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Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
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Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinQuality fishing waters

Some Wisconsin lakes and rivers are managed with special regulations which, in many cases, provide quality fishing opportunities. Special regulations for musky, bass, walleye, northern pike are those that differ from the general state-wide regulations. Based on water productivity and fish growth potential, and facilitated by minimum length regulations, anglers fishing in many of these waters will have a good chance of catching a "quality" fish.

This is not a complete list of regulations for these lakes. Be familiar with the fishing regulations for these lakes, including the season(s), bag limits and mimimum length limits.

Musky ||Largemouth and smallmouth bass ||Walleye ||Northern pike

Muskellunge

Wisconsin has about 775 lakes and streams with thriving musky populations. In an effort to bring back the trophy muskellunge that the state is clearly capable of producing, special fishing regulations are in effect on the following waters:

45 inch minimum length limit:

  • Wisconsin River - Lake DuBay Dam downstream to Castle Rock Dam
  • Lake Monona (Dane County)
  • Lake Waubesa (Dane County)
  • Lake Wingra (Dane County)
  • Chippewa River - Winter Dam to Arpin Dam (Sawyer County)
  • Little St. Germain (Vilas County)
  • Trout Lake (Vilas County)

50 inch minimum length limit:

  • Rice Lake (Barron County)
  • Namekagon Lake (Bayfield County)
  • St. Louis River/Bay (Douglas County)
  • Anderson Lake (Oconto County)
  • Archibald Lake (Oconto County)
  • Clear Lake ~ T39N R7E S16 (Oneida County)
  • Pelican Lake (Oneida County)
  • Bone Lake (Polk County)
  • Lake Redstone (Sauk County)
  • Chippewa Flowage (Sawyer County)
  • Grindstone Lake (Sawyer County)
  • Lac Court Oreilles (Sawyer County)
  • Elkhart Lake (Sheboygan County)
  • Lake Michigan waters north of Waldo Boulevard, Manitowoc, WI; Green Bay, and their tributary streams (Marinette, Oconto, Brown, Kewaunee, Door and Manitowoc Counties)
  • Big Sand Lake (Vilas County)
  • Long Lake (Vilas County)
  • Winnebago System - lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, and Poygan and the Wolf River upstream to the Shawano Dam

Catch and Release Only:

  • Yellowstone Lake, including the Yellowstone River from the lake upstream to County Hwy F (Lafayette County)

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Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

To some anglers, fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass takes a back seat to the pursuit of walleye or muskellunge, but Wisconsin offers many opportunities to tangle with quality fish. Recent regulation changes have improved many of the state's bass populations.

22 inch minimum length limit:

  • Lake Superior (includes the Kakagon River and Slough)

18 inch minimum length limit:

Ashland || Bayfield || Chippewa || Columbia || Dane || Dodge || Forest || Iron || Kenosha || Langlade || Oneida || Price || Portage || Racine || Rusk || Sawyer || Vernon || Vilas || Walworth || Washington || Waukesha

Ashland County
  • Lake Three
  • Day Lake
  • East Twin Lake
  • Little Clam Lake
  • Mineral Lake
  • Spillerburg Lake
Bayfield County
  • Cable Lake
  • Crooked Lake
  • Lund Lake
  • Wiley Lake
Chippewa County
  • Dark Lake ~ T32N R8W
  • Long Lake ~ T32, R8W
Columbia County
  • Columbia Lake
  • Lazy Lake
Dane County
  • Fish Lake
  • Lake Mendota, including Sixmile Creek (downstream from Hwy 19 in Section 8), Pheasant Branch Creek (downstream from Hwy M), Yahara River (downstream from Hwy 19), Cherokee Lake, and Warner Park Lagoons (Dane County)
  • Mud Lake (northwest corner of Dane County, west of Fish Lake ~ S3-4, T9N, R7E) (Dane County)
Dodge County
  • Fox Lake
Forest County
  • Crane Lake
  • Forest Lake
  • Luna Lake
  • McKinley Lake
  • Pickerel Lake
  • Three Johns Lake
  • Trump Lake
  • White Deer Lake
  • Windfall Lake
Iron County
  • Evelyn Lake
  • O'Brian Lake
  • One Man Lake
Kenosha County
  • Silver Lake
Langlade County
  • Pickerel Lake

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Oneida County
  • Bearskin Lake
  • Burrows Lake
  • Crescent Lake
  • Pelican Lake
  • Stella Lake
Price County
  • Bass Lake
  • Sailor Lake
Portage County
  • Jacqueline Lake
  • Wisconsin River (including impoundments and sloughs, from the Stevens Point Flowage Dam to the Altech Park spillway)
Racine County
  • Eagle Lake
Rusk County
  • Murphy Flowage
Sawyer County
  • Black Lake
  • Christner Lake
Vernon County
  • Jersey Valley Lake
Vilas County
  • Big Muskellunge Lake
  • Ellerson Lake, East
  • Ellerson Lake, Middle
  • Gunlock Lake
  • Little Bass Lake ~ S15, T40N, R8E
  • Papoose Lake
  • Plum Lake
  • Salsich Lake
  • Sparkling Lake
  • Trout Lake
  • Wabasso Lake
  • West Plum Lake
  • Whitney Lake
  • White Sand Lake - Hwy K ~ T42N, R7E, S27
Walworth County
  • Delavan Lake
Washington County
  • Lake Twelve (Washington County)
Waukesha County
  • Big Muskego, including Bass Bay (Waukesha County)

16 inch minimum length limit:

  • Browns Lake (Racine County) - largemouth only
  • Pallette Lake (Vilas County) - smallmouth only

14 inch to 18 inch protected slot limit:

  • Round Lake ~ S35, T20N, R11E (Waushara County)
  • Oneida Lake (Oneida County)

Catch and Release Only:

  • Big Lake ~ S4, T42N, R6E (Vilas County)
  • Bittersweet Lake (Vilas County)
  • Oberlin Lake (Vilas County)
  • Prong Lake (Vilas County)
  • Smith Lake (Vilas County)
  • Twin Valley Lake (Iowa County)

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Walleye

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource's goal is to provide a variety of opportunities for walleye anglers. Wisconsin represents the heart of the national distribution of walleye; they are found naturally in our larger lakes and rivers. Excellent walleye angling opportunities exist in the Mississippi River and pools; the Wisconsin River and its impoundments; Lake Winnebago; the Wolf and Fox River systems; and larger lakes all over Wisconsin, especially in northern Wisconsin.

28 inch minimum length limit:

  • Escanaba Lake (Vilas County)
  • Fox River upstream to the dam at De Pere Dam (Brown County) March 2 - May 5, 2006 (May 6 - March 4, 2007 - no minimum length limit)
  • Kentuck Lake (Forest and Vilas Counties)
  • Sand Lake (Sawyer County)
  • Sparkling Lake (Vilas County)

20 inch to 28 inch protected slot limit:

  • Diamond Lake (Bayfield County)
  • Wisconsin River (including Lake Wisconsin, all impoundments and sloughs), upstream from the Prairie du Sac Dam (Sauk County)

20 inch minimum length limit:

  • Lac LaBelle (Waukesha County)

18 inch minimum length limit:

  • Blackhawk Lake (Iowa County)
  • Cox Hollow Lake (Iowa County)
  • Crane Lake (Forest County)
  • Delavan Lake (Walworth County)
  • Fox Lake (Dodge County)
  • Grand Portage (Iron County)
  • Gunlock Lake (Vilas County)
  • Lake Lucerne (Forest County)
  • Lake Mendota, including Sixmile Creek (downstream from Hwy 19 in Section 8), Pheasant Branch Creek (downstream from Hwy M), Yahara River (downstream from Hwy 19), Cherokee Lake, and Warner Park Lagoons (Dane County)
  • Lee Lake (Richland County)
  • Maple Lake (Oneida County)
  • Mercer Lake (Iron County)
  • Mineral Lake (Ashland County)
  • Pickerel Lake (Forest and Langlade Counties)
  • Rolling Stone Lake (Langlade County)
  • Sand Lake (Rusk County)
  • Shishebogama Lake (Oneida County)
  • Silver Lake (Columbia County)
  • Spider/Moquah Chain (Ashland County)
  • Stella Lake (Oneida County)
  • Twin Valley Lake (Iowa County)
  • Thunder Lake ~ S03 T38N R10E (Oneida County)
  • Wisconsin River (including Lake Wisconsin, all impoundments and sloughs) downstream of the Prairie du Sac Dam (Sauk County)
  • Wisconsin River (Iowa County)

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Northern pike

Over the past few years, the Fisheries Management program has been working to improve northern pike fishing. Statewide regulations have been implemented, with the following designated as quality waters:

40 inch minimum length limit:

  • Big Cedar Lake (Washington County)
  • Gilbert Lake (Washington County)
  • Lake Mendota, including Sixmile Creek (downstream from Hwy 19 in Section 8), Pheasant Branch Creek (downstream from Hwy M), Yahara River (downstream from Hwy 19), Cherokee Lake, and Warner Park Lagoons (Dane County)
  • Twin Valley Lake (Iowa County)

32 inch minimum length limit:

  • Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, upstream to the 153 bridge (Marathon County)
  • Bond Lake (Douglas County)
  • Butternut Lake (Forest County)
  • Devil's Lake (Sauk County)
  • Delavan Lake (Walworth County)
  • Diamond Lake (Bayfield County)
  • Fox Lake (Dodge County)
  • Franklin Lake (Forest County)
  • Jacqueline Lake (Portage County)
  • Lake Geneva (Walworth County)
  • Largon Lake (Polk County)
  • Long Lake ~ S7, T20, R12E (Waushara County)
  • Puckaway Lake (Green Lake County)
  • Silver Lake (Kenosha County)
  • Wilson Flowage (This flowage is northeast of Phillips in the Chequamegon National Forest. Do not confuse it with the Wilson Flowage west of Phillips.) (Price County)
  • Wisconsin River, from the Wisconsin Dells Dam upstream to the Lake Du Bay Dam (Columbia, Juneau, Portage, Wood, and Adams Counties)
  • Wisconsin River from the Wisconsin Dells Dam upstream (Sauk and Columbia Counties)
  • Wisconsin River including impoundments and sloughs (Juneau and Wood Counties
  • Wisconsin River downstream from Lake DuBay Dam (Portage County)

Catch and Release Only:

  • Yellowstone Lake, including the Yellowstone River from the lake upstream to County Hwy F (Lafayette County)
Last revised: Friday September 07 2012