It’s Free Fishing Weekend

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is hosting Free Fishing Weekend Jan. 15-16 to promote the fun and excitement of winter fishing. Anglers may fish state waters where there is an open season, and no fishing license or trout and salmon stamps are required.

All other fishing regulations apply, such as observing limits on the number and size of fish that are kept and any seasons when certain species must be released. Anglers also may not fish spring trout ponds during the Free Fishing Weekend.

Those who plan to keep their catch should review the WDNR’s Safe Eating Guidelines to stay informed about any consumption advisories associated with water bodies throughout the state.

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to give angling a try, without the added step and expense of getting a fishing license,” said Theresa Stabo, WDNR’s fishing recruitment, retention and reactivation coordinator. “Fishing is about so much more than the catch. Get out there and enjoy nature; spend time with friends and family; and if you’re lucky, take home some fish for your next at-home fish fry.”

Find details about Free Fishing Weekend events at

Ice-fishing Safety Reminders

• No ice is 100% safe, so check with local bait shops for current conditions in the area where you plan to ice fish. 

• If ice conditions are questionable, stay on shore and try casting from there if open water is within casting distance. 

• Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll return.

• Dress in warm, water-resistant layers, including sturdy, waterproof boots with spike-style creepers for traction; and have an extra hat and gloves with you.

• Also have safety gear such as a rescue throw rope and ice claws handy.