Anglers face annual license deadline
Written by Soo Evening News   
Tuesday, 29 March 2005 01:08
The clock is ticking on Michigan sportsmen. That fishing license in your wallet is good for three more days - set to expire when the clock strikes midnight on Thursday bringing the 2004-05 fishing season to a close. Coincidentally, you will also need to pull your shanty off the ice on that day to remain in compliance with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Anglers can continue to use shanties - both of the portable and the permanent variety - after March 31, but they will no longer be allowed to leave them out overnight. The regulation was apparently adopted to prevent owners from abandoning the structures at the end of the year when the ice becomes too bad to allow for a safe retrieval. Combined with the required name and address, the March 31 deadline in Upper Peninsula waters can assist authorities in getting shanties removed or at least lets them know where to begin their pursuit from a law enforcement standpoint.

Anglers who head out onto the ice after March 31 will need to possess the 2005 fishing license. The Natural Resources Commission approved a seven percent increase in the regular fishing license with the price going from $14 to $15 for the coming year. Those seeking trout and salmon will have to pay an additional $13 as this price remained the same.

Seniors will also see an increase in their licensing fees. The cost for a regular license for those 65 and older has gone up from $5.60 to $6. An additional $5.20 will be tacked on if the senior angler wishes to pursue trout and salmon. Non-resident anglers will also pay more money to fish The Great Lakes State. Visitors will now pay $34 for a regular license compared to $30 last year and will have to fork out $44 if they wish to pursue trout and salmon - a $1 increase over last year's fees.

A new regulation that could potentially affect local anglers comes in the form of a minimum size limit for brook trout. Anglers are now limited to a single brook trout from Lake Superior with a minimum length of 20 inches. All Brook trout within 4.5 miles of Isle Royale must be returned to the waters under a new catch-and-release-only fishing regulation.

Finally, the newest fishing regulations contain an error reportedly limiting the harvest of menominee. Under an amendment issued through a Michigan Department of Natural Resources press release, anglers will still be allowed to take menominee, also known as round whitefish, year-round without any size limits or possession limits.

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