lake had increased substantially. During the last survey, 269 largemouth bass were collected. Bass ranged from 4.8 to 20.2 inches but averaged only 12.1 inches.  A creel survey was conducted in the same year.  Anglers caught 3,391 largemouth bass but only 133 were harvested. As a result, the fishing regulation for bass was changed in 2020 to promote harvest. There is no early catch-and-release season for largemouth bass even though Wheeler Lake is within the northern bass zone.

  • Current regulation: No minimum length limit / 5 fish per day.
  • Access information: A single boat landing is located on the south side of the lake.
  • Of interest:  The Wheeler Lake Association holds an annual fishing jamboree in February. The proceeds have helped fund the construction and installation of 60 fish cribs over the last 7 years. In 2020, the U.S. Forest Service placed approximately 45 trees around the east island and 15 trees around the west island to enhance fish habitat.

POLK COUNTY

Ward Lake - 91 acres. Ward Lake is a great option for the harvest-minded bass angler or anyone interested in fast angling action. In a recent DNR survey, the population of adult (≥8 in) largemouth bass was estimated to be 37.9 fish/acre, which is a very high density. With the high abundance, the size structure and growth rates of the largemouth bass were low. Over half of the adult population was between 10-12 inches and few fish were over 14 inches. However, since Ward Lake bass are managed with a no minimum length limit and five fish daily bag limit, anglers are able (and encouraged) to harvest bass less than 14 inches. Increasing the harvest of small (<14 inches) bass should increase the size structure of the population. 

  • Access information: There is one boat landing on Ward Lake which is located on the southwest side of the lake off 80th St. Ward Lake is considered a seepage lake.  Like most seepage lakes, the water level can fluctuate from year to year.


VILAS COUNTY

Upper and Lower Buckatabon Lakes - 846 acres combined. Are you in desperate need of fish filets for a family fish fry and don’t have a lot of time to target those pesky, hard-to-catch walleyes? Well, hook up the boat, dump it into Upper and Lower Buckatabon lakes, throw on a wacky worm, and get casting. Recent survey work completed on these waters indicates a highly abundant largemouth bass population with most bass between 9” and 13”. Due to the high population and low size structure, a liberal regulation of no minimum length limit was recently adopted in the hopes of controlling the bass population through angling harvest. The Buckatabons are a great place to bring a kid or beginning angler to get hooked on fishing with tons of action.

  • Current Regulation: No minimum length limit, 5 fish bag limit.
  • Access information: There is a very nice public landing located on the south end of Upper Buckatabon Lake off of East Buckatabon Road. Remember, bass are tasty too, so don’t be afraid to batter them up and throw them in some hot oil.

- Eric Wegleitner, Fisheries Biologist, Vilas County

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Big Cedar Lake - 937 acres. 2021 spring electrofishing surveys yielded quality largemouth bass catches. A total of 162 largemouth bass were captured with a length range of 5.6 to 20.5 inches and an average length of 12.3 inches. The 2021 catch rate of 25 fish/mile is above average when compared with similar lakes in the state.

  • Current regulation:  Daily bag limit 5, minimum length limit 14 inches.
  • Access information: A public boat launch is located at the end of Gonring Drive, West Bend. Big Cedar Lake is stocked with large fingerling walleye by local private groups and as part of the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative. Panfish regulations at Big Cedar Lake are more restrictive (25 panfish in total but only 10 of any one species) as part of a statewide evaluation of Experimental Panfish Regulations. The current state record alternate method black crappie is from Big Cedar Lake. The fish was registered in December of 2015 and measured 14.5 inches, weighing 1 pound 11.2 ounces.


WAUPACA COUNTY

Bear Lake - 200 acres. Bear Lake supports a high-quality largemouth bass fishery, providing anglers with opportunities to catch good numbers of largemouth bass along with some large bass. A total of 184 largemouth bass were captured during 3.34 miles of electrofishing in the spring of 2021 for a catch rate of 55.1 largemouth bass per mile of electrofishing. A catch rate of 55.1 largemouth bass per mile of electrofishing ranks out in the 88th percentile, meaning catch rates in Bear Lake were higher than 88% of other lakes throughout Wisconsin. Nearly 20% of the largemouth bass captured in 2021 were legal size (i.e., ≥14 inches) with the biggest largemouth bass captured being just under 19 inches.

  • Current regulation: Five largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in combination may be kept and they must be at least 14”.
  • Access information: One boat landing on the south side of the lake. During the winter of 2013 and 2014, staff from the DNR as well as members of the Bear Lake Homeowners Association worked together to install 15 fish stick clusters around Bear Lake to improve fish habitat. Most of these fish stick clusters were sunk in 15 – 20 feet of water to provide additional offshore habitat. 

WAUSHARA COUNTY

Big Hills Lake - 133 acres. Big Hills Lake supports a high-quality largemouth bass fishery, providing anglers with opportunities to catch good numbers of largemouth bass along with some large bass. A total of 193 largemouth bass were captured during 3.1 miles of electrofishing in the spring of 2021 for a catch rate of 62.3 largemouth bass per mile of electrofishing. A catch rate of 62.3 largemouth bass per mile of electrofishing ranks out in the 90th percentile, meaning catch rates in Big Hills Lake were higher than 90% of other lakes throughout Wisconsin. Nearly 50% of the largemouth bass captured in 2021 were legal length (i.e., ≥14 inches) with the biggest largemouth bass captured being just over 19 inches.  

  • Current regulation: Five largemouth bass of any length may be kept.
  • Access information: One boat landing on the south side of the lake. During the winter of 2014, staff from the DNR worked with members of the We Really Kare Fishing Club to install tree drops on Big Hills Lake to improve fish habitat. The trees are providing excellent spawning habitat and cover for fish in Big Hills.

WOOD COUNTY

Nepco Lake - 496 acres. A 2021 spring electrofishing survey was completed for bluegill and largemouth bass to evaluate the special panfish regulation. We caught 91 largemouth bass, they ranged from 4.6” to 19.1” with an average length of 14.5”. 82% of the largemouth bass were 12” or greater, 60% were 14” and greater. The size structure of largemouth bass is considered very high, greater than the 90th percentile. Relative abundance is considered low compared to other lakes that are warm, shallow and clear like Nepco Lake. Smallmouth bass is less abundant than largemouth bass, 3 per mile, and they ranged in length from 7” to 18.1”.

  • Current regulation: Regulations for General Inland Waters.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch and shore fishing at the Nepco Lake County Park.

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SMALLMOUTH BASS

ASHLAND COUNTY

Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior - Chequamegon Bay deserves its reputation as a trophy Smallmouth Bass fishery. Compared to all other lakes in Wisconsin, Chequamegon Bay Smallmouth Bass consistently fall around the 95th percentile in terms of size structure and abundance, meaning there are large fish and a lot of them. The average length of Smallmouth Bass landed by anglers in the spring in the Bay is about 17.5 inches and around one of every ten fish landed breaks the 19-inch mark. Most fishing effort for Smallmouth occurs in June, but good fishing also occurs throughout the summer and fall. Many Smallmouth Bass congregate in the shallow areas of Kakagon and Sandcut sloughs in the eastern portion of the Bay in spring to spawn, but then they disperse throughout the Bay as water temperatures warm to establish their own home ranges and feeding areas around an offshore structure.

In 1994, the DNR established a conservative 22-inch minimum length limit for Smallmouth Bass in Lake Superior with the support of local anglers. This regulation has been a large success and helped transform the fishery into the high-abundance, high-size structure population it is now. Since 1991, little to no legal harvest of Smallmouth Bass has been detected by our annual Lake Superior creel survey. The low exploitation has led to an increased average lifespan (or older fish) of these basses in Chequamegon Bay. The age of an average-sized Smallmouth Bass caught in this fishery is likely 8-10 years old, but anglers occasionally find themselves tangling with a trophy of 20 years or even older. In 2021, anglers spent almost 22,000 hours targeting Smallmouth Bass in the “catch-and-release” Chequamegon Bay bass fishery, and the Lake Superior creel survey interviewed anglers from 8 different states targeting this fishery.

  • Current regulation: From June 18 to March 5, one fish over 22 inches can be harvested. All other times of the year are catch and release only.
  • Access information: Popular public access points for this fishery include Second Landing and Kreher Park in Ashland. 

FLORENCE COUNTY

Patten Lake - 255 acres. Patten Lake has a low-to-moderate abundance of smallmouth bass, estimated at 1.8 adults/acre. Abundance has been increasing steadily over the last decade, but it isn’t the abundance of smallmouth that will keep you coming back, it’s the size of the bass! During the 2021 survey, approximately 31.2% of the smallmouth bass captured were over 17-inches, which is the highest size structure in Florence County.

  • Current Regulation: Statewide 14-inch minimum, a daily bag limit of 5 when the harvest season is open.
  • Access information: Florence County owns the public landing on Patten Lake. There is a daily launch fee or you can purchase a yearly pass at the Resource Center in Florence.  
  • Interesting Points: There is also a low-density high size structure population of largemouth bass in Patten Lake.

- Greg Matzke, Fisheries Biologist, Florence and Forest counties

JACKSON, MONROE, LA CROSSE AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES

Lower Black River (below the Black River Falls dam, Jackson, Monroe, La Crosse and Trempealeau counties) and upper Black River (above the Black River Falls dam, Clark and Jackson counties) - Catch rates are based on 2021 electrofishing results (expressed as the average number of fish captured per mile of river surveyed). Black River, Lower: Total catch rate was 5.2/mile, catch rate of 14”+ fish was 0.7/mile, and maximum length captured was 18.9”.  In 2020, the total catch rate was 2.8/mile, the catch rate of 14”+ fish was 0.4/mile, and the maximum length captured was 16.7”. Black River, Upper: Total catch rate was 56.3/mile, catch rate of 14”+ fish was 5.8/mile, and maximum length captured was 18.9”. In 2020, the total catch rate was 38.7/mile, the catch rate of 14”+ fish was 2.9/mile, and the maximum length captured was 18.9”.

  • Regulation: 14” minimum length limit, a daily bag limit of 5.
  • Access Information: Upper Black River – Halls Creek Canoe Landing and Black River State Forest unimproved landings off Palm and Brickyard Roads (Jackson County), and DNR boat landing off Opelt Avenue (Clark County). Lower Black River – 3rd Street Canoe Landing (City of Black River Falls), Perry Creek Landing, Mason’s Landing, Irving Township Canoe Landing, Highway 108 Landing near Melrose, WI, North Bend Landing off CTH VV, and Highway 35 landing in Van Loon Bottoms.
  • Other Information: The lower Black River (downstream of the Black River Falls dam) has a continuous (year-round) fishing season for smallmouth bass. 


LA CROSSE COUNTY

Lake Neshonoc - 606 acres (maximum depth: 11 feet). Lake Neshonoc is a 606- acre impoundment of the La Crosse River in the town of West Salem, WI. Spring 2021 netting and electrofishing revealed solid numbers and good sizes of Black Crappie, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass. Black Crappie densities were high in 2021 and good numbers of fish exceeded 9”, with some up to 14.2”. Bluegill densities were moderate with most in the 5-7” range but some exceeding 8” and ranging up to 9.6”. Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass densities were moderate, with Smallmouth up to 17.9” and Largemouth up to 17.6”.

  • Current regulations: General inland waters regulations apply.
  • Access information: Boat landings are located at Swarthout Park off Hwy 16 and at the end of East Tilson St in West Salem. Muskellunge have been stocked in Lake Neshonoc since 2006. Although not abundant, anglers have the opportunity to hook into one of these large “toothy critters” both in the lake and downstream on the La Crosse River.

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MARINETTE COUNTY

Chalk Hills Flowage - 866 acres.

  • Population information: Recent data revealed an average length of smallmouth bass over 15 inches and fish up to 20 inches were collected. There are scattered areas of rock and aquatic vegetation that provide good cover for smallmouth bass.
  • Current regulation: 14-inch minimum/5 fish per day.
  • Access information: Anglers can choose from 4 boat landings from Pemene Falls to the Chalk Hills dam.
  • Of interest: This section of the Menominee rivers supports diverse habitats with shallow river water (less than 5 feet) above Chalk Hills. The impoundment has a maximum depth of 30 ft and 80% of the impoundment is greater than 3 ft. 


ONEIDA COUNTY

Sevenmile Lake - 518 acres, 6.1 miles of shoreline, max depth of 48 feet. This smallmouth bass fishery has a moderate abundance with good size structure and trophy potential. 46% of the fish measured during a 2021 survey were over 14 inches with the largest stretching to 18.8 inches. The bass regulation allows 5 basses of at least 14 inches to be harvested. A public boat ramp with good access and ample parking is located off Sevenmile Lake Road.

- Zach Woiak, Fisheries Biologist, Woodruff

SAWYER COUNTY

Lac Courte Oreilles - Fishing big, beautiful, clear water can be both fun and productive. Lac Courte Oreilles (5,300 acres) in Sawyer County offer that unique fishing experience for many species, but smallmouth deserves the spotlight right now. Some of the early fishing camps on “LCO” were set up so anglers from the big cities could come and catch smallmouth on the many bars and points throughout the lake. Fishing has changed over time, with less emphasis on harvesting smallmouth and better overall size. A 2021 survey found a high relative abundance of smallmouth and almost half of the catch was over 14 inches. Smallmouth over 20 inches have appeared in past surveys and been reported by anglers. There is an 18-inch minimum length limit and a 1-daily bag limit in place for smallmouth bass in LCO. Anglers can access the lake from the state boat ramp off of County Hwy K or town ramps off of Victory Heights Circle or Courte Oreilles Lake Drive. 

WAUKESHA COUNTY

Pewaukee Lake - 2,437 surface acres. Average Length – 13 inches, with fish over 20 inches present. Pewaukee Lake is the largest lake in Waukesha County and has experienced recent increases in northern pike and walleye abundance, improved panfish size structure and trophy muskellunge potential making Pewaukee an exciting angling destination for all anglers. Smallmouth trophy potential continues to add to this dynamic fishery as revealed by fall electrofishing surveys conducted in 2021.

  • Current regulation: 14-inch minimum length, a daily bag limit of 5.
  • Access information: There are two boat launches found on Pewaukee Lake; the Nagawaukee County Park boat launch on the west side and Smokey’s Muskie Shop on the east side. Shore fishing can also be found at Nagawaukee County Park and the public fishing pier in downtown Pewaukee.
     

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NORTHERN PIKE

BURNETT COUNTY

Yellow Lake - 2,283 acres. Based on the results of the 2021 survey, the northern pike population is currently healthy in Yellow Lake. The average length was 21.4 inches and ranged from 11.0 to 33.5 inches. Sixty-two percent of the northern pike collected were over 21 inches. A catch rate of 6.3 fish/net night was observed.

  • Current Regulation: No minimum length limit, five fish daily bag limit.
  • Access: There are three public boat launches at Yellow Lake:  Jeffries Rd, Lake Ave and Yellow Lake Rd.
  • In addition to common gamefish, Yellow Lake has one of the best hook and line sturgeon fisheries in the state.


CLARK COUNTY

Rock Dam Lake - Catch rates are based on 2021 fyke netting results (expressed as the number of fish captured per net lift). The total catch rate was 4.6/net lift, the catch rate of 26”+ fish was 1.0/net lift, and the maximum length captured was 36.5”. In 2013, the total catch rate was 2.9/net lift, the catch rate of 26”+ fish was 0.4/net lift, and the maximum length captured was 34”.

  • Regulation: No length limit/5 fish daily bag limit.
  • Access Information: Boat landing at the county park on the north end of the lake. 

DANE COUNTY

Fish Lake - 405 acres. Fish Lake is a 405-acre seepage lake in Dane County located between Lodi and Sauk City.  A comprehensive fishery survey in 2021 found Northern Pike in moderate abundance relative to other lakes in Columbia and Sauk Counties with a fyke net catch rate of 7.1 fish per net night. A mark-recapture population estimate placed the adult northern pike population at 614 fish or 1.5 fish per acre. In total, 323 unique Northern Pike sampled in 2021 ranged from 10.9-43.7 inches, averaging 24.5 inches. Of Northern Pike larger than 14 inches, 35% were larger than 26 inches which is the minimum length limit. Beyond that, 9% were larger than 32 inches and 2% were larger than 40 inches. In total, 6 fish larger than 40 inches were sampled and the largest fish weighed nearly 21 pounds.  

  • Current regulation: 26-inch minimum length limit, 2 fish daily bag limit.
  • Access information: Lussier Park is managed by Dane County and is in the northeast corner of the lake off Schoepp Rd. Fish Lake now includes Mud Lake. The lakes were historically one waterbody but were separated by a roadway running between them (Fish Lake Road) since 1893. Rising water levels in the area flooded the road in 2019, causing the two lakes to become one again, and completely changing the habitat in the lake. The only way to reach Fish Lake now is by taking Barta Rd south from State Road 60 to Schoepp Rd.


MARINETTE, OCONTO, BROWN AND DOOR COUNTIES

Green Bay and tributaries - Northern pike inhabiting the productive waters of Green Bay have a wide variety of forage to grow quickly. It is not uncommon for anglers to report catching fish in the upper 30 to low 40-inch length range. Because the vast size of the bay reduces competition between top predators and because it hosts an abundance of prey fish such as yellow perch, gizzard shad and round gobies, we do not see stunted populations of pike as is commonly seen in many inland lakes. Over the last 5 years, the catch of northern pike has ranged from 6,000 to 28,000 northern pike, while harvest has ranged from 1,900 to 4,100 northern pike, with two-thirds or more pike released annually despite liberal harvest regulations.

  • Current regulation for Green Bay and major tributaries: Open all year. The daily limit is 5. No minimum length limit.
  • Current regulation for all other Green Bay tributaries: Open on the 1st Saturday in May to the 1st Sunday in March. The daily limit is 5. No minimum length limit.
  • Access information: There are numerous boat access and tributary access locations along Green Bay.
  • See the following websites for detailed information: DNR Boat Access and Tributary Access.
  • In early spring, adult northern pike migrates from Green Bay in tributaries and ditches to spawn in shallow wetlands, often traveling dozens of miles. Culverts that are undersized or improperly set can prevent adult pike from accessing prime wetland habitats. Many partner agencies (federal, county, tribal) have been working to identify and replace poor culverts in streams connected to Green Bay. 


OCONTO COUNTY

Townsend Flowage - 476 acres. The last survey indicated an abundant pike population with fish averaging 22 inches.  Pike over 30 inches was collected. This is a popular winter fishing spot because it’s one of the first local lakes to freeze.

  • Current Regulation: No minimum length /5 fish per day.
  • Access information: There are 3 public boat landings (and several private landings) around the flowage.


POLK COUNTY

Largon Lake - 135 acres. Largon Lake has an abundant northern pike population with a moderate size structure. In a 2021 netting survey, the adult northern pike population was estimated to be 10.9 adults/acre. Of the 721 northern pikes handled in the survey, 30.7% were at least 24 inches.

  • Current regulation: Northern pike in Largon Lake are currently managed with a 32-inch minimum length limit and one fish daily bag limit.
  • Access information: Anglers can access Largon Lake by boat landing on the east side of the lake near 280th Ave. Largon Lake is a productive, shallow (10 ft max) lake. This lake suffered a winterkill in 2013-2014 and should continue to improve in the coming years.


WAUKESHA COUNTY

Big Muskego Lake - 2,260 surface acres.

  • Species population information:  Big Muskego is a shallow lake averaging 3 feet, with diverse aquatic plants and a thriving northern pike population. Average Length – 21” with fish up to 39” observed during 2020 sample.
  • Current regulation: New in 2022 – northern pike slot size.  No minimum length limit, fish between 25 and 35 inches may not be kept, a daily bag limit of two.
  • Access information: There are three public launches located on the lakes’ east, south and southeast sides found on Boxhorn and Durham Drive. The shallow nature of Big Muskego Lake and its abundant aquatic plants attract anglers that prefer canoeing or kayaking in a wild and secluded setting hosted by abundant waterfowl.


WAUPACA COUNTY

White Lake - 1,064 acres. White Lake supports a high-density northern pike population that provides an opportunity for a high-action northern pike fishery. A total of 527 northern pikes were captured in a spring 2021 fyke netting survey, for a catch rate of 16.5 northern pikes per net night. A catch rate of 16.5 pikes per net night ranks out in the 95th percentile for lakes throughout WI, meaning catch rates in White Lake were higher than 95% of the other lakes surveyed. While anglers may catch a lot of northern pike in White Lake, they likely won’t catch many large pikes as the average length of northern pike captured in 2021 was just 17.4 inches. Only 11% of northern pike captured were >20 inches with the biggest being 36.3 inches.

  • Current regulation: Five northern pikes may be kept, but northern pike between 25 – 35” must be released.
  • Access information: Three public boat landings on the south side of the lake. White Lake is also one of the lakes that are included in the statewide panfish special regulations research. The current panfish regulation is a bag limit of 25 panfish, but only 10 of any one species may be kept. The goal of this regulation is to improve the quality of the panfish fishery in White Lake. While anglers are waiting for “flags” on their tip-ups, they can also try catching some nice bluegills, crappies and perch. 

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PANFISH

ADAMS COUNTY

Big Roche-a-Cri Lake - 217 acres. A 2021 spring electrofishing survey was completed for bluegill and largemouth bass.  We caught 191 bluegills, they ranged from 2.6” to 8.3” with an average of 6.1”.  61% of the bluegills were 6” or greater and 2% were 8” or greater.  Relative abundance was 99 bluegills per mile.

  • Current regulation: General Inland Fishing Regulations; 25 daily panfish bag limit.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch off State HWY 13 by the bridge and a launch off 13th Lane near the intersection with Cottonville Avenue.

Sherwood Lake - 216 acres. A 2021 spring electrofishing survey was completed for bluegill and largemouth bass to evaluate the special panfish regulation. We caught 208 bluegills, they ranged from 1.4” to 8.2” with an average of 5.3”. 32% of the bluegills caught were 6” or greater and 1% were 8” or greater.  In 2016, the average size was 5.2”, and 15% of the bluegills were 6” or greater and none were caught greater than 8”.  Additional evaluation of the bluegill growth rates will take place and of the special fishing regulation at the statewide level.

  • Current regulation: 25 panfish with no more than 10 of each species.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch near State HWY 13 off W Queens Way.


ASHLAND AND BAYFIELD COUNTIES

Chequamegon Bay - Yellow Perch can be targeted with success in several areas within the shallow waters of Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior. The big, shallow waters of Chequamegon Bay provide great habitat and maximum growth potential for Yellow Perch. But overall colder water temperatures generally cause Chequamegon Bay Yellow Perch to grow slower than most other populations. On average, Yellow Perch in Chequamegon Bay takes 4 to 5 years to reach 8 inches. Yellow Perch harvest in Chequamegon Bay was around 10,700 fish, which was an increase from 2019 but slightly below average. The mean length of Yellow Perch caught by anglers in 2021 was 8.9 inches, slightly smaller than average. Both harvest and mean length should continue increasing in 2022, as a few larger juvenile year classes continue making their way into the sport fishery. Yellow Perch harvest in Chequamegon Bay comes primarily through the ice (generally over 90% of total harvest), and most ice anglers target Yellow Perch fish from Second Landing, Ashland, and Bono Creek access points. Yellow Perch catch rates have been lower in recent decades compared to the 1970s and 1980s, likely due to higher predator densities as Walleye populations in Chequamegon Bay have recovered and stocking programs for Brown Trout and Splake have become more effective. However, the Bay still produces a respectable Yellow Perch fishery as a result of numerous acres of intact coastal wetland habitat, which provides connectivity with valuable spawning and nursery areas for Yellow Perch and other fish. Some monitoring has even detected adult Yellow Perch using these coastal wetlands in summer, possibly for refuge from predators or temperature extremes.

  • Current regulation: Bag of 25; no length limit.
  • Access information: Popular public access points for this fishery include Second Landing and Kreher Park in Ashland.

- Dray Carl, Fisheries biologist, Bayfield

BARRON COUNTY

Chetek Chain of Lakes - The Chetek Chain of lakes is 3,763 acres and consists of Prairie, Chetek, Tenmile, Pokegama and Ojaski lakes. The Chetek Chain is a consistent producer of 7 to 9-inch bluegills and 8 to 11-inch crappies.  

  • Current regulation: Panfish populations in the Chetek Chain are managed with a 25 fish bag limit and no minimum length limit. There are 11 public boat landings throughout the Chetek Chain. There are also two public fishing piers on the Chetek Chain, one is at Brown’s Landing on Prairie Lake and the other is on the south end of Pokegama Lake off CTH D.The Chetek Chain is an extremely productive “panfish factory” that commonly undergoes heavy algae blooms during summer.


BUFFALO COUNTY

Mississippi River - Pool 6. 2021 fall electrofishing surveys showed a healthy bluegill fishery. Overall, 304 adult and juvenile bluegill were captured per hour. Over fifty percent of surveyed bluegill were greater than six inches, while three in ten were greater than seven inches. Surveyed bluegill topped out at 9.3 inches.

  • Current regulation: Daily limit 15.
  • Interesting Information: Predator/prey interactions are often complex in the underwater world, and the Mississippi River may be even more intricate than others. As bluegill populations vary through time, yellow perch are thought to be a major predator during a bluegill’s early life history. Although a good bluegill fishery still exists, yellow perch populations have been trending upward during the last 20 years and likely have a measurable impact.


CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, OUTAGAMIE, SHAWANO, WAUSHARA, WAUPACA AND WINNEBAGO COUNTIES


The Winnebago System -  Includes the four lakes (Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan) along with all their tributaries from their mouths upstream to the first dam including the upper Fox and Wolf Rivers. 165,246 acres for the lakes and roughly 142 river miles. The Winnebago System continues to provide a variety of panfishing opportunities for anglers during both the open water and ice fishing seasons. Yellow perch continue to be highly sought for and provided some good angling opportunities during the summer of 2021.

The annual Lake Winnebago trawling survey indicated a record yellow perch year class in 2020 (13.8 young of the year (YOY)/trawl) and another measurable hatch in 2021 (5.1/trawl). Therefore, anglers may have some productive perch fishing ahead particularly if the recent year classes experience good overwinter survival.  Strong year classes were also produced for black crappie in 2020 (13.9 YOY/trawl) and 2021 (10.4 YOY/trawl). Adult bluegill catch also ranked as the third highest catch rate on record (1.3 adults/trawl) during the 2021 trawling survey. It is likely that the good aquatic vegetation growth that the system has experienced in recent years, particularly in 2021 has helped to provide additional spawning habitat and cover for panfish.  As a result, anglers may find some productive panfishing opportunities in the system in the years to come.

  • Current Regulations: The season is open year-round for panfish on the system. The daily bag limit is 25 fish in total, with no minimum length limit on any panfish species.  
  • Access Information: There are numerous access points around the Winnebago system. Consult a system map or the DNR’s Boat Access website to search for launch information near where you want to fish.

- Adam Nickel, Senior Fisheries Biologist, Oshkosh

CLARK COUNTY

Mead Lake - 320 acres. Information based on spring 2021 netting results and catch rates is expressed as the average number of fish captured per net lift. Black Crappies - Total catch rate was 56/net lift, catch rate of 9”+ fish was 13/net lift, catch rate of 10”+ fish was 2/net lift, and maximum length captured was 15”. The last comparable netting survey was conducted in 2016. The total catch rate was 187/net lift, catch rate of 9”+ fish was 25/net lift, catch rate of 10”+ fish was 3.7/net lift and the maximum length captured was 16”. Bluegills - Total catch rate was 117/net lift, catch rate of 7”+ fish was 16/net lift, catch rate 8”+ bluegills was 2.1/net lift, and maximum length was 8.8”. In 2016, the total catch rate was 51/net lift, catch rate of 7”+ fish was 30/net lift, catch rate of 8”+ fish was 1.3/net lift, and maximum length captured was 8.4”.

  • Regulation: No minimum length limit/25 aggregate bag limit.
  • Access Information: Two boat ramps are available, one on the north shore and one on the south shore. An accessible pier is located at the county park on the west end of the lake.  
  • Other Information: Handicapped accessible fish facilities in our area are available at Lake Wazee, Black River Flowage, and Teal Flowage in Jackson County, Mead and Arbutus Lakes in Clark County, and Second Lake, Arctic Springs Pond, Lake Henry, and Bugle Lake in Trempealeau County. 

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Bond Lake - 279 acres. Bond Lake provides a good bluegill/bass fishery, which makes it an ideal location for a dual-species outing. Results from a 2021 spring electrofishing survey suggest that bluegills are present in decent numbers with a few nice fish being available. Bluegills were sampled at a moderate rate of 107/mile and ranged from 1.8-9.4”, 38% of which were larger than 6”. There is a nice boat launch located just north of Hwy. T outside of Gordon. 


IRON COUNTY

Long Lake - At 377 acres, Long Lake provides a lot of water to fish off the beaten path, located north of Mercer. Results from a 2021 fyke-netting survey suggest that black crappies are present in decent numbers with some nice fish being available. Black crappies were sampled at a moderate rate of 7.4/net-night and ranged in length from 4.9-10.3”, 31% of which were larger than 8”. There is a boat launch located on the south end of the lake off-of Hwy. G. 


KENOSHA COUNTY

Silver Lake - 516 acres. 2021 spring electrofishing surveys yielded a quality bluegill catch. The observed length range was 3.2 to 8.1 inches with an average length of 5.6 inches.  38% of the fish measured were at least 6 inches.

  • Current regulation: Daily bag limit 25 panfish in total, no length limits.
  • Access information: A state-owned public boat launch is located on the northwest side of the lake off North Cogswell Drive. There is a shore fishing opportunity along the inlet channel and several other spots on the boat launch property and nearby Silver Lake County Park. 


LA CROSSE COUNTY

Lake Neshonoc - Lake Neshonoc is a 606-acre impoundment of the La Crosse River in the town of West Salem, WI. Spring 2021 netting and electrofishing revealed solid numbers and good sizes of Black Crappie, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass. Black Crappie densities were high in 2021 and good numbers of fish exceeded 9”, with some up to 14.2”. Bluegill densities were moderate with most in the 5-7” range but some exceeding 8” and ranging up to 9.6”. Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass densities were moderate, with Smallmouth up to 17.9” and Largemouth up to 17.6”.

  • Current regulations: General inland waters regulations apply.
  • Access information: Boat landings are located at Swarthout Park off Hwy 16 and at the end of East Tilson St in West Salem. Muskellunge have been stocked in Lake Neshonoc since 2006. Although not abundant, anglers have the opportunity to hook into one of these large “toothy critters” both in the Lake and downstream on the La Crosse River.

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LANGLADE COUNTY

Upper and Lower Post Lakes - Upper Post is 757 acres and Lower Post is 378 acres; Fyke netting and electrofishing surveys in 2021 on this system revealed a good panfish fishery for bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, and black crappie. All three species are abundant and have very good size quality. The bluegill population really stands out with a healthy percentage of quality size fish over 8” and going all the way up to 10”. Likewise, the thicker across the back pumpkinseed sunfish population has a good percentage of fish up to almost 9”! Black crappie are very numerous with multiple year classes growing through to larger sizes.  

Good numbers of fish above 9” and up to 12-13” can be found in typical crappie habitat, which includes the newly installed fish sticks on Upper Post and tree drops on Lower Post. No length limit and 25 daily panfish combined. Several nice boat ramps on both lakes and no problem motoring between the lakes. Post Lakes are impoundments on the Wolf River.  Both lakes were formed by a small dam on the warm water portion of the Wolf River in southern Oneida and northern Langlade counties. The Sokaogon Ojibwe band means “Post in the Lake” people, because of the spiritual significance of a post, possibly the remains of a petrified tree, that stood in nearby Post Lake.

- Dave Seibel, Fisheries biolgost, Antigo

MARINETTE, OCONTO, BROWN AND DOOR COUNTIES

Green Bay - In recent years, high water levels on Lake Michigan meant more habitat for fish. This has led to improved perch angling in nearshore, protected areas such as Seagull Bar, the lower Peshtigo River and Duck Creek. In 2020, an estimated 248,485 yellow perch were harvested in open water, up from 82,052 fish in 2019. The 2020 estimates do not include harvest from the May opener to July 2020 so the true harvest was even higher in 2020. Some of this increase may be attributed to more angler interest in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but much of the increase is likely due to improved catch and harvest rates as documented during the creel survey. The majority of the open water harvest was by boat anglers launching at ramps in Door and Kewaunee counties (37%) and Brown county (27%).

  • Current regulation: Open May 20 to March 15. The daily limit is 15 yellow perch. No minimum length.
  • Access information: There are dozens of boat and shore access locations to fish for yellow perch on Green Bay.
  • Check out the following websites for more details and maps: Boat and Shore Access and Lake Michigan Tributary Access
  • Although the majority of yellow perch harvested from Green Bay are 2 and 3 years old, there are a few old perch that still survive. The oldest yellow perch from Green Bay that we’ve seen in recent years was a 15-¼-inch fish that was aged 12 years old.  

POLK COUNTY

Hilbert Lake - 289 acres. Survey work (electrofishing and fyke netting) in 2021 turned up good numbers of bluegill and crappie between 8 and 10 inches. Most of the Hilbert Lake shoreline is made up of sand and there is plenty of vegetation that provides good cover for panfish.

  • Current Regulation: 25 panfish in total (bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, crappie).
  • Access information: Hilbert Lake can be accessed from a boat ramp located on the east side of the lake in Goodman Park or on the west side in Forest County on Hilbert Drive.

SAWYER COUNTY

Nelson Lake - 2,716 acres in Sawyer County has long had a reputation as a great family fishing destination. Ease of access, lots of local amenities, public islands to explore and a fishery that provides a lot of action all make this a great spot to take kids. Of course, when fishing with kids the bluegill is a workhorse species. A 2021 survey of Nelson Lake found the bluegill fishery to be in great shape. The abundance of bluegill was in a very healthy range for lakes of the same type as Nelson, and size offered something that anglers of any age could get excited about. Over 80% of the bluegill in the survey were 6 inches or longer. Nelson also supports a high-density largemouth bass population for the young angler who is ready to graduate to predator fishing. Panfish in Nelson Lake are managed with a 10-daily bag limit and no length restrictions. Anglers can access the Lake from landings at Gerlach Road or at the county park off of Dam Road/Hwy 27. Fishing below the dam on Nelson Lake can also be productive for multiple species. 


VILAS COUNTY

Little Saint Germain - 980 acres. Little Saint Germain Lake provides a plentiful population of panfish that proves a perfect place to procure a panful. Recent fish surveys indicated a robust bluegill population with a good number of fish 7” and some over 9” that should allow anglers to easily fill their creel. The black crappie is also plentiful the majority in the 8” to 10” range, but still a few as large as 13”. Don’t forget about pumpkinseeds, they are also in good numbers with many of harvestable size, sure to keep your line tight.

  • Current Regulation: 25 panfish may be kept, but only 10 of any one species.
  • Access information: There is a very nice public landing located on the west end of Little Saint Germain with ample parking. Additionally, for those who would like to stay on the shores of this Northwoods gem, there are many resorts that line this water and provide private access.
  • Interesting Points: Angling pressure is nearly three times higher than the regional average, so you may want to get out early and don’t forget the worms.  

- Eric Wegleitner, Fisheries Biologist – Vilas County

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Silver Lake - 122 acres. 2021 spring electrofishing surveys yielded a quality pumpkinseed catch. The observed length range was 4.2 to 9.2 inches with an average length of 6.6 inches.  65% of the fish measured were at least 6 inches.

  • Current regulation: Daily bag limit of 15 panfish in total but only 5 of any one species, no length limits.
  • Access information: A county-owned public boat launch is located on the northeast side of the lake at 5607 Peters Drive, West Bend.
  • The current hook and line state record pumpkinseed was caught in Silver Lake in May of 2020 and measured 11.125 inches at 1 pound 3.4 ounces.

 
WAUPACA COUNTY

Graham Lake - 54 acres. Results from a Spring 2021 electrofishing survey showed that Graham Lake supports a high-quality bluegill fishery. A total of 85 bluegills were captured over 1.1 miles of electrofishing, for a catch rate of 77.3 bluegills per mile of electrofishing. A catch rate of 77.3 bluegills per mile of electrofishing ranks out in the 47th percentile for lakes throughout Wisconsin, indicating moderate densities of bluegill can be found in Graham Lake. The average length of the bluegill captured in the electrofishing survey was 6.0 inches with 36.7% of bluegill captured being ≥7 inches and 10.6% being ≥8 inches.

  • Current regulation: 15 panfish may be kept, but only five of any one species.
  • Access information: One boat landing on the east side of the lake.
  • Something that the angler might find interesting: A total of 1,340 large fingerling largemouth bass and 270 large fingerling northern pike were stocked into Graham Lake in the fall of 2017. 

WAUSHARA COUNTY

Irogami Lake - 289 acres. Results from a spring 2021 electrofishing survey showed that Irogami Lake supports a lower density but high-quality bluegill fishery. A total of 116 bluegills were captured over 2.6 miles of electrofishing, for a catch rate of 44.6 bluegills per mile of electrofishing. A catch rate of 44.6 bluegills per mile of electrofishing ranks out in the 34th percentile for lakes throughout Wisconsin, indicating low-moderate densities of bluegill can be found in Irogami Lake. The average length of the bluegill captured in the electrofishing survey was 5.7 inches with 51% of bluegill captured being ≥7 inches and 24% being ≥8 inches. There were also 2 fish over 10 inches sampled and fish over 11 inches have been caught in the past. If you’re looking for a chance at trophy bluegill, Irogami Lake would be a good try. If you’re looking for bluegill action and filling your freezer with eaters you may want to pass on Irogami.

  • Current regulation: 15 panfish may be kept, but only five of any one species during the months of May and June.
  • Access information: One boat landing on the north side of the lake and 2 landings on the south. Irogami is a shallow, clear lake with a maximum depth of around 7 feet. Site fishing through the ice is popular and can be fun, especially for kids.

WOOD COUNTY

Nepco Lake - 496 acres. A 2021 spring electrofishing survey was completed for bluegill and largemouth bass to evaluate the special panfish regulation. We caught 396 bluegills, they ranged from 2.7” to 7.7” with an average of 5.5”; 6.3” was the most frequent length. 36% of the bluegills caught were 6” or greater.  In 2016, the average and most frequent size was 5.0” and 17% of the bluegills were 6” or greater. Additional evaluation of the bluegill growth rates will take place and of the special fishing regulation at the statewide level.

  • Current regulation: During May and June only, 15 panfish with no more than 5 of each species. During the rest of the year a 25 panfish daily bag limit.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch and shore fishing at the Nepco Lake County Park.
     

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CATFISH

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Park Lake - 312 acres. Park Lake is the upstream-most impoundment on the Fox River and is located in Pardeeville in Columbia County.  A comprehensive fishery survey in 2021 found Channel Catfish in high abundance relative to other lakes in Columbia and Sauk counties with a fyke net catch rate of 3.0 fish per net night. In total, 469 Channel Catfish sampled in 2021 ranged from 5.2-28.9 inches, averaging 17.0 inches. Of Channel Catfish larger than 11 inches, 56% were larger than 16 inches, and 5% were larger than 24 inches. Due to the ample forage available in the lake, the catfish are very robust, and fish approaching 10 pounds can be caught in Park Lake.

  • Current regulation: No minimum length limit, daily bag limit is 10 fish.
  • Access information: Two public boat landings including one on State Road 44 on the east side of the lake, and one at the end of Rhode’s Landing near the intersection of Island Drive and Gema Drive on the north side of the lake. Extensive shore fishing access can be found in Chandler Park in the Village of Pardeeville.
  • Something that the angler might find interesting: Spring Lake and Swan Lake, the next two lakes downstream of Park Lake on the Fox River, also boast good to excellent catfish angling opportunities.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Rock River - 5.25 river miles. The Rock River from the Hwy 16 wayside access at Ixonia downstream past Hwy F was sampled for channel catfish during the summer of 2021. The 10-day hoop net survey documented a total of 1,676 channel catfish.  The average length of channel catfish was 16.7 inches. The largest channel catfish was 25.4 inches and 4.88 lbs.  Fifty-six percent of the channel catfish measured were over 16 inches.  A low-pulse electrofishing survey to identify young of the year (YOY) recruitment in this stretch of river was conducted two weeks after the hoop net survey. 61 YOY channel catfish were sampled in 5 miles for a catch rate of 12.2 per mile.

  • Current regulation: No length limit. 10 in total.
  • Access information: Boat ramp/access exists at Hwy 16 Wayside Park just off of Hwy 16 between Ixonia and Oconomowoc. High densities of channel catfish exist throughout this scenic stretch of the Rock River. Eighteen species of fish were captured during the survey providing multiple opportunities for anglers. Some nice walleye were also captured during this survey. 

PORTAGE COUNTY

Stevens Point Flowage and Wisconsin River - 2,489 acres in the flowage and 13 miles from the Du Bay Dam to the Stevens Point Dam. This stretch is also referred to as the Wisconsin R Fl C3-Stevens Pt. The population size structure has varied over time, but on average, about 74% of fish captured in hoop net surveys were 16 inches or greater and 28% of fish were 24 inches or greater.  So the population does exhibit a notable size structure. The densities in this population have been historically in the low to moderate range, based on hoop-net catch rates. The most recent hoop-net catch per unit effort was 3.8 fish per net night which is in the 28th percentile and could be considered fair density compared to other Wisconsin River populations.

  • Current regulation: No minimum length and a daily bag limit of 10.
  • Access information: Best access to channel cats upstream of the flowage is the Old Highway 10 Boat Landing or the Du Bay Dam Boat Landing. The Tailwater below the Du Bay Dam can be fished along the shoreline near Consolidated Power Boat Landing on the west side of the river and on Portage County Land on the east side of the river. This self-sustained population requires no stocking. The lesser-known Whiskey and Whiskers Catfish tournament is held on this part of the Wisconsin River. And the hardcore anglers refer to this stretch of river as the “The Catfish Corridor”.

PRICE COUNTY

Flambeau/Chippewa rivers - Filling a special request from the statewide Catfish Team and the Genetics Lab at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point produced more catfish than our standard river surveys usually do.  In a change from the fish sampling methods typically used in medium- and large-size streams, the DNR’s Park Falls Fishery Team drove its smaller electrofishing boat in unconventional, bank-to-bank, figure-8 patterns to capture 26 channel catfish in a 1½-mile segment of the North Fork Flambeau River in Price County. Using this modified electrofishing technique, Fisheries Management and Water Resources teams captured 20 additional channel catfish in the lower South Fork Flambeau River in late summer 2021.

The peculiar tactic was less effective in the wider and deeper Chippewa River where we caught only one catfish. Catfish length in the combined samples ranged from 17.9 to 26.4 inches. The survey’s purpose was to collect fin tissue samples for laboratory analysis that will characterize channel catfish genetics and identify different strains across Wisconsin’s major watersheds. We rarely encounter any catfish in our non-wadable stream surveys when we sample in our normal straight-line, downstream route along shore. 

- Jeff Scheirer, Fisheries biologist, Park Falls

RACINE COUNTY

Fox River - From the dam in downtown Waterford upstream approximately 5 miles to Bridge Drive. During the 2021 hoop netting survey, a total of 154 channel catfish were captured. Channel catfish lengths ranged from 11.4 to 32.6 inches with an average length of 22.7 inches. Size structure was relatively high quality with 87% of fish captured 16 inches or greater and 48% of fish 24 inches or greater. The catch rate was low to moderate but an excellent forage base in the system produced fish up to 12.5 pounds.

  • Current regulation: There is a year-round open season on the Fox River for all gamefish except muskellunge, lake sturgeon, trout, paddlefish and threatened or endangered species. No minimum length limit and 10 fish total daily bag limit on catfish.
  • Access information: There is a public boat launch and shore fishing at the dam in Waterford and at the state-owned boat launch near Bridge Drive. 

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LAKE STURGEON

CHIPPEWA, EAU CLAIRE, DUNN AND PEPIN COUNTIES

Lower Chippewa River - The Lower Chippewa River (Lake Holcombe downstream to the Mississippi River) offers anglers an opportunity to harvest a lake sturgeon greater than 60 inches during the hook-and-line season, which runs from the first Saturday in September through the end of the month.  If an angler intends to harvest a fish, they must first purchase a harvest tag and, if successful, register their catch. Sixteen lake sturgeon were harvested in the 2021 season, which is slightly above the long-term average of 12 since the 60” minimum length limit has been in place. The majority of the harvest occurred downstream of the last two dams on the lower Chippewa River. Anglers also reported catching numerous sub-legal fish. Nightcrawlers or cut bait presented in deep holes of the river is a good combination for a successful sturgeon fishing trip. Anglers are asked to report tagged sturgeon, which helps biologists better manage this population.

- Joseph Gerbyshak, Fisheries Biologist, Eau Claire


COLUMBIA AND SAUK COUNTIES

Wisconsin River and Lake Wisconsin - 40 miles; Kilbourn Dam in Wisconsin Dells downstream to the Prairie du Sac Dam including Lake Wisconsin. The Lake Wisconsin-Wisconsin Dells segment of the Wisconsin River is home to a healthy population of Lake Sturgeon.  An abundance of adult Lake Sturgeon (≥ 50 inches) in this segment is estimated at 1,500 fish. Angler harvest of Lake Sturgeon from the Lake Wisconsin-Dells reach has averaged 1 fish annually since 2007, due largely to a catch-and-release ethic developing among area anglers. Sturgeon sampling by DNR in the spring of 2021 collected 176 lake sturgeon which ranged from 27.6-71.0 inches, averaging 51.8 inches. In total, 14 fish sampled (8% of the total catch) were larger than 60 inches, which is the minimum length limit. The largest lake sturgeon in this reach can exceed 110 pounds.

  • Current Regulation: The minimum length limit is 60 inches and the bag limit is one fish per season.  The hook and line fishing season runs from the first Saturday in September through Sep. 30.
  • Access information: There is a public boat landing (fee) at Newport Park on County Highway A, managed by the Village of Lake Delton. A second public boat landing is located on Fox Run Road off of County Highway O south of State Highway 16 (free). Shore fishing is available at Newport Park and other scattered locations in the Dells area.  

- Nathan Nye, Fisheries biologist, Poynette

ST CROIX AND POLK COUNTIES

St. Croix River - 52 river miles, St. Croix Falls dam to Prescott, WI. The St. Croix River features an abundant lake sturgeon population completely sustained by natural reproduction. During the 2021 survey, the length of captured lake sturgeon ranged from 14 to 60 inches with an average length of 36 inches. Larger lake sturgeon were observed during the survey that was not captured. In terms of size structure, 22% of fish were longer than 45 inches in length. Fish can be found throughout the river below St. Croix falls dam down to Prescott, however, fish tend to concentrate near the upper Lake St. Croix area during certain times of the year near Bayport, MN as well as the Taylors Falls reach. Current regulation: 1 fish over 60 inches from Sep. 3 to Sep. 30, 2022. Catch and release only June 16 to Sep. 3 and Oct. 1 to March 1.

  • Access information: Boat ramps on the Wisconsin side are located at Prescott, WI and at Ferry Landing Park in North Hudson, WI at the end of Galahad Rd N. Further upriver there is a boat landing at the Somerset Landing off of Ferry Landing Road located north of Somerset, WI. Interstate State Park also offers a boat landing with few parking areas. Minnesota also offers several boat access points at Stillwater and across the river from Osceola, WI. The St. Croix River is designated as a National Scenic Riverway. As such, much of the Wisconsin side of the river north of Somerset, WI is owned and managed by the National Park Service with some DNR-owned land as well which offers plenty of kayaking and canoeing with shore fishing and camping opportunities.
  • The St. Croix River contains a highly diverse fish community with over 92 fish species present with many endangered and threatened species, including blue suckers, river redhorse and crystal darters. Kayaking and canoeing are popular on the river and many NPS campsites are available along the length of the river for overnight trips. Along with the opportunity to catch trophy-size lake sturgeon, flathead catfish are also present in trophy sizes and commonly reach over 50 pounds. 
     

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INLAND TROUT

BARRON COUNTY

Upper Pine Creek -  Upper Pine Creek from its headwaters (west of HWY 25) to the Dallas Flowage is Class I trout water for both brook and brown trout. Recent electrofishing surveys on Upper Pine Creek found 1,000-3,000 brook trout/mile and 1,000-2,000 brown trout/mile. The highest trout densities are found in the headwaters. Lower densities and larger fish are found as you go downstream.

  • Current regulation: Upper Pine Creek trout are managed with a no minimum length limit and a five fish daily bag limit. 
  • Access information: There are several DNR fishing easements on this portion of Upper Pine Creek off CTH U, 16th St., and 4 ½ Ave. Anglers can also access the stream from other road crossings. Upper Pine Creek is typically one of the best streams in Barron County for trout natural reproduction.  

BUFFALO, JACKSON AND TREMPEALEAU COUNTIES

Area Trout Streams - The information is based on results from 25 trout stream survey sites that were electrofished in the summer of 2021.

  • Reproduction: 64% of surveyed streams showed an increasing level of brook trout reproduction. Brown trout reproduction was stable to increase in 60% of surveyed streams.
  • Adults: 56% of surveyed streams showed increasing catch rates of adult brook trout.  Brown trout adult catch rate was increasing in 24% of surveyed streams. Brook Trout ≥ 10 inches: 84% of surveyed streams showed a decreasing level of catchable-sized brook trout. Brown Trout ≥ 12 inches: 52% of surveyed streams showed an increasing level of catchable-sized brown trout.
  • Other Information: Area adult trout populations were generally in good shape in 2021, with growing numbers of brown trout and plenty of smaller adult-sized brook trout heading into the 2022 season. These adult brook trout are expected to grow to desirable sizes in the latter half of the upcoming season. Supplemental trout stocking from DNR and Cooperative hatcheries continues to bolster trout populations throughout the area.  A habitat restoration project was completed on Elk Creek, and another began on Pine Creek, both in Trempealeau County. Many thanks to our partners in the Cooperative Trout Rearing program and Habitat Restoration program for providing more stocked fish, fishing access, and better habitat for our area streams!
  • Regulation: Please see the Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations, 2022-2023 for applicable length and bag limit restrictions for the streams you fish.

FLORENCE COUNTY 

Woods Creek - All 16 miles of Woods Creek are designated as class 1 trout waters. Woods Creek is a major cold-water tributary of the Popple River with an excellent natural brook trout population and a low-density brown trout population. A 1,500-foot station located within the Woods Creek Fishery Area was surveyed in 2021, producing 863 catchable-sized brook trout per mile ranging from 4.5-12.8 inches.

  • Current regulation: Downstream of Hwy 101 - 2 trout over 12”. Upstream of Hwy 101 – 3 trout over 8”.
  • Access information: The Woods Creek Fishery Area is an 80-acre parcel located off of Hwy 101 on Town Hall Road which gives excellent stream and shoreline access to over a 2,500 ft section of stream. There is also access at the Hwy 101 crossing. The Woods Creek Dam, located downstream of the Hwy 101 crossing was removed in 2002. The habitat in the former flowage area has changed and improved drastically over time. Future habitat work in this area is planned to create more pool-riffle-run features and to increase the holding capacity for larger fish.

- Katie Renschen, Fisheries Technician, Florence

FOREST COUNTY

Elvoy and Brule Creeks - Elvoy Creek has 7 miles of class I brook and brown trout water before it flows into Brule Creek.  Brule Creek boasts over 8 miles of class II and over 4 miles of class I trout water before it empties into the Brule River.  Population Information: The Elvoy-Brule streams are a high-quality, productive cold-water system with an excellent natural brook and brown trout population.

This system is considered one of the premier self-sustaining trout streams in the northeast part of the state. During a 2021 survey of this system which totaled over 3 miles, the combined catch rate of brook and brown trout was an incredible 1,013 trout/mile. Even more impressive is that the catch rate of brown trout greater than 15 inches was over 45/miles.

  • Current regulation: 3 trout over 10”.
  • Access information: There are multiple access points on Elvoy Creek including Rock Dam Rd, Fishel Rd, County Highway A, and Kaine Lake Rd. The U.S. Forest Service also controls a high percentage of the land that Elvoy Creek flows through, providing great access. Access points on Brule Creek include County Highway A, Rock Dam Road, Cary Dam Road, Rosen Dam Road, Fishel Road/FR2193, Brule Springs Road, FR 2494, FR 2555, and FR 2960. Over the past few decades, many trout habitat improvement projects have been conducted on the Elvoy-Brule system. The most recent habitat improvement work was completed between the confluence with Elvoy Creek and the Brule River. Starting in 2003 and ending in 2006, a series of four dig-and-pile habitat improvement projects were used to narrow and deepen the stream channel and boulders and whole logs were also added to provide in-stream cover.

- Katie Renschen, Fisheries Technician, Florence


JUNEAU COUNTY 

Little Lemonweir River -  The Little Lemonweir River’s headwaters are in Monroe County; these are Class I with naturally reproducing brook and brown trout, brook trout being more predominant. Class II trout waters start in Monroe County just upstream of CTH N and continue downstream into Juneau County, becoming Class III trout water just upstream of CTH A near the town of Hustler. Brown trout are more dominant than brook trout in Juneau County waters. Trout were surveyed at Krypton Road, CTH A, and CTH H, and brook trout were caught upstream of Krypton Road and at CTH A. Brook trout ranged from 3.4” to 11.5”.

Brown trout ranged from 2.7” to 18.1”. Overall relative abundance of brown trout in Juneau County waters is low to moderate yet these waters have a moderate to a high number of big brown trout. The relative abundance (catch per effort; CPE) of brown trout 6” and larger ranged from 86-211 per mile, 137 per mile average, which is considered low-moderate density (33rd-66th percentile) compared to other brown trout streams in Wisconsin. CPE of 12” and larger brown trout ranged from 20-97 per mile, an average of 42 per mile, which is moderate-high (66th-90th percentile) compared to other brown trout streams.  CPE of 15” and larger brown trout ranged from 10-30 per mile, an average of 20 per mile, and is high (90th percentile) compared to other brown trout streams in Wisconsin.

  • Current Regulation: Inland trout season; 8” minimum length limit with a daily bag limit of 3 in total.  Open to early catch and release season.
  • Access: Anglers have access to the Little Lemonweir River through extensive tracts of Stream Bank Protection Easements, this stream is deep and over your waders in many places making the easements essential for fishing. See the Stream Bank Protection Easements on the department’s public land viewer. 
  • Addition information: Nate Bell and James Bell partnered with NRCS (Jon Field) and Juneau County Land and Water (Dustin Ladd) to complete a trout habitat improvement project in 2021. The 2021 project is located upstream of CTH H (upstream of their 2017 habitat improvement project) and ends just downstream of the Omaha Bike Trail. This project added habitat complexity with overhead bank covers, riffle and pool sequences and some bank stabilization was completed. 

LANGLADE COUNTY

East Branch Eau Claire River - downstream from STH 45; High density and high-size quality brook trout population! There are brook trout here in need of harvest especially in the special regs stretch from Bluebell Road downstream to River Road where the regulations are 5 trout daily, no harvest from 10-16”, and 1 fish over 16” allowed (bait fishing allowed). Higher harvest of small to mid-size trout may improve the numbers of quality size fish greater than 10”. Depending where you fish, about 1 out of every 4 or 5 adult trout (19-25%) in the special regs reach are 8” and 9” and available to harvest.

The rest of the East Branch Eau Claire River is no length limit and 5 trout daily (bait fishing allowed) and has a very good brook trout population. There are numerous road crossings and some DNR fishery area property with parking areas downstream from STH 45 to access the stream. Eau Claire is a French translation of an Ojibwe word meaning “clear water”. Brook Trout – Hunting River, Elton Creek, Evergreen River, South Branch Oconto River, and Wolf River. Brown Trout – Evergreen River, Hunting River, South Branch Oconto River, and Wolf River.

LINCOLN COUNTY

Prairie River and North Branch Prairie River -  The entire North Branch is good trout water and the Prairie River from R & H Road downstream to CTH C is top-notch for both species of stream trout. There are naturally reproducing populations of brook and brown trout throughout each river. Both streams in their entirety have the same regulations: 8” brook trout minimum length limit and 12” brown trout minimum length limit with up to 3 trout in combination daily. Bait fishing is allowed throughout both rivers. There are numerous road crossings and DNR fishery area properties with parking areas to access both streams. Brook trout 8” and larger average about 30% of the adult population and 10” and larger about 8% of the adult population. Brown trout is 12” and larger on average about 30% of the adult population and 10” and larger than about 20% of the adult population.

The summers of 2020 and 2021 saw two habitat projects completed on the Prairie River. From Dagis Road downstream to a DNR easement access on the east side of STH 17 across from Gross Lane about 1.25 miles of stream habitat were improved for trout. Trees, root wads, and boulders were installed, and the stream was configured to run narrower and deeper by installing wing deflectors and islands. This created deeper water and a more complex wood and boulder habitat that adult trout prefer and use within their home ranges as a feeding, resting, and hiding habitat. Brook Trout – Big Pine Creek, Big Rib River, and New Wood River brown Trout – Big Pine Creek.

- Dave Seibel, Fisheries biologist, Antigo

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MARATHON COUNTY

Plover River - The Plover River and its tributaries contain 31 miles of Class I trout water and 22 miles of Class II trout water. This is all located primarily in the upstream part of the watershed. Brown trout are found more frequently in the mainstem portions of the Plover River and in some connected spring ponds. In 2021, rotation surveys indicated that the highest densities of adult brown trout can be found from CTH N to STH 52, where the densities of 6” or greater vary from 119-1229 fish per mile and an average of 447 fish per mile. The density of 9” or greater fish for this same stretch of the river varies 14-581 fish per mile and 215 fish per mile. Brook trout are more prevalent throughout the Plover River compared to brown trout and there are the highest from Hatley and upstream. Brook trout from Hatley upstream that are 5” or greater vary from 102-707 fish per mile and average 372 fish per mile. For the same reaches, brook trout 8” or greater vary from 42-136 fish per mile and average 74 fish per mile.

  • Current regulation: Special Regulation 3 daily bag, minimum length limit 8” for brook trout and 12” for brown trout.
  • Access information: Plover River Fishery Area Parcels provide adequate access as well as numerous public road crossings.
  • No stocking occurs in the Plover River. Both brown and brook trout are entirely supported by natural reproduction. Some of this natural reproduction occurs in these unique habitats called spring ponds that occur both on- and off-channel which are very productive habitats that provide a constant source of flowing water with stable coldwater temperature regimes, year-round. Another thing to note is, Brown trout are becoming more prevalent in locations where they have been found historically and there are some growing concerns about negative interactions between brook trout and brown trout.


MARINETTE AND OCONTO COUNTIES

North Fork Thunder River - Sampling in 2021 produced several brown trout greater than 15 inches and brook trout over 8 inches.

  • Current Regulation:  Opening day to Oct. 15 = 3 fish/bag: 8-inch minimum length limit.
  • Access information: The total length of the North Fork Thunder River is 14 miles and most of the stream is in Oconto County, within the Nicolet National Forest. Once in Marinette County, the river runs completely through private property. Several road/stream crossings on public land (USFS). In 2021, the U.S. Forest Service initiated extensive habitat restoration along the North Fork Thunder River upstream of Bucks Ranch Rd. This project will continue through 2022 and include streambank brushing to reduce tag alder encroachment and the installation of logs to mimic naturally fallen trees, a critical habitat component.

PIERCE COUNTY

Isabelle Creek - 10.6 miles of classified water. Isabelle Creek is a moderately sized trout stream running through the upper Driftless Area and flowing directly into the Mississippi River. There are 7.6 miles of Class II trout water and 3 miles of Class III trout water with brown trout as the dominant species. It is a typical coulee-type stream running through a picturesque valley with high ridges. Brown trout numbers from our survey in 2021 resulted in 2,463 total brown trout per mile with 878 adult fish per mile. There were 51 brown trout per mile larger than 12 inches with fish easily reaching over 15 inches. This stream offers a great opportunity to get away from the crowds that focus on some of the more well-known trout streams in the area while still providing the opportunity to catch quality brown trout in a remote setting. Our survey in 2021 focused on the stream south of the town of Esdaile, however, trout numbers are in similar densities up to 620th St.

  • Current regulation: 3 in total: Brown and Rainbow trout over 12”; Brook trout over 8”.
  • Access information: There are many bridge crossings to access Isabelle Creek from County Rd V heading south on 620th st to the town of Esdaile. There is a town park in the town of Esdaile with a DNR streambank easement located directly upstream of the town park that also provides access. 
  • Brown trout were stocked annually in Isabelle in the past but in recent years the stream has been sustained by natural reproduction. Several fish over 18 inches were captured during a 2017 survey.  

RACINE COUNTY

Tichigan Creek - 1.5 miles of Class III brook trout waters. 2021 surveys yielded a length range of 3.4 to 13.3 inches with an average length of 5.9 inches. The average catch rate of the Tichigan Creek surveys was 371 fish per mile which ranks it around the 85th percentile when compared with all other Class III brook trout waters statewide.

  • Current regulation: Daily bag limit of 3, with a minimum length limit of 8 inches and no gear restrictions.
  • Access information: Tichigan Wildlife Area and Tichigan Springs and Fen State Natural Area encompass most of the classified portion of Tichigan Creek.
  • Tichigan Creek has been stocked annually with brook trout since 2018.


RICHLAND COUNTY

Melancthon Creek - 9.0 miles. Melancthon Creek in Richland County contains a healthy Brown Trout fishery and is classified as class 1 trout water. Stream surveys during the summer of 2021 produced a mean relative abundance of 1,083 Brown Trout per mile (above the Driftless Area median of 252 Brown Trout per mile). The average length was 7.1 inches with a maximum of 16.7 inches. Melancthon Creek contains over 3 miles of public access, thanks to streambank easements and the Melancthon Creek Fishery Area.

  • Current Regulation: 5 trout in total; all Brook Trout caught must be immediately released; Brown and Rainbow Trout – no minimum length. Artificial lures only.
  • Access information: Melancthon Creek Fishery Area and DNR streambank easements.

- Justin Haglund, Fisheries biologist, Dodgeville

SAWYER COUNTY

The Little Weirgor River -  Starts as a series of small tributaries in the Blue Hills of Sawyer County. The Little Weirgor is large trout water for this part of the state, and it has large trout potential to match. Deeper pools within this clearwater stream hold brook trout up to 15 inches according to 2021 DNR fisheries surveys, with brown trout present as well. Good trout fishing can be had by accessing the river from North Polish Road or through DNR land that borders the river both upstream and downstream. Fishing access can also be found off of a town park at Hwy 48 east of Exeland. Good fishing can also be found in some of the upstream tributaries, including Beaver and Buckhorn Creeks which flow through DNR Land. There is an 8-inch minimum length limit and 3-daily bag limit for trout in the Little Weirgor, regulations may differ on tributaries.

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SHAWANO COUNTY

Tiger Creek - 12.1 miles of Class I trout water. Tiger Creek supports a high-density brook trout fishery. Results from electrofishing surveys at four locations during the summer of 2021 showed an average catch rate of 1,184 brook trout per mile of electrofishing (range=245–2,596 brook trout per mile of electrofishing). Catch rates of brook trout were above the 81st percentile at three of the four sites surveyed in 2021, meaning catch rates of brook trout at these sites were higher than 81% of other streams throughout Wisconsin. A total of 34 brook trout over 8 inches and 11 brook trout over 9 inches were captured across the four sites. Additionally, 24 brown trout were captured between the four sites surveyed in 2021. Twenty of the brown trout were captured near Alder Street in Tigerton. While brown trout remain rare in Tiger Creek, anglers have the opportunity to catch some quality brown trout as 11 of the brown trout captured were >10 inches with three being >15 inches.

  • Current regulation: Green trout stream regulation. Daily bag limit of five trout in total with no minimum length limit.
  • Access information: Ten public road crossings and one streambank easement. The DNR has a streambank easement that is only accessible from the Wiouwash State Trail between the towns of Tigerton and Wittenberg. Anglers looking for a more remote fishing opportunity could consider accessing this easement from the Wiouwash State Trail. Anglers can find the exact location of the easement by using the DNR Public Access Lands map.

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY

Nichols Creek (North Branch Milwaukee River) - 4.3 miles of Class I trout waters. 2021 surveys yielded a length range of 2.1 to 12.6 inches with an average length of 7.2 inches. A survey at one popular access site had a catch rate of 520 fish per mile which ranks it around the 55th percentile when compared with other all other brown trout waters statewide.  

  • Current regulation: Daily bag limit is 3, the minimum length limit is 8 inches, no gear restrictions.
  • Access information: About half of the upstream portions of Nichols Creek flow through Nichols Creek Wildlife Area and Nichols Creek Cedars and Springs State Natural Area, just southwest of Plymouth.
  • Nichols Creek supports the natural reproduction of both brook and brown trout. The numbers of brook trout fluctuate from year to year and were down in 2021 with only 2 fish captured in surveys.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Wood Creek - In late July 2021, electrofishing surveys in five segments of Wood Creek confirmed that anglers still have an excellent opportunity to catch wild brook trout and brown trout from populations sustained solely by natural reproduction. Our electrofishing catch rates ranged between 667-1,457 brook trout per mile and 309-1,013 brown trout per mile in the three downstream stations we sampled. By comparison, we caught 0-19 brook trout per mile and 0-16 brown trout per mile in two upstream stations where water temperature and habitat were less favorable for trout. Wood Creek has the “yellow” category of special trout fishing regulations. Anglers may take a daily bag limit of 3 brook or brown trout in total that are at least 8 inches. Among all trout 6 inches or longer in our combined samples, one in four brook trout was a legal-size fish, and the longest was 14 inches. Half of the brown trout ≥ 6” that we captured were legal-size fish ≥ 8”, and the largest was 20 inches.  Wood Creek is located in Taylor County, about 7 miles southeast of Rib Lake, Wisconsin. As part of the Rib River Fishery Area, DNR manages the lands along portions of Wood Creek and the nearby Rib River to assure public access for angling and to protect water quality and stream habitat.

– Jeff Scheirer, Fishery biologist, Park Falls


VERNON, LA CROSSE AND MONROE COUNTIES

Coon Creek Watershed (Coon Creek and its tributaries) - Coon Creek, Bohemian Valley Creek, Rulland’s Coulee Creek, Spring Coulee Creek and Timber Coulee Creek. The Coon Creek watershed is well known for its long history of DNR trout habitat restoration and many great trout fishing opportunities. Despite significant flooding in 2018 and 2021, good trout habitat persists in much of the watershed. Last year, the La Crosse DNR Habitat crew completed over 2.5 miles of trout habitat restoration on Bohemian Valley Creek upstream and along County Highway G. Exceptional fishing was reported in this reach and throughout much of the Coon Creek watershed in 2021. These reports were supported by DNR electrofishing surveys in the watershed, where Brown Trout densities were the highest observed since 2006 and numbers of Brown Trout exceeding 12 inches were the second highest observed since 2006. All signs point to great trout fishing in the Coon Creek Watershed in 2022.

  • Current regulation: Varies by waterbody, see the Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations, 2022-2023.
  • Access information: The Coon Creek Watershed boasts some of the best angler access in the Driftless region, including 38.7 miles of public streambank access. Most access is provided by DNR streambank easements purchased from private landowners by the DNR. To view the locations of public streambank easements in Wisconsin, go to the DNR homepage and search “Public Access Lands Map” or “TROUT tool”. A variety of angling regulations are in place in the Coon Creek Watershed. These regulations are aimed at providing a variety of trout angling opportunities and the DNR the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of various trout regulations. In 2016, the DNR enacted an experimental regulation on Bohemian Valley Creek (daily bag limit of 10, no minimum length limit) to evaluate whether anglers could reduce densities and improve the growth rates of trout. 

VERNON AND MONROE COUNTIES

Bear Creek Watershed (Kickapoo River and its tributaries between Viola and Ontario, WI) -  Kickapoo River (between Ontario and Viola), Brush Creek, Warner Creek, Billings Creek, Weister Creek, Cheyenne Valley Creek, Brush Creek, and Bear Creek. With nearly 187 miles of classified trout water and 44.7 miles of public streambank access, the Kickapoo River and its tributaries between Ontario and Viola, WI support an abundance of trout fishing opportunities. Thanks to improvements in agricultural practices coupled with increased annual precipitation over the past 75 years, groundwater levels have increased and continue to increase throughout the watershed. Improved groundwater discharge into streams, along with widespread habitat restoration and wild trout stocking, have allowed naturally reproducing populations of brown and brook trout to expand throughout the watershed.

All classified trout waters in the watershed currently support self-sustaining Brown and/or Brook Trout populations, with many streams exceeding the statewide median density. Not only do these streams support good densities of Brown Trout, but anglers have the opportunity to catch large (>15”) and trophy (>20”)  Brown Trout on most of the larger streams in the watershed, such as Weister Creek, Warner Creek, Billings Creek, Brush Creek or Cheyenne Valley Creek.

  • Current regulation: Varies by waterbody, see the Guide to Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations, 2022-2023.
  • Access information: The DNR holds several miles of streambank easement as well as state-owned properties in the Bear Creek Watershed. To view access points and locations of public lands go to dnr.wi.gov and search “Public Access Lands Map”.
  • Something that the angler might find interesting: In 2021, the La Crosse Fisheries Management Crew captured a 14” Brown Trout on Warner Creek that was tagged a year prior on Elk Creek, more than 30 river miles away! There are many unclassified trout waters in the watershed that currently support trout. In 2020, 13 unclassified streams were sampled and 12 were found to support naturally reproduced Brook and/or Brown Trout. These streams will be formally classified in the coming years.
     

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ROUGH FISH

CHIPPEWA, EAU CLAIRE, DUNN AND PEPIN COUNTIES

Chippewa River - Sucker fishing is a popular springtime activity for many anglers along the Chippewa River. In the spring, suckers migrate upstream to spawn so smaller tributaries and barriers, like dams, are popular sucker fishing locations. A piece of night crawler with a small hook and split shot is a popular technique. The Chippewa River holds robust populations of many sucker species. The most common species anglers encounter are white suckers, shorthead redhorse, silver redhorse and golden redhorse. If anglers are fishing downstream of the Dells Dam on the Chippewa River, it is good to be aware of certain protected sucker species such as the river redhorse, greater redhorse and blue suckers which must be returned to the river if caught. There is no length limit or daily bag limit on unprotected sucker species.

- Joseph Gerbyshak, Fisheries biologist, Eau Claire

MARATHON COUNTY

Saint Croix Flowage - 2,247 acres. The Saint Croix Flowage offers anglers some good fishing for many popular species, but also provides a quality opportunity for the less-commonly sought-after, bowfin. Bowfin is an aggressive predator that put up quite a tussle when hooked and is not common enough to target many waterbodies in northern Wisconsin. In a 2021 spring electrofishing survey, crews sampled bowfin at a rate of 0.5/mile, which indicates that they are not super-abundant but were surveyed with enough consistency that anglers should be able to target them if desired. Individuals ranged from 21.3”-26.1” and averaged 23.3”, so some nice fish are definitely available. There are two nice boat launches for access on Flowage Lane and Hwy Y, accessible just outside of Gordon. 

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GREAT LAKES TROUT AND SALMON

LAKE MICHIGAN AND TRIBUTARIES

LAKE TROUT 

Lake Michigan provides fantastic fishing opportunities for lake trout, supported by stocking and natural reproduction. A total of 38,271 lake trout were harvested in 2020 lake-wide, which was 39% over the ten-year average harvest. Anglers from Kenosha to Sheboygan reported high catches of lake trout, accounting for 87% of the total lake trout harvest for Wisconsin in Lake Michigan for 2020. Every fall, the Wisconsin DNR conducts a lake trout spawning survey on two nearshore reefs near Milwaukee. In 2020, the average lake trout caught in these surveys was 30.4 inches and 11.3 lbs. In 2021, the average lake trout caught in these surveys was 32 inches and 11.8 lbs.  

  • Current regulation: The lake trout season on Lake Michigan and tributaries has reverted back to a continuous open season with a daily bag limit of 5 in total with other trout and salmon and a minimum length of 10 inches. The Mid-Lake Reef Complex is a refuge for lake trout. No lake trout may be targeted or possessed within the boundaries of the Mid-Lake Reef Complex.
  • Access information: There are numerous boat and shore access locations to fish. Check out the following web pages for more information: Boat and Shore Fishing Access, Fall Shore Fishing and Lake Michigan Tributary Access.

CHINOOK SALMON

Chinook or king salmon are among the biggest salmon/trout species targeted by Lake Michigan anglers. Over 3,500 Chinook were measured during October 2021 at the DNR Salmon Spawning Facility in Sturgeon Bay, and the biggest by weight was 31 pounds (45 inches)! These Chinook ranged from 3-31 pounds (average 17 pounds) and 20-45 inches (average 35 inches). Age based on fin clips ranged from 1-4 years old, including 153 age-1, 252 age-2, 408 age-3 and 20 age-4 from 2017-2020 stocking years. Size within an age group varies, as age-1 Chinook were 3-19 pounds, age-2 (8-22 lbs.), age-3 (5-31 lbs.) and age-4 (9-25 lbs). Average weights of age-3 female Chinook were relatively big during recent years from 2016-2021, following small and variable weights from 2004-2015 (lows of 10.7 pounds in 2007 and 11.9 in 2012). This average weight peaked at 21.9 pounds in 2018 and remained large but decreased to 19.0 in 2021. Several factors impact fish size including the abundance of predators (stocked and wild), prey biomass, and the overall predator/prey balance. The number of Chinook stocked by the Wisconsin DNR increased from 810,000 in 2019 to 1.2 million annually from 2020-2022. Additional Chinook from neighboring states contributes to Wisconsin’s great Lake Michigan fishery too!

- Nick Legler, Fisheries biologist, Sturgeon Bay


STEELHEAD

Upcoming and exciting news for steelhead in Lake Michigan includes 1) a return of the Skamania strain and 2) ongoing clipping/tagging efforts. Different genetic strains of steelhead are stocked into Wisconsin tributaries to create expanded opportunities for anglers, because these strains have different run times for spawning, including early summer through fall (Skamania strain), late fall to spring (Chambers Creek), and spring (Ganaraska). The Skamania strain was discontinued in Wisconsin after 2008 due to fish health concerns, but was reinstated briefly in 2018-2019 on a limited scale, and will now be expanded starting spring 2022 with the stocking into 11 of Wisconsin’s larger tributaries. Total numbers of steelhead (all strains) stocked by the Wisconsin DNR also expanded from 350,000 in 2019 to 460,000 annually from 2020-2022. Yearling steelhead stocked in 2018, 2019, 2020 and upcoming in 2022 were clipped (adipose fin removed) and tagged internally with a tiny 1-mm coded wire tag (CWT) as part of a cooperative and lake-wide program with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate steelhead wild production, movements, growth and stocking practices. CWTs will help evaluate the performance of stocked steelhead by region (north vs. south vs. Green Bay), river size (small vs. large), and strain (Chambers vs. Ganaraska vs. Skamania).

- Nick Legler, Fisheries biologist, Sturgeon Bay


COHO SALMON

The coho fishing season typically starts off in the warmer southern waters of Lake Michigan and then progresses northward all the way to Sheboygan waters. Much of the best coho fishing occurs in June and early July. In the 2020 creel survey, Kenosha and Milwaukee harbors reported the highest harvest although Racine usually produces large numbers of coho as well.  An estimated 40,349 coho were harvested in 2020. Unfortunately, the creel survey was not conducted until July of 2020 so harvest from recreational anglers could not be estimated from March through June. Coho salmon are spawned at both the Root River Steelhead Facility (RRSF) in Racine and the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility (BAFF) in Kewaunee. In 2021, approximately 2,340 cohos were captured at the RRSF and 701 were captured at BAFF. Eggs were collected at both facilities to help achieve the 2022 goal of stocking 500,000 cohos in Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan. The average length of coho captured in the RRSF in 2021 was 22 inches and the average weight was 4.26 lbs.

- Nick Legler, Fisheries biologist, Sturgeon Bay

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ASHLAND, BAYFIELD, IRON AND DOUGLAS COUNTIES

Lake Superior. Brown Trout and Splake fisheries provide outstanding spring and fall trolling and ice fishing opportunities in shallow, nearshore waters of Lake Superior. The goal of these fisheries is to provide both trophy and harvest opportunities that are easily accessible to more anglers by small watercraft, by the shore, or by nearshore ice fishing areas. The recent success of these fisheries can be attributed to a DNR offshore yearling stocking program which comprises two key components. First, hatchery staff hold and grow fish longer, and fish are stocked out in the lake in their second spring (i.e., ~18 months old) when food availability is increasing (helping survival). Second, management staff assists with spring stocking by scattering fish with the R/V Hack Noyes in many locations around the Lake Superior shoreline not accessible to a stocking truck and away from many predators. In summary, an offshore, scattered stocking strategy of larger fish during an optimal time of year for survival has dramatically increased the efficiency of Brown Trout and Splake stocking programs.  


BROWN TROUT
Seeforellen strain Brown Trout are stocked from most major Wisconsin ports (Superior, Little Sand Bay, Bayfield, Washburn, and Saxon Harbor). Seeforellens have proven to prosper in the big lake environment, growing bigger and living longer than other naturalized strains in Lake Superior. Since fully implementing the offshore yearling stocking program of Seeforellen Brown Trout in 2011, the annual harvest of Brown Trout measured by the DNR creel survey has more than doubled, and on average, about 60% of harvested Brown Trout originate from DNR stocking. Seeforellen Brown Trout can attain large, trophy sizes in Lake Superior (many observed with lengths in mid-30 inches) but can also make excellent table fare to harvest and bring home to the grill. The mean length of a harvested Brown Trout in the 2021 sport fishery was 21.9 inches. 


SPLAKE
Splake is a hybrid between a female Lake Trout and male Brook trout and is only stocked in the Chequamegon Bay area. Splake does not generally attain large, trophy sizes but are commonly easy to catch nearshore during spring, fall and ice seasons, creating a great harvest-oriented sport fishery. Since fully implementing the offshore yearling Splake stocking program in 2017, Splake harvest has tripled in the Chequamegon Bay region of Lake Superior. The mean length of a harvested Splake in the 2021 sport fishery was 17.7 inches. Brown Trout and Splake fishing in 2022 should continue to attract many anglers to the Chequamegon Bay region!

  • Current regulation: Five in total; 15-inch minimum length limit.
  • Access information: Main access locations can be found in Superior, Port Wing, Cornucopia, Little Sand Bay, Red Cliff, Bayfield, Washburn, Ashland and Saxon, WI.

- Dray Carl, Fisheries biologist, Lake Superior


LAKE TROUT
Lake Trout is the most popular species that anglers target in the Apostle Islands and Western Arm regions of Lake Superior. 2021 was a good year for Lake Trout fishing in Lake Superior, as our annual creel survey estimated a record high amount of anglers fishing Wisconsin waters of the big lake. In WI-2 (Apostle Islands region) good ice conditions (reaching deeper water) and warmer-than-average water temperatures in spring and early summer resulted in high harvest numbers and set the pace for the season. DNR was forced to close the Lake Trout season early in WI-2 as anglers reached the sport fishing allotment of the safe harvest level on August 16, 2021. Due to the early closure, the total Lake Trout harvest in WI-2 ended near average for the region. Regardless, Lake Superior charter captains and clientele fished more hours in 2021 than any year in the past several decades in the Apostle Islands (WI-2). We suspect the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic likely led to these increases in fishing efforts, as more people spent time out on the water or ice, and the Canada border remained closed into August 2021. In WI-1 (Western Arm region) angler effort was similar to 2019, but Lake Trout harvest was lower than average. Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior support the most productive fisheries in the entire lake.

However, Lake Trout roaming these waters are long-lived (some trout documented over 50 years old!) and slow-growing, which means they require a little more protection than most fisheries to prevent overharvest. So, we use the best data and science available to our team to set harvest limits for the fishery (including sport, commercial and tribal commercial harvest). The 2022 Lake Trout quotas in both WI-1 and WI-2 will remain the same as in 2021 but will soon be reevaluated as we update models with recent data. The average length of harvested Lake Trout in Lake Superior is generally around 22 inches due to size regulations outlined below, but 35 and 40-inch trophy Lake Trout are often caught and released in Lake Superior. If you decide to release a Lake Trout, remember these helpful tips for helping fish survive. July and August are the most popular months to troll for Lake Trout, and several “sport-fishing only” zones exist to help anglers avoid commercial fishing nets. As the ice thickens into deeper areas of the Apostle Islands, anglers enjoy great Lake Trout ice fishing, or deep-water “bobbing”, in the mid-late winter months. Our team continues to tag thousands of Lake Trout each year during assessments. So, if you ever come across a tagged Lake Trout in Lake Superior, be sure to relay the tag number to the Bayfield DNR Office to learn the often-fascinating history of the fish you just caught. Lake Trout fishing in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior should remain some of the best in the world, predominately sustained by natural reproduction in the Apostle Islands!

  • Current regulation: The Lake Trout season is open from Dec. 1 through Sep. 30. 15-inch minimum length limit, but only 1 over 25 inches. West of Bark Point (WI-1): bag limit of 3; East of Bark Point (WI-2): bag limit of 2. The Lake Trout season may be closed early if the annual quota is reached prior to the regular season closure date.
  • Access information: Main access locations can be found in Superior, Port Wing, Cornucopia, Little Sand Bay, Red Cliff, Bayfield, Washburn, Ashland, and Saxon, WI. 


DOUGLAS COUNTY

Bois Brule River - 44 miles total, 24.5 miles downstream of U.S. Highway 2. 7,255 wild Steelhead were counted passing the Brule River Sea Lamprey Barrier /Fishway from Fall 2020 through Spring 2021. The majority of the steelhead run occurred during the fall and peaked in early October of 2020. This was typical for the river. Eighty-three percent of the total ranged from 20 to 25 inches and weighed three to five pounds. Nine percent exceeded the minimum length limit of 26 inches.

  • Current regulation: Season is different for lower and upper rivers. Lower River: Downstream from U.S. Highway 2. Season: Open March 27 through Nov. 15; Minimum length: 26 inches; Daily bag: 5 trout and salmon in total, only one may be a rainbow trout.  Upper River: Upstream from U.S. Highway 2; Season: Open May 1 to Sep. 30.  
  • Access information: Go to the Brule River State Forest webpage and click on the “Maps and Pubs” tab. All-access points only at designated areas in the Brule River State Forest. Easy access at many points, especially U.S. Highway 2, High Landing angler lot, Copper Range Campground, Pine Tree Canoe Landing, and State Highway 13. 
  • Steelhead fishing on the Brule’s lower section (downstream from U.S. Highway 2) is a long-standing tradition for many anglers and a new experience for others. While fly fishing has become more popular over the years, anglers continue to use other tackle including spinners, spoons, and crankbaits. All are effective, though can depend strongly on technique under the river’s variable conditions. Steelhead (and other migratory trout and salmon) run timing typically depends on water temperature, river flow, or a combination of these and other factors. While low river flow makes for easier access and fishability, it can make steelhead more difficult to catch. On the other hand, the moderate river flows help make the water more turbid or cloudy, which can make steelhead less guarded of disturbances in and out of the water. Brule River flow data are available through the U.S. Geological Survey website. The average length of angler-caught steelhead has ranged from 18.1 inches to 22.8 inches since 1949.

-Paul Piszczek, Fisheries Biologist, Superior
 

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URBAN FISHING

KENOSHA, MILWAUKEE, OUTAGAMIE, OZAUKEE, RACINE, ROCK, SHEBOYGAN, WALWORTH, WASHINGTON AND WAUKESHA COUNTIES

Urban Fishing Waters - Include: Kenosha County: Anderson Park, Bong Children’s Pond; Milwaukee County: Brown Deer Park, Dineen Park, Estabrook Park, Franklin High School, Greenfield Park, Holler Park, Humboldt Park, Jackson Park, Juneau Park, Kosciuszko Park, McCarty Park, McGovern Park, Miller Park, Mitchell Park, Oak Creek Parkway, Saveland Park, Schoetz Park, Scout Lake, Sheridan Park, Washington Park, Wilson Park; Outagamie County: Appleton Memorial Pond; Ozaukee County: Harrington Beach Quarry, Mequon Rotary Park East and West, Pucketts Pond, Schowalter Park, Willow Brooke Park; Racine County: Gorney Park, Johnson Park, Lockwood Park, Pritchard Park, Quarry Lake, Reservoir Park; Rock County: Lions Park Pond; Sheboygan County: Kohler-Andrae State Park Pond, Sheboygan Quarry, Memorial Park, River Park Lagoon; Walworth County: Ceylon Lagoon, Congdon Park, Millpond Park Pond; Washington County: Boot Lake, Hartford Millpond, Homestead Hollow Park, Kewaskum Millpond, Regner Pond, Sandy Knoll Park, Wells Lake, Wiedenbach Park Pond; Waukesha County: Calhoun Park, Delafield Rearing Pond, Foxbrook Pond, Heyer Park North and South, Lapham Peak Pond, Lepper Dam Millpond, Lions Park-Overland, Menomonee Park, Minooka Park, Muskego Park, Nixon Park, Regal Park and Woodfield North and South.

  • Lake size: Urban fishing waters are small lakes and ponds under 25 acres. Ponds are stocked annually with rainbow trout from the state hatchery system.  The average length is about 8 inches.  Normal stocking partnerships and collaborations will resume once the public health emergency has subsided.
  • Current regulation: Designated urban waters have a year-round season, no length limits, and a special season (March 12 through April 29, 2022; March 11 through April 28, 2023) for juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers. They also have a daily bag limit of three (3) trout, one (1) gamefish (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, and northern pike), and ten (10) panfish (bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and bullhead)  
  • Access information: Shore fishing opportunities are found at all urban ponds.
  • Stocking information: Available seasonally on the Urban Waters Fishing Hotline at 414-263-8494 or toll-free at 888-347-4563.
  • Kids Clinics: Urban fishing waters are a great place to take kids fishing and many host free kids fishing clinics for both ice fishing and open water. For clinic information, visit the DNR angler education webpage.
  • Select urban fishing waters in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties were sampled by fisheries staff in summer 2020 for the first time since 2009. Ozaukee County ponds sampled included the Harrington Beach Quarry, Mequon Rotary Ponds, and Schowalter Park Ponds. Young-of-year and adult largemouth bass were caught in both the Harrington Beach Quarry and the Mequon Rotary Ponds. These ponds are a great opportunity to catch largemouth bass! Bluegill was also caught in all three of these ponds. In Milwaukee County, ponds sampled included Greenfield Park, Humboldt Park, Juneau Park, Scout Lake, Sheridan Park, Washington Park, and Wilson Park. Species caught included largemouth bass (young-of-year and adult), yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, yellow and black bullhead, and golden shiners. Panfish ages in general ranged from 2-4 years. We hope to sample additional ponds in future years.

 - Laura Schmidt, Fisheries biologist, Milwaukee

LANGLADE COUNTY

Remington Pond - City of Antigo - 5 acres. Only juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers may fish. Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and brook trout in the fall. The Antigo Chapter of Trout Unlimited periodically stocks trout also for the kids to enjoy. Open year-round – no length limit, 3 trout per day, 1 bass or northern pike per day, 10 panfish (bluegill, sunfish, crappie, perch, bullhead) per day. Fishing dock.


LINCOLN COUNTY

Mirror Lake - City of Tomahawk - 4 acres. Only juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers may fish. Stocked with rainbow trout in the spring and brook trout in the fall. Open year-round – no length limit, 3 trout per day, 1 bass or northern pike per day, 10 panfish (bluegill, sunfish, crappie, perch, bullhead) per day. Fishing dock.


WASHINGTON COUNTY

Regner Park Pond - 2 acres. The pond is stocked annually with rainbow trout from the state hatchery system.  The City of West Bend also regularly stocks other species.

  • Current regulation: Year-round season, no length limits, and a special season (March 12 through April 29, 2022; March 11 through April 28, 2023) for juveniles 15 years of age and younger and certain disabled anglers. There is also a daily bag limit of three (3) trout, one (1) gamefish (largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, sauger, and northern pike), and ten (10) panfish (bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, and bullhead).
  • Access information: (best access point(s), shore fishing opportunities, etc.) Regner Park, 800 N Main Street, West Bend, WI 53090. Regner Park Pond was recently dredged and fish habitat was added to improve the angling experience. Other park amenities include trails, sports facilities and play areas, plus a summer swimming pond and winter ice rink.

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