Fishing Regulations in Michigan

Fishing Regulations in Michigan
There are about 150 species of fish in Michigan, from salmon in the Great Lakes to trout in mountain streams. Many fishing opportunities exist as well, as long as you follow the rules and regulations set by the state of Michigan.


You must purchase a license if you are 17 or older. Anyone under 17 may fish without a license but must obey all regulations. Those in the military, who are Michigan residents, may get a license for $1.


Licenses for out-of-state residents are more expensive. A resident is one who has a settled or permanent address in the state, a full-time college student in the state or a member of the military stationed in Michigan.

Angler Rights

An angler has a right to get on the bank of private or fenced property, without permission, in order to avoid an obstruction on the water. Harassing anglers, or interfering with fishing, is a misdemeanor.


Two weekends per year, in February and June, anyone may fish in Michigan without a license on free fishing days. The free weekend applies to non-residents, as well. Normal fishing regulations for size and limits still apply.


Bass and walleye are among the most popular freshwater fish in Michigan. Bass--largemouth or smallmouth--season starts in June and goes through the end of the year. Walleye season goes from May until March.

Article Written By James Jordan

James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.