Fishing regulation changes made at Michigan NRC meeting

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved several fishing regulation changes at its meeting Thursday, Oct. 13, in Lansing. Those changes, regarding commercial bait, bow and spear fishing, and reptile and amphibian possession, go into effect today.

The regulations are part of multiple Fisheries Orders, which the Department of Natural Resources uses to protect Michigan’s aquatic resources. The Fisheries Orders include 201, 216, 219 and 224.

Fisheries Order 201 sets fishing regulations on waters within the Big Island Lake Complex in Schoolcraft County. The approved change added several lakes that inadvertently were admitted to the list of waters covered under this order. These changes will help clarify coverage of the special regulations.

Fisheries Order 216 details regulations for taking minnows, wigglers and crayfish for commercial purposes and lists waters closed to personal take of minnows. The approved change consolidated several Fisheries Orders (203, 227 and 231 – all related to bait) under 216 to simplify the regulations.

Fisheries Order 219 covers regulations for anglers using a bow, spear or crossbow to fish in Michigan. The approved changes included removing Big Bear Lake (Otsego County) and Caribou Lake (Chippewa County) from the list of waters closed to northern pike and muskellunge spearing, removing Tower Dam Pond (Cheboygan County) from the order, and changing the order’s title from “Spearing Regulations – Statewide” to “Bow, Spear and Crossbow Fishing Regulations.”

Fisheries Order 224 establishes regulations for Michigan’s reptiles and amphibians. The approved change added five species – including the mudpuppy, Fowler’s toad, pickerel frog, Butler’s garter snake and smooth green snake – to the Michigan Natural Features Inventory’s list of “Species of Special Concern.”
All orders will be updated and available online Monday, Oct. 17.