Michigan Fishing License Essentials

Acquiring Your Michigan Fishing License

Michigan offers a streamlined process for obtaining fishing licenses online via Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. This convenient option caters to all anglers, providing licenses suitable for a variety of species as outlined in the official Fishing Guide. When purchasing resident, nonresident, or senior annual licenses, including the combo hunt and fish licenses (marked with an asterisk *), a $1 surcharge is applied. This surcharge funds educational programs on hunting, fishing, and trapping's significance in Michigan. These initiatives emphasize the role of these activities in the state's natural resource conservation and management. Further details are accessible at Michigan.gov/DNR.

License Types and Fees

  • DNR Sportcard: $1
  • All Species Fishing Licenses:
    • Resident Annual: $26*
    • Nonresident Annual: $76*
    • Senior Annual (Residents 65 or older or legally blind): $11*
    • Daily Fish (for both residents and nonresidents, valid for 24 hours): $10/day
    • Underwater Spearfishing (for residents and nonresidents, with required reporting): Free, though a DNR Sportcard may be necessary.
    • Voluntary Youth License (Age 16 and under): $2*
  • Combo Hunt/Fish Licenses (Includes Base, Annual Fishing, 2 Deer):
    • Resident: $76*
    • Senior Resident: $43*
    • Nonresident: $266*

Michigan waives fishing license fees for state residents who are either veterans with a 100% disability or on active military duty.

License Requirements

In Michigan, anyone 17 years and older engaging in fishing, or targeting fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and reptiles in public waters must have a valid fishing license. Those under 17 may fish without a license but must comply with all fishing regulations. Importantly, if a youth turns 17 during the license year (April 1 - March 31), they are required to purchase a license.

For individuals 16 and under, the state offers a voluntary youth fishing license. While not mandatory, it supports adherence to fishing regulations.

Adults assisting minors in fishing activities must possess a valid license. However, license-exempt adults can participate by helping land or unhook fish, setting up and baiting the fishing rod, fixing tangles, and casting the line, provided the minor actively participates in the process.

Sign Up for Huntlink!

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.