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Dropshot legal in Michigan for 2006 - MDNR Fisheries Order

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var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true}; Here is the actual MDNR Fisheries Order language making drop-shotting now legal in Michigan on most waters including all the Great Lakes and all inland lakes except the named drowned river mouths off Lake Michigan. Drop-shotting is not legal in inland streams or rivers. Read the language carefully to understand where we are at.

Thanks for the MDNR Fisheries and Law Divisions for their willingness to rewrite these regulations so that law-abiding anglers an enjoy a successful and nationally recognized technique. Several fisheries biologists went out of their way to come up with this language acceptable to all parties. I don't want to leave anyone out, but Gary Towns and Jeff Braunscheidel in particular did a great job on this rewrite.

_________________________________________ ________________

                              (Under the authority of Act 451 of the
                              Public Acts of 1994, as amended)

                              GEAR RESTRICTIONS FOR FISHING

Under the authority of sections 41101 through 41105 of Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, as amended, being section 324.41101 through 324.41105 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources on October 6, 2005, order that:

A) In all waters of the State it shall be unlawful to:

          1.  Have a weight permanently and/or rigidly attached to a
               multi-pointed hook; or

          2.  Have a weight suspended from a multi-pointed hook; or

          3.  Retain any fish not hooked in the mouth; or

          4.  Fail to immediately return to the water a fish not hooked in
               the mouth.

B) On all streams, including tributaries to the Great Lakes except for the St. Marys, St. Clair and Detroit Rivers, it shall be unlawful to use the following gear during the period August 1 - May 31:

          1.  Multi-pointed hooks exceeding 3/8 inch between point and
               shank and/or single pointed hooks exceeding 1/2 inch
               between point and shank; or

          2.  Lures exceeding one ounce in weight.

The intent of this regulation is to allow the baited hook or the lure to suspend freely in the water, allowing the fish to take the hook or lure in its mouth.

C) In a river, stream, and drowned river mouth lake* it shall be unlawful to:

          1.  Have a weight suspended below any hook unless the hook
               is on an un-weighted line which is at least 3 inches long.

*Drowned river mouth lakes listed by county: Allegan: Kalamazoo River and Silver Lake; Benzie: Betsie Lake; Manistee: Arcadia Lake, Manistee Lake, and Portage Lake; Mason: Pere Marquette Lake; Muskegon: Duck Lake, Mona Lake, Muskegon Lake, and White Lake; Oceana: Pentwater Lake, Silver Lake, and Stony Creek; Ottawa: Macatawa Lake and Pigeon Lake.

This order is assigned FO-218.06 and is titled "Gear Restrictions for Fishing".

This order supersedes the order entitled ?Gear Restrictions for Fishing? effective September 29, 2002, and assigned number FO-218-02A.

This order shall take effect on April 1, 2006, and shall remain effective through March 31, 2011.

Issued on the 6th day of October 2005.

                                                Rebecca A. Humphries

The Natural Resources Commission has reviewed this order.

(signed)                                    (signed)
Keith J. Charters                        Teresa Gloden
Chairperson                               Executive Secretary

I have some important clarifications from the MDNR Law Division - Sgt. Jackie Waber from the Regulations, Policy and Technology Section in Lansing in cooperation with Fisheries Division. I asked for some interpretation on the west side that various anglers were asking me about.

Here's what we have from the MDNR (MDNR decisions in red) on our new 2006 drop shot regulations (effective 4/1/06):

1)? Because Bear Lake is a lake, drop-shotting will be lawful after 4/1/06.? ?djk: This is Bear Lake off Muskegon Lake in Muskegon county. Drop-shotting not legal in Muskegon Lake, but legal in Bear Lake.

2)? The above answer applies to Spring Lake as well.? Although these bodies of water are "connected" to a river, they are not considered to be a "part" of the river.? ?djk: This is Spring Lake off the Grand River, Ottawa County.

3)? This is a little more difficult for me to answer without actually seeing these "bayous" but I believe them to be part of the river system and therefore drop-shotting would be prohibited in these bodies of water.? djk: This is regarding all the smaller bayous off of the Grand River, Ottawa County - Stearns, Pottowatomie, Dermo, Millhouse, Lloyds, Bruces, Robinsons - Because these are not distinctly accepted lakes this is the decision I expected.

4)? The gravel pit is considered part of the river system and therefore drop-shotting would be prohibited there as well.? ?djk: This is the large gravel pit at the end of the marked channel of the Grand River - Ottawa County. The same would apply for the smaller gravel pit back towards Bruces.

From Sgt. Waber: As you know, this new regulation will be interpreted differently by many individuals and I appreciate this opportunity to explain Law Enforcement and Fisheries Divsions' interpretation. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.

Thanks to the MDNR Law Enforcement and Fisheries Divisions for clarifying these issues for us in a timely and very helpful manner. I will be posting this information on other sites over the weekend and sending out an update to the various tournament groups so they can be on top of regulations when their members ask.

Can someone clarify if this is still in affect? This fall at the All Star tournament in Muskegon the DNR told everyone that a Drop Shot is illegal in Michigan. I realize reading the directive that would be true for Muskegon and White Lakes.

I'd help trying to get that changed if is correct. Drop Shotting is a great method and should be allowed in all water as long as the intent isn't to snag.

I believe it still is in effect -it was legalized only for inland lakes, the Great Lakes and connecting waters, including the Detroit River, St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair. Drop shotting is still illegal in rivers and drowned river mouths.

What about river systems that are darned up and now resevoirs?? We have many lakes in our
Area that are rivers on the north dropshot legal in these areas??


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