The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers about netting seasons as we get closer to spring. The hand netting season opens Thursday, March 1, and closes May 31, while the dip netting season opens Tuesday, March 20, and also closes May 31.
The following species can be taken during both seasons: bowfin, carp, goldfish, gizzard shad, longnose gar, smelt and suckers. Waters open to hand netting include all Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the St. Marys River including all tributaries to those waters from the mouth to a half-mile upstream. Waters open to dip netting include all Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula streams, except Designated Trout Streams.
All other waters are closed to these activities; visit michigan.gov/dnrdigests for full details.
The use of seines, hand nets and dip nets for minnows is allowed all year on all waters (except Designated Trout Streams and those waters closed to minnow harvest) while cast nets can be used for alewives, minnows, smelt and gizzard shad all year on the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the St. Marys River.
For those interested in dipping for smelt later this spring, visit the DNR’s smelt dipping and fishing opportunities page online.