New boating and fishing laws took effect March 21

With new laws that took effect March 21, watercraft users in Michigan are required to take steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Also, anyone fishing with live or cut bait or practicing catch-and-release fishing will need to take precautions to limit the movement of invasive species and fish diseases.

Here are some simple rules of thumb to help boaters and anglers navigate these laws:

  • CLEAN boats, trailers and equipment.
  • DRAIN live wells, bilges and all water – pull the plug!
  • DRY boats and equipment.
  • DISPOSE of unwanted bait in the trash.

The DNR also reminds anglers, when practicing catch-and-release fishing, to return the fish to the water where it was caught.

For more information on the new boating and fishing laws, visit the Laws section at or read the full, original news release.