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Lake Michigan

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Lake Michigan and Tributaries Sizes and Limits


Daily Bag Limit

Minimum Size

Chinook Salmon

5 total salmon and trout

No more than 2 may be lake trout.

14 inches

Lake Michigan,

streams, and

St. Joseph River

Coho Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

Pink Salmon

Brown Trout

Steelhead Trout

Lake Trout

Yellow Perch

15 on Lake Michigan only


Lake Whitefish



Any trout or salmon taken from the Lake Michigan tributaries defined in this section must be hooked in the mouth. Foul-hooked fish must be returned to the water.

Additional regulations include:

  • The bag limit for trout or salmon is five. No more than two may be lake trout.
  • The bag limit for yellow perch is 15 while fishing Indiana waters (even if you have a fishing license from a neighboring state).
  • You can take sucker, carp, gar, bowfin, buffalo and shad from Lake Michigan with a bow and arrow.
  • You cannot use a trot line (power line), set line or throw line to take fish from Lake Michigan.
  • Fishing is not allowed within 100 feet above or below the Praxair Dam on the East Branch of the Little Calumet River.
  • See Bass Regulations for Lake Michigan bass regulations.

Tributary Restrictions

You may not possess a fish spear, gig, gaff, bowfishing equipment, crossbow, grab hook, spear gun, club, snag hook or underwater spear in, or adjacent to the Galena River (LaPorte Co.), Trail Creek (LaPorte Co.), the East Branch of the Little Calumet River (LaPorte and Porter counties), Salt Creek (Porter Co.), the West Branch of the Little Calumet River (Lake and Porter counties), Burns Ditch (Lake and Porter counties), Deep River downstream from the dam at Camp 133 (Lake Co.) or the tributaries to these waterways.

Tributary Closings

While there is no closed season for taking trout and salmon from Lake Michigan, certain tributary streams are closed to all fishing from April 1 through June 15. These streams are stocked annually with trout and salmon. The closed fishing period allows these small, vulnerable fish to migrate safely downstream to Lake Michigan. The closed season applies to:

  • The East Branch of Little Calumet River in Porter County from U.S. 12 upstream to U.S. 20
  • Trail Creek in LaPorte County from the Franklin Street Bridge in Michigan City upstream to U.S. 35

Hook Restrictions

In the waters including Lake Michigan tributaries, and the St. Joseph River and its tributary streams from the Twin Branch Dam downstream to the Michigan state line (St. Joseph County), you may not fish with more than one single hook per line or one artificial lure.

Single hooks, including those on artificial lures, cannot exceed ½ inch from point to shank. Double and treble hooks are only allowed on artificial lures and shall not exceed ⅜ inch from point to shank.


St. Joseph River

Special regulations apply to fishing the St. Joseph River and its tributaries from Twin Branch Dam in Mishawaka, downstream to the Michigan state line. These include:

  • Minimum size for trout and salmon is 14 inches.
  • No fishing is allowed at any time in the East Race Waterway in South Bend. No fishing is allowed within 100 feet of the entrance and exit of the East Race.
  • No fishing is allowed at any time from the fish ladders located on the South Bend or Mishawaka Central Park dams.
  • No fishing is allowed within 100 feet of
    the entrances and exits of the fish ladders.
  • No fishing is allowed by boat or other
    watercraft in the St. Joseph River below
    the South Bend Dam for a distance of 200 feet, and from the Mishawaka Central Park Dam downstream to the Main Street bridge, Mishawaka.

Trail Creek

No fishing is allowed within 100 feet upstream of the sea lamprey barrier or downstream to the Pottawatomie Country Club Golf Course property line located adjacent to Springland Avenue in Michigan City.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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