Free Fishing Weekend, Trail Conditions, Ice Safety And More



Get Outdoors This Winter!

Free Fishing Weekend, Trail Conditions, Ice Safety And More

Did you know that International Snowmobile Safety Week is Jan. 16-24? Ice safety plays a big role in snowmobile safety and all outdoor recreation. Whether you’re snowmobiling, ice fishing or simply going for a stroll, remember there’s no such thing as safe ice.

Think smart before you start with these tips:

  • The DNR does not monitor local ice conditions nor 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 on ice thickness on local lakes and rivers, as well as hazardous areas.
  • No matter the month, consider all ice unpredictable and use a high degree of caution.
  • Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help stay afloat and slow body heat loss.
  • Do not travel in unfamiliar areas.
  • Slow down when traveling at night.
  • Know if the lake has inlets, outlets or narrows with currents that can thin the ice.
  • Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.
Join Us For Free Fishing Weekend Jan. 16-17

Grab your gear and get fishing during Winter Free Fishing Weekend Jan. 16-17, 2021. This event is a great time to discover the fun and excitement of winter fishing without a license or trout stamp.

Anglers can fish any water bodies in the state where there is an open season. As a reminder, anglers cannot fish spring trout ponds during the Winter Free Fishing Weekend. Please review the trout regulations and 2020-2021 Hook and Line regulations for more information.

All other fishing regulations apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. If you plan to keep your catch, be sure to consult the DNR’s Safe Eating Guidelines to stay informed of potential consumption advisories impacting some water bodies throughout the state.

Please remember to keep social distancing in mind when you are fishing.

Know Before You Go: Check Trail Conditions

Enjoy the winter scenery, get moving and have some fun by cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or fat-tire biking on hundreds of miles of trails.

Find your adventure and #OutWiGo with us!

Check trail conditions here.

You can also get the latest on snow conditions throughout the state from Travel Wisconsin.

While You’re Out: Report Violations

We all play a part in protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources. The DNR’s Violation Hotline provides Wisconsin citizens with the opportunity to confidentially report suspected wildlife, recreational and environmental violations.

Click here to report a violation.