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Michigan fishing license credentials are referred to as “all-species” licenses, and they can be obtained by both residents and nonresidents alike. Fishing licenses are available for any individual participating in the sport of fishing, whether it is recreationally or commercially. Within these two main groups of fishing permits, you can obtain licensing that is valid for a 24-hour period, a 72-hour period, a full year or for the duration of your life. Senior residents can get a fishing license at a discounted rate, as can individuals who are legally blind. Certain types of fishing tags are also available, such as the Muskellunge harvest tag and the sturgeon fishing permit and harvest tag. Both are free of charge. However, to get either of these items, you must apply in person. Applicants 17 years of age and older may buy a fishing license through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Individuals who do not meet the minimum age requirement are allowed to fish without licensing. Michigan anglers – whether they are required to be licensed or not– are responsible for adhering to all the fishing rules and regulations of the state. If not, they are subject to penalties and the revocation of their MI recreational fishing privileges. Both residents and tourists have the option to purchase a fishing license online on the DNR website or in person. For more information on how to get a fishing license in Michigan, click this link. Through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, individuals can apply for two main licenses in the state:
- A standard new Michigan fishing license
- A Michigan commercial fishing permit
New Michigan Fishing Licenses
Buying a fishing license in the state of Michigan can be done through a few different avenues. To obtain a license to fish online, applicants must visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ website. In-person applicants may obtain a license by appearing at a DNR office location or through an authorized license agent.
To begin the process of getting your Michigan resident fishing license or non resident license to fish online, you will need to first venture to the state’s Department of Natural Resources website. Once you have arrived at the E-Licensing page, you will then be prompted to provide certain information about yourself, to verify your identify. Part of your online transaction entails submitting payment for the proper MI fishing permit fees with a credit card, such as a MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. No other form of payment is accepted. After you have completed your online licensing request, allow up to 10 business days to receive your new license to fish at your home address.
There are two convenient options available when figuring out how to get a fishing license in person: Visit a DNR agent or go to a customer service center. Before speaking to a state-approved agent, be sure to gather the required documentation beforehand, such as the following:
- Your state driving license or state ID card (for proof of residency, if applicable)
- A recent utility bill (in the event you need to provide additional proof of residency)
- Payment for required fees
Costs are subject to vary. Therefore, contact the MI Department of Natural Resources ahead of time to verify that you have the correct amount. Senior residents of the state of Michigan and the legally blind are not charged for permits to fish in the state. Other qualified applicants who can get a fishing license in Michigan at no cost include military veterans with a disability and former army members who previously served in the Armed Forces and now reside in Michigan.
Commercial Michigan Fishing Licenses
Before you apply for a commercial fishing license in Michigan, you are encouraged to get in touch with the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Currently, only a limited number of anglers catch fish for sale in the state. For further clarification about how to buy commercial fishing permits, call the MI Fisheries Division at: 517-284-5830. You may also send an email to the following address: DNR-Fisheries@michigan.gov.
If you are interested in the different types of species that can be caught in Michigan waters for commercial gain, the following were some of the most common types of commercial harvest obtained in 2014:
- White perch
- Gold fish
The aforementioned species are typically found in the following bodies of water: Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Michigan.