Michigan Fishing License 2017: How Much Does It Cost?

Michigan Fishing License 2023: How Much Does It Cost?

Fishing in Michigan is a beloved pastime for both residents and visitors alike. With its numerous lakes, rivers, and streams, the state offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities. However, before you can cast your line, it’s important to understand the necessity of having a valid fishing license. Not only does it ensure that fishing activities are regulated for the conservation of fish populations, but it also contributes to the funding of wildlife and conservation programs.

The Cost of Michigan Fishing Licenses

In Michigan, the cost of a fishing license varies depending on several factors, including the type of license, the angler’s residency status, and age. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Resident Annual Fishing License: This license is available to Michigan residents and remains valid for one year. The cost is typically around $26.
  • Non-Resident Annual Fishing License: Non-residents can also purchase an annual fishing license, which is usually priced at $76.
  • 24-Hour Fishing License: For short-term fishing trips, both residents and non-residents can opt for a 24-hour license. The cost for this license is about $10.
  • 72-Hour Fishing License: A slightly longer short-term option is the 72-hour license, which costs around $30.
  • Senior Annual Fishing License: Michigan residents who are 65 years or older qualify for a discounted annual fishing license, which costs about $11.
  • Trout/Salmon Stamp: In addition to the fishing license, anglers who intend to fish for trout or salmon need to purchase a Trout/Salmon Stamp for approximately $15.

Michigan Fishing License 2017: How Much Does It Cost?

Who Requires a Fishing License in Michigan?

Anyone who is 17 years of age or older and plans to fish in Michigan’s public waters needs a fishing license. This applies to both residents and non-residents. Fishing without a valid license can result in penalties, including fines and possible revocation of fishing privileges.

Who is Exempt from Needing a Fishing License in Michigan?

There are a few exceptions to the fishing license requirement in Michigan:

  • Children under 17: Minors under the age of 17 can fish without a license but must observe all fishing rules and regulations.
  • Michigan residents who are actively serving in the U.S. Armed Forces: These individuals are eligible for free fishing licenses when on leave.
  • Participants in organized fishing events for the disabled: Certain events may have special permissions that exempt participants from needing a license.

How to Purchase a Michigan Fishing License

Purchasing a Michigan fishing license is a straightforward process. You can buy one online from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, or in person from local government offices or certified retailers such as Walmart or sporting goods stores. There may be additional fees associated with each purchase method, so it’s worth checking these out before you decide which option is most convenient for you.

Use of Michigan Fishing License Fees

The revenue from fishing license fees is used for managing fish and wildlife resources in Michigan. The funds from license sales are split between the Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) and the Division of Law Enforcement (DLE). These funds are crucial for maintaining healthy fish populations, conserving habitats, and ensuring that Michigan’s fishing opportunities remain plentiful for future generations.

The Importance of Fishing Licenses

Fishing licenses are more than just a legal requirement for anglers. They help fund conservation efforts and wildlife management programs that protect fish populations and their habitats. By purchasing a fishing license, you’re contributing to the preservation of Michigan’s natural resources and ensuring that future generations can enjoy them too.

In addition to funding conservation efforts, fishing licenses also promote responsible angling practices. License fees are used to support educational programs that teach anglers about ethical fishing practices, such as catch-and-release techniques and proper fish handling.

The Cost of Michigan Fishing Licenses

The cost of a Michigan fishing license varies depending on several factors, including residency status, age, and the type of license you’re applying for. Below is a breakdown of the costs for different types of fishing licenses in Michigan in 2017:

Resident Fishing Licenses

  • Annual fishing license: $26
  • 24-hour fishing license: $10
  • 72-hour fishing license: $30

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

  • Annual fishing license: $76
  • 24-hour fishing license: $10
  • 72-hour fishing license: $30

Senior Citizen Fishing Licenses

  • Annual fishing license (for residents age 65 or older): $11

How to Obtain a Michigan Fishing License

Obtaining a Michigan fishing license is a straightforward process. You can purchase a license online through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, at a local license agent, or by calling the DNR’s licensing phone line at 888-367-7060.

Before applying for a fishing license, make sure you have the necessary information and documentation, including your driver’s license and social security number. You’ll also need to provide information about the type of fishing license you’re applying for, your residency status, and your age.

Special Fishing Licenses in Michigan

In addition to the standard fishing licenses, Michigan also offers special licenses for specific groups and purposes:

  • Senior Fish for Life License: This is a lifetime fishing license available for Michigan residents who are 65 years or older. It’s a one-time purchase that covers the holder for the rest of their life.
  • Disabled Veterans Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Michigan offers discounted hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans. To qualify, veterans must have a disability rating of 100%.
  • Commercial Fishing License: For those who fish for commercial purposes, a commercial fishing license is required. The cost and requirements for this license vary, so it’s best to check with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the most accurate information.

Michigan Fishing Regulations

While fishing in Michigan, it’s important to follow the state’s fishing regulations. These rules cover everything from bag and size limits to fishing seasons and equipment restrictions. The regulations are designed to protect and conserve Michigan’s fish populations, ensuring that everyone can continue to enjoy fishing in the state for years to come. So, don’t forget to check the latest regulations before you head out!


Choosing the right fishing license and understanding the regulations can seem a bit daunting, especially if you’re new to fishing. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Understand your needs: If you’re only going to fish a few times a year, a short-term license might be your best bet. But if you’re an avid angler, an annual or even a lifetime license could save you money in the long run.
  • Follow the rules: Always have your fishing license with you when you’re fishing, and make sure to follow all fishing regulations. The penalties for fishing without a license or breaking the rules can be severe.
  • Explore: Michigan is home to a diverse range of fishing opportunities. Don’t be afraid to try new spots and target different species. You never know, you might just find your new favorite fishing spot!


Fishing in Michigan is a rewarding experience, but it’s important to do it responsibly. That means purchasing the appropriate fishing license, following all fishing regulations, and respecting the state’s aquatic resources. By doing so, you’re not only ensuring a great fishing experience for yourself, but also contributing to the conservation of Michigan’s rich fishing heritage. So, Get your fishing license, cast your line, and enjoy the angling adventure that awaits in the Great Lakes State. Happy fishing!


How much does a Michigan fishing license cost for residents?

For residents of Michigan, a fishing license for the 2023 season costs $26.

How much does a Michigan fishing license cost for non-residents?
Non-residents of Michigan have multiple options for fishing licenses. The cost of a non-resident annual fishing license for the 2023 season is $76. An alternative option is a non-resident three-day fishing license for $30.

Are there any additional fees associated with purchasing a Michigan fishing license?
Yes, there are a few additional fees to consider. A $1.00 surcharge is applied to all fishing licenses purchased through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website or at a license agent. In addition, if purchasing a license online, there is a $1.50 convenience fee. Finally, if a printed copy of the license is desired, there is an additional fee of $2.00.

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