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Mike Burgick assists his grandson, Jase Sensor, 10, with his fishing line Wednesday, May 20, and another grandson, Lucas, 12, fishes behind them.  

 With the Shiawassee River winding its way through Holly, Fenton and Linden, and dozens of lakes in the tri-county area, fishing is a welcome pastime for many.

 Add to that a COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home order, residents of all ages are looking for fun and healthy activities to take part in.

 What’s a person to do but go fishing and enjoying the great outdoors in Michigan.

 There’s been a noticeable increase in the number of people, including kids, fishing in the Shiawassee River in downtown Fenton.

 Michael Hart, Fenton City assistant manager and Fenton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director, said he’s noticed more people fishing downtown.

 When asked if kids and adults need a fishing license to toss a line in the river, Hart said, yes, they would. DNR officers monitor the lakes and rivers and anglers could be asked to show their fishing license. If they do not have a license, they could be issued a ticket from the DNR officer.

 As much as the activity is welcome, families should be aware of the licensing rules. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have jurisdiction over the waterways, including the area lakes and Shiawassee River.

 Beginning April 1, anyone wishing to fish in Michigan would need a license from the DNR. You can get your license online and then either print it at home or download to your mobile device to carry with you.

 Make sure to check out the 2020 Michigan Fishing Guide for current fishing regulations, too.

 According to the DNR, licenses for resident and nonresident youths are available to minors 10-16 years of age on most licenses. Youth 9 and younger are eligible for Mentored Youth Hunt License (MYH). Each person will need their own ID or Sportcard to purchase items.

 These licenses are available at all license agents and DNR Operations Service Centers. DNR will perform random audits to verify this information.


 Two days twice a year, families and friends can enjoy one of Michigan’s premier outdoor activities, Michigan Fishing, for free.

 The 2020 Free Fishing Weekend for summer is June 13 and 14. 

 All fishing license fees will be waived for two days. A Recreation Passport will not be required for entry into state parks and boating access sites during Free Fishing Weekend. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes’ waters for all species of fish.

 All fishing regulations will still apply.


Mentored Youth Hunt - $7.50

 Includes annual all-species fishing, small-game base hunting, deer, spring and fall turkey, waterfowl, and fur harvester licenses. For kids under 10 who don’t have hunter safety certification. Must be accompanied by a licensed hunter 21 or older.

Fishing license - $26

 This fishing license is good for all species on any Michigan lake or stream.

Hunt/fish combo - $76

 This combination license includes an annual fishing license good for all species on any Michigan lake or stream, a base license that allows small game hunting and two deer tags: a regular and restricted tag, valid in both archery and firearm seasons.

 Go to Michigan.gov/dnr to purchase fishing licenses, along with quantity and size restrictions on each species of fish.

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