How Much Is a Fishing License in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Fishing License

While planning for an upcoming fishing trip to Wisconsin. I needed make sure I had a valid fishing license for our angling adventures. But I was unsure of how much they cost and where I could purchase one. So I did some research and here is what I found.

So how much does a Wisconsin Fishing License cost? A fishing license in Wisconsin costs $20 for an annual resident license and $50 for a nonresident. A 1-day fishing license costs residents $8 (for a first time license) and $10 for nonresidents.

However, Wisconsin offers different types of fishing licenses at a variety of price points and discounts to help fit each individual need.  

If you would like to learn more about the specific cost of each license, discount packages, where to buy one and some other great Wisconsin fishing information continue reading below.

Wisconsin Fishing License Cost

Wisconsin is well known for being a great fishing state. Kids that are under 15 years’ old and under do not need a fishing license and can fish free every day. This also applies for anglers that are born before 1927 and active-duty military. All others need to have a valid license.

Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing license options and discounts that you can get quickly on the water and for an affordable price.

Here is a quick overview of the most popular fishing licenses in Wisconsin and how much they each cost.

Fishing LicenseCost
Resident Annual$20.00
Resident First-time buyer$5.00
Resident 1-Day$8.00
Resident Junior$7.00
Resident Spousal$7.00
Active Armed Forces$0.00
Nonresident Annual$50.00
Nonresident Family$65.00
Nonresident First-time buyer$25.75
Nonresident 1 day$10.00
Nonresident 4 day$24.00
Nonresident 15 day$28.00

For a more in-depth breakdown of both resident and non-resident fishing licenses prices in Wisconsin please continue reading below.

Resident Fishing License Cost

One of the benefits of living in Wisconsin is that you have the opportunity to purchase a resident fishing license which is much cheaper than a nonresident license.

Here is a list of all of the Wisconsin resident fishing licenses and how much they cost.

Nonresident Fishing LicenseCost
First-time buyer$5.00
Junior (16 & 17)$7.00
Senior Citizen (65 years & older)$7.00
Inland Trout Stamp$10.00
Great Lake Salmon/Trout Stamp$10.00
Great Lake 2 days$14.00
Sturgeon Spearing Lake Winnebago$20.00
Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing$3.00
Sturgeon Hook & Line Inland$20.00
Sturgeon Hook $ Line Wisconsin/Michigan$50.00
Upriver Lake Sturgeon Spearing$3.00
Armed Forces Active in Service$0.00

Nonresident Wisconsin Fishing License Cost

Many anglers come out of state to enjoy the fishing in Wisconsin. To accommodate these anglers Wisconsin offers a wide variety of fishing license for those that are visiting as well as different discount packages.  

Below is a list of all of the nonresident fishing licenses and the cost of each one.

Nonresident Fishing LicenseCost
First-time buyer$25.75
1 Day$10.00
4 Day$24.00
15 Day$28.00
Inland Trout Stamp$10.00
Great Lake Salmon/Trout Stamp$10.00
Great Lake 2 days$14.00
Sturgeon Spearing Lake Winnebago$65.00
Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing$65.00
Sturgeon Hook & Line Inland$50.00
Sturgeon Hook $ Line Wisconsin/Michigan$50.00
Military Inland Sturgeon Hook & Line$20.00
Military WI/MI Sturgeon Hook & Line$20.00
Upriver Lake Sturgeon Spearing$3.00

For more information check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

Who Needs a Wisconsin Fishing License?

It’s very important to understand the rules in regulations before fishing. In the state of Wisconsin all residents and non-residents that are 16 years or older need to have a valid fishing license to be able to legally fish in any waters in Wisconsin. Children that are under 16 years old do not need to purchase a fishing license but must observe all regulations.

Where Can You Buy a Wisconsin Fishing License

Now days its super easy and convenient to buy a fishing license. You can purchase a Wisconsin fishing license online or at one of the 1,00 DNR license vendors. These options make buying a license super easy.

Below are some links where you can purchase your fishing license.

Wisconsin Fishing License FAQ

Do seniors need a fishing license in Wisconsin? Yes, senior citizens (65 years & older) need a fishing license in Wisconsin. However, they do receive a discount and you can expect to pay around $7 for an annual license.

How much is a senior fishing license in Wisconsin? A senior fishing license in Wisconsin is $7. This is a discounted rate when compared to the other offered fishing licenses.

Can I buy a Wisconsin fishing license online? You can purchase a Wisconsin fishing license online on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

What is the fine for fishing without a license in Wisconsin? A Fishing license is required for all Wisconsin residents and non-residents that are 16 years and older. If you are fishing without a fishing license the fine may vary by county. However, anglers should expect a minimum fine of $100 or more if caught fishing without a valid license.  

How much is a husband and wife fishing license in Wisconsin? A unique license option in Wisconsin is the spousal fishing license combination. You can purchase an annual husband and wife fishing license in Wisconsin for $31

Do you need a fishing license on a private lake in Wisconsin? A fishing license is not required for a resident that is fishing in a pond that is on private property owned by a person who gives permission. It must also be entirely located on private property that is a self-contained body of water.

How many fishing rods can you use in Wisconsin? The number of rods that you can use in Wisconsin isn’t specifically called out in their regulations. It reads, “No person may do any of the following … fish with more than three (3) hooks, baits or lures.”

Therefore, most anglers will be able legally use 3 fishing rods at one time as long as there aren’t multiple hooks, baits or lures tied on.

For more detailed information about this check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources site.

Fish to Catch in Wisconsin

Below is a list of the most popular game fish that are legal to catch in Wisconsin in case you are wondering what kind of fish you can target and catch.  

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

Final Thoughts

Wisconsin is a great fishing state. Like most other states a valid fishing license is required for both residents and nonresidents to be able to fish any public waters. Make sure to do you research and make sure you purchase a fishing license that best meets your angling needs.  

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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