Department of Natural Resources
In October 2018 the Natural Resource Commission changed their order regarding fishing tournaments in Michigan. The new order, which goes into effect January 1, 2019, replaces the legal definition of fishing tournament with the following:
A Fishing Tournament is not a competition where "winning" or prize distribution is determined solely on one or more of the following criteria:
In addition to updating the definitions, the FO 250 also requires that beginning January 1, 2019, the following events shall be registered and report their results online using the Department's Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System:
These changes expand the registration and reporting requirements to include walleye tournaments and competitive fishing events targeting muskellunge.
The new definition of "Fishing Tournament" may also impact a small number of "Competitive Fishing Events" that include a bass component. Such competitive bass events have been required to register and report from 2016-2018 under the previous definitions, however going forward, only bass tournaments as defined above will be required to registered and report their results in the Fishing Tournament Information System.
While the new order takes effect in January, the Fishing Tournament Information System has been updated to meet the new registration requirements and is currently accepting bass, walleye and muskellunge registrations for the upcoming year.
General tournament registration, reporting, and program related questions on this can be directed to:
Tom Goniea, DNR Biologist
Fishing Tournament Specialist