Annual Fishing Licenses do not run on the calendar year.  They are valid from the day of purchase until the following March 31st. This prevents licenses from expiring in the middle of the ice fishing season.  To determine if a customer needs a fishing license or not, click on the customer’s “Active Products” to see all current licenses​


Both Wisconsin residents and nonresidents who are 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Fishing license valid dates begins on the day of purchase and ends on the following March 31.  Customers may purchase their license any time throughout the season, but it will always expire on the next March 31. 


  Can a customer purchase a fishing license early (before April 1)?

  Yes. Fishing licenses go on sale March 1 before the start of the new season.  The new license is valid immediately after purchase, even if before April 1.

  When does an annual fishing license expire?

  Annual fishing is valid immediately at purchase and expire on the following March 31.

  Do both parties need to be present when purchasing the Spousal Fishing License?

  No.  The Spousal Fishing License is the one and only license approval that can be purchased for another adult.  The purchaser will need the spouses date of birth, plus SSN or driver license, or DNR customer number in order to complete the purchase.

  What is the valid time period for a 1-Day Fishing License?

  A 1-Day Fishing License is good on the calendar day from midnight to midnight.  It does not end 24 hours from the moment it is purchased.

  Are there any discounts for fishing licenses?

  There are several options for reduced rate fishing licenses based on age, military service or disability credentials.  See the Reduced Rate Licenses section to the left for more info.

  Is there a discount for a first time buyer of a license?

  Yes.  If a customer has not purchased a fishing license in more than 10 years, The system will automatically offer that license at a reduced rate.  You will notice the term "New Buyer" in front of the license title, and the discounted rate will display on your screen.

  Does last year's disability fishing license qualify as proof for purchasing the same license the next year?

  No.  A customer must provide The most recent Disability Award Notice from the past 365 days to qualify for a Disability Fishing License.

  Are there "free fishing" days in Wisconsin?

  Yes.  The first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June and the third Saturday and Sunday in January, are designated as Free Fishing Weekends throughout the state of Wisconsin. Residents and nonresidents of all ages can fish without a fishing license (and trout stamps) over these two days. However, all other fishing regulations (length limits, bag limits, seasons, etc.) do apply. Check out the "Seasons" section to the left