Anglers Fishing in Shared Waters

If you are fishing in waters that share a common boundary with other states or Canada (i.e. Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, Lake Erie), you should be aware of the following regulations. For those waters shared with Canada, make sure you understand the regulations established by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. View these and other regulations at

The following rules apply to all anglers including those fishing from boats and moving fish and baitfish across international boundaries:

  • Federal regulations are in effect prohibiting the transport of baitfish across state/international lines, except under strict regulation or permit.
  • To help prevent the spread of VHS, use baitfish only in the area from which it was harvested or be sure to purchase certified disease-free bait.
  • It is illegal to import any live fish, crayfish, live leeches or salamanders into Ontario for use as bait.
  • In both Ontario and Michigan it is illegal to release any live bait or dump the contents of a bait bucket, including the water, into any waters.
  • Only Ontario resident anglers may capture baitfish from Canadian waters.

Anglers fishing in shared waters of Indiana and Wisconsin should know that bringing minnows listed as Susceptible Fish Species to VHS into Michigan is prohibited by Federal Order (either by vehicle or boat).