Fishing in Wisconsin is a cherished activity, offering abundant opportunities to catch a variety of fish species in its numerous lakes, rivers, and streams. To enjoy this pastime legally, you need a valid fishing license. This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining a fishing license in Wisconsin for the 2024 season, ensuring you are well-prepared for a successful fishing experience.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Wisconsin?

Anyone aged 16 or older must have a valid fishing license to fish in Wisconsin’s waters. This requirement applies to both residents and non-residents. However, there are specific exemptions:

  • Children under 16 years of age do not need a fishing license.
  • Residents born before January 1, 1927, are exempt from needing a fishing license.
  • Individuals with certain disabilities may qualify for a free fishing license.

Types of Fishing Licenses Available in 2024

Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing licenses to accommodate different needs and residency statuses. Here are the main types:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Resident Fishing License: $20, valid for one year from the date of purchase.
  • Resident Senior Citizen Fishing License: $7, for residents aged 65 and older.
  • Resident Disabled Fishing License: $7, for residents with qualifying disabilities.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Annual Non-Resident Fishing License: $55, valid for one year from the date of purchase.
  • Non-Resident 4-Day Fishing License: $29, valid for four consecutive days.
  • Non-Resident 15-Day Fishing License: $33, valid for 15 consecutive days.

Additionally, Wisconsin offers various stamp privileges, such as the Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp ($10), required for certain types of fishing.

How to Purchase Your Wisconsin Fishing License in 2024

There are several convenient ways to purchase your Wisconsin fishing license:


Visit the Go Wild License System website ( to purchase your license online. This is the quickest and most convenient option.

Over the Phone

Call the DNR’s licensing hotline at 1-888-936-7463 to purchase your license by phone.

In Person

Visit an authorized license agent, such as a bait and tackle shop, sporting goods store, or DNR service center, to purchase your license in person.

Remember to have your personal information (name, address, date of birth) and payment method (credit card or cash) ready when purchasing your license.

New Fishing Regulations for the 2024-2025 Season

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) updates its fishing regulations annually to ensure sustainable management of the state’s fisheries. For the 2024-2025 season, several new regulations have been implemented:

  • Statewide daily bag limit of three walleye/sauger per day on all inland waters.
  • New small tournament registration requirement.
  • Daily bag limit of 10 panfish in Lake Mendota in Dane County.
  • Musky minimum length limit changed to 50 inches on the Wisconsin River from the Lake DuBay Dam upstream to the first dam in Merrill.
  • Creation of an urban fishing pond in the Village of Suamico in Brown County.

For a complete list of changes, visit the DNR’s fishing regulations webpage.

Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

Wisconsin’s waters are threatened by aquatic invasive species, which can harm native fish populations and ecosystems. As responsible anglers, it is crucial to take preventive measures:

  • Inspect and remove any plants, mud, or debris from your boat, trailer, and equipment.
  • Drain all water from your boat, live wells, and bilges.
  • Never move live fish or bait from one body of water to another.

By following these steps, you help protect Wisconsin’s aquatic ecosystems and ensure sustainable fishing for future generations.


Obtaining a fishing license in Wisconsin for 2024 is straightforward and can be done online, over the phone, or in person. Make sure to review the latest fishing regulations, take precautions against the spread of invasive species, and enjoy the state’s abundant fishing opportunities responsibly.

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