New fishing licenses required April 1 in Michigan

April 7, 2017

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that a new fishing season began Saturday, April 1, which coincided with the new regulation cycle; 2016 licenses were good only through March 31, 2017.

Five options are available when making a purchase. All fishing licenses are good for all species. 

  • Resident Annual - $26

  • Non-Resident Annual - $76

  • Senior Annual (for residents age 65 or older) - $11

  • 24-Hour (resident or non-resident) - $10

  • 72-Hour (resident or non-resident) - $30

A temporary 10-percent discount on non-resident annual licenses enacted two years ago has expired, returning that license to its original cost of $76.

Those targeting lake sturgeon and/or muskellunge also will need to obtain free fishing and harvest tags from their local license retailer.

When anglers purchase licenses at retail stores, they often receive copies of the current Michigan Fishing Guide. For those making the purchase in 2017, they should consider visiting michigan.gov/fishingguide to see the latest version. The online guide includes any regulation changes made since its February 2016 printing, ensuring those who fish are aware of the current rules.

Residents and non-residents also can purchase the Hunt/Fish combo license for $76 and $266, respectively, which consists of a base license, annual fishing license and two deer tags. There also is a Hunt/Fish combo license available to senior residents for $43. A base license is not required when purchasing just a fishing license.

Michigan’s fishing licenses generate revenue that is invested into the state’s fisheries, including providing greater access to world-class fishing opportunities, improving fisheries habitat in inland lakes and streams, and increasing the health and quantity of fish stocked in the state.

The DNR Fisheries Division depends primarily on angler dollars (through license sales and federal excise tax dollars for fishing tackle) to manage the state’s fisheries. Buying a fishing license, even if you do not plan to fish, can make a big difference to the future health of Michigan’s prized freshwaters.

There are two simple ways to purchase fishing licenses in Michigan:

  1. Visit your local license retailer or DNR Customer Service Center and make a purchase in person.

  2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit mdnr-elicense.com on your computer, smartphone or tablet to get started.

For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit michigan.gov/fishing.