This is not a trick, repeat…
Even though it starts April 1st a new regulation will go into effect and it isn’t a joke. Along with some new pike regs, that are confusing, the muskie limit for the year will be 1 fish which must be tagged to retain possession.
Muskellunge harvest tags will be free and available at all license vendors. Anglers who do not possess the tag are required to release all muskies they catch. The new tag will be used as a means to enforce the new possession limit statewide and will allow the MDNR to monitor how many tags are provided to anglers and to provide insight on the level of harvest.
So you are heading to go fishing and you remember you don’t have a tag yet. You go into a big box 24 hour store and ask the teenager behind the counter for a muskie tag. Do you think they’ll know what you’re talking about or have them or be able to find them? Chances are not and you’ll be forced to break the law or release a fish like this:
These guys were out smallmouth fishing and caught a world record muskie. They had to use 2 small nets to try and get the fish in the boat, do you think a muskie tag would have been with any of them? So you hold the muskie until you run to the bait shop to get a tag, if they have them and return to your world record to tag it. All the while breaking the law because you didn’t release it immediately. What about someone who’s had a muskie in the freezer waiting to get it mounted? Since it’s in possession and you need to tag it you won’t be able to keep any muskie caught no matter how big for over a year.
The MDNR has used a tagging system for years on Lake St. Clair sturgeon for years. I’m sure they think this is a great tool for managing muskies but I haven’t heard of a world record sturgeon coming out of those waters. I just hope they have the tags when I get my new license this year.
Get Outdoors Downriver.