DETROIT (WWJ) – If you’re itching to get out and cast a line, wait no longer. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers that a new fishing license season begins Monday, April 1.

All 2012 fishing licenses expire on March 31, 2013.

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Anglers have a choice of a variety of licenses, and prices are unchanged from 2012. Fishing license options include:

  • 24-hour license (good for all species)
  • 72-hour license (good for all species)
  • Restricted license (good for the entire season for all species except trout, salmon, lake sturgeon, lake herring, amphibians, reptiles or crustaceans)
  • All-species license (good for the entire season for all species)

Fishing license fees fund a variety of activities, including fish management work on Michigan’s waters, habitat rehabilitation and protection, fish stocking, information distribution, education and outreach efforts to anglers and the public, and more.

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The state’s fisheries division does not receive any general funds and depends on angler fees, through license sales and federal excise tax dollars for fishing tackle, to manage Michigan’s fisheries. DNR officials say the purchase of a fishing license, even for someone who does not plan to fish, can make a big difference to the future health of Michigan’s prized waters and fisheries.

There are three simple ways to purchase a fishing license in Michigan:

  1. Visit a local license retailer or DNR Operations Service Center and make a purchase in person.
  2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit to get started.
  3. Visit the Mobile Fish website on your smartphone at to buy a 24-hour all-species fishing license. All that’s needed is the purchaser’s driver’s license number and a credit or debit card.

Aside from the license, anglers are also being reminded that for the 2013-2014 season, which starts Monday, April 1, new fishing regulations are in place, including:

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  • Muskellunge Possession Limit Change – Only one muskellunge (including tiger muskellunge) may be harvested per season per angler. A new non-transferrable muskellunge harvest tag is required to harvest muskellunge in Michigan waters. The muskellunge harvest tag is free and available at all fishing license vendors.
  • Northern Pike Fishing Regulation Changes – Northern pike regulations now include the establishment of a new 24-inch to 34-inch protected-slot-limit with a daily possession of two northern pike on six waters. A new provision has also been added to the no minimum size limit regulation waters where five northern pike may be harvested daily – only one northern pike greater than 24-inches is now allowed as part of the daily possession limit. The general statewide 24-inch minimum size limit with a daily possession of two northern pike is still in effect for all other waters not listed as an exception.
  • Bow and Spear Fishing Regulations – Crossbows are included as lawful gear on the waters where bow and arrow use is lawful. The spearing prohibition on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County was removed.
  • Netting Regulations – Netting regulations have been modified and some season dates have changed.
  • Inland Trout and Salmon Regulations – There are five new research streams in the Upper Peninsula where an additional five brook trout may be retained for the daily possession limit.
  • Possession Limit Change – The Platte River daily possession limit is one rainbow trout from the Upper (Hatchery) Platte River Weir downstream to Lake Michigan. The Little Manistee River daily possession limit is one rainbow trout from 300 feet downstream of the Little Manistee River Weir down to Manistee Lake.
  • Spawning Closure – the lower portion of the Betsie River from the Betsie Valley Trail Bridge (former railroad trestle bridge) west to a line in Betsie Bay between the westernmost dock of the Northstar Marina and the westernmost dock of the Eastshore Marina is closed to fishing until further notice.

For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit