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General Hook & Line Regulations

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This table provides general statewide regulations for the species listed. However, there are many waters in the state that have fishing regulations which differ from those in this table. Please refer to the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters, Sylvania Wilderness Area, and Exceptions to General Regulations by County.

Table 1: General Hook & Line Regulations


(Note 1)

Minimum Size (inches)

Daily Possession Limit


Largemouth bass

Smallmouth bass

(Note 2)


5 total

in any

combination but

no more than

2 northern pike

(See Note 7)

3rd. Sat. in Jun. – Dec. 31: L. St. Clair, St. Clair R., Detroit R.

Sat. before Memorial Day – Dec. 31: All other waters including Great Lakes (except those listed in Note 2)


(Note 3)


May 15 – Mar. 15: Upper Peninsula Great Lakes and inland waters, and St. Marys R.

Last Sat. in Apr. – Mar. 15: Lower Peninsula inland waters

Open All Year: Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, L. St. Clair, St. Clair R. and Detroit R.

Northern pike
(Note 7)


Flathead catfish


Open All Year

Channel catfish



(including tiger muskellunge)


(See Note 7)

May 15 – Mar. 15: Upper Peninsula Great Lakes and inland waters, and St. Marys R.

Last Sat. in Apr. – Mar. 15: Lower Peninsula inland waters

Open All Year: Lower Peninsula Great Lakes

1st Sat. in Jun. – Dec. 15: L. St. Clair, St. Clair R. and Detroit R.

Yellow perch
(Note 4)

No size limit


Open All Year

(Note 5)

25 in any

combination of the

listed species

White bass

25 on Gr. Lakes,

L. St. Clair, St.

Marys R., St. Clair

R., and Detroit R.

10 on inland waters

Lake whitefish
(lake herring)

12 in any


Lake sturgeon

Please see Table 2, Lake Sturgeon Regulations


No size limit

2 gallons

Open All Year
(See Table 5 for General Netting Regulations)

All others
(Note 6)

No size limit

No possession


Open All Year


Notes for Table 1

Note 1

All Coolwater fish: Coolwater fish include all species listed in this table. Regulations for trout and salmon on inland waters are provided on pages 46-58.

Note 2

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: On L. Michigan, within one-half mile of the following islands of the Beaver Island Archipelago: Beaver, Garden, High and Hog, (CHARLEVOIX) the open season is Jul. 1 – Dec. 31.

Catch-and-Immediate-Release seasons: On the following waters, bass may be caught and released during the seasons listed. All bass caught must be immediately (see common terms page 10) returned to the water: L. St. Clair, St. Clair R. and Detroit R., from the last Sat. in Apr. – Fri. before the 3rd. Sat. in Jun.; All Lower Pen. waters including Great Lakes: Last Sat. in Apr. – Fri. before Memorial Day; All Upper Pen. waters including Great Lakes: May 15 – Fri. before Memorial Day.

Note 3


  • Lake Erie: The daily possession limit will remain at 6 walleye through Apr. 30, 2013. The daily possession limit for walleye will be set on May 1 each year. A special publication announcing the new daily possession limit will be available at DNR offices and license vendors starting in Apr. 2013. The new daily possession limit will also be announced on the DNR website ( and in a pre-recorded message at 888-367-7060.
  • L. St. Clair and St. Clair R.: On these waters the daily possession limit for walleye is 6 and the minimum size limit is 13″.
  • Little Bay de Noc (DELTA): No more than 1 walleye over 23″ may be possessed in daily limit north of a line drawn from Peninsula Point Lighthouse to the mouth of the Ford R.
  • Michigan waters of Green Bay: from the mouth of the Menominee R. northward to the latitudinal line (45 degrees/15 minutes) located approximately 3 miles south of Rochereau Point: from Mar. 2 – Fri. before 1st Sat. in May the daily possession limit is 1 walleye and from the 1st Sat. in May – Mar. 1 the daily possession limit is 5 walleye.
  • Mullett L. proper, Cheboygan R. from Mullett L. downstream to Cheboygan Dam (T38N, R1W, S31), and Black R. from Alverno Dam (T37N, R1W, S35) downstream to its confluence with the Cheboygan R. (CHEBOYGAN): The daily possession limit for walleye is 3 and the season for harvest of walleye is May 15 – Mar. 15, inclusive.

Note 4

Yellow perch

  • L. Huron waters of MACKINAC and CHIPPEWA and the St. Marys R., the minimum size limit is 7″.
  • L. Michigan south of the 45th parallel (excluding the Grand Traverse Bays) the possession limit is 35 perch.
  • L. Gogebic (GOGEBIC and ONTONAGON): The daily possession limit for yellow perch is 25 with no more than 5 yellow perch 12″ or greater.

Note 5


Includes: black and white crappies, bluegill, green and hybrid sunfish, longear, pumpkinseed, redear, rock bass, and warmouth.

Note 6

All others

Those species not listed above and not considered trout or salmon.

Note 7

Special Northern Pike & Muskellunge Regulations

A non-transferable Muskellunge Harvest Tag is required to harvest any muskellunge. The tag is free and is available at all license vendors. A harvested muskellunge shall be immediately tagged with a validated Muskellunge Harvest Tag. Muskellunge harvest is limited to 1 muskellunge per angler per year (Apr. 1 – Mar. 31).

Waters where up to 5 northern pike of any size may be taken with only 1 greater than 24” allowed in the daily possession limit:

  • ALCONA: Badger L. ALGER: Nawakwa, Trout and 16 Mile Lks. ANTRIM: Six Mile L. BARAGA: Vermillac (Worm) L. CHARLEVOIX: Deer, Fox, Geneserath, and Six Mile Lks. CHEBOYGAN: Black R. upstream of Tower Dam (includes Tower Pond) and tributary streams only, Silver and Wildwood Lks. CHIPPEWA: Frenchman and Trout (Carp) Lks. CLARE: Eight Point L. and L. Thirteen CRAWFORD: Big Creek Impoundment, River and Pickerel Lks. DELTA: Carr, Chicago, Hamilton, and Lyman Lks. and Escanaba R. (upstream from first dam at US-2) DICKINSON: Sawyer L. EMMET: French Farm and O’Neal L. Floodings GLADWIN: L. Lancer GOGEBIC: African (Big and Little), Chaney, Cisco, Clearwater, East Bay, Fishhawk, Indian, Lindsley, Morley, Poor, Record, and Thousand Island Lks. GRAND TRAVERSE: Boardman L., Brown Bridge Pond and L. Dubonnet HOUGHTON: Rice L. IRON: Bone, Buck, Indian, Runkle and Winslow Lks., Hemlock Falls and Michigamme Reservoirs, Michigamme Falls and Peavy Reservoirs, Lake St. Kathryn, Deer R., Net R., and Net R. Wide Waters. KEWEENAW: Schlatter L. LEELANAU: Florence L. (S. Manitou Is.), artificial lures only LUCE: East and Muskallonge Lks. MACKINAC: East, Millecoquins, and South Manistique Lks. MANISTEE: Bar L. MARQUETTE: Bass (East) L., Cedar L., Engman L., Shag (Big) L., Dead R. Storage Basin, Witch L., Middle Br. Escanaba R., Big West Br. Escanaba River Mainstream downstream to Boney Falls Basin (except Greenwood, Schweitzer and Cataract Reservoirs) MASON: Hackert L. (Crystal L.) MECOSTA: Haymarsh L. MENOMINEE: Westman Impoundment MISSAUKEE: Missaukee L. MONTMORENCY: East and West Town Corner, and Pug Lks., Black River and tributary streams only MUSKEGON: Big Blue L. OCEANA: Round (Wykoff) L. and Silver L. OGEMAW: L. Ogemaw OSCEOLA: Diamond L., L. Miramichi, Rose and Wells Lks. OSCODA: Pickerel L. OTSEGO: Black R. and tributaries PRESQUE ISLE: Francis L., Ocqueoc R. and tributary streams, Ocqueoc Watershed Lakes (Ann, Bullhead, Ella, Emma, Ferdelman, Gorman, Horseshoe, Lost, Louise, Lower and Upper Barnhart, May, McIntosh, Moore, Mud and Nettie, and Ocqueoc L.), Black R. and tributary streams and Tomahawk Flooding ROSCOMMON: L. St. Helen, Backus Cr., Mud L., and Little Mud L. Waterfowl Flooding SCHOOLCRAFT: Boot, Crooked, Kennedy, Stanley and Thunder Lks.; Seney National Wildlife Refuge Pools – contact Refuge office (906-586-9851).

Lakes with 24” – 34” protected slot limit on northern pike and daily possession limit of 2 northern pike:

  • ALLEGAN: Pine Creek Flooding KALAMAZOO: Long L. (T3S, R10W, S17, 18, 19, 30) KENT: Bass L. (T10N, R9W, S12, 13, 14) LUCE: Blind Sucker Flooding and Bodi L. MONTCALM: Townline L.

Lakes with Northern Pike and Muskellunge possession seasons the last Sat. in Apr. – Nov. 30:

  • BARRY: Thornapple L. (from McKeown Rd. to Barger Rd.) minimum size on muskellunge is 50″. LENAWEE: L. Hudson VAN BUREN: Bankson L., Brownwood L., and Round L. (Keeler TWP T4S, R16W, S13).

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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