The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is implementing new regulations for the 2022 fishing season beginning April 1. The aim is to protect fish populations in certain areas.
Among the new rules are expanded opportunities to use a spear to hunt lake trout, northern pike and walleye in southern Lake Michigan.
Jay Wesley, the Lake Michigan basin coordinator with the state DNR, says people who want to participate in the sport will need a free spearfishing license.
“They will have to declare their catch [so] that we have a better understanding of how many people are in it and how many fish they’re catching,” Wesley said.
Also, says Wesley, in the spring, fishermen on some rivers will have to discard some of their catch.
“Basically reduces the bag limit between March 15 and May 15 to a rainbow [trout] or rainbow trout per day, and that’s just on a few select rivers,” he added.
These rivers are the Muskegon River, Pere Marquette River, Manistee River, Little Manistee River, Bear Creek, Manistique River, and Carp River.
Along Torch Lake and the Rapid River, anglers will be able to fish for suckers in the spring using a single point hook measuring half an inch or less from tip to tip.
“It would be May 1 to July 1 on the Torch and Rapid rivers,” Wesley said.
Licenses for the 2022 fishing season will go on sale starting Tuesday, March 1. Permits are required for ages 17 and older.