The Park offers a great variety of Lake Michigan habitats, including the Quiet Water and Maritime Basins between the Milwaukee World Festival Grounds and the island, the inner harbor on the eastern Park boundary and the harbor entrance to the river estuary at the south of the Park. Anglers are normally present and welcome at all times of the year.
The basins and surrounding waters hold a surprising variety of fish species. The basins contain large and smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleyes, suckers, bullhead, carp, crappies, perch, and bluegills. Seasonally a wide variety of Great Lake trout and salmon species enter the basins. On several occasions, lake sturgeon have been caught in the Lakeshore State Park lagoon. Anglers use the Park year round, including a die-hard group of ice anglers who are out even on the coldest days.
The DNR as well as many other universities and organizations are continuously studying non-native species that are causing changes to Lake Michigan’s ecosystem. The staff at Lakeshore State Park sample and monitor native and non-native species that inhabit the Park lands and water, using crayfish and minnow traps, benthic organism samplers, and plankton nets as part of the Park’s Lake Michigan educational programs. Commonly encountered species include zebra and quagga mussels, round gobies, and carp.
A fishing license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older. A Great Lakes Salmon/Trout Stamp is required when fishing for those species. The Park is open 24 hours a day to anglers, and fishing is permitted from any shoreline. We only ask that anglers avoid walking on the prairie restoration areas.
Access the DNR link below to learn about the specific rules and regulations that apply while fishing in Lakeshore State Park and the waters of Lake Michigan.