Michigan Fishing License 2017: How Much Does It Cost?

2024 Michigan Fishing License Costs: Get the Latest Prices Now!

Fishing is a beloved pastime in Michigan, with the state’s abundant lakes, rivers, and streams offering anglers a diverse array of opportunities to cast their lines. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newcomer to the sport, obtaining a valid fishing license is crucial for enjoying this cherished activity legally and responsibly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various types of fishing licenses available in Michigan, their associated costs, and how to purchase them conveniently.

In a nutshell, Michigan residents can purchase an annual all-species fishing license for $26, while non-residents pay $76. Seniors aged 65 and older or those legally blind can obtain a discounted annual license for $11. Additionally, 24-hour licenses are available for $10 per day for both residents and non-residents. Combination hunting and fishing licenses are also offered at varying prices.

Fishing License Requirements in Michigan

In Michigan, anyone aged 17 or older is required to possess a valid fishing license when targeting fish, amphibians, crustaceans, or reptiles in public waters. Children under 17 can fish without a license, but they must still adhere to all fishing rules and regulations. Michigan’s annual fishing licenses are valid from March 1 of the current year through March 31 of the following year.

Types of Michigan Fishing Licenses and Costs

Michigan offers several fishing license options to cater to the needs of residents, non-residents, seniors, and youth anglers. Here’s a breakdown of the different license types and their associated costs for the 2024 season:

Resident Fishing Licenses:

  • Annual All-Species Resident License: $26*
  • Annual Senior Resident License (for residents aged 65 and older or legally blind): $11*
  • 24-Hour Resident License: $10 per day
  • Annual Youth Resident License (voluntary for residents under 17): $2*

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses:

  • Annual All-Species Non-Resident License: $76*
  • 24-Hour Non-Resident License: $10 per day
  • Annual Youth Non-Resident License (voluntary for non-residents under 17): $2*

*Please note that a $1 surcharge is included in the resident annual, non-resident annual, senior annual, and youth annual fishing licenses. This surcharge supports the education of the public on the benefits of hunting, fishing, and trapping in Michigan, as well as the conservation and management of the state’s natural resources.

Combination Hunting and Fishing Licenses

For those who enjoy both hunting and fishing, Michigan offers convenient combination licenses that bundle these activities together. Here are the costs for combination licenses:

  • Resident Hunt/Fish Combo: $76*
  • Non-Resident Hunt/Fish Combo: $266*
  • Senior Hunt/Fish Combo (for residents aged 65 and older): $43*

Where to Purchase a Michigan Fishing License

Michigan offers several convenient options for purchasing your fishing license:

  1. Online: Visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses to purchase your license online.
  2. Michigan DNR Hunt Fish App: Download the official Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app on your mobile device and purchase your license through the app.
  3. License Agents: Visit one of the many licensed agents located throughout Michigan. You can find a list of licensed agents on the DNR website at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenseAgents.
  4. DNR Customer Service Centers: Purchase your license in person at one of the DNR Customer Service Centers located across the state.

If you need assistance or have any issues with purchasing your license online, you can contact the DNR’s License Sales Help Desk at 517-284-6057.

Supporting Conservation Efforts

By purchasing a Michigan fishing license, you’re not only ensuring compliance with state regulations but also contributing to the conservation and preservation of the state’s natural resources. A portion of the revenue generated from license sales is dedicated to supporting various initiatives, including fish stocking, habitat improvement, public access to fishing opportunities, and educational programs that promote responsible fishing practices.

These conservation efforts play a crucial role in maintaining healthy fish populations, protecting aquatic ecosystems, and ensuring the sustainability of Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities for generations to come.

Fishing Seasons and Regulations in Michigan

Michigan’s diverse waterways offer anglers a wide range of fishing opportunities throughout the year, with different seasons and regulations in place for various species. Here’s an overview of some key fishing seasons and regulations to keep in mind:

Open Seasons for Popular Fish Species

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

  • Catch-and-Immediate Release: Open for the entire year on all waters.
  • Possession Season on Most Waters: May 25 through December 31.
  • Possession Season on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair and Detroit Rivers: June 15 through December 31.


Only one muskellunge per angler may be harvested per license year.

  • Catch-and-Immediate Release: Open for the entire year on all waters.
  • Possession Season on Most Waters: June 1 through March 15, 2025.
  • Possession Season on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair and Detroit Rivers: June 1 through December 31.

Northern Pike and Walleye

  • Possession Season on Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, and St. Clair and Detroit Rivers: Open for the entire year.
  • Possession Season on Inland Waters of the Lower Peninsula: April 27 through March 15, 2025.
  • Possession Season on Upper Peninsula Waters: May 15 through March 31, 2025.

Please note that these are just a few examples, and specific regulations may vary depending on the species, location, and type of water body. It’s essential to consult the Michigan Fishing Guide for the most up-to-date information and to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

Important Fishing Regulations

In addition to open seasons, Michigan has several important fishing regulations in place to promote responsible and sustainable fishing practices. Some key regulations include:

  • Possession Limits: Anglers must not possess more than the daily possession limit for a species when fishing in Michigan waters.
  • Prohibited Species: It is illegal to harvest, attempt to harvest, or possess any threatened or endangered species unless authorized by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • Lawful Fishing Methods: Anglers must use only lawful fishing methods, such as hook-and-line fishing, bait, artificial lights, and specific types of nets. Certain methods may be restricted or prohibited in certain areas.
  • Snagging Prohibition: It is illegal to snag a fish or possess a fish that was snagged.
  • Littering and Pollution: Anglers must not deposit litter, fish offal, or any foreign matter in any waters.

For a comprehensive understanding of Michigan’s fishing regulations, it’s essential to consult the Michigan Fishing Guide and stay informed about any updates or changes.


Michigan’s diverse waterways offer anglers of all skill levels an abundance of fishing opportunities. Obtaining a valid fishing license is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial step in supporting the state’s conservation efforts and ensuring the sustainability of its aquatic ecosystems. Whether you’re a resident, non-resident, senior, or youth angler, Michigan has a fishing license option tailored to your needs.

By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can easily purchase your fishing license, stay informed about open seasons and regulations, and contribute to the preservation of Michigan’s rich fishing heritage. So, get your license today and embark on an unforgettable fishing adventure in the Great Lakes State!

Remember, fishing regulations and license fees are subject to change, so it’s always advisable to check the Michigan DNR website or contact the DNR’s License Sales Help Desk at 517-284-6057 for the most up-to-date information before your fishing trip.

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