Hand-netting season opens in Michigan

With recent warmer weather conditions making many people interested in getting on the water, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers about netting season dates:

  • The hand-netting season opens today, March 1, and closes May 31.
  • The dip-netting season opens Monday, March 20, and also closes May 31.

The following species can be taken during both seasons: bowfin, carp, goldfish, gizzard shad, longnose gar, smelt and suckers. Waters open to hand netting include all Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the St. Marys River including all tributaries to those waters from the mouth to half-mile upstream. Waters open to dip netting include all Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula streams, except Designated Trout Streams.

Additional waters are closed to these activities; visit michigan.gov/fishingguide for full details.

Using seines, hand nets or dip nets for minnows is allowed all year on all waters (except Designated Trout Streams and those waters closed to minnow harvest), while cast nets can be used for alewives, minnows, smelt and gizzard shad all year on the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the St. Marys River.

For those interested in dipping for smelt later this spring, visit the DNR’s smelt dipping and fishing opportunities page online.

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