Get a Wisconsin Fishing License

Learn how to get your Wisconsin fishing license!

Get a Wisconsin Fishing License
Fishing License

Wisconsin Fishing Licenses Requirements

Wisconsin fishing licenses are one way the state’s Department of Natural Resources helps control angler’s impacts on fish populations to help ensure great fishing for future generations.

Before you head out on the water, you’ll need to understand the rules for fishing licenses to see if you need to buy one. And odds are, you will. That’s because in Wisconsin, everyone ages 16 and over needs a fishing license to fish in any waters in the state. That rule applies whether you’re a resident or non-resident.

Depending on what species you plan to fish, you may also need a stamp privilege. Specifically, you must have a stamp privilege if you intend to fish:

  • Trout or Salmon: You’ll need an Inland Trout Stamp Privilege if you intend to fish for trout or salmon in inland waters and a Great Lakes Trout and Salmon Stamp Privilege to fish for trout and salmon in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Green Bay and streams that flow into Green Bay and Lake Michigan from their mouths up to the first dam or lake.
  • Lake Sturgeon: If you plan to harvest a lake sturgeon, you must first purchase an inland tag good for sturgeon harvest in inland waters and Lake Superior and/or a Wisconsin/Michigan boundary water tag good for sturgeon harvest on the Menominee River.

Be sure to keep your fishing license with you when you’re out on the water since you should be able to present your fishing license to a warden on request.

Fishing License Exemptions

Certain anglers are exempt from the Wisconsin fishing license requirement. These include:

  • Groups of disabled individuals on fishing excursions conducted by non-profit organizations who receive a waiver from the Department of Natural Resources
  • Those fishing on Wisconsin’s free fishing weekends, that is held the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June and the third consecutive Saturday and Sunday in January every year

Even if you’re not exempt from having to purchase a Wisconsin fishing license, there are discounted license options available to certain anglers, which we’ll discuss next.

Types of Fishing Licenses and Fees

For the types of fishing licenses, you can buy in Wisconsin, they’re based on your residency and what you plan to fish.


  • Wisconsin Annual Fishing License: $20
  • First-time buyer Wisconsin Fishing License or those returning to fishing after at least 10 years without a license $5
  • 1-day (which can be used towards an upgrade to an annual fishing license) $8
  • Junior Wisconsin Fishing License (for 16- and 17-year-olds) $7
  • Senior Wisconsin Fishing License (for those 65 and older) $7
  • Spousal Wisconsin Fishing License $31
  • Inland Trout Stamp Wisconsin Fishing License: $10
  • Great Lakes Salmon/Trout Stamp Wisconsin Fishing License: $10
  • 2-day Great Lakes Wisconsin Fishing License: $14
  • 2-day Inland Lake Trout Wisconsin Fishing License: $14
  • Sturgeon Wisconsin Fishing License, with several options available based on where and when you plan to fish: $3-$20
  • Disabled Wisconsin Fishing License: $7
  • Veteran/disabled Wisconsin Fishing License: $3
  • Armed Forces residents in active service on furlough or leave Wisconsin Fishing License: $0


  • Annual Wisconsin Fishing License: $50
  • Family annual Wisconsin Fishing License: $65
  • The first-time buyer Wisconsin Fishing License: $25.75
  • 1-day Wisconsin Fishing License: $10
  • 4-day Wisconsin Fishing License: $24
  • 15-day Wisconsin Fishing License: $28
  • 15-day family Wisconsin Fishing License: $40
  • Military fishing Wisconsin Fishing License: $20
  • Inland Trout Stamp Wisconsin Fishing License: $10
  • Great Lakes Salmon/Trout Stamp Wisconsin Fishing License: $10
  • Great Lakes Fishing Wisconsin Fishing License: $14
  • Sturgeon, with several options available based on where and when you plan to fish: $3-$65

Where to Buy Your Fishing License

You have several convenient options for purchasing your Wisconsin fishing license. If you plan to buy it online, you’ll need a valid driver’s license or Social Security number.

  • Online: You can buy your license at, a Department of Natural Resources website. You’ll need to log into your account or create a new account if you don’t have one to purchase your license. This option also allows you to renew your license online.
  • License Agent: You can buy your fishing license at one of the many Wisconsin fishing and hunting license sales locations in the state. The Department of Natural Resources’ website has an interactive map of available agents.
  • Department of Natural Resources Service Center: There are many Department of Natural Resources Service Centers located in Wisconsin for in-person license sales.