Protecting Michigan's Sportfishing Heritage
We partner with citizens, organizations, communities and companies to protect and conserve Michigan's sportfishery and fishing opportunies for future generations.
Michigan Sportfishing Alliance
Facts About Michigan's Recreational Fishery
According to an economic study commissioned by Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the sportfishing industry produces an economic output of more than $2.3 billion. The economic output of commercial fishers pales in comparison at $5.4 million, according to 2015 data from the MDNR
Since the 1960s, our Great Lakes fisheries have been managed with recreational anglers’ and hunters’ monies with virtually no investment in conservation, rehabilitation and management by the commercial industry
There are over 570 charter businesses in Michigan that own and operate more than 650 boats on the Great Lakes. In 2019 alone, these businesses took more than 77,000 people fishing on almost 20,000 trips
Take Action to Protect Sportfishing
Michigan is facing an unprecedented challenge that threatens the very existence of our sportfishing heritage. After decades of working to promote conservation, funding fisheries restoration projects, and supporting fish planting efforts across the state, Michigan's fishing public is now facing the assault of a commercial industry that wants to expand netting operations to include important gamefish species such as walleye, trout, perch, smallmouth bass and more.
To stop this, a package of bills has been introduced that aims to modernize commercial fishing regulations. House Bill 4567, sponsored by Rep. O’Malley (R-Lake Ann), House Bill 4568, sponsored by Rep. Wendzel (R-Watervliet), and House Bill 4569 sponsored by Rep Lilly (R- Park Township) are all part of a tie-barred, three-bill package. This package has passed in the Michigan House of Representatives, and is now being heard in the Michigan Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Michigan’s commercial fishing regulations have not been updated since the 1960s, and most of the state statute language dates to 1929. Commercial license fees have not been modified since 1968 and are inadequate to fund the program’s administration and enforcement. Today, recreational anglers bear the burden of subsidizing the commercial industry… funds that could otherwise be used for habitat improvement, fish stocking, fisheries education programs, and more. This legislation is supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, local, state and national conservation organizations, and communities around the state.
What can you do? Contact your senator now, and tell them that you support Michigan's sportfishing heritage and they should also by voting in support of House Bills 4567, 4568 and 4569.