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Wisconsin's Free Fishing Weekend is Jan. 16-17

Wisconsin's Free Fishing Weekend is Jan. 16-17

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Interested in giving fishing a try? Next weekend is the perfect time to do so. Anglers of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to explore the outdoors during Free Fishing Weekend. You can fish almost anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp Jan. 16-17.

Most Wisconsin waters are included in this event, except for spring ponds. Before you go, review information about the early trout season and the trout regulations. If you see a season date listed for a specific body of water, you’re free to fish there, although some waters may be catch-and-release only.

All other inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River are open for you to test your skills and try your luck. Remember: All regulations and seasonal restrictions are still in force.

Tread carefully:

No ice is safe icePlease exercise caution on the ice and be aware of the “honeycomb effect,” which occurs after freeze-thaw-freeze conditions and weakens ice.

The DNR does not monitor local ice conditions or the thickness of the ice. Local bait shops, fishing clubs and resorts serve winter anglers every day and often have the most up-to-date information about ice thickness on local lakes and rivers, as well as areas that are especially dangerous.

Be sure to stay safely on shore if ice conditions are questionable, and if open water is within casting distance, give that a try. Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll return.

Dress for winter comfort and bring safety gear:

  • Warm layers that are water-resistant.
  • Sturdy waterproof boots with spike-style creepers for traction.
  • Extra hat and gloves.
  • Rescue throw rope.
  • Ice claws.

Keep COVID-19 safety

in mindThis year, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, there will be no scheduled events to coincide with Free Fishing Weekend. But that doesn’t mean you and your family or roommates can’t still venture out for a local adventure and drop a line.

Please remember to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from those who do not live with you. Have a mask handy in case you need it; it will also keep your face warm.

Keep COVID-19 safety in mindThis year, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, there will be no scheduled events to coincide with Free Fishing Weekend. But that doesn’t mean you and your family or roommates can’t still venture out for a local adventure and drop a line.

Please remember to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from those who do not live with you. Have a mask handy in case you need it; it will also keep your face warm.

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