Michigan Fish Bait Regulations

Michigan Fish Bait Regulations
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment oversees fishing in the state. One of its duties is to uphold certain regulations regarding the various kinds of baits that anglers employ to catch fish.


Michigan regulations allow anglers to use any fish, with some exceptions, as bait as long as the angler catches the fish legally. Lampreys, goldfish and live carp are not legal baitfish species in Michigan waters. Frogs and crayfish are viable bait if caught with legal methods, as are the larvae and nymphs of aquatic insects. However, nymphs caught in a specific trout stream are viable only on that stream.


You can use minnow traps, dip nets, seine nets and a hook and line to catch minnows to utilize as fish bait. When catching minnows in streams designated as trout streams, you can only do so during the trout open season, with either a hook and line or a minnow trap.


Michigan fish bait regulations impose a size limit on some of the equipment you can use to catch minnows. Seines cannot exceed 4 feet by 12 feet. A hand net is illegal if it is over 8 square feet in area. Hand nets must not possess walls or sides. Minnow traps cannot be longer than 24 inches and cast nets must be no wider than 8 feet.

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