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Dive into Summer: Host a Free Public Fishing Event on Wisconsin's Free Fishing Weekend

Wisconsin's Free Fishing Weekend

As the warm breeze of summer approaches, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is thrilled to extend an invitation to organizations across the state to host free public fishing events on June 1-2, 2024. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring communities together, promote outdoor activities, and foster a love for fishing among residents and visitors alike. Here’s everything you need to know to get involved and make the most of this exciting weekend.

Preparing for the Big Event

To ensure a successful fishing event, the DNR offers several resources to assist organizations in their planning and execution. One of the most beneficial resources available is the tackle loaner program. With 60 tackle loaner sites distributed throughout Wisconsin, organizations can borrow basic fishing gear at no cost. This program makes it easier for those who may not have their own equipment to participate and enjoy the experience of fishing.

Additionally, the DNR recommends considering state parks as potential venues for these events. State parks provide picturesque settings and ample space to accommodate large groups, making them ideal locations for hosting free fishing activities.

During Free Fishing Weekend, most waters in Wisconsin are open for fishing. This includes the state’s portion of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, providing a diverse range of fishing environments. However, it’s important to note that all fishing regulations will still apply. This includes size and bag limits as well as species restrictions, ensuring that fishing practices remain sustainable and within legal boundaries.

Promoting Your Event

To maximize the reach and impact of your fishing event, the DNR encourages organizations to register their events. Registration not only adds your event to the official DNR calendar, enhancing public visibility, but also grants access to additional promotional materials. These materials include fishing regulations, fish wildcards, and posters, which can be distributed to participants to enrich their fishing experience and ensure they are informed about the rules and regulations.

The deadline for registering events is May 22. Early registration is advisable to allow ample time for planning and promotion. Detailed information about registration, fishing regulations, and tackle loaner sites is available on the DNR’s website at

Making the Most of Free Fishing Weekend

Free Fishing Weekend presents a unique chance to engage with the community and encourage participation in outdoor activities. Here are a few tips to ensure your event is a hit:

  1. Promote Early and Widely: Use social media, local newspapers, community bulletin boards, and word-of-mouth to spread the word about your event. Highlight the fact that it’s free and family-friendly.

  2. Collaborate with Local Businesses: Partnering with local bait shops, outdoor gear stores, and restaurants can help enhance the experience for participants. These businesses might offer discounts, sponsor prizes, or provide refreshments.

  3. Educational Components: Consider adding educational stations where attendees can learn about different fish species, fishing techniques, and conservation efforts. This can add value to the event and attract a wider audience.

  4. Volunteers and Staff: Ensure you have enough volunteers and staff to assist with setup, registration, and guiding participants. Knowledgeable volunteers can also help teach fishing basics to beginners.

  5. Safety First: Have first aid kits on hand and ensure there are clear safety guidelines for all participants. Remind everyone to stay hydrated and protect themselves from the sun.

By following these tips and utilizing the resources provided by the DNR, your organization can host a memorable and impactful fishing event that brings joy to participants and promotes a love for the outdoors.


Hosting a free public fishing event during Wisconsin’s Free Fishing Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to engage with the community, promote environmental stewardship, and encourage healthy outdoor activities. With the support and resources provided by the DNR, organizations can create successful events that leave a lasting positive impact.

For more information and to register your event, visit Don’t miss out on this chance to make a splash in your community and inspire a new generation of anglers.

Key Takeaways:
Wisconsin DNR invites organizations to host free fishing events on June 1-2, 2024.
Borrow fishing gear from 60 tackle loaner sites statewide.
Consider state parks as venues for events.
Register your event by May 22 for additional promotion and materials.
Visit for more details and registration.

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