FTIS: Definitions - Fishing Tournaments vs. Competitive Fishing Events Who Must Register and Report

Fish Order 250 legally defines the following:

  1. Fishing Tournament: means an organized competition between anglers or teams of anglers that meets all of the following criteria:
    1. The determination of a winner is based on the cumulative weight or length of the targeted fish species caught by an angler or team of anglers.
    2. Occurs during a defined period, which can be on one or multiple days but does not exceed 5 days.
    3. Is anchored to a single boating access site or designated nearby location where fish caught by participating anglers or teams are to be weighed in, entered, or the group is otherwise operating their event from.
    4. Are limited to a single water body or connected waterbodies (Example: Lake St. Clair, Detroit R., and Lake Erie) that are accessed by a common access site.

A Fishing Tournament is not a competition where "winning" or prize distribution is determined solely on one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Who caught the largest fish or some combination of big fish awards
  2. Who caught the smallest fish
  3. Who caught the first fish
  4. Who caught the most fish species
  5. Any other format that does not involve an angler or teams of anglers entering a cumulative weight or length of the target species.
  1. Competitive Fishing Event: means any other organized competition among anglers involving prize distribution or the declaration of a winner that is not defined as a fishing tournament with specific rules applying to that particular event.

In addition to updating the definitions, the FO 250 also requires that beginning January 1, 2019, the following events shall be registered and report their results online using the Department's Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System:

  1. All Bass Tournaments
  2. All Walleye Tournaments
  3. All Competitive Fishing Events that target muskellunge or have a muskellunge prize