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Brule River State Forest Fishing

Boat landing closed: The boat landing at the mouth of the Brule River is closed. The landing is still open for carry-in landings, but vehicles are not allowed to drive to the landing. The distance to carry a watercraft is approximately 100 yards.
Posted 08/29/2017

The Bois Brule River is one of Wisconsin's most famous and scenic trout streams. Due to its size, highly productive, self-sustaining fishery and steady flow of cool spring water, the Brule is considered one of the premier trout streams in the lake states. It has attracted anglers locally, regionally and nationally, even serving as a retreat for several U.S. presidents and other dignitaries. Today, the Bois Brule River draws an estimated 33,000 fishermen annually.

Required licenses

Anglers 16 years and older must have a Wisconsin fishing license and an inland trout stamp to fish the Bois Brule River. See DNR Customer Service and Licensing for additional information about licenses.

Fish refuge areas

Three areas of the river north of highway 2 have special regulations:

  • The area known as "Box Car Hole" is closed to fishing from July 15 through October 31
  • The area known as "Mays Ledges" is closed from September 1 through May 31
  • The sea lamprey barrier refuge, which extends 500 feet both upstream and downstream of the barrier, is never open to fishing.

All areas are marked with signs indicating the boundaries of the refuges.

Use of aquatic insect larvae

It is illegal to remove insect larvae from any trout stream or spring hole tributary to a trout stream for use or sale as bait. Exception: During the open trout season only, licensed anglers may take insect larvae or nymphs from trout streams by hand for immediate use as bait in the same stream.

All unused larvae or nymphs must be returned to the stream before anglers leave the stream. "By hand" means anglers may not use small seines, nets or other devices to catch insect larvae.

Maps and additional information

Last Revised: Thursday August 31 2017