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Early trout season 2012The early bird catches the...

Early Trout Season

Rick Stewart enjoyed early trout fishing last year on the Rush River, Pierce County.

Trout anglers, you've been dreaming about it since last year and it's finally here. The early catch-and-release trout season opens at 5 a.m. on March 3 and runs until midnight April 29.

  • Anglers are not required to use barbless hooks. Artificial lures and flies are still required.
  • Wisconsin's official list of classified trout streams has been updated and contains 58 more streams that have been classified as trout waters since 2002. Most of those 260 miles are found in west central and southern Wisconsin counties and will be open for the early season.
  • New online maps and interactive maps will make all of the trout waters easier to find and provide other information to increase anglers’ success.

Improving your early trout season experience

"Tried and true" trout waters

If you’re in the market for a new adventure, try some of these waters [PDF 373KB] that DNR fish biologists, supervisors, technicians and hatchery personnel identify as their favorites for the early catch and release trout season.

More resources

Check out these other trout resources to make the most of your time on the water.

Natural Resources Magazine Articles

Last revised: Thursday October 18 2012