We Michigan fishermen buy fishing licenses each year, but you never really hear where the money goes. Well, I have great news for you.

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Cost of Michigan Fishing Licenses for 2023

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To fish in the state of in the state of Michigan you need to purchase a license. If you are under 17 you are off the hook. See what I did there?

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The price of a fishing license for those 17 and over is not too bad at $26 for residents. For nonresidents, it's $76. If you are a senior citizen 65 and older you only have to pay $11. If you only plan on fishing for a day you can buy a license for $10 and that is for residents and nonresidents.

How Many People Buy a Michigan Fishing License Each Year?

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Over 1 million people purchased a fishing license in the state of Michigan in 2022. I am sure a lot of these were out-of-state or one-day licenses but for this conversation let's say they were all the standard licenses at $26.  That would be $26,000,000 dollars that the Department of Natural Resources would bring in. That does not include park stickers for vehicles, camping permits, state campground fees, and any of the other monies collected by the DNR. So they are doing pretty well but where does that money go other than paying DNR officers their salaries and building upkeep?

Michigan DNR is Investing Fishing License Fee's Back Into Our Fishing

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
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The Michigan DNR has stocked more than 9 million fish so far in 2023. To me, that is a pretty good return on a $26 investment right there. 2.7 million of those fish were walleye spring fingerlings and that has to make a lot of fishermen feel pretty good and I am one of them.

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Portland Press Herald/Getty Images
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Nearly 30,000 Atlantic salmon were put into the St. Marys River. Almost 1.5 million fish were stocked near Kalamazoo which included steelhead, muskellunge, and Chinook salmon. Nearly 2.4 million Atlantic Salmon and coho salmon were put into the Great Lakes. There are more stories of brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, and additional salmon that I didn't even list.

Kudos to the DNR for putting our fishing license fees and other resources into good work.

If you would like a better breakdown of where the DNR has put all the fish and the numbers click here for the press release.

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