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New Fishing License Structure FAQs

When does the new license structure take effect?
The new license structure takes effect on March 1, 2014.

How will the 2014 license restructuring help fishing in Michigan?
The license-buying process for anglers has been simplified, while making substantial investment in natural resources. The new structure provides additional revenue for conservation officers, biologists, habitat improvement projects and resource management - waders in the water and eyes in the field. This license restructuring will allow anglers to enjoy greater access to world-class fishing opportunities, improve fisheries habitat in inland lakes and streams, increase the health and quantity of fish stocked, increase education and outreach to new and existing anglers, and much more. This restructuring allows Fisheries Division to tackle additional opportunities to maintain and improve Michigan's amazing fisheries for current and future generations.

Do I need to purchase a base license to buy a fishing license in March 2014?
No, a base license applies only to hunting. Any of the licenses offered beginning March 1, 2014 will serve as the appropriate fishing license for anglers.

What is included in the hunt/fish combo license?
This includes an all-species fishing license, a base license and a deer combo license (regular and restricted licenses).

Do seniors get a discount on fishing licenses?
There is one senior-discounted fishing license available, the all-species senior license for $11. This license is good for Michigan residents only.

I'm a senior, and I bought a regular hunt/fish combo license before the senior hunt/fish combo license was available. Can I get a refund?
Yes. The discounted senior hunt/fish combo license, for Michigan residents age 65 and older, became available on April 14, 2014. Seniors who purchased a 2014 hunt/fish combo license without a senior discount will receive a letter from the DNR offering a refund of $33 -- the difference between the regular hunt/fish combo ($76) and the senior hunt/fish combo ($43). If you opt for the refund, you will receive a check from the State of Michigan. Please don't seek refunds from the location where you purchased your license. If you are eligible for the refund, you should keep the license you received when you purchased the hunt/fish combo; these licenses are valid and do not need to be replaced.

What fishing licenses are available?
There are five fishing licenses, plus two hunt/fish combo licenses available:

  • Fish 24-hour - $10 (good for residents and non-residents for all species)
  • Fish 72-hour - $30 (good for residents and non-residents for all species)
  • Fish all-species nonresident annual - $76
  • Fish all-species resident annual - $26
  • Fish all-species senior annual - $11 (good for residents only)
  • Hunt/fish combo nonresident - $266
  • Hunt/fish combo resident - $76

Why has the cost of the non-resident fishing license increased so much?
Previously the cost of a non-resident fishing license in Michigan was $42. This was lower than every other Great Lakes state, except for Ohio. An increase in the cost of the non-resident fishing license reflects the popularity and value of Michigan's fisheries and allows the DNR to create additional world-class opportunities.

The prices of the base hunting license, hunt/fish combo license and all-species fishing license include a new $1 surcharge. How will this money be spent?
Revenue generated from these funds will be used to educate the public on the benefits of hunting, fishing, and trapping in Michigan, and the impact of these activities on the conservation, protection, and management of the state's natural resources in accordance with statute.

I am a lifetime restricted fishing license holder. Since the restricted fishing licenses are no longer available, will I be upgraded to an all-species license?
Yes, lifetime restricted fishing license holders will be upgraded to an all-species license.

I used to buy a restricted fishing license, which was cheaper than the all-species fishing license. Why has the restricted license gone away? I do not want to pay for an all-species license when I don't fish for trout or salmon.
Simplifying the license types reduces confusion and eliminates the need for restricted license buyers to purchase an upgrade to an all-species license later if they choose to target trout or salmon. Since all fishing licenses will be good for all species, there is no need to figure out which license to purchase; anglers can fish with a single license.

Who needs to buy a fishing license?
Anyone 17 years of age or older must purchase a license when fishing in Michigan.

Why is there no longer a voluntary youth fishing license?
Due to the voluntary nature of the youth fishing license (type-122), and very low volume sales, it has been removed from the list of license options. To eliminate all unnecessary licenses, only required licenses will now be sold to anglers.