Getting Your Wisconsin Fishing License

December 5, 2022

The Department of Natural Resources of Wisconsin imposes some fishing regulations to reduce the adverse effects of fishing on the fish population. These regulations help preserve excellent fishing for future generations. 

In light of this, you will need to be aware of the regulations guiding fishing practices in Wisconsin to determine if you need to get a license. There’s a higher chance that you will need one anyway. So, as long as you have a license, you can fish in any state’s waters. 

Here, we will help you discover what you need to know about getting your Wisconsin fishing license before fishing with us.

When Do You Need A Fishing License In Wisconsin?

As we stated earlier, you must obtain a Wisconsin fishing license before boarding a Wisconsin fishing vessel. As long as you have your license, you can fish in any water body within the state, whether you reside there or not. 

However, there may be some restrictions depending on the type of fish you are aiming for. You will most likely require a certain stamp known as stamp privilege if you intend to go after some special fish.

Here are the fishes you will need a stamp privilege for

  • Trout or Salmon: If you aim to fish for trout or salmon fishes in inland waters, you will need to get an Inland Trout Stamp Privilege. However, if you intend to get these fishes in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Green Bay, or other streams that link into Green Bay and Lake Michigan, you will need a Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp Privilege.
  • Lake Sturgeon: You will also need a special stamp privilege if you intend to fish for Sturgeon. According to the rules, you must first get an inland tag for sturgeon fishing in inland waters and Lake Superior. 

You may also get a Wisconsin/Michigan boundary water tag. This particular tag will be very useful if you intend to fish more on the Menominee River.

How Much Is A Fishing License In Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, residents pay as high as $20 for an annual fishing license, while non-residents pay $50. You can also get the 1-day fishing license which costs  $8 for residents. Non-residents, on the other hand, usually pay $10 for the one-day fishing license.

Aside from the above options, Wisconsin offers many fishing license options at various pricing points and incentives. This better meets each customer’s needs.

You can look at the succeeding paragraphs to learn more about these prices, discounts, and alternatives.

Wisconsin Fishing License For Residents

Here are some of the major license pricing for residents

Resident Fishing LicenseCost
First-time buyer$5
Junior (16 & 17)$7
Senior Citizen (65 years & older)$7
Inland Trout Stamp$10
Great Lake Salmon/Trout Stamp$10
Great Lake 2 days$14
Sturgeon Spearing Lake Winnebago$20
Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing$3
Sturgeon Hook & Line Inland$20
Sturgeon Hook $ Line Wisconsin/Michigan$50

Wisconsin Fishing License For Non-residents

Here are some of the major license pricing for non-residents

Non-resident Fishing LicenseCost
First-time buyer$25
1 Day$10
4 Day$24
15 Day$28
Inland Trout Stamp$10
Great Lake Salmon/Trout Stamp$10
Great Lake 2 days$14
Sturgeon Spearing Lake Winnebago$65
Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing$65
Sturgeon Hook & Line Inland$50

What Age Do You Need A Fishing License In Wisconsin?

If you are 16 and above, you must get a fishing license before fishing in Wisconsin. But you can fish without a license if you were born before 1927.

When Do Wisconsin Fishing Licenses Expire?

According to the Wisconsin department of natural resources, fishing licenses usually remain valid from April 1 through March 31 of the following year.

Getting A Wisconsin Fishing License Online

Although you can get a Wisconsin fishing license at many retail spots, such as sporting goods stores or bait and tackle shops, you can also get them online. Simply go to Go Wild

Licenses and permits are available on Go Wild to both residents and non-residents of Wisconsin. You can also find more information through Green Bay Trophy Fishing.

If you need help with the procedures to purchase the ticket online, you can visit this link to view the step-by-step tutorials on Go Wild.

What Is A Wisconsin Lifetime Fishing License?

The lifetime fishing license is a license that lasts the holder for their lifetime.

Though this type of lifetime fishing license is available in some states like Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio, it has yet to be made official in Wisconsin.

Some State Representatives and Senators once proposed creating a lifetime Wisconsin fishing license. At the time of the announcement, the pricing was proposed to cost about $577.50.

There hasn’t been any news of the proposal being made official.

Do Senior Citizens Need A Fishing License In Wisconsin?

Though some senior citizens in Wisconsin don’t need a fishing license before they can fish, not all qualify for free fishing. You must be born before January 1, 1927, before you can be eligible for free fishing in Wisconsin.


We hope we’ve been able to help you with all the information regarding getting your Wisconsin fishing license. You can visit this link if you need help with getting your license.
Also, if you need a fishing guide for your fishing trips in Wisconsin, don’t hesitate to reach us at Green Bay Trophy Fishing. We provide the best fishing guide service in the Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay area.

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