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New Boating & Fishing Laws

March 01, 2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous

The State of Michigan has added new regulations to the National Resources and Environmental Protection Act which took place in March of 2019.  The State strives to keep our waters clean, not only from Asian Car, and mussels but form invasive plants.  Below is a summary of the new regulation.

In 2019 The Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (Act 451 of 1994) Park 413 was amended with changes for boaters and anglers that take effect March 21, 2019.  The changes are intended to strengthen protection from Michigan waterways against the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.


Prior to the amendment, the law only required that a person not place watercraft or trailers in the water of Michigan if an aquatic plan is attached.  The new law changes require all of the follow prior to transporting any watercraft over land:

Remove all drain plugs form bilges, ballast tanks and live well.

Draining all water from live wells and bilges.

Ensure that the watercraft, trailer and any conveyance used to transport the watercraft or trailer is free of aquatic organisms, including plants.

Violation of the law is a state civil infraction and can be subject to fines up to $100.


For anglers, these amendments codify the Michigan DNR’s Fisheries Order 245 regarding the release of bait fish and cut bait, and the release of captured fish:

A person shall not release baitfish in any water in Michigan.  A person may not use the fish caught as bait or cut bait except in the inland lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught, or in a connecting waterway of the inland lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught if the fish could freely move between, the original location of capture and the location of release.

A person who catches fish other than baitfish in a lake, stream, Great Lake or connecting waterway shall only release the fish in the lake, stream, or Great Lake where the fish was caught.

Whether purchased or collected, unused baitfish should be disposed of on land or in the trash—NEVER in the water.  Any baitfish an angler collects may be used only in the waters where it was originally collected.

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