New fishing regulations adopted


Cavin Eisenhauer showed off a nice smallmouth bass he caught last summer on Lake Erie in this photo submitted to The Exponent. “It was such a beautiful fish I threw it back,” he said. He was fishing for walleye at the time.

Anglers are being reminded that the Michigan Natural Resources Commission recently approved several fishing regulations at its meeting in Cedarville. Many of these regulations immediately went into effect. They will remain in effect for the 2016 fishing season (which begins April 1).

Some of the changes are highlighted below and are reflected in the online version of the 2015 Michigan Fishing Guide, available at These regulation changes are part of Fisheries Order 215.

Bass Tournament Registration Requirement

DNR officials say they been working closely with bass angling groups, which have recommended mandatory bass tournament registration. The DNR says this will allow officials to improve their understanding of tournament efforts and provide additional biological information about bass fishing tournaments in Michigan. As a result, all bass tournaments held in 2016 will need to be registered using the DNR’s Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System prior to taking place. This will start in January, 2016.

Combined Possession Limit Change

The combined possession limit for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and flathead catfish (which limited the daily possession limit to five fish) has been removed. Therefore, anglers are now be able to possess up to five (5) bass (largemouth and smallmouth combined), up to five (5) walleye, up to five (5) flathead catfish, and up to two (2) northern pike in their daily possession limit. These species will no longer be managed under a combined possession limit and now will be managed under separate possession limits, resulting in more fish for anglers to keep in a day’s fishing. (Went into effect immediately.)

The 2015 Michigan Fishing Guide is available at all major retailers and online at

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