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Fishing Tournament Information System

The Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System is where you can schedule a tournament or view scheduled fishing tournaments for a particular waterbody, ramp and date.

This system:

  • Helps both tournament organizers and recreational anglers and boaters avoid ramp conflicts.
  • Allows tournament organizers to report their catch data.

Most fishing tournaments and other competitive events are private club events that require preregistration and are not open to the general public. Please do not show up at a registered tournament or event and expect to enter. If a registered tournament/event has contact information, contact them about membership or registration prior to the date of the tournament.

Tournament Registration

All bass and walleye fishing tournaments and competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge are required to be registered in the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System (FTIS). Any suspicion of an unregistered bass, walleye or muskellunge event being held in Michigan should be promptly reported to the Report All Poaching Hotline: 1-800-292-7800.

ATTENTION: Once you have created a user id/password, if you attempt to login and receive an error that states "Invalid User ID or Password" you must call the State of Michigan Client Service Center at 877-932-6424 and request help with the State of Michigan's MILogin. In all likelihood your password needs to be reset.

Event Permits for Boating Access Sites

In addition to registering a tournament on the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System, some tournaments may also require an event use permit for use of a DNR managed boating access site. Learn more about Land Use permits for fishing tournaments to determine if your tournament may require a permit. Please contact the facility where the event will occur for questions about whether or not a permit is needed.

In October 2018 the Natural Resource Commission changed their order regarding fishing tournaments in Michigan. The new order, which goes into effect January 1, 2019, replaces the legal definition of fishing tournament with the following:

  1. Fishing Tournament: means an organized competition between anglers or teams of anglers that meets all of the following criteria:
    • 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.
    • Occurs during a defined period, which can be on one or multiple days but does not exceed 5 days.
    • 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.
    • 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:

    • Who caught the largest fish or some combination of big fish awards
    • Who caught the smallest fish
    • Who caught the first fish
    • Who caught the most fish species
    • Any other format that does not involve an angler or teams of anglers entering a cumulative weight or length of the target species.

  2. 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:

  • All bass fishing tournaments;
  • All walleye fishing tournaments;
  • and All competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge.

These changes expand the registration and reporting requirements to include walleye tournaments and competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge.

The new definition of "Fishing Tournament" may also impact a small number of "Competitive Fishing Events" that include a bass component. Such competitive bass events have been required to register and report from 2016-2018 under the previous definitions, however going forward, only bass tournaments as defined above will be required to registered and report their results in the Fishing Tournament Information System.

Data to be reported for bass fishing tournaments

All bass tournaments directors are required to track and report the following information for each one of their registered events:

  1. Total anglers
  2. Total boats
  3. Maximum number of fish that can be entered by angler or team
  4. Total number of largemouth bass
  5. Total number of smallmouth bass
  6. Total number of bass
  7. Total weight of all bass entered in pounds for tournament 
  8. Number of bass greater than 4 pounds
  9. Heaviest bass weighted 

For those director's running a tournament based on length:

  1. Total anglers
  2. Total boats
  3. Maximum number of fish that can be entered by angler or team 
  4. Total number of largemouth bass
  5. Total number of smallmouth bass
  6. Total number of bass
  7. Total length of all bass entered in inches for tournament 
  8. Number of bass greater than 4 pounds (please estimate)
  9. Longest bass measured 

Data to be reported for walleye fishing tournaments

All walleye tournaments directors are required to track and report the following information for each one of their registered events:

For those director's running a tournament based on weight: 

  1. Total anglers
  2. Total boats
  3. Total number of walleye
  4. Total weight of all walleye entered in pounds for tournament 
  5. Heaviest walleye weighed
  6. List any other species that was caught and entered during this tournament 

For those director's running a tournament based on length:

  1. Total anglers
  2. Total boats
  3. Total number of walleye
  4. Total length of all walleye entered in inches for tournament 
  5. Longest walleye measured
  6. List any other species that was caught and entered during this tournament 

Data to be reported for muskellunge fishing tournaments

Directors of all competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge are required to track and report the following information for each one of their registered events:

For those director's running a tournament based on length:

  1. Total anglers 
  2. Total boats
  3. Total number of muskellunge
  4. Total length of all muskellunge caught (to the nearest 1/2 inch)
  5. Longest muskellunge measured in inches
  6. Total number of muskellunge caught over 50 inches 

For those director's running a tournament based on weight:

  1. Total anglers 
  2. Total boats
  3. Total number of muskellunge
  4. Total weight of all muskellunge caught to the nearest 1/2 pound 
  5. Longest muskellunge measured in inches
  6. Total number of muskellunge caught over 50 inches 

While the new order takes effect in January, the Fishing Tournament Information System has been updated to meet the new registration requirements and is currently accepting bass, walleye and muskellunge registrations for the upcoming year.

General tournament registration, reporting, and program related questions on this can be directed to:

Tom Goniea, DNR Biologist
Fishing Tournament Specialist
517-299-5734
gonieat@michigan.gov

In 2018, Fisheries Division released an updated version of the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System for registering and reporting fishing tournaments/results. The system was initiated in the wake of the Natural Resource Commission's requirement for all bass tournaments to register and report their results beginning in 2016 and was updated to accommodate the Commission expanding that requirement to include walleye and muskellunge. Here are some of the highlights of the new FTIS:

  1. The system is designed to accommodate bass and walleye tournaments and competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge as defined in Fisheries Order 250.
  2. Tournaments/events can be registered up to 365 days in advance from today's date. Directors can register at any time 365 days in advance of the desired date. For example, on May 1, 2018 tournaments can be registered through May 1, 2019. On July 4, 2018 registration extends through July 4, 2019.
  3. More than one (1) tournament/events can be scheduled at the same launch and time. Michigan is blessed with a wide variety of access sites. Some can easily accommodate multiple tournaments, others not so much. Tournament director discretion, cooperation and coordination are expected if this new function is to work. If two events are scheduled at the same launch and time, both directors will get an email notifying them of the potential conflict.
  4. Director-to-Director Contact. Tournament/event directors will be able to see the contact information of other directors that have registered with the FTIS. The DNR is hopeful when two directors are interested in holding competing tournaments at the same location and time, they will contact each other and coordinate a smooth sharing of the launch facilities.
  5. Ability to request additional access sites. When signed in to the FTIS, directors will be able to request new waterbodies or access sites be added to the system for registering tournaments at. Dozens of additional sites (mostly non-DNR administered locations) have been added since the FTIS was originally launched in 2016. This feature will continue to allow directors to request additional access sites be added to the system.
  6. Going Mobile. The new site is compatible with mobile smart phones, tablets and other devices you take with you in the field. Everything that can be done on a home computer in the FTIS can be done on these mobile devices, with one exception. Requesting that a new access site be added to the FTIS (number 5 above) has to be done on a traditional personal computer.
  7. Reporting results. Reporting the results of your tournament/event is easier than ever and can be done in the field during your tournament by using the mobile app. Under your "My Tournaments" list, on the date of your scheduled tournament a "Report Results" link will show up in red that you can submit your results through.

These are just a few of the improvements that have been made. Take some time and check out the new site. Be sure to explore the map function. It can be a useful tool for finding a lake, access site or previously scheduled tournament.

Question 1: What do I have to keep track of and report?

Bass tournament directors are required by Fish Order 250 to report results online to the DNR by December 31. Bass tournament directors are to collect and report the following statistics for each tournament registered:

  1. Total number of anglers
  2. Total number of boats
  3. Limit per angler/team for this tournament (maximum number of bass an angler or team of anglers is allowed to enter)
  4. Total number of largemouth bass
  5. Total number of smallmouth bass
  6. Total number of bass
  7. Total weight of all the bass entered in pounds for tournament
  8. Number of bass greater than 4 pounds
  9. Heaviest bass weighed

NOTE: If a director is judging their event by length, they can select in the FTIS to report total lengths in place of weight for the questions listed above.

Walleye tournament directors are required by Fish Order 250 to report results online to the DNR by December 31. Walleye Tournament directors are to collect and report the following statistics for each tournament registered:

  1. Total anglers
  2. Total boats
  3. Total number of walleye
  4. Total weight of all walleye entered in pounds for this tournament
  5. Heaviest walleye weighed
  6. List any other species that was caught and entered during this tournament

NOTE: If a director is judging their event by length, they can select in the FTIS to report total lengths in place of weight for the questions listed above.

All competitive events target muskellunge or providing prizes for angler caught muskies are required by Fish Order 250 to report results online to the DNR by December 31. Muskellunge directors are to collect and report the following statistics for each event registered:

  1. Total anglers
  2. Total boats
  3. Total number of muskellunge
  4. Total length of all muskellunge to the nearest 1/2 inch
  5. Longest muskellunge measured in inches
  6. Total number of muskellunge over 50 inches

NOTE: If a director is judging their event by weight, they can select in the FTIS to report weight in place of length for the questions listed above.

Directors can enter results for tournaments/events that have occurred by signing into the Tournament Information System and selecting "Enter Results" for each tournament/event in their "My Tournaments" list.

Question 2: How do I report my tournament/events results?

The director can enter their results for completed tournaments/events by signing into the Tournament Information System and selecting their "My Tournaments" list.

Once the date of the event has passed a red "report results" link will appear next to the tournament/event on your "my tournaments" list. Directors can then click the link and fill in the required data fields. Information can be entered at any time but is legally due by December 31.

Question 1: How do I set up my online account as a director of a fishing tournament/event?

  1. Register with the state of Michigan's Single Sign On. This is required for anyone doing business with the state. Here are instructions for Single Sign On.
  2. Once a director is registered with Michigan's Single Sign, they are required to sign in and create a director's profile on the Fishing Tournament Information System. Under my account new directors will need to provide the following information:
  • Director's Name (required)
  • Email (required)
  • Phone (required)
  • Club Name (required)
  • Address (optional)
  • Club Website (optional)

NOTE: One of the purposes of this site is to allow tournament director's to work amongst themselves any issues that arise. Therefore the director's email and phone number will be available to all other tournament director's when they are signed into the Fishing Tournament Information System. Directors are encouraged to contact each other to work out ramp access or other issues when wishing to hold a tournament/event at the same location, day and time.

Director's contact information will not be available to the general public.

Question 2: How do I add or register a new tournament/event?

Once you have signed into the Fishing Tournament Information System and your name appears in the upper right-hand corner of the grey bar at the top of the screen you are ready to add tournaments. You can add a tournament one of two ways:

1) You can hit the "Add Tournament" button and fill out the information that pops up; OR

2) Use the map function to zoom into the lake, river, or access site you are interested in. Click on the access site and then select add tournament.

Once the add tournament scene comes up you will be required to fill out information about your tournament. When finished hit the "save" button.

Question 3: Why can't I find the lake or access site in the tournament information system?

An access site can be known by different names, and therefore the name you are looking for may not always be found in the tournament information system's search function.

If a director searches for and can't find an access site, it is recommended they navigate to the waterbody they are interested in with the online map function and look for access sites on the map. Many times this will produce an access sight name at the location he or she is looking for. If a director has used the search and map functions and still cannot find the access site they are looking for or the lake they are interested in does not have an access site, then the director can request to have it added to the tournament information system.

Question 4: Muskegon Lake: "Fisherman's Landing" = "Giddings Street Ramp".

The DNR has received an overwhelming number of inquiries from directors about Muskegon Lake's "Fisherman's Landing" access site not being in the Fishing Tournament Information System.

This launch is in the system, but it is recognized as "Giddings Street Ramp".

Question 5: How can I have a lake or access site added to the tournament information system?

When signed into the Fishing Tournament Information System, under the "Register Tournament" link directors can select the "Add Tournament" feature. Next to the boating access site is a link that is titled "Request a New Site" that can be used to have a new lake or launch location added to the system. However before requesting a site be added, please exhaust all options of finding the site you are looking for in the system by:

1) Typing in the name of the lake and launch site as you know it.

AND

2) Use the map feature to zoom into the lake's location you are interested in. Many access sites have multiple names. By using the map function you may find the launch site you are looking for under a different name.

If you have done the two searches above and still do not find the lake or access site you are looking for in the system please use the "Request a New site" option.

Once selected, take the following steps:

  1. In the "Move Map to County" box please select the county the lake you are interested in is located.
  2. Use the zoom button (+) on the map to close in on the location you are interested in. As you get closer the waterbody will appear. You may have to click and re-center the map to the location you are zooming into.
  3. Continue to zoom into the lake until the map changes to an actual satellite picture of the water body of interest.
  4. Once the map turns into a satellite picture, click on the shoreline of the waterbody of interest in the exact location that you know or think that the access site is located. This will add the Latitude, Longitude, Water ID, and county information to the required fields. If the Lake/River Name is also on fill it to will be filled in after the map has been clicked. If it is not, please type in the water body name as you know it.
  5. Finally, fill in the following ramp site information as you know it:
    • Site name
    • Ramp Type (use the "view all ramp codes option" for choices)
    • Any additional comments that you have 
  6. Once all the information have been entered please click the green save button at the bottom of the page.
  7. You have not submitted the site to the DNR for consideration. 

After submission, you will receive two emails to the email account you established as a tournament director. The first email will simply confirm that the waterbody you requested for addition to the Fishing Tournament Information System was received by the DNR. The second email you receive will notify you when your site has been added to the system and is available to register your tournament at.

Once a request has been, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or longer for the site to be added or for someone from the DNR to get back to the requesting director.

NOTE: Requesting a waterbody or access site does not register your tournament. Once your site has been added to the system and you receive email notification of its addition, you must log onto the system and register your tournament.

Question 6: How long before the date of the tournament/event can it be registered?

Fishing tournaments/events can be registered one year in advance regardless of fishing date.  Example: On June 16 a tournament could be booked for any date through June 16 of the next year.

Additionally, registrations can be made up to and including the day of the event. However, it is stressed that waiting to register until the last minute can result in congestion or problems at the ramp. It is strongly recommended that directors register their tournaments/events as early as possible.

Question 7: Can two or more tournaments be booked at the same launch at the same time?

The system does allow multiple tournaments to be booked at the same launch on the same day. The access sites in Michigan are as diverse as its lakes and rivers. Some access sites can accommodate many cars and boats and some have only a few parking spaces. Therefore some sites are more conducive to holding more than one tournament at a time. Tournament directors are strongly encouraged to take this into account when considering a lake they wish to conduct a tournament on. An email notifying the directors involved will be automatically sent any time two overlapping tournaments/events are registered at the same site, date and time. It will be up to the tournament directors to work out the details for sharing the launch when multiple tournaments are booked at the same launch.

Question 8: Editing or Deleting a Previously Registered Tournament/Event?

Prior to the date that a tournament/event has been scheduled for, the registering director can go back into the system and edit the tournament/event information previously provided. The director can also delete a tournament that has been cancelled.

To edit or delete a scheduled tournament, the director must sign in. In his "my tournaments list", find the tournament of interest and click the "Edit/Delete" button to the right of the tournament's information.

To make edits, change any information as necessary and then hit "Save" at the bottom.

To delete the tournament, simply scroll to the bottom and hit the "Delete" button. You will then be prompted asking if you are sure you want to delete this tournament. If so, hit "OK." If not, hit "Cancel."

NOTE: Once the date of a scheduled tournament has passed directors are no longer able to edit or delete it and instead must enter the required results. Under the "report results" button there is an option to report the tournament/event was cancelled. Cancelling after the fact requires a reason to be provided (weather, low turnout, etc.).

Question 9: The boating access site details say the site I am interested in is closed, what does this mean?

If the boating access site details states that a ramp is closed, it is probably a DNR owned site. Sites are closed for a variety of reasons but it is likely to be closed for some sort of repair. Please contact the Fishing Tournament Liaison at 517-284-5825 for more information about a closed ramp site.

Question 10: What can directors do if they don't have computer access or can’t use a computer?

The law states that bass, walleye and muskellunge tournaments/events shall be registered online using the Fishing Tournament Information System. Directors will have to either:

  1. Become familiar with the online registration system and use it to register and report their results or
  2. Designate someone else in their club to go online to register and report their results for them.

In addition to a traditional desk or lap top computer, directors or their designees can also use a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet to access the tournament information system. 

Question 1: By registering a tournament, does the tournament director have all rights on that date to tournaments on that lake?

No. This is not a reservation system! Bass, walleye and muskellunge tournaments/events are required to be registered but being registered does not guarantee the launch. Access to the launch is first come, first serve. 

Question 2: Is there going to be a preference for residents when it comes to registering a tournament.

No. Resident and non-residents both pay for fishing licenses and thus equal access to Michigan’s resources. All registrations will be on a first come, first serve basis. All will be allowed equal use of state-owned public access sites.

Question 3: If a tournament is registered at a launch and there is no parking due to swimmers, other fisherman, recreational boats, etc., does the tournament director or anglers have the right to clear the lot?

No. This is not a reservation system! Tournaments are required to be registered but being registered does not guarantee the launch. Access to the launch is first come, first serve.

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:
    • 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.
    • Occurs during a defined period, which can be on one or multiple days but does not exceed 5 days.
    • 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.
    • 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:

    • Who caught the largest fish or some combination of big fish awards
    • Who caught the smallest fish
    • Who caught the first fish
    • Who caught the most fish species
    • Any other format that does not involve an angler or teams of anglers entering a cumulative weight or length of the target species.

2. 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:

  • All Bass Tournaments
  • All Walleye Tournaments
  • All Competitive Fishing Events that target muskellunge or have a muskellunge prize

Question 1: What are the fines or penalties associated with Fisheries Order 250?

Penalties associated with violating Fisheries Orders are contained in Part 487 of Public Act 451 of 1994 as amended. Specifically, Michigan Common Law 324.48738(1) states that a person who violates this part or rules or orders issued to implement this part, if a penalty is not otherwise provided for that violation in this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

Additionally, violation of fisheries orders may result in forfeiture of licensing privileges.

This order has the rule of law and is to be enforced as such.

Question 2: Who is enforcing this law?

DNR Law Enforcement Division enforces all natural resource laws. DNR Fisheries Division is administering the registration systems and the collection, compiling, and reporting of the tournament/event data received.

Question 3: Is this an enforceable law?

Law enforcement officers are to be enforcing this regulation like they do all natural resource regulations when they encounter or are informed of a violation in the field.

Question 4: What should you do if you suspect or encounter an unregistered bass, walleye or muskellunge tournament/event or other illegal fishing activity?

Anglers and the public are encouraged to report suspected unregistered tournaments/events or other illegal fishing activities to the Report All Poaching Hotline (1-800-292-7800).

Question 5: What should you do if you question the legitimacy of a fishing tournament/event that has been registered with the information system (i.e. you suspect that a fake tournament has been registered at a launch site in order to discourage other tournaments from using it)?

This is a hypothetical situation that has not been encountered as an actual problem yet. However, tournament directors are encouraged to please email any suspicious tournament registrations that you see in the system to the Fishing Tournament Information System's email box or directly to the DNR's Fishing Tournament Liaison, Tom Goniea. If this in fact shown to be a problem or if data is not being turned in at the end of the year and it is suspected to be because tournaments were not in fact held at the registered location, it will be taken to the NRC to be discussed and addressed in the law.

Question 1: What is the reason for the new law requiring that all bass, walleye and muskellunge fishing tournaments/events be registered with the DNR?

Over the last several years organized bass fishing tournament groups have requested an expansion to the bass season. Specifically, they have requested catch-and-delayed-release fishing for bass during Michigan's spawning closure in order to allow for tournament fishing in the spring. During public discussions on Michigan's bass fishing regulations, the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) asked the DNR's Fisheries Division the following questions on tournament activity which at the time in 2015 could not be answered:

How many bass tournaments are conducted in Michigan each year?

How many anglers participate in bass tournaments in Michigan each year?

How many bass are handled and released in Michigan tournaments each year?

What is the economic impact of bass tournament fishing in Michigan?

In response, the NRC passed the initial Fisheries Order which required all bass fishing tournaments to be registered and that those tournaments provide basic participation and catch data after the tournament is complete.

The success of the bass tournament registration and reporting program from 2016-2018, and the need for additional biological data on walleye and muskellunge prompted the NRC to expand the program to include these species starting in 2019.

FISHERIES ORDER 250 Reads in part:

Bass, Walleye and Muskellunge Fishing Tournament/Event Regulations

  1. Beginning January 1, 2019, the following shall be registered online using the Department's Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System:
    • All bass fishing tournaments;
    • All walleye fishing tournaments; and
    • All competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge.
  2. Directors shall verify all tournament or event participants and provide a unique registration receipt to all participating anglers. Tournament directors shall report tournament results to the DNR by December 31, annually.
  3. The fishing tournaments and competitive fishing events listed in this order are required to register and report their results as determined by the DNR for each event type online at www.michigan.gov/fishingtournaments.
  4. Tournament directors shall verify all tournament participants and provide a unique registration receipt to all participating anglers. Tournament directors shall report tournament results to the Department by December 31, annually.

Question 2: Do all fishing tournaments/events have to register with the DNR?

No. The law currently only requires that bass and walleye tournaments and competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge, as defined by the Fish Order, be registered with the DNR.

Question 3: Are bass, walleye and muskellunge tournaments/events required to register if they are not using a DNR-owned access site? What if they are accessing a lake from a county, township or privately-owned launch?

Yes. The Fisheries Order states that all bass and walleye tournaments and competitive events targeting muskellunge must register. This requirement is regardless of how the tournament/events plans to access the lake or river being fished.

Question 4: What about tournaments/events on the Boundary Waters (Michigan-Wisconsin, Michigan-Ontario, Michigan-Ohio and Michigan-Indiana)?

If the tournament/event is being hosted at or is launching from an access site on the Michigan shore, then it has to be registered under Fisheries Order 250. If the tournament is being hosted at or is launching from an access site that is outside of Michigan it does not need to be registered.

With the recent discussions concerning regulations and the subsequent passage of Fisheries Order 250, the Natural Resources Commission, DNR and Fisheries Division have taken a more active interest in and approach to understanding, studying and promoting competitive fishing in Michigan. As a result, the DNR appointed Senior Fish Biologist Tom Goniea as liaison to fishing tournaments around the state. Tom has been with Fisheries Division as a fish biologist since 2003 and has a variety of experience working with various interest groups around the state.

Questions, comments, or concerns about tournament fishing or the new tournament information system can be directed to Tom Goniea by either phone or email at: 517-599-5734 or gonieat@michigan.gov.