New Fishing Regulations From DNR

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JACKSON (WILX)-- The Michigan DNR has a series of changes to fishing regulations that are set to take effect Monday.

For the full list of the DNR's major fishing changes CLICK HERE

The changes come when many fishing licenses are going to be renewed. But the changes don't worry local fishermen too much as they prepare for the next fishing season.

Fishing has always been a big part of Terry Gottschalk's life.

"Now that I'm older I only go out 3-4 days a week but I used to go out 7 days a week," said Gottschalk.

He's seen his fair share of fishing seasons and seems unfazed that this year northern pike and muskellunge have stricter limitations.

Under the revised rules, each angler may take only one muskellunge per season. A free non-transferrable muskellunge harvest tag is required.

Additionally, there are regulations for northern pike that include a 24-inch to 34-inch protected -slot-limit with a daily possession of two northern pike on six waters.

"Basically the limit for pike is 2 now rather than 5. The chase for them has just not become as great as it used to be," said Gottschalk.

Regulations on the fish isn't the only area to see change. Crossbows are now being considered okay where bow and arrow use is allowed.

"I think it takes the fun out of it. It might make it easier for handicapped people to fish," said fisherman Tyler Gillett.

"That sucker spearing is something young guys like to do, and now they'll be able to use a crossbow doing that," said Gottschalk.

Some fishermen consider the new regulations not too far from what is considered normal, but next year might be another story. There has been talk of fishing licenses doubling in cost.

"There's talks that it would come in all species and do away with restricted. Then there would be extra stamps you would have to add to it. If it was an all species license it might encourage people to fish other species," said Gillett.

Those visiting the state might not be as pleased, but Gottschalk hopes the DNR will use the extra money to boost popularity that's dwindling for the sport.

"Fishing used to be the only thing a kid could do besides play baseball," said Gottschalk.

Netting regulations for this year have also been changed to better fit this fishing season. Dip netting is now from March 20th until May 31st.

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