November 01, 2015

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission Thursday approved several fishing regulations at its meeting in Cedarville. Many of these regulations immediately went into effect. They will remain in effect for the 2016 fishing season (which begins April 1).

All of the changes are highlighted below and also are reflected in the online version of the 2015 Michigan Fishing Guide, available at These regulation changes are part of Fisheries Order 215.

Bass Tournament

Registration Requirement

• The DNR has been working closely with bass angling groups

that have recommended mandatory bass tournament registration. This

will allow the DNR to improve its understanding of tournament effort and provide additional biological information about bass fishing tournaments in Michigan.

As a result, all bass tournaments held in 2016 will need to be registered using the DNR’s Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System prior to taking place. (Starting in January 2016.)

Combined Possession Limit Change

• The combined possession limit for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and flathead catfish (which limited the daily possession limit to five fish) has been removed.

Therefore, anglers are now be able to possess up to five (5) bass (largemouth and smallmouth combined), up to five (5) walleye, up to five (5) flathead catfish, and up to two (2) northern pike in their daily possession limit. These species will no longer be managed under a combined possession limit and now will be managed under separate possession limits, resulting in more fish for anglers to keep in a day’s fishing. (Went into effect immediately.)

Little Bay de Noc Walleye

Possession Change

• The zone where only one walleye greater than 23 inches may be retained in the daily possession limit in Little Bay de Noc (Delta County) has been expanded south from the Ford River to the Bark River. Therefore, no more than one walleye over 23 inches may be possessed in the daily limit north of a line drawn from Peninsula Point Lighthouse to the mouth of the Bark River. (Went into effect immediately.)

St. Clair System Northern Pike Possession Limit Increase

• The daily possession limit for northern pike on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and Detroit River has been increased to five. (Went into effect immediately.)

The 2015 Michigan Fishing Guide is available at all major retailers and online at