Cultural & Scientific Collectors Permit (Fisheries)

Fisheries Division's Cultural or Scientific Collectors Permit Program covers activities involving fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks (freshwater mussels or clams) and crayfish that are otherwise not legal under a recreational fishing license. This permit is routinely issued to government partners, university professors/students, nature centers, zoos, environmental consulting firms, teachers, and members of the general public.

NOTE: For permits to work with birds and mammals please refer to Wildlife Division's
Scientific Collector's Permit.

To apply for a Fisheries' Cultural or Scientific Collector's Permit, print the form and follow the instructions for completion. Applicants will have to provide a "study plan" detailing what it is they would like to do, where the proposed activity will occur, and why it is being done as well a description of the species they are intending to work with. Incomplete applications will be returned. Fisheries Division will not accept a fax copy of the completed application.

Applicants may also apply on-line through the link below. In the online application process, a list of general provisions will be presented for your review. If you indicate that you agree with these provisions the online application will be available for your use. Fill out the application, being sure to include all of the relevant contact information. Once the application has been completed choose "Submit" to submit the form electronically.

If you wish to provide supplemental information with your permit application it can be mailed to:

Fisheries Division
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 30446
Lansing, MI 48909-7946

Cultural or Scientific Collector's Permit Application
Apply Online for Your Cultural or Scientific Collector's Permit

Whether you use the paper form and mail the application or apply online, you may check the status of your submitted application using the link below. Allow one to two days of special processing time before checking on the status of your application submitted online.

Check the Status of Your Application

Processing time for applications received at the DNR Fisheries Division office in Lansing is approximately one month. Therefore, applications should be submitted a minimum of five to six weeks prior to the desired start of anticipated field activities.

Permits are issued by calendar year and expire on December 31. All permit holders are required to provide an annual yearend report of the activities conducted and specimens collected under their scientific collector's permit. This report is required even it no collection or field activities occurred during the permit year. To provide your annual report, print the form below and mail it to address listed on the form.

Annual Report Form

Disposal Instructions, Field Mortalities & End of Possession

Michigan's Major Watersheds

Map of Michigan's Major Watersheds

Additional information

Information for applicants interested in Fish

Information for applicants interested in Reptiles and Amphibians

Information for applicants interested in Mollusks

Information for applicants interested in collecting or working on state land

Information for applicants interested in working with threatened or endangered species

Recognized Michigan Species and their Health Status
(special concerned, threatened, endangered)

Note: When applicable, the list includes established exotic species.

Salmon in the Classroom

Schools participating in the program will have permits which expire May 31 of each year and should visit the Salmon in the Classroom web page for additional information.

Salmon in the Classroom Web Page