A Michigan fishing license is required for anglers to legally catch fish in state rivers, streams and lakes. Each license to fish is issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and valid for a set period of time. MI fishing permits are divided into categories based on the angler’s age, residency status and how long the license will be valid for. Once you have acquired a recreational fishing license, enhance your skills by engaging in one of the state-run education opportunities. Additional support can be found in one of the many fishing organizations present throughout the state. Read the sections below for more information on how to get fishing licenses in Michigan:
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Regardless of the type of fishing Michigan anglers plan to partake in, a recreational fishing license is required to remove marine species from state waters. Fishing permits are categorized based on the applicant’s age and the length of the fishing license’s validity. Two main categories of MI fishing licenses are available for purchase through the Department of Natural Resources:
Both residents and nonresidents can buy fishing licenses in Michigan when they present certain credentials such as identification, their Social Security Number and proof of residency. Options for buying fishing licenses in Michigan include:
Michigan residents younger than 17 years of age are not required to obtain fishing licenses.
Living in Michigan affords anglers the privilege of residential fishing license eligibility. Residential fishing licenses are issued at a discounted fee in comparison with non resident fishing licenses. To be considered a MI resident, you must reside in a permanent home within state borders. Additionally, students attending a Michigan educational institution as well as active-duty military members stationed in the state are considered residents. Select from a number of available residential fishing licenses options:
Note: Residential fishing license fees are subject to change without notice.
Visitors in Michigan are not eligible for residential fishing licenses and therefore must purchase a non resident fishing license. To buy out of state fishing licenses, complete the DNR fishing license application process. Non resident fishing permit options include:
Note: Non resident fishing license fees are subject to change without notice.
The Michigan DNR urges anglers of all ages to further their fishing knowledge through the many educational opportunities offered by the department. The DNR manages a county-specific Aquatic Education Partnership with multiple fishing education centers, a list of which can be found online. Additionally, there are a number of official DNR fishing visitor centers located throughout the state to inform residents and visitors of MI fishing basics. With fun activities for both adults and children, there are opportunities for anybody to learn more about fishing in Michigan.
Seasoned anglers in Michigan can gain more hands-on experience by joining one of several fishing organizations that operate throughout the state. Popular MI fishing groups include:
The Downriver Bass Association is an organization dedicated to the promotion of sport bass fishing. With an eye for innovative fishing techniques, the group helps members improve their skills while also pushing for better wildlife conservation efforts throughout the state. Members must be at least 18 years of age with a deep interest in bass fishing.
The Michigan Fly Fishing Club boasts over 350 members throughout the state with varying levels of expertise in the sport of fly fishing. Founded in 1970, the organization promotes the enhancement of fly fishing techniques by holding frequent events throughout the state. The group also works together to promote fishing education in schools as well as wildlife conservation efforts.
The Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation is a subsidiary of the larger international organization B.A.S.S. Nation. The state organization collaborates with local schools to expand educational efforts and help create a new generation of bass anglers.