Fishing season kicks into high gear

The Department of Natural Resources would like to remind anglers to get ready for the fishing seasons that opened this Wednesday, May 15. The Upper Peninsula seasons for walleye, northern pike and muskellunge; and the catch-and-immediate-release bass season for all Upper Peninsula waters including the Great Lakes, inland waters and St. Marys River all opened on May 15.

Anglers are reminded that a new muskellunge harvest tag is required to harvest a muskellunge or tiger muskellunge in Michigan waters. The harvest tag is available at all retail license vendors and DNR Customer Service Centers. Registration of muskellunge harvest is not a requirement, but it will help the DNR manage this important species. For more information, please visit

New northern pike regulations are also in effect as of April 1, 2013. There are now three separate northern pike size-limit regulation categories in effect: 1) a majority of waters remain under the 24-inch minimum size limit with daily possession limit of two; 2) a new 24-inch to 34-inch Protected Slot Limit (PSL) regulation with daily possession limit of two fish has been imposed on six waters; and 3) there are more than 100 waters where up to five northern pike of any size may be taken with only one greater than 24 inches allowed in the daily possession limit of five fish. Anglers are reminded that northern pike daily possession limits are totaled in combination with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and flathead catfish. Therefore the daily possession limit is limited to five fish in combination with the species above per day.

The possession season for bass opens statewide on Saturday, May 25, except for Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River and the Detroit River, which open on Saturday, June 15.

The new license season began on April 1, so anglers need to be sure they have purchased a new fishing license for this fishing season. The 2013 fishing licenses are valid until March 31, 2014.

The 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide and Inland Trout and Salmon Maps are available online; visit for more information.