What You Get: Casting for the Future

Young boy holding a fishing pole

Fisheries management in Michigan presents terrific opportunities for the Department of Natural Resources and its partners to maintain and improve our world-class fisheries. Charting the Course, the DNR Fisheries Division's strategic plan, is built on sound science as well as social and economic considerations, providing a firm foundation for managing these resources for today and tomorrow.

Healthy and sustainable fish populations and aquatic resources not only make scientific and economic sense, but also provide rich outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities for residents and visitors. As we work to safeguard and enhance the state's fisheries, the best and largest freshwater fishing portfolio found anywhere in the world, we show our commitment by:

  • Taking a well-rounded approach to watershed management and improvement
  • Preventing and reducing threats to Michigan's fisheries resources
  • Expanding current relationships and building fresh partnerships
  • Creating new fishing opportunities
  • Providing solid stewardship of these Pure Michigan resources

What does additional investment in Michigan's fisheries mean to anglers?

With added support for the management of Michigan's fisheries, anglers will enjoy greater access to remarkable fishing opportunities, a direct result of the DNR's ability to:

Provide grants to partners for improvement of fisheries habitat in inland waters.

  • Establish an inland fisheries grant program to enhance fish habitats
  • Consult with and assist project applicants throughout the grant process
  • Implement statewide management plans for muskie, northern pike and lake sturgeon, which would establish the habitat needs for improving these species' natural reproduction

Boost technical assistance for fisheries habitat improvement in streams.

  • Increase staff participation and consultation in projects that protect, rehabilitate and enhance fisheries
  • Improve Natural Rivers program management
  • Improve field staff coverage in high angler-use watersheds
  • Improve reporting on assessment activities that will directly affect management needs
  • Begin work on a statewide cold-water species management plan

Address fish hatchery infrastructure needs to increase the health and quantity of fish stocked.

  • Strengthen efforts to improve our capacity to rear Great Lakes muskie, walleye, northern pike and lake sturgeon
  • Rear and stock prescribed numbers of Atlantic salmon
  • Improve the health of stocked species through stronger biological and electronic security
  • Address critical maintenance issues at egg-collection weirs and hatcheries

Increase education and outreach to new and existing anglers.

  • Expand the awareness of angling opportunities and assess the public's satisfaction with fishing in Michigan
  • Increase angler access to inland waters
  • Develop family-friendly and kids-only fishing opportunities
  • Improve Web-based information and services and begin development of mobile applications for electronic devices
  • Make it easier, through reduction and simplification of regulations, for new and existing anglers to participate in fishing while still protecting Michigan's world-class resources
  • Improve customers' license-buying experience, both online and in retail locations
  • Enhance fishing opportunities in urban areas

Increase angler creel surveys and assessments in inland waters and Great Lakes nearshore waters.

  • Capture more information to help managers understand where existing, new and expanding fisheries are succeeding, as well as how they affect regional economies
  • Measure angler satisfaction, with a larger focus on inland fisheries
  • Ensure sufficient lake and stream surveys to determine how well management efforts are meeting objectives
  • Enhance data reporting to stakeholders to broaden knowledge and improve timely decision-making

Better tell the story of Pure Michigan fishing.

  • Engage in year-round promotion (including videos, blog posts and outreach via digital and social media) of Michigan's world-class hunting and fishing opportunities
  • Enrich the aquatic education program, as well as provide increased opportunities to learn how to fish
  • Increase recruitment and retention of anglers, using research and consumer trends to 1.) identify target segments in our current demographic and 2.) develop programs and partnerships that expand fishing opportunities and outreach

Additionally, more investment generated by the hunting and fishing license restructuring and General Fund appropriations will:

  • Increase the number of conservation officers to expand customer contacts by COs, thereby boosting opportunities for public education and creating a safer environment for residents and visitors
  • Supply conservation officers to three Michigan counties that currently do not have assigned COs, and to other counties that currently do not have an adequate number of COs