Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
NR 20.11(1)(1)No person may construct, place, use, maintain or occupy a fishing shelter on the ice of any waters of this state unless:
NR 20.11(1)(a) (a) The name and residential address or department of natural resources customer identification number in the English language of the person owning or using the fishing shelter is legibly painted or otherwise affixed on the outside of the fishing shelter with block lettering a minimum of one inch square and in contrasting colors. Fishing shelters that are occupied or otherwise in use are exempt from this requirement.
NR 20.11(1)(b) (b) The door can be readily opened from the outside while the shelter is occupied.
NR 20.11(1)(c) (c) The person is actively using the fishing shelter and it is removed from the ice daily and when not in use on the Fox river downstream from the DePere dam, Brown county.
NR 20.11(1)(d) (d) The fishing shelter is removed from the ice daily and when not in use after the first Sunday following March 1, on inland waters south of highway 64.
NR 20.11(1)(e) (e) The fishing shelter is removed from the ice daily and when not in use after the first Sunday following March 12, on inland waters north of highway 64 and all other outlying waters.
NR 20.11(2) (2)No person may cut, use or maintain a hole larger than 12 inches in diameter or square for the taking of fish in any manner through the ice except for spearing fish in Lake Superior, sturgeon spearing, taking fish with dip nets, taking minnows with minnow traps or skin or scuba diving.
NR 20.11(3) (3)The department or its agents may direct that fishing shelters be removed from the ice by a date earlier than specified in subs. (1) (d) or (e) if it has reason to believe that the ice has become unsafe for travel.
NR 20.11 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99; CR 01-012: am. (1) (a), Register November 2001 No. 551, eff. 4-1-02; CR 02-073: am. (1) (a), Register January 2003 No. 565, eff. 2-1-03; CR 04-024: am. (1) (e) Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 1-1-05; CR 06-011: am. (1) (d) and (e) Register September 2006 No. 609, eff. 4-1-07; CR 19-091: am. (1) (a) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20.
NR 20.12 NR 20.12Setline and set or bank pole restrictions.
NR 20.12(1)(1)General Restrictions. No person may use, set, lift, attend or possess any set or bank pole or setline on any water except the lower Wisconsin river, unless:
NR 20.12(1)(a) (a) Its use is specifically authorized by a set or bank pole license issued under s. 29.531 (1), Stats., or a setline license issued under s. 29.533 (1), Stats. No person may use, set, lift, attend or possess set or bank pole or setline licensed to another person.
NR 20.12(1)(b) (b) Its use in that water is specifically authorized in s. NR 20.20.
NR 20.12(1)(c) (c) A white flag at least 10 inches square bearing the number of the license authorizing its use in black figures at least 3 inches high and attached to the top of a flag staff that extends at least 3 feet above the surface of the water or bank is placed and maintained at one end of the setline or within 2 feet of the set or bank pole with a cord attached from the flag staff to the set or bank pole. The flag staff may not exceed 2 1/2 inches in diameter and shall be marked with 2 inch to 6 inch wide alternating horizontal black and white bands. When a buoy is used to hold the setline's flag staff, the buoy shall be cylindrical in shape, 15 inches or less in diameter and marked with 2 inch to 6 inch wide alternating horizontal black and white bands. No person may place a setline flag, flag staff or pole in the main channel of any navigable waterway.
NR 20.12(1)(d) (d) A metal tag stamped with the number of the license authorizing its use is securely attached directly to the flag staff or pole of each setline or set or bank pole.
NR 20.12(1m) (1m) Lower Wisconsin river restrictions. No person may use, set, lift, attend or possess any set or bank pole or setline on the lower Wisconsin river unless:
NR 20.12(1m)(a) (a) Its use is specifically authorized by a set or bank pole license issued under s. 29.531 (1), Stats., or a setline license issued under s. 29.533 (1), Stats. No person may use, set, lift, attend or possess a set or bank pole or setline licensed to another person.
NR 20.12(1m)(b) (b) Its use in that water is specifically authorized in s. NR 20.20.
NR 20.12(1m)(c) (c) A white setline flag at least 10 inches square bearing the number of the license authorizing its use in figures at least 3 inches high and attached to a flag staff that extends at least 3 feet above the surface of the water or bank is placed and maintained at one end of the setline. The flag staff may not exceed 2 1/2 inches in diameter and shall be marked with 2 inch to 6 inch wide alternating horizontal black and white bands. When a buoy is used to hold the setline's flag staff, the buoy shall be cylindrical in shape, 15 inches or less in diameter and marked with 2 inch to 6 inch wide alternating horizontal black and white bands. No person may place a setline flag, flag staff or pole in the main channel of any navigable waterway.
NR 20.12(1m)(d) (d) A metal tag stamped with the number of the license authorizing its use is securely attached directly to each set or bank pole and to the flag staff of each setline.
NR 20.12(2) (2) Gear, fishing methods and bait. No person may do any of the following:
NR 20.12(2)(a) (a) Use, set, lift, attend or possess more than 5 set or bank poles.
NR 20.12(2)(b) (b) Use, set, lift, attend, or possess more than one setline while on the waters of this state except as provided in ss. NR 21.11 (4) (d) and 22.12 (1).
NR 20.12(2)(c) (c) Use, set, lift or attend a set or bank pole equipped with more than one line, which may not have more than 2 hooks.
NR 20.12(2)(d) (d) Use, set, lift or attend a setline with more than 25 hooks.
NR 20.12(2)(e) (e) Use, set, lift, attend or possess any set or bank pole or setline between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise.
NR 20.12(2)(f) (f) Use or set a set or bank pole or setline unless it is lifted and the catch removed at least once each day following the day it was set unless a longer period is authorized by the department or its agents.
NR 20.12(2)(g) (g) Use, set, lift or attend a set or bank pole or setline while in possession of hook and line fishing equipment.
NR 20.12(2)(h) (h) Use, set, lift or attend a set or bank pole or setline that is equipped with any hooks that have a gap between the juncture of the barb with the shank measured across to the opposite shank smaller than 3/4 inch except that on the Mississippi river there is no hook size restriction.
NR 20.12(2)(i) (i) Use whole or live fish as bait on set or bank poles or setlines on Lakes Butte des Morts, Little Butte des Morts, Winnebago and Winneconne, Winnebago county, Lake Poygan, Waushara and Winnebago counties and the Black river, Jackson, LaCrosse and Trempealeau counties.
NR 20.12(2)(j) (j) Use live crawfish or whole or live fish less than 5 inches in length as bait on set or bank poles or setlines.
NR 20.12(2)(k) (k) Place, use, set, or fail to remove from state lands or waters of the state any setline, set or bank pole, or part thereof, prior to or following the close of the open season authorizing the use of setlines, set or bank poles in s. NR 20.20.
NR 20.12(3) (3) Restrictions on harvest.
NR 20.12(3)(a)(a) No person may take, retain, kill or possess any fish or other animal taken on a set or bank pole or setline other than catfish, rough fish or turtles.
NR 20.12 Note Note: All game fish taken on any set or bank pole or setline shall be immediately returned to the water except catfish taken in compliance with this section.
NR 20.12(3)(b) (b) The size, bag and possession limits for catfish and rough fish established in s. NR 20.20 shall apply to all persons who fish with set or bank poles or setlines.
NR 20.12(4) (4) Sale of fish. No person may sell any fish taken on a set or bank pole or setline except the following:
NR 20.12(4)(a) (a) Rough fish.
NR 20.12(4)(b) (b) Channel catfish taken from lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts, Winneconne, Poygan, and the Wolf river from 500 feet below the Shawano dam downstream to its mouth.
NR 20.12 Note Note: Refer to s. NR 19.275 for inland turtle regulations.
NR 20.12 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99; am. (1) (intro.), (c) and (d), cr. (1m), Register, February, 2000, No. 530, eff. 3-1-00; correction in (2) (b) was made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats; CR 01-012: am. (2) (h) and (4) (b); CR 01-013: am. (4) (c), Register November 2001 No. 551, eff. 4-1-02; CR 04-024: am. (4) (intro.), r. (4) (b), renum. (4) (c) to be (4) (b) Register December 2004 No. 588, eff. 1-1-05; CR 05-015: cr. (2) (k) Register October 2005 No. 598, eff. 4-1-06; CR 10-053: am. (2) (b) Register December 2010 No. 660, eff. 1-1-11.
NR 20.13 NR 20.13General netting restrictions. No person may do any of the following:
NR 20.13(1) (1)Possess, control or operate in any manner any net, seine or similar device that might be used for the purposes of fishing at any time while on any water or on the banks or shores of any water except as specifically authorized in this section, s. NR 20.14 or 20.20.
NR 20.13(2) (2)Set, use or operate a dip net or seine from sunset to sunrise unless specifically authorized in s. NR 20.20.
NR 20.13(3) (3)Set, use or operate more than one dip net.
NR 20.13(4) (4)Set, use or operate a dip net in any manner other than by raising and lowering it vertically while fishing.
NR 20.13(5) (5)Fish in any other manner while operating a dip net or seine.
NR 20.13(6) (6)Fish with hook and line from any boat while in possession of a dip net.
NR 20.13(7) (7)Leave a dip net or seine unattended within 25 feet of the edge of the water.
NR 20.13(8) (8)Sell, barter or trade in any manner any sucker taken with a dip net or seine.
NR 20.13(9) (9)Set, use or operate a landing net other than for landing a fish that is legally hooked or to net fish as authorized with the use of dip nets under this chapter or chs. NR 21 to 23.
NR 20.13 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99; CR 01-012: am. (6) and (7), Register November 2001 No. 551, eff. 4-1-02; CR 08-010: cr. (9) Register November 2008 No. 635, eff. 4-1-09.
NR 20.14 NR 20.14Minnow collecting restrictions. No bait dealer may take minnows for use as bait from any inland or outlying water without a wild harvest permit from the department under s. NR 19.057. In addition, no person may do any of the following:
NR 20.14(1) (1)Set, use or operate any net, trap or similar device for the taking of minnows other than minnow seines, minnow dip nets and minnow traps as authorized in s. NR 20.20 unless issued a non-standard gear permit by the department under s. NR 20.39 pursuant to s. 29.516 (1), Stats.
NR 20.14(2) (2)Set, use or operate any minnow seine, minnow dip net, minnow trap or similar device for the taking of minnows in any water unless specifically authorized in s. NR 20.20 or 20.39. Minnow seines or minnow dip nets of any type or description may not be set, used or operated in any trout stream unless a non-standard gear permit is issued by the department under s. NR 20.39.
NR 20.14(3) (3)Set, use or operate minnow traps in any water that is posted as having been chemically treated to reestablish a trout fishery.
NR 20.14(4) (4)Set, use or operate minnow traps unless a label or tag bearing the legible name and address or department of natural resources customer identification number of the operator in the English language is securely attached.
NR 20.14(5) (5)Set, use or operate minnow traps unless they are raised and the minnows are removed from them at least once every 48 hours from all waters except trout streams.
NR 20.14(6) (6)Set, use or operate minnow traps in trout streams during the closed season for trout unless issued a non-standard gear permit by the department under s. NR 20.39. The permit authorizing placement of minnow traps in trout streams during the closed season for trout shall specify conditions on raising the traps and removing minnows.
NR 20.14(7) (7)Set, use or operate more than 3 minnow traps in trout streams during the open season for trout except licensed bait dealers.
NR 20.14(7)(a) (a) No more than a total of 20 minnow traps may be set, used or operated by licensed bait dealers during the open season for trout when removing minnows from one or more trout streams unless issued a non-standard gear permit by the department under s. NR 20.39.
NR 20.14(7)(b) (b) Minnow traps set, used or operated on trout streams during the open season for trout shall be raised and the minnows removed from them at least once every 24 hours.
NR 20.14(8) (8)Possess or control more than 600 minnows at any time unless licensed as a bait dealer under s. 29.509, Stats.
NR 20.14 Note Note: With certain exceptions, s. NR 19.05 (3) prohibits the transportation of live fish and live fish eggs, including minnows, taken from any water of the state.
NR 20.14(9) (9)Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter or chs. NR 21 to 23, use or operate any net, trap or similar device for the taking of minnows, or fish for minnows except suckers for any purpose using any gear in Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior, the Mississippi River, Lake Winnebago, the Fox River from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay, or any bay, slough or backwater of these waters, or any water connected to these waters, upstream to the first dam or other obstruction impassable to fish, or in any other water where the department has determined that the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus is present based on test results or other empirical evidence. If the department determines that the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus is present in any additional water body, it shall promptly notify the public of its determination by issuing a press release, by publication in the official state newspaper, and by such other means as the department determines are reasonably likely to inform the public.
NR 20.14(10) (10)Transport away from the water or its bank or shore any live sucker taken from Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior, the Mississippi River, Lake Winnebago, the Fox River from Lake Winnebago to Green Bay, or any bay, slough or backwater of these waters, or any water connected to these waters, upstream to the first dam or other obstruction impassable to fish, or from any additional water where the department has determined under sub. (9) that the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus is present.
NR 20.14 History History: Cr. Register, May, 1999, No. 521, eff. 6-1-99; CR 01-012: am. (3) and (6), Register November 2001 No. 551, eff. 4-1-02; emerg. am. eff. 11-2-07; EmR0808: emerg. cr. (9) and (10), eff. 4-4-08; CR 07-074: am. Register May 2008 No. 629, eff. 6-1-08; CR 19-091: am. (4), (9), (10) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20.
subch. III of ch. NR 20 Subchapter III — Authorized Methods, Open Seasons, Daily Bag Limits and Size Restrictions on Specified Waters
NR 20.15 NR 20.15Authorized methods. A person may do any of the following:
NR 20.15(1) (1)Take rough fish, bullheads and catfish by hand as specified in s. NR 20.20, except in waters established as fish refuges under ch. NR 26.
NR 20.15(1m) (1m)Except as prohibited under ss. NR 21.065, 22.065, and 23.10, take rough fish by means of spearing with a hand held spear within 200 feet of a fishway, lock or dam from June 1 through August 31 where there is an open season for spearing of rough fish unless posted closed to spearing by department sign.
NR 20.15(2) (2)Use any fish for bait provided the fish was lawfully obtained and legal to possess pursuant to all the restrictions set forth in this chapter.
NR 20.15(3) (3)Spear white bass, yellow bass, rock bass, panfish and bullheads while skin diving or scuba diving during the open season for rough fish spearing as specified in s. NR 20.20.
NR 20.15(4) (4)Fish by the method of trolling with up to 3 hooks, baits, or lures on all inland waters in the following counties: Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Forest, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lafayette, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Racine, Richland, Rock, Rusk, Sauk, Shawano, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washburn, Washington, Waushara, Waukesha, Winnebago, and Wood.
NR 20.15 History History: CR 01-012: cr. Register November 2001 No. 551, eff. 4-1-02; CR 13-019: am. (1), cr. (1m) Register December 2013 No. 696, eff. 4-1-14; CR 14-029: cr. (4) Register June 2015 No. 714, eff. 7-1-15; CR 14-029: am. (4) Register June 2015 No. 714, eff. 5-4-18; correction in numbering (4) (a) to (zm) under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1; CR 17-012: am. (4), Register March 2018 No. 747 eff. 4-1-18; CR 19-009: am. (1) Register February 2020 No. 770, eff. 3-1-20; CR 19-091: am. (4) Register March 2020 No. 771, eff. 4-1-20.
NR 20.16 NR 20.16Special early catch and release season for trout.
NR 20.16(1)(1)General provisions.
NR 20.16(1)(a)(a) Open season and waters. Except as specified in sub. (2), there is an open season for trout from 5:00 a.m. on the first Saturday in January through the Friday preceding the first Saturday in May on the following waters:
NR 20.16(1)(a)1. 1. All streams in Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Racine, Richland, Rock, Rusk, St. Croix, Sauk, Sawyer, Sheboygan, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washburn, Washington, Waukesha and Wood counties.
NR 20.16(1)(a)3. 3. `Florence county.' Pine river.
NR 20.16(1)(a)4. 4. `Forest county.' Peshtigo river downstream from U.S. highway 8, Pine river downstream from STH 55, and Rat river downstream from Scattered Rice lake.
NR 20.16(1)(a)5. 5. `Langlade county.' Wolf river.
NR 20.16(1)(a)6. 6. `Lincoln county.' All streams west of STH 51 and Prairie river downstream from CTH J.
NR 20.16(1)(a)7. 7. `Marathon county.' Black creek (mouth at T27N R7E S4), Black creek (T30N,R3E), Grass creek, McGinnes creek, Fourmile creek, Noisy creek, and Plover river from STH 29 downstream to STH 153.
NR 20.16(1)(a)8. 8. `Marinette county.' North branch Peme Bon Won river downstream from STH 141, Peshtigo river upstream from CTH C, Pike river between CTH V and CTH K, and Rat river.
NR 20.16(1)(a)9. 9. `Marquette county.' Chaffee creek downstream from CTH B, Klawitter creek, Lawrence creek, Lunch creek, Mecan river upstream from STH 22, Neenah creek, O' Keefe creek, Wedde creek and Westfield creek.
NR 20.16(1)(a)10. 10. `Oconto county.' North branch Oconto river downstream from STH 64 and south branch Oconto river downstream from CTH AA.
NR 20.16(1)(a)11. 11. `Oneida county.' All streams west of STH 51 and Bearskin creek.
NR 20.16(1)(a)12. 12. `Portage county.' Ditches 1 through 6 downstream from Townline road and Tomorrow river from Amherst downstream to Durant road.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.