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Fishing WisconsinLake Superior lake trout harvest

lake trout on ice

Lake trout are a popular target in the Lake Superior ice fishery.

Lake trout harvest (WI-2 waters) - Closed August 20, 2017

lake trout harvest counter

Harvest chronology

Click on the blue triangle below to see lake trout harvest totals for 2016-2017. Harvest totals will be updated monthly; the last update was made on August 20, 2017. The season will close when the harvest total reaches the trigger of 75% of the overall quota. (Note: Season closed August 20. Read the press release).

Lake trout season closure poster

Lake trout harvest totals 2016-2017
Date Month Harvest Total Harvest Number to reach trigger
Dec '16
76
76
7274
Jan '17
159
235
7115
Feb '17
266
501
6849
Mar '17
38
539
6811
Apr '17
83
622
6728
May '17
923
1545
5705
Jun '17
2320
3865
3485
Jul '17
3470
7335
15
Aug '17
2856
10191
n/a

Lake Superior lake trout management


Lake trout harvest zones

The lake trout in Lake Superior are managed within two harvest zones (WI-1 and WI-2). Lake trout numbers have declined in the WI-2 zone – the Apostle Islands area of Lake Superior - during the past eight to ten years.  As a result, harvest quotas have been reduced for sport and commercial fishers. 

Lake trout sport angler quota

The lake trout sport angler allocation for WI-2 during the 2016-2017 fishing season is 9,800 fish. Angler harvest is monitored with the use of a creel survey. A harvest trigger has been set at 75% of the overall quota (9,800 fish x 0.75 = 7,350 fish) to prevent overharvest of lake trout. When the 7,350 fish trigger is reached, lake trout fishing in WI-2 will be immediately closed, with no more fishing for lake trout.

Lake trout harvest zones

How was this regulation selected? Over the past several years, Fisheries Management has asked anglers for input regarding various lake trout regulation options. This past fall, anglers participated in a poll that included four different bag and length limit options (see below) and the associated risk with each option reaching the quota before the end of the season (September 30th).

Results from the survey indicated 40% of participants preferred a regulation that included a bag of two lake trout with a 15 inch minimum and one fish that could be longer than 25 inches.  This regulation option allows the greatest harvest opportunity but also has the greatest risk of reaching the quota prior to the end of the season.


Contact information

For more information: Terry Margenau, Supervisor, Lake Superior Work Unit

Last revised: Wednesday September 20 2017