When I was growing up, I can’t tell you how many hours we spent fishing as a family. My parents were so into it that, every Memorial Day weekend, they went on a fishing trip with their friends and had t-shirts made for their self-established fishing teams. We took week-long fishing trips and weekends away every summer, all summer — jigging for walleye, learning what it felt like to “get a bite,” and catching enough bluegill for dinner. Those times hold some of my greatest childhood memories.
Back then, nobody had electronics to keep them busy. We only had each other for entertainment while waiting for the fish to bite. I probably heard the same stories from my parents and sang along with my grandpa’s funny little songs hundreds of times. Fishing as a family provided endless quality time together. Now that I’m a mom, I want to create those same memories for my kids.
The beauty of pure Michigan is that you can find places to fish and create memories anywhere in the state. All you need is a little bit of gear, a fishing license, and someone to take the fish off the hook! Michigan is home to over 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. The variety of fish that can be caught for sport, catch-and-release, and for delicious eating is incredible. Right here in the Detroit area, we have an abundance of parks with lake and riverbank fishing. Check out some of our favorites here.
Many don’t realize that the funds raised from fishing and hunting licenses — not state taxes — are what protects and conserves Michigan’s wonderful natural resources. The Michigan Wildlife Council is helping us understand a little more about all the good just participating and buying a license does for our state!
Did you know?
The Michigan Wildlife Council’s goal is to educate the public so they can continue to preserve Michigan’s outdoor heritage for future generations. Fishing and hunting licenses provide over $60 million in funding for wildlife conservation each year. In addition to that, fishing and hunting raise $11.2 billion for the state’s economy and provide 171,000 jobs, according to a survey by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Michigan State University.
So, your annual fishing license is crucial to help keep Michigan’s forests, waters, and wildlife clean, open, and safe. A resident adult annual fishing license covers all species for $26. The youth license is voluntary at a cost of only $2 for youth under 17. You can also purchase a day license for $10. Combination hunting and fishing licenses are available as well as a variety of hunting licenses based on age, species, and season. Licenses are available to purchase at many local stores (almost anywhere that sells fishing or hunting gear) or online here.
There are other ways to support the wildlife of Michigan, too.
Fishing is one great way to create memories with kids, but there are so many ways you can help keep Michigan beautiful and our wildlife healthy.
- Get outdoors! Enjoy Michigan’s hiking and biking trails, visit her beaches, and, most importantly, leave no trace. Something we always practice with our kids is leaving an area better than we found it. We do our best to always carry trash bags and pick up trash we see within our parks and on beaches.
- Volunteer. Maybe you want to show your kids how big of an impact a few hours of work can have on our state’s beauty. There are stewardship programs that do cleanups, work on habitats, and more. You can explore your options by following The Michigan Wildlife Council on Facebook and Instagram.
- Educate your children. The more they learn about the importance of preserving our state’s resources for generations to come, the more they will pass on to their own children. You can start by checking out The Michigan Wildlife Council’s website and learning about some of the conservation efforts going on in Michigan, species that are being conserved, and special projects happening around the state. There is so much wonderful information that kids will love!