Fishing has long been a cherished pastime in Michigan and all of the surrounding Great Lakes states. With over 11,000 different lakes in Michigan alone.  Fishing is a great source of fun and adventure for the experienced or junior sportsman; with that in mind here are some rules, procedures and laws that everyone looking to fish michigan’s waters should be aware of.  The first thing the sportsman must do is purchase a valid fishing license from a local license retailer or by visiting the Elicense portion of Michigan’s DNR website.   Any version of the Michigan fishing license makes you valid to pursue all species in our waters.

Here are the basic pricing for and categories for the upcoming year:

  • Resident annual – $26
  • Nonresident annual – $76
  • Senior annual (for residents age 65 or older) – $11
  • 24-hour (resident or nonresident) – $10
  • 72-hour (resident or nonresident) – $30
  • Resident combo hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) – $76
  • Senior resident combo hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) – $43
  • Nonresident combo hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) – $266

After you have purchased your license you need to be aware of the different size and catch limitations on the various species of fish.  The last thing you want is to be stop by a DNR officer with a cooler full of fish that are under the legal limit.

If you plan on eating your catch then you need to be in compliance with the different seasons that you are allowed to keep specific species of fish.  Depending on what you are going for you may be able to keep fish all year round or limited to a certain time of year.   This protects the species breeding or migration habits.

The last thing you need to remember is that fishing is fun!  So get out there, put your pole into the water and wait for that next bite!


Photo Credit To:  Atlantic salmon swimming upriver to spawn, Canada. © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada