Fishing

Fisherman standing in the middle of a creek, casting a fly rod
Beautiful streams like Sable Creek offer anglers great places to fish.

NPS photo

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.

With its many streams, inland lakes, and Lake Superior, the park offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Common cool water game fish include smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, whitefish, menominee, and smelt. Trout species include brook trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, and coho salmon.

Along with hunting, fishing is an activity specifically allowed by the Congress of the United States when it authorized Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in 1966.

 
Fishing Locations
The table in the fishing site bulletin offers more details about fish species of specific lakes and streams within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
 
Fishing Regulations
State of Michigan fishing regulations apply year-round, including creel limits, license requirements, use of live bait, laws regarding clean and dry boats, and seasons.

Fishing licenses are available at gas stations and other businesses in local communities. Persons under 17 years of age may fish without a license but are required to follow all fishing rules and regulations.

The fishery is managed jointly by the National Park Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Both park rangers and Michigan conservation officers are authorized to enforce state fishing regulations within the lakeshore.
 
Fishing and Safety Tips
The best fishing is usually in the early morning and evening when many fish feed.

Your personal floatation device won't do you any good if it is inaccessible. Wear it on the inland lakes and Lake Superior. Before venturing onto the big lake, get an updated marine weather forecast and be aware of quick changes in weather and sea conditions. The only safe harbors are Munising Bay and Grand Marais Bay on either end of the national lakeshore.

Anglers wishing to leave their boats unattended longer than 24 hours at designated stream mouths may do so with written permits from the park superintendent.

Only electric motors are permitted on Beaver Lake and Little Beaver Lake. On Grand Sable Lake, horsepower is limited to 50. All other inland lakes are accessible only by carrying your canoe.

ICE FISHING: Those ice fishing should ensure safe ice conditions before venturing out. Currents and wave action can affect ice formation, and the thickness of the ice can vary dramatically from one area to another. The responsibility to determine that the ice is safe lies solely with the angler.

Anglers accessing Munising Bay from the Sand Point boat ramp area are required to park in designated parking spaces only. The loading zone may be used temporarily to unload equipment and ice shanties. Be aware that park snow plow operators may be in the area.

Snowmobiles are permitted on designated roads and on Grand Sable Lake and Lake Superior.
 
Fish Consumption Advisory
The 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 or by contacting MDCH at 800-648-6942.
 
Exotic Aquatic Species
Anglers and resource managers across the U.S. are concerned about exotic species that threaten aquatic systems. 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.

Boats must be clean and dry before launching into national lakeshore waters. It's Michigan law! Drain water from the motor, live well, bilge, and transom wells while on land before leaving the lake area. Inspect your boat, trailer, and boating equipment (anchors, centerboards, rollers, axles) and remove any plants or animals that are visible.

Allow your boat and all fishing equipment to completely dry before going to another lake or river.

Never release live bait into a water body, or release aquatic animals from one water body into another. Dispose of worms in the trash, not on land.

Learn what these organisms look like (at least those you can see). If you suspect a new infestation of an exotic plant or animal, report it to lakeshore staff.

For more information...
Exotic Aquatic Species (pdf)
Nonnative Species
 

Last updated: July 30, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 40
Munising, MI 49862

Phone:

(906) 387-3700

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