Hidden backcountry beaver ponds and brook trout ... a paddle stroke through loon waters and the hard tug of a smallmouth bass ... Lake Superior's open horizons of wind and surf and spawning steelhead.
LicensesA valid Michigan fishing license is required to fish in the park, and fees vary. Children under 17 years of age do not require a license. Visitors fishing within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore must follow the fishing license requirements in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
You can purchase a Michigan fishing license online, through a licensed agent (check Michigan DNR website for locations) or at DNR customer service centers.
Unless otherwise provided for, fishing regulations apply to all finfish found in the park. Other taxa, including amphibians, mollusks and crustaceans (e.g. waterdogs, crayfish) are not considered “fish” for the purpose of NPS fishing regulations and are addressed by NPS regulations governing “wildlife” (36CFR2.2).
These fishing regulations apply, regardless of land ownership, on all lands and waters within the park that are under the legislative jurisdiction of the United States.
Fishing regulations for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore follow those set by the State of Michigan (36CFR7). However, commercial fishing methods allowed under State law are not included within the scope of this authorization.
For state fishing regulations, please visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website.
For more information on how NPS fishing regulations work, go to the regulations page on the NPS Fish and Fishing website (https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fishing/how-regulations-work.htm)
The following are prohibited, as per National Park Service natural resource protection regulations:
Fish Consumption AdvisoryThe Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) recommends that you use caution when eating certain kinds and sizes of fish from Michigan's lakes and rivers. Some fish have chemicals in them that can be harmful to human health if they are eaten too often.
The Michigan Family Fish Consumption Guide shows you which fish are okay to eat and how often they can be eaten. The guide is available online at http://www.michigan.gov/fishandgameadvisory.
Mercury is an example of a toxin originating outside a park that can find its way into a park. Mercury exists naturally in some rocks, including coal. When power plants burn coal, mercury can travel in the air long distances before falling to the ground, usually in low concentrations. Once on the ground, microorganisms can change this elemental mercury to methyl mercury. This type of mercury can build up in animal tissues, and it can increase in concentration to harmful levels. This high concentration can occur in large predatory fish - those often pursued and eaten by anglers. Studies have shown that fish in some National Park System waters have mercury levels that may be a concern to people who regularly eat a lot of fish.
Exotic Aquatic Species
Anglers and resource managers across the U.S. are concerned about invasive species that threaten aquatic systems. Their introduction causes, or is likely to cause, harm to the economy, the environment, or to human health. Aquatic invasive species are a growing risk to parks and their values. In the United States alone, there are more than 250 non-native aquatic species.
Several occur here at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and in nearby waters. With your help, the impact of these invaders on our lakes and rivers can be minimized.
Additional Rules and Safety Tips
Fishing Throughout the National Park Service
We invite you to visit the Fish and Fishing website for more information about fish and fishing in the National Park Service. You will learn about conservation, different fish species, and parks that offer fishing.
Last updated: November 18, 2021