Wisconsin Fishing Facts
- Nearly 40 percent of Wisconsin adults say they fish, although not every year.
- Anglers annually catch 88 million fish and keep 33 million fish of all kinds in Wisconsin.
- The muskellunge, or musky, is the state fish. More world record musky have been landed here than anywhere else.
- Walleye are Wisconsin anglers' favorite targets, followed by bass. Collectively, panfish are caught most frequently.
- By far, most Wisconsin fish are the result of naturally reproducing populations. But the DNR typically raises and stocks about 7.5 million fish of larger sizes.
- Wisconsin has more than 15,000 inland lakes, 42,000 miles of perennial streams and rivers, 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and 260 miles of the Mississippi River.
- Wisconsin boasts more than 13,000 miles of trout streams, with 5,400 of them high quality, Class 1 trout streams.
Economic impact of fishing
- Sportfishing annually generates $2.3 billion in economic benefits and supports 22,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
- Sportfishing annually generates $148 million in state and local tax revenues.
- Sportfishing brings more than 330,000 nonresident anglers to our state - behind only Florida and Michigan.
Free and discounted licenses make it easy to take friends and family out fishing
- Wisconsin's Free Fishing Weekend is June 7-8, 2014. Anyone can fish without a license or trout stamp in all inland waters and Wisconsin's side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. On this same weekend, admission to state parks and forests is free, people can use state trails for free, and people can ride their ATVs and UTVs for free on public trails open to such use.
- DNR's first-time buyer's license is $5 for residents and $25.75 for nonresidents.
- DNR's 1-day license is $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents and is a great way to get people out for a day.
- New this year -- recently returning Wisconsin resident veterans can get a one-time free annual fishing license.
- DNR has tackle loaner sites in 50 locations, including many state parks, making it easy for people to enjoy fishing if they don't have their own equipment or if they left it at home.
Sportfishing in America, January 2013, American Sportfishing Association, and DNR statewide angler mail survey, 2006-2007