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Bass Seasons in Wisconsin

General Inland Waters

  • Northern Zone - Largemouth Bass Harvest: First Saturday in May through the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • Northern Zone - Smallmouth Bass Harvest: Third Saturday in June through the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • Northern Zone – Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Catch and Release: At all other times of the year
  • Southern Zone - Harvest: First Saturday in May through the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • Southern Zone – Catch and Release: At all other times of the year
  • Lake Winnebago System Waters: Continuous

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • St. Louis River: Saturday preceding Memorial Day to March 1
  • St. Croix River Upstream from the Dam at St. Croix Falls: Saturday preceding Memorial Day to, but not including, the second Monday in September
  • St. Croix River Upstream from the Dam at St. Croix Falls - Catch and Release: Second Monday in September to March 1
  • St. Croix River Downstream from the Dam at St. Croix Falls to the Hwy 10 Bridge at Prescott: Saturday preceding Memorial Day to March 1
  • Mississippi River: Continuous
  • Lake Superior and Connected Sloughs, Kakagon River - Largemouth Bass Harvest: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • Lake Superior and Connected Sloughs, Kakagon River - Smallmouth Bass Harvest: Third Saturday in June to March 1
  • Lake Superior and Connected Sloughs, Kakagon River – Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Catch and Release: At all other times of the year
  • Outlying Waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan within 1/4 mile of Washington, Detroit, Plum, Pilot, Hog or Rock Islands: July 1 to March 1
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters - Largemouth Bass Harvest: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters - Smallmouth Bass Harvest: Third Saturday in June through November 30
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters – Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Catch and Release: At all other times of the year
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters: Continuous

Rock, Yellow, and White Bass Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous

Boundary Waters

  • All Other Tributaries, Streams, Rivers, and Ditches to Green Bay Upstream to the First Dam or Lake:

    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Major Green Bay Tributaries:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters - Lakes:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous

Panfish Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • All Other Tributaries, Streams, Rivers, and Ditches to Green Bay Upstream to the First Dam or Lake:

    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to March 1
    • Note: The open season for yellow perch is May 20 to March 15
  • Lake Michigan, Lake Michigan Tributaries:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
    • Note: The open season for yellow perch is June 16 to April 30
  • Lake Superior:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous

Channel and Flathead Catfish Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous

  • Lower Wisconsin River (Columbia, Dane, and Sauk Counties) Below the Prairie du Sac Dam Downstream to the Railroad Bridge at Sauk City:

    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to November 30
  • All Tributary Streams, Rivers, and Ditches to Green Bay Upstream to the First Dam or Lake, Except Duck Creek Downstream from the First Dam Above the Pamperin Park Footbridge in the Village of Howard Excluding Its Tributaries, Fox River Downstream from De Pere Dam, Suamico River Downstream from CTH HS, East River Downstream from Hoffman Road (CTH XX), Brown County:

    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to the First Sunday in March of the Following Year

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous

Whitefish/Cisco Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous

  • Green Bay, Major Green Bay Tributaries, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan Tributaries:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • All Other Tributaries, Streams, Rivers, and Ditches to Green Bay Upstream to the First Dam or Lake:

    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to the First Sunday in March of the Following Year

Boundary Waters

  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:

    • Harvest Season: Continuous

These regulations outline the harvest seasons for whitefish and cisco in various waters of Wisconsin.

Ruffe, White Perch, and Gobies Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Closed all year, but one of each may be killed and possessed for transport to a Wisconsin DNR office.

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Michigan Tributaries, Major Green Bay Tributaries:

    • Season for White Perch: Continuous
    • No Open Season for Ruffe or Gobies
  • All Other Tributary Streams, Rivers, and Ditches to Green Bay Upstream to the First Dam or Lake:

    • Season for White Perch: First Saturday in May to March 1
    • No Open Season for Ruffe or Gobies
  • Lake Superior:

    • Closed all year, but one of each may be killed and possessed for transport to a Wisconsin DNR office.
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:

    • No Open Season for Ruffe
    • No Closed Season for White Perch
  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:

    • Closed all year, but one of each may be killed and possessed for transport to a Wisconsin DNR office.
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Closed all year, but one of each may be killed and possessed for transport to a Wisconsin DNR office.

These regulations specify the harvest seasons for ruffe, white perch, and gobies in different waters of Wisconsin.

Muskellunge Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Northern Zone: Inland waters north of U.S. Hwy 10 (excluding Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters)

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Saturday nearest Memorial Day to December 31 (open water only)
  • Southern Zone: Inland waters south of U.S. Hwy 10

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to December 31

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • Green Bay, Lake Michigan, and Lake Michigan Tributaries north of a line running due east from the eastern terminus of Waldo Boulevard in the City of Manitowoc; all tributary streams, rivers, and ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or lake:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Saturday nearest Memorial Day to December 31
  • Mississippi, St. Croix, and St. Louis Rivers:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Saturday nearest Memorial Day to November 30
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: June 1 to December 31
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to November 30

Northern Pike Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to the First Sunday in March of the Following Year

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • Green Bay, Major Green Bay Tributaries, Lake Michigan:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous
  • Lake Superior:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous
  • Lake Superior Tributaries and Connected Sloughs Upstream to the First Dam or Lake:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Lake Superior - Spearing:

    • Harvest Season: Through the Ice
  • Mississippi River from Prescott Downstream:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous
  • St. Croix River to Prescott:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • St. Louis River:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Saturday 2 weeks prior to the Saturday nearest Memorial Day to March 1
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:

    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous

Rough Fish and Bullheads Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: Continuous

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • All other tributaries, streams, rivers, and ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or lake:
    • Dates for Hook and Line Harvest: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Major Green Bay Tributaries, Major Lake Michigan Tributaries:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Green Bay and Lake Michigan:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Lake Superior:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Minnesota Boundary Waters:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous

Lake Sturgeon Harvest Seasons

Chippewa River, Flambeau River, Butternut Lake, Jump River, Yellow Lake, Little Yellow Lake, Danbury Flowage, Yellow River, Wisconsin River downstream from the Wisconsin Dells Dam:

  • Dates for Hook & Line Harvest: First Saturday in September to September 30th

Other Inland Waters

  • Hook and Line Fishing: Closed all year

Lake Winnebago System Waters

  • Hook and Line Fishing: Closed all year

Spearing on the Upriver Lakes (Lakes Poygan, Winnecone & Butte des Morts):

  • Season: Second Saturday in February for 16 consecutive days unless harvest cap is triggered (participation dependent on random drawing for license purchase)

Spearing on Lake Winnebago:

  • Season: Second Saturday in February for 16 consecutive days unless harvest cap is triggered

Boundary & Outlying Waters

  • Lake Superior:
    • Harvest Season: Continuous
  • Lake Michigan, Lake Michigan Tributaries, Green Bay, Green Bay's Tributary Streams, Rivers, and Ditches Upstream to the First Dam or Lake:
    • No Open Season
  • St. Croix River downstream of St. Croix Falls:
    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in September to September 30
    • Catch and Release Season: October 1 to October 15
  • Mississippi River, St. Louis River, and St. Croix River upstream from the dam at St. Croix Falls:
    • No Open Season
  • Mississippi River upstream of the Red Wing Dam and St. Croix River from Prescott to Gordon Flowage:
    • Catch and Release Season: June 16 to March 1
  • Mississippi River downstream of the Red Wing Dam and St. Louis and Nemadji Rivers:
    • Catch and Release Season: June 16 to April 14
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:
    • No Open Season
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters (Menominee River below the Grand Rapids Dam):
    • Catch and Release Season: First Saturday in September to September 30th

Shovelnose Sturgeon Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Fishing for Shovelnose Sturgeon: Closed all year

Wisconsin River downstream from Prairie du Sac Dam

  • Harvest Season: Open all year

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • Mississippi River from the Red Wing Dam upstream and the St. Croix and St. Louis Rivers:
    • No Open Season
  • Mississippi River from the Red Wing Dam downstream:
    • Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Iowa Boundary Waters:
    • Continuous
  • Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters:
    • Not found in drainage
  • Lake Michigan:
    • Not found in drainage
  • Lake Superior:
    • Not found in drainage

Trout and Salmon Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Early Inland Trout Waters (Catch and Release):
    • Dates: 5 am on the first Saturday in January to the Friday preceding the First Saturday in May at midnight
  • General Inland Trout Season:
    • Dates: First Saturday in May from 5:00 AM to October 15

Boundary and Outlying Waters

  • Mid Lake Reef Complex:
    • Continuous except for Lake Trout
  • Green Bay, Major Green Bay Tributaries, all other waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Michigan Tributaries:
    • Continuous except for Lake Trout
  • All other tributary streams, rivers, and ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or lake:
    • Dates for Harvest: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Lake Superior (does not include Lake Superior tributaries):
    • Continuous except for Lake Trout
  • All Wisconsin-Michigan Boundary Waters, except as listed below:
    • Dates: Last Saturday in April to September 30
  • Montreal and Menominee Rivers from their mouths upstream to the first dam and Smokey Lake:
    • No Closed Season
  • Brule River (i.e., "boundary" Brule in Florence & Forest Counties) upstream from US Highway 2:
    • Dates: Last Saturday in April to September 30

Walleye, Sauger, and Hybrids Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year

Fox River downstream from DePere

  • Continuous Harvest Season

Boundary Waters

  • All other tributary streams & ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or lake:
    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • All other waters of Green Bay, major Green Bay tributaries, Lake Michigan tributaries:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • Lake Superior:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • Lake Superior tributaries:
    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year
  • Lake Winnebago System Waters:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • St. Croix downstream to Prescott:
    • Harvest Season: Saturday nearest May 1 to March 1
  • Mississippi River:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • St. Louis River:
    • Harvest Season: Saturday 2 weeks prior to the Saturday nearest Memorial Day to March 1
  • Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters, rivers, and impoundments:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters - lakes:
    • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to March 1
  • Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters:
    • Continuous Harvest Season

Whitefish/Cisco Harvest Seasons

General Inland Waters

  • Continuous Harvest Season

Green Bay, Major Green Bay Tributaries, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan Tributaries

  • Continuous Harvest Season

All other tributaries, streams, rivers, and ditches to Green Bay upstream to the first dam or Lake

  • Harvest Season: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March of the following year

Boundary Waters

  • Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters:
    • Continuous Harvest Season
  • Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters:
    • Continuous Harvest Season

Lake Superior Tributary Trout Fishing Seasons

The opening dates for trout fishing on Lake Superior tributary streams vary depending on the specific stream and location along the stream where you plan to fish.

Standard Trout Season

  • Dates: First Saturday in May at 5:00 a.m. to the last Sunday in September
  • Coverage: Applies to all streams flowing into Lake Superior from their mouths upstream to the first impassible permanent barrier

Extended Season

  • Dates: Last Saturday in March to November 15
  • Coverage: Many streams with runs of fish from Lake Superior have an extended season, including the Brule River downstream of Highway 2

Early Opening Season for Inland Streams

  • Dates: First Saturday in March at 5:00 a.m. to the last Sunday in April at midnight
  • Coverage: Applies only to two Lake Superior tributaries:
    • White River and its tributaries from the White River Dam upstream to Pikes River Road Bridge
    • Iron River and its tributaries upstream from the sea lamprey barrier at the former site of the Orienta Dam

For more detailed information on the dates and Lake Superior tributary streams covered under the extended trout season, please refer to the county and statewide table in the Wisconsin Administrative Code or the current Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide available for download on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.


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