Lawmaker calls for free fishing on holiday weekends
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
GRAYLING, MI – A state lawmaker says people should be able to fish without a license on three-day holiday weekends.
Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams are a popular attraction over a long holiday weekend. The state Department of Natural Resources says sales of three-day fishing licenses spike with the approach of Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Labor Day.
But state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker says more people would be attracted to fishing if it were free over those weekends.
"You know, if you're going to have fish on a holiday, why not have a holiday for fishing?" she asks.
Schuitmaker says that would also provide a boost in business for bait shops and party stores. The state already offers free fishing one weekend every winter and fishing is free for anyone younger than 17. Free fishing on holiday weekends would mean less revenue from three-day license sales. The money goes to support fish breeding and stocking in lakes, rivers and streams.