Wisconsin offers a free fun weekend | News, sports, jobs

IRON MOUNTAIN – This is a free fun weekend in Wisconsin, a chance to try a new outdoor activity as state park entrance fees, fishing licenses and trail passes are waived for all visitors.

All linear/rail trails, including ATV and equestrian trails, are open to the public. Resident and non-resident off-road vehicle operators will not need a trail pass to ride on state ATV trails this weekend and registration requirements will be waived.

Residents and non-residents are not required to have a Wisconsin fishing license or trout/salmon stamps. All fishing rules for 2024-2025 still apply, including bag and length limits and species restrictions, and boats must be registered.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources lists several locations in Florence County where inshore fishing access is readily available:

– Woods Creek in Fern has a significant amount of public land, including a DNR fishing site just east of Highway 101.

—Fisher Lake in Florence has a park and boat launch, as well as a public fishing pier on the other side of the lake.

— Wisconsin Creek in Tipler has almost all public land.

— Florence’s Brule River Stream has a walking trail from the boat dock that loops around a peninsula.

— Sand Lake in the Spread Eagle Barrens has a government-owned shoreline. However, access by boat is limited to hand luggage.

— Twin Falls Flowage at Vagabond Park in Spread Eagle has a boat dock north of US 2 and a walking trail.

Next weekend is the summer free fishing weekend in Michigan. On June 8 and 9, both residents and visitors can fish without a permit. It’s part of Three Free Weekend, where residents and visitors can ride off-road trails and visit state parks and boats – all for free.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a public information meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Rhinelander DNR Service Center to discuss walleye rehabilitation on Crescent Lake in Oneida County. More information is available at, as well as a Zoom link.

Tri-County Snowmobile and ORV Club meet Tuesday at Marion Park in Norway at 6 p.m.

The Michigan DNR reported this activity in the Upper Peninsula:

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair fishing. They found success drifting or trolling crawler harnesses, and some also caught a few on small crankbaits. Fishermen fished near the Escanaba River, as well as near Black Bottom. Anglers fishing for walleye at the head of the bay reported fishing was slow. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing, with some bed fishing.

Manistique: Walleye anglers reported fishing slowly, but managed to catch a few by trolling crankbaits or casting jigs. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing. Slow fishing was reported for anglers trolling for salmon and trout.

Ontonagon River: Reports indicate walleye were being caught in good numbers, with many anglers having the best luck in the morning. These fish were caught by both trolling and jigging.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: Reports from anglers indicate large numbers of coho salmon, brook trout and lake trout were caught. Many have stated that they found these fish at various depths in the water column while trolling.

Black River Harbor: Fishing efforts from the harbor were average this past week. Anglers reported catching coho salmon, brook trout and lake trout, all in respectable numbers. They also reported that these fish were caught in shallow waters while trolling and the bite was sporadic.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers had many good fishing days this past week in Keweenaw and Huron Bays. Anglers had success not only on trolling trips, but also on jigging trips. Jigging anglers caught lake trout and whitefish using both artificial and natural baits. Fish were found at various depths ranging from 50 to 250 feet of water. Lake trout were the main catch while jigging and trolling. Chinook and coho salmon were the next most common catches, and these were caught while trolling. The mornings seemed to produce more fish.

Traverse Bay/South Portage Entry Canal: Anglers reported successful fishing trips while trolling and jigging with a focus on salmon. Jigging produced more fish when anglers used cut bait; however, lake trout bit on both natural and artificial presentations.

Marquette: Lake trout and Chinook salmon numbers continued to increase from boats leaving the lower harbor and trolling the Chocolay River to Laughing White Fish Point. The upper harbor saw more anglers on days when the lake was calmer, with large numbers of lake trout caught while jigging or trolling around White Rocks and towards Granite Island. Anglers fishing for salmon and brown trout mostly did well in about 40 feet of water from the Chocolay River to Shot Point. A few straggler coho salmon and steelhead were still being caught each week as a bonus for some anglers. Trolling chartreuse or bright pink crankbaits or green multicolored moonshine glow spoons would still work well for salmon at slightly higher trolling speeds. Lake trout were caught while jigging white crankbaits around the northeast side of White Rocks or while trolling between White Rocks and Granite at slower speeds of 1 to 2 miles per hour in approximately 100 to 180 feet of water.

Au Train: Anglers found good numbers of Chinook salmon, brook trout and lake trout, with numbers continuing to improve as water temperatures continued to rise. Most of the fish were reportedly caught in about 40 feet of water along the coast from Scott Falls Honey Hole to 5-Mile Point, or in about 100 feet of water north to northwest of Au Train Island while trolling toward the Clay Banks.

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