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2022 fishing license season and new sportfishing regulations

Feb. 15, 2022

Angler fishing nearshore

As spring draws closer, Michigan anglers are encouraged to purchase a 2022 fishing license when they go on sale Tuesday, March 1. The new license season begins April 1, and the 2022 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2023. Licenses can be purchased at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. By purchasing a fishing license online, anglers will have the opportunity to sign up for auto-renewal through the DNR eLicense system. 

Anglers also are encouraged to review the upcoming regulations changes adopted by the Michigan Natural Resource Commission that will go into effect April 1, unless noted otherwise.

Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River - walleye size limit

The Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River walleye minimum size limit has been increased from 13 inches to 15 inches, which is the same as the statewide regulation. The change will result in uniform walleye regulations throughout the connected waters of the St. Clair-Detroit River system, which includes Lake Erie, the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.

Lake Superior - round whitefish daily possession limit

The round whitefish (also known as Menominee) limit has been increased to allow anglers to keep 10 additional fish in Lake Superior as part of the daily possession limit.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron - underwater spearfishing regulations

Underwater spearfishing opportunities for walleye, northern pike and lake trout have been added for Lake Michigan (waters south of the southernmost pier at Grand Haven) and Lake Huron (waters south of the southernmost pier of the Thunder Bay River, extending south to the mouth of the St. Clair River [Fort Gratiot Light]). This opportunity requires a new underwater spearfishing license along with monthly effort and harvest reporting requirements. The underwater spearfishing license is complimentary, unless a DNR Sportcard is needed, and will be available only online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses.

Torch River and Rapid River - special hook fishing regulations

Special hook regulations have been put into effect on the Torch River from the Crystal Beach Road Bridge downstream to Lake Skegemog including the Rapid River up to Aarwood Road Bridge from May 1 to July 1, where it is unlawful to use fishing gear other than a single-pointed hook measuring one-half inch or less from point to shank. This regulation replaces the fishing closure on these waters and allows anglers to fish while maintaining the desired protection to the resource.

Inland waters - rainbow trout (steelhead) possession

A new daily possession limit of one rainbow trout (steelhead) has been put into effect on some Type 3 and Type 4 streams and will be effective from March 15 to May 15, inclusive. This regulation will go into effect March 15, 2022.

All regulation changes will be acknowledged in the 2022 fishing guide, which will be available March 1 at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests. Anglers are encouraged to periodically review the digital version of the fishing guide for any regulation updates throughout the 2022 fishing season. 

The DNR manages Michigan's fisheries resources for current and future generations by making scientific, research-based decisions and regulatory recommendations. Regulations are one tool the DNR uses to implement management strategies to protect, conserve and improve Michigan's fisheries. Learn more at Michigan.gov/Fishing.

Contact: Jay Wesley, 616-490-5090 or Christian LeSage, 517-449-7073