Crawford County's Jones Lake should be calling your name next summer

biologist holding a northern pike during survey on Jones LakeJust 14 miles northeast of Grayling you'll find a small, 43-acre lake, which might offer you a unique fishing experience. But there's a catch - you can't go until next summer!

Located in Crawford County, Jones Lake has a maximum depth of 37 feet and is right off of County Road 612. A State Forest Campground is located right on its shore, making it an excellent destination for those looking to have a long, outdoor weekend.

"We call Jones Lake a quality fishing lake," explained local fisheries biologist Neal Godby. "It features quality fishing regulations that were instituted in 2006."

Quality fishing regulations? What does that mean?

Jones Lake has a restricted fishing season that's only open from June 1 through September 30. All fishing is catch-and-release ONLY and you can only use artificial lures. Doing so maximizes the size of the fish available to catch and allows anglers who pursue its waters to experience memorable catches.

"At Jones Lake you can catch a quality-size bluegill up to 10 inches or northern pike up to 38 inches - or even walleye in the area of 24-inches," Godby shared. "You can also find largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, rock bass and yellow perch there."

Since implementing these unique fishing regulations the DNR conducted two surveys in 2012 to better understand their impact on the fish populations. Survey results indicated these regulations are enhancing Jones Lake's ability to create memorable fishing experiences for those who pay it a visit, meaning the quality fishing regulations will stay in place for the foreseeable future.

"We also maintain a low-level walleye stocking program there that helps to thin out the bluegill population," said Godby. "Otherwise we might end up with a stunted bluegill population."

Anglers with boats can access the lake through the concrete ramp located in the State Forest Campground. For those interested in visiting in summer 2018, check out the 2014 Status of the Fishery Resource Report.