Lake Trout Season for Lake Superior opens Dec. 1st

Lake trout fishing season for Lake Superior in Wisconsin begins December 1st. The Wisconsin DNR reminds anyone fishing for lake trout will end September 30th of 2023.

However, the fishing season for lake trout could end earlier due to the harvesting cap. Lake trout fishing in Wisconsin, anglers must purchase a Great Lakes trout and salmon stamp with their fishing license. Also to apply for fishing stamp and licenses it can be at select locations or online at the GoWild system.

The Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior have two management units for fishing. WI-1 encompasses all waters from Superior to Bark Point (known as the Western Arm). WI-2 includes waters from Bark Point to the Michigan border (known as the Apostle Islands region).

Both management units have their own harvest quotas based on trout populations. For recreational harvesting, the management unit uses sport fishing surveys for monitoring. Angler harvesting use a creel survey and mandatory charter captain reports for monitoring. There are also harvest triggers in place to prevent over harvesting.

Over the past several years, The Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior have two management units asked anglers for their input. Especially when it comes to the various lake trout regulation options in Wisconsin. In the fall of 2017, anglers participated in a poll that included four different bag and length limit options, and the associated risk with each option reaching the quota before the end of the season.

However, for the past several years, the Apostle Islands region has experienced more fishing pressure. Harvest triggers are being implemented to close the season before Sept. 30, of 2023, if 75% of the 12,670 recreational lake trout quota has been reached.

This 2023 season will be the last season under the current lake trout quota for the Apostle Islands region. Using data from 2020-2022, a new quota for the 2024 season is currently in development. .

For more information about restoring trout streams you can read our story here

For more information about Wisconsin’s DNR regulations for fishing you can look here