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April 28, 2015

MADISON -- What's your plan for the fishing season opener this Saturday, May 2? For the best bite in town, join Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries experts as they tackle your questions in an online chat starting at noon Wednesday, April 29.

Wherever you plan to be, DNR fisheries experts will have you covered statewide with Dave Rowe from the south, Steve Hogler from the east, Mike Vogelsang from the north and Heath Benike from the west. To participate, visit the DNR home page,, and click on the graphic or search the phrase "ask the experts." You can also join the conversation via our Facebook page at and clicking the "Ask the Experts Chat" tab at the top of the page.

Muskies and more in store on Wisconsin's lakes

Whether you're motivated by muskies or wishing for walleye, spring surveys by DNR's fisheries biologists turned up some remarkable fish this year. After being weighed and measured, these fish were promptly returned to the water where they will still be waiting on opening day.

Jim Amrhein, a DNR water resources biologist, picked up this 38 pound, 48.8" musky during survey work on Lake Monona in April.
WDNR Photo

This walleye was captured in a fyke net by Pat Smith, Florence County Forest Administrator, left, and Aaron Johnson, DNR fisheries technician, before being released back into the Brule River. Wisconsin and Michigan DNR teams are coordinating fisheries research in the area.
WDNR Photo

Anglers doing their part in fight against aquatic invasive species

Recent monitoring data suggests that boaters and anglers are doing their part to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Monitoring results from 2014 discovered fewer than 10 new lakes with either zebra mussels or spiny water fleas, both of which are problematic invasive species.

"Even with the increased effort of DNR invasive species monitoring specialists, we are only finding a handful of new lakes with invasive species," said Tim Campbell, an aquatic invasive species contractor with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "This suggests that many water users are doing their part in limiting the transport of plant material, water and debris between lakes and rivers."

To continue preventing or limiting the spread of aquatic invasive species, boaters, paddlers and anglers must:

Boaters and anglers who would like to help support research into better aquatic invasive species prevention and control may donate $2 through the aquatic invasive species research check-off when they register their boat with the DNR. To learn more, search the DNR website,, for "invasives prevention."

Fishing licenses and information just a click away

The general Wisconsin fishing season runs from May 2, 2015 to March 6, 2016, however a variety of local and species specific rules may apply. To learn more about statewide fishing regulations, search the DNR website,, for "fishing regulations." For a complete calendar, search "fishing season dates."

Anglers can find fish species information, boat access sites, shore fishing areas, lake information and regulations by downloading the free Wisconsin Fish & Wildlife mobile app, which includes a full array of fishing information.

Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.

Anglers can buy a one-day fishing license that allows them to take someone out to try fishing, and if they like it, the purchase price of that one-day license will be credited toward purchase of an annual license. The one day license is $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents.

Buying a license is easy and convenient over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Vogelsang, DNR northern fisheries supervisor, 715-356-5211 Ext. 239,; Heath Benike, DNR fisheries operations supervisor, 715-284-1447,, Steve Hogler, DNR fisheries biologist, 920-662-5480,, Dave Rowe, DNR fisheries team supervisor, 608-275-3282, , Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084,

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Need an expert?

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.