Artificial Flies: Any commonly accepted single hook wet and dry flies, streamers and nymphs without spinner, spoon, scoop, lip or any other fishing lure or bait attached. The fly or leader may be weighted, but no weight shall be attached to the fly or to the terminal tackle in a manner that allows the weight to be suspended from or below the hook.
Artificial Lure: A manmade lure manufactured to imitate natural bait. Artificial lures include spoons, spinners, flies and plugs made of metal, plastic, wood and other non-edible materials. They also include plastic products made to resemble worms, eggs, fish and other aquatic organisms.
Cast Net: A net not exceeding 8 feet in diameter without walls or sides that is thrown to take minnows, alewives, smelt and shad in the Great Lakes and Connecting Waters.
Catch-and-Immediate-Release: The act of returning fish immediately to the water without injury.
Daily Possession Limit: The total number of fish, amphibians or reptiles that may be caught and kept in one day. See also Possession Limit.
Designated Trout Lake: Any lake so designated by the state that contains a significant population of trout or salmon. All Type A, all Type D, and those Type B* lakes marked with an asterisk (*) are designated trout lakes (see Inland Trout & Salmon Regulations and Inland Trout & Salmon Regulations: By County Listing and check FO-200 on the DNR website). An all-species license is required to fish on these waters.
Designated Trout Stream: Any stream so designated by the state that contains a significant population of trout or salmon. All Type 1, all Type 2, all Gear Restricted Streams, some Type 3 and some Type 4 waters are designated trout streams (see pages Inland Trout & Salmon Regulations and Inland Trout & Salmon Regulations: By County Listing and check FO-210 on the DNR website). An all-species license is required to fish on these waters.
Dropper Line: A line in addition to the main fishing line that contains a hook. Dropper lines are usually attached to the main line.
Drop-shotting: using a weight suspended below a hook that is tied directly to the main fishing line.
Drowned River Mouth Lakes: An area of a river where it enters the Great Lakes. Considered inland waters and are listed in Note 3 under Great Lakes Trout & Salmon Regulations.
Great Lakes Connecting Waters: Specific bodies of water in Michigan that connect the Great Lakes. Designated connecting waters are L. St. Clair, St. Marys R., St. Clair R. (begins at the Fort Gratiot Light) and the Detroit R.
Hand Net and Landing Net: A mesh bag of webbing or wire, suspended from a circular, oval or rectangular frame attached to a handle. These are the most common fishing nets used in Michigan.
Hook: A single, double or treble pointed hook. All hooks, single, double or treble pointed and attached to a manufactured artificial lure shall be counted as 1 hook.
Inland Waters: All waters in Michigan EXCEPT the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Connecting Waters.
Lake Sturgeon Fishing Tag: This tag is free and is required for all anglers who fish for lake sturgeon. Lake sturgeon harvest is limited to one per person per angling year (Apr. 1 – Mar. 31), where harvest is allowed. The tag is non-transferable and is available at all license vendors. See Lake Sturgeon Regulations for more information.
Minnows: Chubs, shiners, dace, stonerollers, sculpins (muddlers), mudminnows and suckers of a size used for bait in hook-and-line fishing. See Lawful Methods and Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus Regulations.
Muskellunge Harvest Tag: This tag is free and is required to harvest a muskellunge (including tiger muskellunge). Muskellunge harvest is limited to 1 per person per angling year (Apr. 1 – Mar. 31). The tag is non-transferable and is available at all license vendors. It is required for anyone who intends to harvest a muskellunge in Michigan waters.
Possession Limit: In addition to 1 day’s daily possession limit of fish, a person may possess an additional 2 daily possession limits of fish taken during previous fishing days provided that the additional limits of fish are processed (canned, cured by smoking or drying, or frozen). This provision does not apply to lake sturgeon or muskellunge. Anglers who have not attained the age of 17 are entitled to the possession limit even though they do not have a fishing license. A person fishing waters bordered by other states or provinces AND possessing multiple fishing licenses may possess the limit allowed for ONLY ONE license while in transit, but while fishing in Michigan waters, must comply with Michigan possession and size limits.
Protected Slot Limit: Prohibits the harvest of fish that fall within a protected minimum and maximum size interval (see General Hook & Line Regulations).
Snagging: Attempting to take fish in a manner that the fish does not take the hook voluntarily in its mouth. It is unlawful to snag a fish.
Trapping: Catching or taking fish by use of a device, such as a cage or net, designated to capture a fish or animal.
Weekly Fishing Report
Each week discover the latest fishing hot spots and tips used to catch specific species all throughout Michigan—all courtesy of the DNR’s Weekly Fishing Report! Here’s how you can access the report:
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.