How Much Is A Fishing License In Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has two Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and over 2,500 trout streams, so there is plenty of fish to catch! There are over 160 fish species found in Wisconsin’s waterways, including black crappie, catfish, walleye, and others. To fish legally, you must have a fishing license wherever you choose to fish. 

So how much is a fishing license in Wisconsin? Continue reading below to learn more about the specific cost of each permit, discount packages, where to buy one, and other useful Wisconsin fishing information. 

Requirements For Wisconsin Fishing Licenses

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources uses fishing licenses to help control angler impact on fish populations. Before hitting the water, ensure you understand the fishing license rules and whether you need to purchase one. In Wisconsin, anyone aged 16 and up must have a fishing license to fish in any state’s waters. This rule applies whether you are a resident or a non-resident.

Depending on the species you intend to fish, you may also need a stamp privilege. If you want to feel, you must have a stamp privilege:

  • Lake Sturgeon: To harvest a lake sturgeon, you must obtain an inland tag valid for sturgeon harvest in inland waters and Lake Superior and a Wisconsin boundary water tag reasonable for sturgeon harvest on the Menominee River.
  • Trout or Salmon: To fish for trout or salmon in inland waters, you’ll need an Inland Trout Stamp Privilege, Salmon Stamp Privilege, and a Great Lakes Trout. To catch trout and salmon in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and streams that flow into Green Bay and Lake Michigan from their mouths up to the first dam or lake.

Wisconsin Fishing License Exemptions  

Sure, anglers are exempt from the need for a Wisconsin fishing license. These are some examples:

  • Those who fish on Wisconsin’s free fishing weekends are held every year on the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June and the third successive Saturday and Sunday in January.
  • Groups of disabled people on fishing trips led by non-profit organizations that have received a waiver from the Department of Natural Resources

How Much Does A Wisconsin Fishing License Cost?

Wisconsin is well-known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Depending on how serious you are about fishing, you can choose from various licenses. 

Resident Fishing License

Residents’ options differ from those of non-residents. Wisconsin residents can take advantage of youth and senior citizen discounts. There are also one-day and two-day permits available and annual packages for residents.

  • Wisconsin Annual Fishing License: $20
  • 1-day (which can be applied toward an annual fishing license upgrade): $8
  • First-time buyers of Wisconsin Fishing License or those returning to fishing after at least ten years without a license: $5
  • Spousal Wisconsin Fishing License: $31
  • Junior Wisconsin Fishing License (for ages 16 and 17): $7
  • Senior Wisconsin Fishing License (age 65 and up): $7
  • 2-day Wisconsin Great Lakes Fishing License: $14
  • 2-day Wisconsin Inland Lake Trout Fishing License: $14
  • Wisconsin Fishing License with Inland Trout Stamp: $10
  • Wisconsin Fishing License with Great Lakes Salmon/Trout Stamp: $10
  • Wisconsin Fishing License, with several options depending on where and when you intend to fish: $3-$20
  • Veteran/disabled Wisconsin Fishing License – $3
  • Disabled Wisconsin Fishing License – $7
  • Residents of the Armed Forces who are on furlough or leave from active duty Wisconsin fishing license: $0

Non-resident Wisconsin Fishing License 

Non-resident licenses are more expensive than residents, and no discounts are available for people of different ages. However, parents with children aged 16 to 17 can take advantage of the annual family package for $65. This allows two parents and up to two children to fish all year.

  • Wisconsin Fishing License (Annual): $50
  • Annual Wisconsin Fishing License for Families: $65
  • Wisconsin Fishing License for the First-Time Buyer: $25.75
  • Wisconsin Fishing License for One Day: $10
  • Wisconsin 4-day fishing license: $24
  • 15-day family Wisconsin Fishing License: $40
  • 15-day Wisconsin Fishing License: $28
  • Great Lakes Fishing Wisconsin Fishing License: $14
  • Wisconsin Fishing License with Great Lakes Salmon/Trout Stamp: $10
  • Military fishing Wisconsin Fishing License: $20
  • Inland Trout Stamp Wisconsin Fishing License: $10
  • Sturgeon, with several options depending on where and when you intend to fish: $3-$65

Where Can You Buy A Wisconsin Fishing License?

Purchasing a fishing license is now extremely simple and convenient. A Wisconsin fishing license can be purchased online or at one of the 1,00 DNR license vendors. These options make buying a permit a breeze.

  • License Agent: You can purchase a fishing license from one of the state’s many Wisconsin fishing and hunting license sales locations. The Department of Natural Resources website includes a searchable Agent availability map
  • Online: You can purchase your license at the Department of Natural Resources’ website, To purchase your permission, you must first log into your account or create a new one if you do not already have one. You can also renew your license online with this option.

Fish To Catch In Wisconsin

If you’re wondering what kinds of fish you can target and catch, here’s a list of the most popular game fish legal to see in Wisconsin.

  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Catfish
  • Lake Sturgeon
  • Musky
  • Bullheads
  • Northern Pike
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • White
  • Pumpkinseed

Common Questions About Wisconsin Fishing Licenses

Q: What Happens If I Misplace My Wisconsin Fishing License?

Don’t be concerned if you misplace your Wisconsin fishing license! You can always get a new copy if you have your license number. Simply re-print the permit from the same portal where you purchased it. There’s nothing to worry about and no extra charge, so get back on the water immediately!

Q: What Is The Penalty In Wisconsin For Fishing Without A License?

All Wisconsin residents and non-residents aged 16 and up must have a fishing license. The fine for fishing without a fishing license varies by county. On the other hand, anglers caught fishing without valid permission should expect a minimum fine of $100 or more.

Q: In Wisconsin, How Many Fishing Rods Are Allowed? 

The number of rods allowed in Wisconsin is not explicitly stated in their regulations. Most anglers can use three fishing rods simultaneously as long as no multiple hooks, baits, or lures are tied on.

Q: Is A Fishing License Required On A Private Lake In Wisconsin?

A fishing license is not required for a resident fishing in a pond on private property owned by someone who grants permission. It must also be contained on personal property and be a body of water.


This article solves all the issues: How much is a fishing license in Wisconsin? Residents and non-residents must have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters, as in most other states. Research and purchase a fishing license that best suits your angling needs. I hope you’re ready to go fishing on all of Wisconsin’s beautiful waters with the information in this post. Please contact your local DNR office if you have any questions. It’s time to grab your rod, locate a local guide, and fish.

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