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Fishing in Michigan? Your guide to licensing and regulations in 2024

fisherman holding salmon
Wikamedia commons

As the state’s fishing season kicks off this year state officials are urging anglers to buy their licenses before casting their reels.

Every fisher 17 years and older is required to purchase a license every year to fish legally. A license is required when fishing amphibians, fish, crustaceans and reptiles in public waters of the state.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
2024 Fishing Guide

Minors under 17-years-old are not required to purchase a fishing license but must abide by all state fishing rules and regulations outlined in the 2024 Michigan Fishing Guide.

“The regular licenses is $26 dollars and if you are a senior its $11 dollars. You can get those online, usually at a big box store, or a customer service center,” said Jay Wesley, the Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator for the fisheries division at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Licenses can also be purchased on the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish phone application.

This fishing season, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is also rolling out some new regulations meant to protect fish populations in certain waterways.

Among the new regulations, angler fishing in several type three and four streams will be limited to one 20-inch rainbow trout per day.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
2024 Fishing Guide

“Which include the Betsy River, the Pere Marquette River, Manistee River, Muskegon River," Wesley explained. "Closer to home, Lansing area, it'd be Prairie River, in Ionia County by Ionia and the Rogue River in Kent County."

The state has also combined the daily catch for lake trout and spake for the Great Lakes and connecting waterways.

“The limits range from two to five depending on where you are on the Great Lakes,” Wesley explained.

The state has also increased the limit for lake trout from two to three for anglers fishing in Lake Huron.

“All the regulations are easily available on the maps of the DNR Hunt Fish App or on any fishing guide,” Wesley said.

Failing to abide by the state’s fishing regulations or fishing without a license can result in fines ranging from $50 to $2,500 plus additional legal fees.

Fishing season runs from April 1, 2024 through March 31, 2025.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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