At what age do kids in Michigan need a fishing license?

At what age do kids in Michigan need a fishing license?

In Michigan, the age at which a child needs a fishing license is a key consideration for families looking to enjoy the state’s rich aquatic resources. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, children under the age of 17 can fish without a license, but they must adhere to all fishing rules and regulations. This policy encourages youth participation in outdoor activities while instilling a sense of responsibility towards conservation.

The Role of Adults in Youth Fishing

Adults play a crucial role in fostering a child’s interest in fishing. However, any adult actively assisting a minor in fishing must hold a valid fishing license. This includes activities such as setting up gear, baiting hooks, and helping with the catch. The adult’s license does not cover the child; it simply allows the adult to provide assistance.

Voluntary Youth Fishing License

Michigan offers a voluntary youth fishing license for children under 17. While not mandatory, this license serves as an educational tool, familiarizing young anglers with the licensing process and contributing to conservation efforts through the funds it generates.

Importance of Adhering to Fishing Regulations

All anglers, regardless of age, must follow Michigan’s fishing regulations. These include catch and size limitsfishing seasons, and restricted areas. These rules are based on scientific research and are crucial for sustaining fish populations and ensuring future generations can enjoy fishing in Michigan.

Obtaining a Fishing License in Michigan

For those aged 17 and older, obtaining a fishing license in Michigan is straightforward. Licenses can be purchased online, at a local Department of Natural Resources office, or through licensed retailers. Various license types are available, including annual, 24-hour, and 72-hour options, catering to different fishing needs.


In summary, Michigan’s approach to fishing licenses balances the promotion of youth engagement in fishing with the need for conservation and responsible fishing practices. By understanding and complying with these regulations, families can enjoy Michigan’s natural beauty and contribute to the sustainability of its aquatic ecosystems.

Remember: Always carry your fishing license and the identification used to purchase it when fishing, as you must be able to present them if requested by authorities.

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