There is a new piece of legislation in Michigan that will allow commercial fishers to legally catch more types of fish in Michigan waters.

A pair of bills being weighed by the state Legislature would allow Michigan’s commercial access 10 percent of the state's catchable lake trout and 20 percent of walleye, based on quotas from the Department of Natural Resources.

As of today commercial fishers are only allowed to catch one type of fish and that fish is Perch.  Currently only Michigan’s recreational fishers can legally catch most game fish, including sunfish, walleye, lake trout and other fish varieties.

This new legislation would allow these commercial fishers to catch 10% of the state's catchable lake trout and 20% of walleye.  These quotas would be based on numbers from the Department of Natural Resources. Currently there are only 13 commercial fishing operations that actually harvest fish annually in Michigan.

Proponents of the bills say Michigan’s fishing industry is currently operating under rules created nearly 40 years ago.

Scott Everett, the legislative director for the Michigan Fish Producers Association was quoted stating:

When these lake trout are brought up in these trap nets ... the lake trout die anyway

Nick Green, public information officer for Michigan United Conservation Clubs stated:

When we start dipping into those sport fish quotas, what the economic impact is, we don't know…It could be very substantial when you start looking at the percent that commercial anglers are asking to be able to harvest.

An interesting side point about fishing in Michigan.  According to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources post on Facebook, Bassmaster magazine revealed its 2019 rankings for the best bass lakes in the country and Michigan dominated that list, with six of the top 10 lakes. The Michigan Lakes that made it onto the list were:

  • Lake St. Clair (ranked No. 2)
  • Burt/Mullet Lakes (ranked No. 5)
  • Bays de Noc (ranked No. 7)
  • Saginaw Bay (ranked No. 8)
  • Lake Charlevoix (ranked No. 9)
  • Grand Traverse Bay (ranked No. 10)

Michigan has also been repeatedly ranked among the best U.S. flying fishing destinations.

More good news about Michigan and the great recreational activities we have.

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