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Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus Regulations

Fishing Regulations Michigan Freshwater Fishing

16MIFW-viralA fish disease known as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) was discovered in Michigan waters. In an attempt to slow the spread of fish diseases like VHS, the following regulations have been put into place. NOTE: the regulations in effect concern only those species listed on the right. Be sure to check michigan.gov/vhs for the most up-to-date regulations and information.

Baitfish Exclusion Zones

The following locations are vital to hatchery operations and require greater protection. Therefore, baitfish shall not be used or possessed on the following waters:

Benzie County: Brundage Cr. and tribs., Kinney Cr. and Stanley Cr., from its confluence with the Platte R. (T26N, R13W, S7), to their headwaters, including Brundage Spring Pond.

Chippewa County: Pendills L. (T47N, R4W, S25, 26) including tributary Pendills Cr. downstream to its confluence with L. Superior (T47N, R4W, S28). Sullivan Cr. from its headwaters (T46N, R4W, S32) downstream to its confluence with the N. Br. of the Pine R. (T45N, R4W, S23). Viddian Cr. from its headwaters (T47N, R4W, S32) downstream to its confluence with Pendills Cr. (T47N, R4W, S28).

Marquette County: Cherry Cr. from the location of the Cherry Creek Rd. (T47N, R24W, S18) to the headwaters at County Rd 480 (T47N, R25W, S22).

General Statewide Provisions

  1. A person shall not stock baitfish, live fish or roe in public waters of the state prior to receiving a Fish Stocking Permit from the department and the permit must be in possession when transporting and stocking the fish. It is unlawful to import any uncertified baitfish species found on the list of Susceptible Fish Species.
  2. Fish caught in a waterbody should only be released into the waterbody where originally caught and not transferred into another location where the fish could not have freely moved to.
  3. All baitfish or fish collected for personal use as bait or cut bait shall only be used for fishing purposes in the original waters of collection and must be used on a hook.
  4. A person who trailers a boat over land shall drain all water from the live well(s) and the bilge of their boat upon leaving any body of water.

Help Michigan’s waters stay world-class, put unused bait in the trash!

VHS Fish Species

  • Atlantic salmon
  • Black bullhead
  • Black crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Bluntnose minnow
  • Brook trout
  • Brown bullhead
  • Channel catfish
  • Cisco (lake herring)
  • Common shiner
  • Creek chub
  • Emerald shiner
  • Fathead minnow
  • Flathead catfish
  • Golden shiner
  • Green sunfish
  • Hybrid sunfish
  • Lake trout
  • Lake whitefish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern pike
  • Northern redbelly dace
  • Pacific herring
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Rainbow smelt
  • Rainbow trout
  • Redear sunfish
  • Rock bass
  • Sand shiner
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spotfin shiner
  • Spottail shiner
  • Walleye
  • Warmouth
  • White bass
  • White crappie
  • White sucker
  • Yellow bullhead
  • Yellow perch