In a state surrounded by the Great Lakes, fishing is a popular pastime among families. With many miles of coast, countless inland lakes and numerous freshwater rivers, Michigan offers plenty of places to fish. As a lifelong resident, I always look forward to fishing as a family tradition. But each year, regulations change slightly and it’s important for fishermen to stay up-to-date. The State of Michigan requires anyone 17-years-old and above to purchase a license, but that part isn’t new.
New Fishing License Classifications
One major change in 2014 is that the restricted license is no longer offered. For years, the restricted license was a cheaper option for those who weren’t interested in pursuing trout or salmon. These licenses were $15 in 2013. This year, the all-species license is the only comparable option, which costs $26 for a resident.
While the resident price nearly doubled, so did the cost of the more expensive non-resident licenses. Last year, the price was $34 for a restricted non-resident license and $42 for an all-species. The price jumped to $76 this year for the all-species license, which is now the cheapest option. The significant increase in pricing has probably left fishermen wondering where the extra money will go.
According to the Michigan DNR website, the money resulting from higher prices “will allow anglers to enjoy greater access to world-class fishing opportunities, improve fisheries habitat in inland lakes and streams, increase the health and quantity of fish stocked, increase education and outreach to new and existing anglers, and much more.”
Good News for Lifetime Restricted License Holders
Prior to this year, people had the option of purchasing a lifetime restricted fishing license. With the elimination of that option, license holders may have been unsure about what to expect. Those individuals are in luck, because they got upgraded to the all-species license at no additional cost. Even prior to the changes, an all-species license carried a higher cost than a restricted license, so lifetime holders have benefited from this increase.
Where Can I Buy a License?
If you’re interested in hitting the water this summer, there are plenty of places you can buy a fishing license. You can find them at any Dick’s Sporting Goods or Meijer. If you’re not near one of those stores, check out Michigan DNR’s list of fishing license vendors. It’s arranged by county, so you should be able to find a location near you.
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