The Ultimate Guide to Obtaining Your MI Fishing License

mi fishing license

You will need a Michigan fishing license if you are an avid angler or plan to visit Michigan and cast your line. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources provides a variety of options for anglers to catch a variety of fish species in some of Michigan’s most pristine water. This guide will tell you everything you need about obtaining a MI fishing license.

What is a Michigan Fishing License?

A fishing license or certificate allows anglers the legal right to catch fish in Michigan designated waterways. Michigan state law requires that all residents, and non-residents over the age of 17, obtain a license before engaging in fishing activities in the state.

Why Do You Need A Michigan Fishing License

Anyone fishing in state-owned water must have a fishing license. A fishing license is a legal requirement, but it’s also essential to fund the management and preservation of water resources within the state. The purchase of a license is an important part of Michigan’s conservation effort to ensure the survival of aquatic life.

Types of Michigan fishing licenses

Michigan offers different types of fishing licenses for different needs. Here are a few of the options available:

Resident Annual Fishing Licence

This permit is only available to Michigan residents and is valid for a year. This permit allows anglers access to Michigan’s inland rivers, lakes, and streams.

Senior Resident Annual Fishing Licence

Senior residents of Michigan can purchase this license at age 65. The license is valid for a year from the date it was purchased and offers the same benefits that the standard annual fishing licence.

Non-Resident annual fishing license

This permit is only available to non-Michigan Residents and is valid for a year from the date it is purchased. This permit grants the same fishing privileges as an annual resident fishing license.

24-Hour Fishing license

Anglers who intend to fish continuously for 24 hours can purchase a 24-hour license. This license is valid immediately after the purchase.

72-Hour Fishing license

This license allows you to fish in Michigan’s inland rivers, lakes, and streams for a period of 72 hours. It’s an excellent option for visitors.

One-Day Fishing License

You can buy a fishing license for one day. This is a cheaper option for recreational anglers that only fish occasionally.

Fishing Tournament License

This permit is valid for the entire duration of the tournament. The event permit is designed for short-term fishing events.

How to Get a Michigan Fishing License

There are several ways you can get your MI fishing licence. Here are the most common ways to obtain a MI fishing license:

Online Fishing License Purchase

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers an online portal for obtaining your MI fishing license. Please visit the Michigan DNR Website and follow the instructions for purchasing your license.

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Fishing Licenses Can Be Purchased In Person

You can also purchase your Michigan fishing permit from an authorized retailer such as a sporting goods store, bait and tackle shop or license vendor. The Michigan DNR web site has a list of license agents who are authorized to sell Michigan fishing licenses.

Telephone Purchase of Fishing License

You can buy your Michigan fishing license over the phone. Call 1-866-296 8732 (1-866-288-0972 for TTY) and a customer service representative will guide you through the entire process.

Mail-In Application for Fishing License

You can also order your Michigan fishing permit by mail if you prefer. Download the Michigan fishing licence application form from Michigan DNR Website. Fill it out completely and mail it with a check, money order, or both to the Michigan DNR address listed on the form.

Who is eligible to obtain a Michigan fishing license?

Michigan fishing licenses are open to all, but you must meet certain requirements before you can get one. Here are the conditions for applicants who qualify:

Michigan Residents

A Michigan resident is someone who has lived in Michigan for atleast six months prior to the purchase of a license. A resident can apply for an annual resident fishing license, while a senior resident can apply for a senior annual resident fishing permit.

Non-Residents in Michigan

Non-residents of Michigan can apply for annual fishing licenses as well as 24-hour, 72-hour, and single-day licenses.

What is the age requirement for Michigan fishing licenses?

Michigan law requires that anyone over 17 years old who plans to fly solo without an experienced angling companion must have a fishing licence. If you’re younger than 17, you don’t need to purchase a Michigan fishing permit.

What is the cost of Michigan fishing licenses?

The cost of a Michigan fishing license depends on the type of license and the duration. The chart below shows the current rates for different Michigan fishing licence types (as of 2020).

Resident Annual Fishing Licence

Age Cost
17 years and older $26
Senior Resident Annual Fishing Licence $11

Non-Resident annual fishing license

License Type Cost
24 Hour License $10
72 Hour All Species $30
All Species Annual $76

One-Day Fishing License

License Type Cost
One-Day All Species Fishing $10

Fishing Tournament License

For information on how to get a Fishing Tournament License, contact the Michigan DNR Fisheries Division.

How to renew your Michigan fishing license

Your Michigan fishing licence must be renewed annually. Residents are notified by the State of Michigan via SMS, U.S. Mail and email reminders before their license expiration. You can renew your Michigan Fishing License in advance by mail, online, or in person.

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What kind of Michigan fish species can you catch?

Michigan is home to a wide variety of fish species that fishing enthusiasts can reel in. Here are some of Michigan’s most popular fish species, and where you can find them.


Michigan’s Walleye is a highly sought-after species of fish. Anglers in Michigan are fortunate to be able to fish for walleyes both in inland lakes and the Great Lakes. Houghton Lake is one of the most famous walleye fishing locations. Other spots include Lake Gogebic and Green Bay.


Michigan’s Great Lakes offer excellent salmon fishing opportunities. Chinook salmons, coho, Atlantic salmons, and steelhead are all popular species that draw many anglers. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron offer the best salmon fishing spots in Michigan.

Smallmouth Bass

Michigan has earned a reputation as one of the top states for smallmouth bass fishing. Smallmouth bass thrive in the Great Lakes, inland lakes and many Michigan rivers. Smallmouth bass fishing is popular in Michigan at Lake St Clair and Lake Charlevoix.

Michigan Fishing Regulations

Michigan has several different fisheries, each with its own fishing regulations. Anglers are only allowed to catch fish species that comply with Michigan DNR regulations. The authority updates its fishing regulations regularly to ensure a sustainable natural resource for the future. To avoid legal penalties, it is the responsibility of the angler to stay up-to-date with these regulations.

Michigan Fishing License Violations & Penalties

The Michigan DNR enforces strict rules and regulations for fishing. If you do not follow the rules, you could face fines, imprisonment, or penalties. The federal and state fishing regulations include:

Fishing without a valid fishing license

Anyone over the age of 17 must have a fishing license in order to fish in Michigan inland waters and Great Lakes. The fine for fishing in Michigan without a valid license can range from $50 to $500.

Fish that are too large, too small or restricted in size

The rules and regulations set specific size and quantity limits for certain fish species. Fines can range from $50 to $1000 depending on the size of the fish. If you are caught with a restricted species of fish in your possession, you can be fined up to $1,000.

Interfering with Conservation Officers

Interfering with conservation agents as they enforce fishing regulations could result in a fine up to $500, or even imprisonment.

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Fishing Etiquettes and Etiquettes

Fishing etiquettes are a set guidelines for conduct that ensures the welfare of fish as well as other anglers. These guidelines, which are outlined below, can help create a safe and respectful fishing environment for everyone:

Respect the fishing rules and regulations.

Understanding and following the fishing regulations is crucial to ensuring a sustainable fishing environment.

Handle fish properly

Handle fish with care. They are living creatures, and you should avoid causing them harm or unnecessary suffering. Handle fish with a wet towel, a fishing net or a wet hand.

Dispose of garbage properly

Littering can have a negative impact on the water environment. Dispose of all trash, including baits, lures and hooks, at designated disposal sites.

Give other anglers room.

Avoid other anglers fishing in the same area or nearby. To maintain a peaceful fishing experience, respect the personal space of other anglers.

Prepare yourself before you begin.

Before you embark on your fishing expedition, make sure you have all the necessary equipment. This includes sunscreen, hats and food.

Maintaining your Michigan Fishing License

Your fishing license is your key to fishing on Michigan’s rivers and lakes. To avoid legal penalties, it is important to make sure that your fishing license is valid and current. Renewal of your Michigan fishing permit is easy and convenient. There are a few things that you can do to maintain your license.

Check the expiration date of your license.

Michigan DNR will send license holders a notification before the expiration date. You can avoid unnecessary fines by checking your email and mailbox.

Store your fishing licence in a safe place.

A fishing license is an essential and valuable document for any angler. Store it in a dry, safe place to prevent damage or loss.

Keep a copy.

Keep a copy of your license, either printed or digital, with you when you go fishing. The copy is proof that you are allowed to fish in Michigan.


Before engaging in any fishing activity within the state, you must obtain your Michigan fishing permit. Michigan offers different types of fishing licenses, depending on the person’s residency status, duration of stay and type of adventure. These licenses are available at different prices, and it is important to follow the rules set by authorities in order to avoid any penalties, fines or imprisonment. This guide will help you to understand the Michigan fishing regulations and license. Use this information to have a rewarding fishing experience.

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