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Wholesale Fish, Retail, Catcher and Wholesale Minnow Licenses
The application for ALL of the following licenses is the same. On the application, you must check the box(es) for the license(s) you are applying for. You can submit one form for all requested licenses. Be sure to send in the correct fees for each license you are applying for.
Beginning in 2019: Resident and Non-resident charter boat captains who purchase minnows, wigglers or crayfish from a person licensed in Michigan to commercially sell minnows, wigglers or crayfish are no longer required to have a retail minnow dealers license in order to then provide that purchased live bait to their paying customers as part of a fishing excursion.
Resident charter boat operators and resident fishing guides who:
- Take minnows from Michigan waters and provide them for use by clients would require both a minnow catcher license and a retail minnow license.*
- Take minnows from Michigan waters and sell them to other charter boat operators for use by clients would require a minnow catcher’s license and a resident wholesale minnow license.
Non-resident charter boat operators and fishing guides:
- Non-residents are not allowed to take minnows for commercial purposes from any of the waters of Michigan and would be ineligible to secure a minnow catcher’s license.
Wholesale fish dealers:
- Anyone who deals in fish by operating a wholesale fish market or fish house, or who solicits the purchase of or buys fish for wholesale distribution, requires a wholesale fish license.
Non-residents are not allowed to take minnows for commercial purposes from any of the waters of Michigan and would be ineligible to secure a minnow catcher’s license.
*These rules apply whether the minnows are provided for free or included as a part of the charter/guide fee package.
Learn about wholesale fish dealers and reporting requirements
Wholesale fish dealers
Starting on March 1, 2019, all wholesale transactions must be recorded using FACTS. Any remaining unused paper wholesale transactions forms you have should be destroyed. After March 1, 2019 these forms will no longer be valid for reporting.
The current reporting deadline of the 10th day of the month following the transaction will remain. FACTS can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or computer. Wholesalers who do not have a computer can access FACTS via a public computer.
Every person who deals in fish by operating a wholesale fish market or fish house, or who solicits the purchase of or buys fish for wholesale distribution, shall secure a license from the department.
The Wholesale Fish Dealer's License expires on December 31 of each calendar year, and the fee for the license is $5.00.
Businesses that operate more than one establishment are required to license each business separately and display a copy of the license at each location.
Wholesale Fish Dealers must keep a record of the purchase of fish in a form as required by the department. Records are to be filled out for all purchases of freshwater fish and roe regardless of the state or country of origin. Reporting of salt water species is not required.
The Department must receive purchase records by the 10th of each month immediately following the date of fish acquisition by the dealer. This due date also applies even if there are no purchase records to report. Example: purchases made June 1-30 are due by July 10.
The purchase record is open to inspection at the wholesaler's place of business by the department.
Failure to report purchase records by the 10th of each month immediately following the date of fish acquisition by the dealer may result in enforcement action being taken and result in the revocation of the wholesale fish dealer license.
ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS
A person holding a Wholesale Fish Dealers license shall not transport or cause to be transported, or deliver or receive for transportation, any package or parcel containing any fish or carcass or part of any fish or carcass unless the package or parcel is labeled in plain English on the address side of the package or parcel so as to disclose the name and address of the consignor, the name and address of the consignee, and the number of pounds of each kind of fish contained in the package or parcel.
FISH CLEANING STATIONS
A Wholesale Fish Dealer License and the reporting requirements also apply to those who operate licensed fish cleaning stations for salmon. The nature of these businesses are slightly different than a normal wholesale fish dealer in that fish cleaning stations collect and sell a product rather than solicit the purchase of a product for wholesale distribution. In spite of these differences, wholesale dealers who operate cleaning stations still need to supply a monthly report of any purchases, negative or otherwise.
For questions about your wholesale license or reporting requirements, please contact by email Jon Busken, or call 906-203-8586.