BAYFIELD, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that the opening of Lake Superior’s lake trout season is Dec. 1. The season runs until Sept. 30, 2024 or until the harvest cap is met.
To harvest a lake trout, anglers must purchase a 2023-2024 general fishing license and a Great Lakes trout and salmon stamp. Licenses and stamps can be purchased online through the Go Wild system or at any license sales location. All regulations apply.
Lake trout are managed in Lake Superior using a quota system with different allocations for different user groups. The Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior are divided into two management units: WI-1, which encompasses all waters from Superior to Bark Point (known as the Western Arm), and WI-2, which includes waters from Bark Point to the Michigan border (known as the Apostle Islands region).
Each of these management units has its own harvest quota based on their respective lake trout populations and typical fishing pressures, and recreational harvest is monitored through sport fishing surveys.
A daily bag limit of three lake trout may be harvested from the Western Arm waters, and only two may be harvested from the Apostle Islands region. In both management units, lake trout must be at least 15 inches long, and only one fish over 25 inches may be kept.
The Apostle Islands region’s lake trout quota is generally updated on a 3-year cycle, with the proposed 2024-2026 quota currently in the final stages of the rulemaking process.
As currently proposed, the new quota includes a recreational allocation of 15,000 lake trout, which is about an 18% increase from the current quota. The Natural Resources Board (NRB) will vote on the proposed quota at their meeting on Dec. 13. Like all meetings of the NRB, the public is invited to testify and provide written comments on issues before the board.