Free fishing weekend set
MADISON — Wisconsin residents and visitors to the state will be able to fish for free and obtain free equipment during the state’s free fishing weekend, scheduled for Jan. 20-21.
No fishing license or Great Lakes salmon stamp or inland trout stamp is needed to fish all inland waters and on Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and other boundary waters, state Department of Natural Resources officials said.
Spring trout ponds are not open, however. All other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish anglers can keep and any seasons when anglers must release certain fish species.
“Free fishing weekend is a great way to get outside during the winter and have fun with family and friends,” said Theresa Stabo, a DNR coordinator who is working on angling recruitment, retention and reactivation in the state.
The weekend provides an opportunity for anglers to try the early catch-and-release trout season for free. That season opened on Jan. 6 and normally requires anglers to have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp to participate.
More than 20 DNR tackle loaner sites have ice fishing gear for loan that groups and individuals can use. Ice augurs are not available through the DNR, but people can use abandoned fishing holes to fish in, Stabo said.
DNR officials are aware of free fishing clinics during the weekend at the following locations: Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo; Straight Lake State Park in Polk County; Mauthe Lake State Recreation Area in Fond du Lac County; Perch Lake County Park and Maple Lake Public Beach in Oneida County; Glen Loch in Chippewa Falls; Brittingham Park in Madison and Fireman’s Park in Marshall.
For more information about free fishing clinics, how and where to borrow ice fishing equipment from DNR offices and parks, and other related information, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search using keywords “Free Fishing Weekend.”
Bans enacted after CWD found
MADISON — Following confirmation that deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in western Vernon and central Dodge counties last year, baiting and feeding bans will begin on Feb. 1 in those counties.
A 2-year-old buck killed in the Vernon County town of Hamburg is the third confirmed CWD case there. A 1-year-old buck taken in the Dodge County town of Clyman is the first positive case there.
For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search using keywords “baiting and feeding” and “CWD.”
From staff reports