Annual Free Fishing Weekend set for Feb. 13,14



LAPEER COUNTY — Michigan is home to some outstanding fishing, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes, and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division strives to engage as many individuals as possible in our state’s vast recreational opportunities, and provides special times to do so – including our annual Free Fishing Weekends. Conducted one weekend each winter and summer, these opportunities allow anyone to enjoy Michigan’s world-class fishing for FREE!

The 2016 Winter Free Fishing Weekend will be held Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14.

As part of these weekends, all fishing license fees are waived for two days with residents and out-of-state visitors allowed to enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes’ waters for all species of fish during their respective open seasons. Please note all other regulations still apply during that time.

To encourage involvement in Free Fishing Weekends, organized activities are often offered in communities across the state. These activities are coordinated by constituent groups, schools, parks (local/state), businesses and others. Will you be joining them and planning a 2016 Winter Free Fishing Weekend event?

We have numerous resources to help you plan and execute an event in your community. Simply visit michigan. gov/freefishing and look through the Free Fishing Weekend Event Planning e-Toolkit. If you’ve already been hosting Free Fishing Weekend events, thank you! We’ve got tools to help you as well via the Free Fishing Weekend Event Promotion e-Toolkit located at the website listed above. Resources in this e-Toolkit include outreach and public relations materials.

Once your event is coordinated, please register it as an official 2016 Winter Free Fishing Weekend activity online at: Upon doing so you will be contacted about receiving a packet of resources from Fisheries Division to use during your event.

If you won’t be hosting a Winter Free Fishing Weekend event this coming year, but are planning on participating in the 2016 Summer Free Fishing Weekend (June 11 and 12), then please stay tuned for future email communication from us.

Registration required of bass tournaments in 2016

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources would like to remind those planning or organizing a bass fishing tournament in 2016 that all tournaments must be registered with the DNR.

In October 2015 the DNR’s Natural Resources Commission issued Fisheries Order 215.15A requiring all bass fishing tournaments held in 2016 and thereafter to be registered online using the department’s Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System. This requirement is for bass tournaments only and those that occur at both DNR and non-DNR-owned boat launches.

“There was some uncertainty surrounding the number of bass tournaments that occur each year in Michigan, and the Natural Resources Commission wanted to get a better understanding of tournament activity and any potential impacts on the state’s resources and economy,” said Thomas Goniea, a DNR fisheries biologist. “Additionally, the DNR’s Fisheries Division hopes to get valuable catch data back from the tournament directors, in the form of catch reports, which can be used to promote the excellent bass fishing Michigan has to offer.”

In addition to registration, the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System also offers a public search component to identify when and where tournaments are occurring throughout Michigan.

To register, tournament directors must go to the DNR’s Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System, which can be found online at fishingtournaments or fishing. Instructions on how to access the system, add tournaments and report tournament catch data also are available online.

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