Illustrations by Joseph R. Tomelleri ©
Anglers in Michigan have the opportunity to catch a variety of fish species - including many different trout. Some are found in the great lakes while others are found in inland lakes, rivers and streams. There are specific rules and regulations about how, when and where you can fish for each variety.
The regulations in this table apply to fishing on the Great Lakes for the following species: Atlantic salmon, brook trout (Note 2), brown trout, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, lake trout (Note 4), pink salmon, rainbow trout (steelhead) and splake (Note 4).
Great Lakes Trout & Salmon Regulations (Note 1) Seasons by Water Type Minimum Size Daily Possession Limit (Notes 2, 3, 4) Open All Year: (Note 4)
L. Superior, L. Michigan, L. Erie, L. Huron, L. St. Clair, St. Marys R., St. Clair R. and Detroit R.
(Note 2, 4)
(also see Table 4 and Great Lakes Trout & Splake Regulations)
Great Lakes, L. St. Clair, St. Marys R., St. Clair R., and Detroit R.: 5 total in any combination; no more than 3 of any one species, except up to 5 coho, Chinook or pink salmon allowed.
On the St. Marys R.: 5 additional pink salmon allowed from last Sat. in April – Sep. 30.
For lake trout and splake, the size limit information and the season information is noted in the table below. The daily possession limit for lake trout and splake is 5 in any combination, but no more than 3 of any one species, EXCEPT in Lake Superior, as noted in Table 4 below.
Great Lakes - Lake Trout & Splake Regulations Management Unit, Major Ports Possession Season Size Restrictions Possession Limit Lake Superior: MI 1-3: Windigo, Ontonagon, Copper Harbor Open All Year The minimum size limit for lake trout and splake shall be 15″; the daily possession limit shall not include more than 1 lake trout 34″ or greater. 3 MI 4-8: Big Bay, Marquette, Au Train, Munising, Grand Marais, Pendills Bay, Brimley State Park 5 Lake Huron: MH 1: DeTour, Cedarville, St. Ignace, Mackinaw City, Cheboygan, Rogers City Jan. 1 - Sep. 30 (lake trout and splake)
The minimum size limit for lake trout and splake shall be 15″. 2 MH 2: Presque Isle, Rockport, Alpena, Black R. 3
MH 3-6: Harrisville, Tawas, Grindstone, Harbor Beach, Lexington Open all year (lake trout and splake) Lake Michigan: MM 1-3: Menominee, Escanaba, Manistique, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix Jan. 1 – Sep. 30 (lake trout and splake) The minimum size limit for lake trout and splake shall be 15”. 2 MM 4: Elk Rapids, Traverse City, Northport 1 MM 5: Leland, Frankfort, Platte Bay 2 MM 6-8: Arcadia, Manistee, Ludington, Grand Haven, Holland, New Buffalo Open all year (lake trout and splake) The minimum size limit for lake trout and splake shall be 15″. 3
See all Inland Trout and Salmon Lake & Stream Regulations in the 2020 Fishing Guide.
The maps below will assist you in locating inland waters that contain trout and salmon and the regulations that apply. See pages 38-39 of the Fishing Guide for a description of regulations concerning streams, gear restricted streams, and inland trout lakes.
These maps are to be used as a general reference only. For exact boundaries of regulations on stream Types 1-4, Gear Restricted Streams and lakes managed for trout, refer to the county listings found on pages 40-58 of the Fishing Guide. NOTE: Type 1 streams are not listed in the text, but they do appear in green on the maps. For a complete listing of all designated trout streams and designated trout lakes, refer to FO-200 and FO-210.
General trout and salmon regulations for streams not classified by Type or Gear Restricted (listed on pages 40-43 of the Michigan Fishing Guide): Except for streams in the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters, any other inland stream not classified by Type is open for the entire year with an 8-inch minimum size limit and a 5 fish daily possession limit, no more than 3 of which may be 15 inches or greater, except up to 5 salmon (Chinook or coho) 15 inches or greater may be retained in the daily possession limit on these waters. Artificial lures and all types of natural bait may be used. Please see pages 24-25 of the Fishing Guide for Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters regulations.
General regulations for lakes not classified by Type:
Except for lakes in the Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters and Sylvania Wilderness Area, any other inland lake not classified by Type is open for the entire year to the taking of trout with an 8-inch minimum size limit and 5 fish daily possession limit, no more than 3 of which may be 15 inches or greater. Artificial lures and all types of natural bait may be used. See pages 24-25 of the Fishing Guide for Michigan-Wisconsin Boundary Waters and page 26 for Sylvania Wilderness Area regulations.
The streams, rivers and lakes in the maps below are color-coded as follow:
- Type 1: GREEN
- Type 2: YELLOW
- Type 3: ORANGE
- Type 4: BLUE
- Gear restricted: RED (note- some gear restricted streams have split regulations, maps are color coded accordingly)
- Research areas under special regulations: GREY
- Brook Trout Restoration Areas: PURPLE
- 10 Brook Trout Possession Limit Waters: PINK
- Lakes regulated by Type (A-F) are labeled in RED TEXT and the lake appears shaded in dark blue or appears as a blue dot on map
Please see pages 38-39 of the Fishing Guide for a full explanation of each color-coded stream, river and lake type.
- 2020 Inland Trout and Salmon Regulation Maps
Check out Michigan's Trout Trails which are biologist-verified great trout waters that are often lesser known.