Michigan Fishing License: Essential Guide for Anglers

michigan fishing license

Before my annual fishing trip to Michigan, I always make sure to have a valid fishing license before heading out to enjoy the state’s great fishing opportunities. Michigan’s annual fishing license is valid from March 1st of a given year through March 31st of the following year. The process of obtaining a Michigan fishing license is simple, and it ensures that I am in compliance with the state’s regulations and contributing to the conservation of our natural resources.

There are various types of fishing licenses available in Michigan to cater to different needs, such as resident licenses, nonresident licenses, and senior licenses. When it comes to purchasing a license, I have found the Michigan DNR eLicense system to be a quick and easy method. It allows me to buy my fishing license online and have access to it whenever I need it.

The cost of each type of fishing license varies, and it is essential to be aware of these differences before making a purchase. Here’s a brief breakdown of the fishing license fees for Michigan:

Type of LicenseCost
Annual all species resident$26
Annual all species nonresident$76
Annual all species senior (65+ or legally blind, Michigan residents only)$11

Types of Michigan Fishing Licenses

In this section, I will discuss the various types of Michigan fishing licenses available for purchase. The licenses vary depending on the duration you plan to fish, as well as your residential status and age. For your convenience, the cost of each license type will be provided in corresponding tables.

Annual Licenses

Annual fishing licenses in Michigan are available both for residents and non-residents. These all-species permits are valid from March 1st of a given year through March 31st of the following year.

License TypeCost

24-Hour Licenses

If you’re planning a short fishing trip, 24-hour fishing licenses are available. The licenses are inexpensive and accessible regardless of your residential status.

License TypeCost
All-species (Resident and Non-resident)$10

72-Hour Licenses

For those looking to fish for a long weekend or short vacation, 72-hour licenses can be a suitable option. These licenses are also available to both residents and non-residents.

License TypeCost
All-species (Resident and Non-resident)$30

Senior Licenses

Michigan offers discounted fishing licenses to seniors who are 65 years of age or older, or who are legally blind, and who are residents of the state. The senior annual fishing licenses cover all species.

License TypeCost
All-species (Resident, 65+ or legally blind)$11

Lifetime Licenses

Unfortunately, as of now, I have not found any information about lifetime fishing licenses being offered in Michigan. You may want to consider acquiring an annual license each year or explore shorter-duration license options depending on your fishing needs.

How to Purchase a Fishing License

In Michigan, there are a few ways to purchase a fishing license. I will be discussing these options in the following sub-sections, which will cover purchasing in-person at a retail location, online through the DNR eLicense system, and by phone through the DNR.

In-Person at a Retail Location

One option to purchase a Michigan fishing license is by visiting a retail location in person. Many stores, such as outdoor recreation shops and some larger grocery stores or gas stations, offer fishing licenses for sale. Be prepared to provide a form of government-issued identification or a valid driver’s license to complete the transaction.

Here is a table showcasing the costs of various fishing licenses available for purchase in person:

License TypeCost
Annual Resident Fishing License$26
24-hour Fishing License$10
72-hour Fishing License$30
Annual Nonresident Fishing License$68

Online through the DNR eLicense System

Another convenient method to purchase a Michigan fishing license is through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) eLicense system. To do this, simply visit the Michigan DNR eLicense website, follow the step-by-step process, and pay using a major credit or debit card. Your fishing license will be emailed to you after the purchase is complete.

Below is a table presenting the costs of different fishing licenses available for online purchase:

License TypeCost
Annual Resident Fishing License$26
24-hour Fishing License$10
72-hour Fishing License$30
Annual Nonresident Fishing License$68

By Phone through the DNR

Lastly, a Michigan fishing license can also be purchased by calling the DNR. To purchase your license over the phone, simply dial the provided number and follow the instructions given during the call. You will need a credit or debit card to complete the transaction. Once the purchase is finalized, your fishing license will be mailed to you.

Here are the costs of various fishing licenses when purchased by phone:

License TypeCost
Annual Resident Fishing License$26
24-hour Fishing License$10
72-hour Fishing License$30
Annual Nonresident Fishing License$68

License Fees and Payment Options

In this section, I will discuss the various fees associated with obtaining a Michigan fishing license and the available payment options.

There are several different fishing licenses available, catering to different age groups, residency statuses, and fishing interests.

For Michigan residents:

  • Annual all-species resident license: $26
  • Annual all-species senior license (65+ or legally blind): $11

For non-residents:

  • Annual all-species nonresident license: $76

Additionally, there are combo licenses that include both hunting and fishing privileges:

  • Resident hunt/fish combo (includes base, two deer licenses, and an annual all-species fishing license): $76
  • Nonresident hunt/fish combo: $266
  • Senior resident hunt/fish combo (65+, Michigan residents only): $43

All fishing licenses are valid for all species allowed for harvest, as indicated in the Michigan Fishing Guide. A $1 surcharge is included in the resident annual, nonresident annual, and senior annual fishing licenses, as well as the combo licenses.

When it comes to payment options, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) eLicense website allows for the purchase of hunting, fishing, snowmobile, and ORV licenses quickly and easily. You can use credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, for online transactions.

Alternatively, you can also visit a local license retailer or DNR Customer Service Center to purchase a fishing license in person.

Fishing License Regulations and Restrictions

In Michigan, a fishing license is required for individuals who are 17 years old or older. However, anglers below the age of 17 are exempt from obtaining a license but must still adhere to fishing rules and regulations.

Species and Catch Limits

Understanding the catch limits for popular fish species in Michigan is essential to conserving our natural resources. These limits vary depending on the species and location, so it’s always a good idea to check local regulations before heading out to fish. Mandatory harvest registration is in place for certain fish species, such as lake sturgeon and muskellunge. If you catch one of these fish, you are required to report it within 24 hours.

Seasonal Regulations

Michigan has specific fishing seasons for different types of fish. Some species, like bass, walleye, and northern pike, have separate open and closed seasons. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these dates to avoid inadvertently breaking any rules while fishing.

Here’s a table outlining the basic costs for different types of fishing licenses:

License TypeCost
Resident Annual LicensePrice
Non-Resident Annual LicensePrice
24-Hour LicensePrice
72-Hour LicensePrice
Senior Annual LicensePrice

My recommendation is to check local regulations and purchase the necessary licenses ahead of your planned fishing trip to ensure compliance and avoid fines or penalties.

Recreational Fishing Opportunities in Michigan

Michigan offers a variety of recreational fishing opportunities for anglers, from freshwater fishing in the Great Lakes to inland lake fishing and river and stream fishing. In this section, I will explore these opportunities and provide information on obtaining the appropriate licenses.

Freshwater Fishing

Michigan is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the United States, largely due to its location within the Great Lakes region. Anglers can find a variety of species, such as walleye, bass, trout, and salmon. To participate in freshwater fishing, Michigan residents and non-residents are required to purchase a fishing license. The following table lists the costs of different types of fishing licenses:

Type of LicenseCost for ResidentsCost for Non-Residents
Annual Fishing License$25$76

Inland Lake Fishing

With thousands of inland lakes scattered throughout Michigan, there are abundant opportunities for anglers seeking a more secluded and peaceful experience. Popular species found in these waters include perch, pike, and panfish. Inland lake fishing also requires a fishing license, and the costs are the same as those for freshwater fishing, as shown in the table above.

River and Stream Fishing

Michigan’s numerous rivers and streams provide yet another exciting option for anglers. From fly fishing for trout in the pristine waters of the Upper Peninsula to casting for smallmouth bass in southern Michigan’s productive rivers, there’s something for everyone. As with freshwater and inland lake fishing, a license is required. The same fees apply, and they can be found in the table provided in the Freshwater Fishing subsection.

To purchase a fishing license, you can either visit a local store or buy it online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. Remember, the 2023 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2024. With so many fishing opportunities available, there’s no better time to grab your gear and explore Michigan’s diverse fishing options.

Fishing Education and Youth Opportunities

As an angler in Michigan, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the numerous fishing education and youth opportunities the state offers. These programs help young anglers develop their skills while fostering responsible fishing practices and conservation awareness.

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the Aquatic Education Partnership. This country-specific program features multiple fishing education centers across the state, and their list can be found online. They offer classes and workshops tailored to various age groups, ensuring that everyone has a chance to learn and enjoy the wonders of fishing.

Many organized youth fishing programs stress the importance of fishing ethics and conservation, and these values are often ingrained in the courses. The recent introduction of the voluntary youth fishing license allows instructors to instill license-buying behaviors and emphasize the role of a conservation steward in Michigan’s future anglers.

Now, let’s take a look at the cost breakdown of Michigan’s fishing licenses for a better understanding:

License TypeResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Annual Fishing License$26$76
24-Hour Fishing License$10$10
72-Hour Fishing License$30$30
Senior Annual Fishing License (65+)$11N/A
Voluntary Youth Fishing License$2$2

As a passionate Michigan angler, I encourage everyone to explore the state’s bountiful fishing opportunities and take advantage of the excellent fishing education programs that the DNR has to offer. The success of these programs depends on our involvement, fostering a new generation of responsible and skilled anglers dedicated to the stewardship of Michigan’s water resources and natural habitats.

Conservation and Resource Management

As an outdoor enthusiast, I understand the importance of conservation and resource management when enjoying Michigan’s fishing opportunities. A crucial aspect of this responsibility includes the purchase of the appropriate fishing licenses, which contribute to the state’s conservation efforts and support the management of its abundant natural resources.

In Michigan, there are multiple options for purchasing fishing licenses, suitable for both residents and non-residents. Here are the different license types and costs, presented in two tables:

License TypeCost for ResidentsCost for Nonresidents
Annual Fishing License$26$76
Senior Annual Fishing License (65+)$11N/A
24-hour License$10$10
72-hour License$30$30
Special License TypeCost for ResidentsCost for Nonresidents
Deer Combo License$40$190
Senior Deer Combo License (65+)$28N/A
Deer Management Assistance Permit$10$10

It’s important to note that Michigan residents under 17 years of age are not required to obtain a fishing license. However, they must still follow all fishing rules and regulations. The revenue generated from fishing licenses contributes to various conservation programs, which ensure the continued health and sustainability of Michigan’s rich natural resources. By purchasing a license, I am supporting these efforts and enjoying my outdoor experiences, knowing I’m contributing to their preservation.

Captain Tyler Brady

Captain Tyler Brady

Hi, I'm Captain Tyler Brady, founder of A Fellow Fisherman. Thank you for reading this post and visiting my site. I strive to provide the best information when it comes to fishing, whether it is myself or A Fellow Fisherman that is part of my team. Now stop reading and GO fishing!

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