• Businesses and individuals using public owned lands for commercial operations must obtain a permit to do so. We issue permits for commercial use of Michigan state parks, trailways, and boat access sites. Unpermitted use of state land can result in being turned away from the site, issuance of a citation and/or a fine.

    Commercial use is defined as use of a state-managed property or land for profit or benefit. Benefit may include the exchange of money, goods, services, creation of good will, or the growth or promotion of a business or organization.

    Commercial use activities may include, but are not limited to:

    • Launching and/or retrieving watercraft
    • Watercraft test runs for repair services
    • Installation and/or removal of piers, docks and/or boat hoists
    • Delivery of rented camping units to a campground

    Concessions

    We routinely schedule competitive bid lettings for all types of concession opportunities such as mobile food, park stores, watercraft rentals, and horse riding stables in Michigan’s state parks. 

    If you are interested in providing food and beverage, goods or services on public lands, including state parks, trailheads and boating access sites where a concession opportunity has not been advertised, you may complete form PR-1138-1 (commercial or non-event use permit application) and submit it to Lori Ruff at RuffL@michigan.gov or by faxing it to 989-275-5167.


     

  • Boat Access Site Use

    This permit is issued to marinas, watercraft repair businesses, and individuals that utilize DNR boat access sites for delivery and retrieval of watercraft, docks, hoists, and piers, as well as repair services. Please complete form PR-1138-1 and submit it to Lori Ruff via email or fax it to 989-275-5167. In addition to the $50 application and $50 review fees, there will also be a use fee based on the impact to natural resources and facilities.

    Some additional information will be required on your application:

    • Name of boat access sites to be used
    • County in which the boat access sites are located
    • The type of activities to be performed on state lands
    • Number of vehicles used to perform this service
    • Dates of service (ex: May 1 through October 31)
    • Largest watercraft to be used (ex: recreational boats of 26' or less)
    • Number of trailer axels used in the services (ex: single, double, triple)

    Camping Unit Rental

    If you deliver a rental camping unit onto state land, a permit is required. 

    Please complete form PR-1138-1 and submit it to Lori Ruff via email. In addition to the $50 application and $50 review fees, there will also be an annual use fee of $100.

    Some additional information will be required on your application:

    • Name of state parks to be used
    • Number of vehicles used to perform this service
    • Dates of service (ex: May 1 through Oct. 31)

    Livery

    This permit is issued to liveries using state land for launching and retrieving canoes, kayaks, tubes, rafts, and standup paddleboards. Please complete form PR-1138-1 and submit it to Lori Ruff via email. In addition to the $50 application and $50 review fees, there may also be an annual monitoring and use fee based on facility impact, resource impact, use level, number of participants, and duration (see the canoe livery scoring criteria for more information).

    Some additional information will be required on your application:

    • Name of boat access sites to be used
    • County in which the sites are located
    • Number and type of watercraft (ex: 40 canoes, 40 kayaks)
    • Peak use (highest number of watercraft that will be on the water at any one time)
    • Number of vehicles used to perform this service
    • Dates of service (ex: May 1 through Oct. 31)

    See also - summary of changes to livery laws

Fish Guiding

  • If you plan to provide fish guiding services on inland water bodies and any part of your guided trip will include the use of DNR-managed public land you must receive permission. (this includes using DNR boating access sites, having lunch or using the restrooms on public land such as a state park or state forest land, etc.). 

    Please note: No new fish guide permits will be issued for guiding services on the Pere Marquette River system. The number of permitted fishing guides on the Pere Marquette River system has been capped.

    If you have questions please contact:
    Lori Ruff, 989-275-5151 x 2722006
    RuffL@michigan.gov

  • Inland Fishing Guide Lease Application PDF icon

    Application for the use of state land for the purpose of fishing guiding.

  • Inland Waters Guide List PDF icon

    To help connect you with fishing guides we are providing this list of fishing guides authorized to do business on state lands. This is provided as a convenience, we do not endorse or certify a guide's knowledge or ability.

  • Carrying Customers on your Boat

    To carry customers on your boat, you must also obtain a DNR issued inland pilot license or a US Coast Guard Captain License (issued by the US Coast Guard). If you have questions about the DNR Inland Pilot License application, please contact your closest DNR Customer Service Center.

  • DNR Inland Pilot License Application PDF icon

    To carry customers on your boat, you must also obtain a DNR issued inland pilot license OR a US Coast Guard Captain License (issued by the US Coast Guard).

  • US Coast Guard Captain License

Hunt Guiding

  • Hunting guides in Michigan are required to obtain written permission in the form of a permit in order to provide hunting guiding services on DNR-managed public land. The Commercial Hunting Guide Permit only gives the authorization to have a business on DNR-managed public lands. The DNR does not issue permits for the "act" of guiding.

    If you have questions about hunt guiding, please contact:
    Casey Reitz
    517-284-6210
    reitzc@michigan.gov

  • List of Commercial Hunting Guides PDF icon
  • Commercial Hunting Guide FAQs PDF icon