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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks.

I was wondering what the laws and etiquette are surrounding sunfish species. I was doing a bit of research on fishing for sunfish and stumbled across some videos on setting different traps for them. Fishing in S.W. Michigan in the 70's as a kid, I had never heard of trap fishing and had only ever used a spin rod as a boy. I did a bit of research on lawful vs unlawful fishing in Michigan, but I couldn't find anything explicitly permitting or prohibiting using traps for sunfish species.

So, my questions are:
  1. Is it legal? (in lakes like Newburgh lake in Livonia)
  2. What do other fishermen think of the practice? Is it acceptable or is it seen as poaching, rude or inconsiderate in any way?
I am looking to fish for pleasure, but also to feed myself. However, I do not wish to be a jerk or a nuisance.

Your thoughts would be most helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm pretty sure it's clearly stated in the fishing guide, it doesn't say sunfish in particular but lays netting or trapping fish is an u lawful method except for smelt I think
I found where it says that traps can be used to catch crayfish and minnows (page 10) and turtles (page 22). I found where using cast nets for inland fishing and the hand/dip net exceptions (page 11), but I haven't found anything allowing for or prohibiting trapping fish in inland lakes.
 

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I just looked and what it says is, any method other than the lawful methods described is illegal. There's a member on here with the name "dead short" he is a CO, you should pm him if you want to be told exactly why or how it is worded that you can't trap sunfish
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just looked and what it says is, any method other than the lawful methods described is illegal. There's a member on here with the name "dead short" he is a CO, you should pm him if you want to be told exactly why or how it is worded that you can't trap sunfish
Thank you for your feedback. I couldn't find where it prohibits using any methods other than legally described methods. Maybe I'll PM Dead Short. Do you think he'd mind a perfect stranger pestering him about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Check pages 10 and 11.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2016-2017MIFishingGuide_515573_7.pdf

On page 10, legal fishing methods are defined. Any other methods are illegal. On page 11, some specific methods that are illegal are called out.
I have read that same thing and have come to a similar assumption. However, although it gives examples of legal and illegal fishing, I cannot find where it explicitly states that any method, which is not specifically stated as being legal, is illegal.
 

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I was going to go into how it says "lawful fishing methods" as the first part of the regulations part of the book (after licensing), and how by stating that means anything else is unlawful, and everything to follow is either an exception or a restriction of those basic rules. But then I saw on page 11 it says "• Fish with your hands, firearms, explosives, setlines, poisons or methods other than lawful fishing methods." Referring to the entire section on page 10.
They then reiterate that by pointing out that minnows may be caught by nets, traps etc. and on page 9, in the common terms section, define what minnows are. This is an exemption to the rule of legal hook and line angling. Then, they refer to fishing regulations as "general hook and line regulations". Making any trapping, spearing, netting, or anything else a restriction or exemption once again. So unless it lists sunfishes as exempt or as an exception, you can't do it. So basically, they say it in multiple different ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was going to go into how it says "lawful fishing methods" as the first part of the regulations part of the book (after licensing), and how by stating that means anything else is unlawful, and everything to follow is either an exception or a restriction of those basic rules. But then I saw on page 11 it says "• Fish with your hands, firearms, explosives, setlines, poisons or methods other than lawful fishing methods." Referring to the entire section on page 10.
They then reiterate that by pointing out that minnows may be caught by nets, traps etc. and on page 9, in the common terms section, define what minnows are. This is an exemption to the rule of legal hook and line angling. Then, they refer to fishing regulations as "general hook and line regulations". Making any trapping, spearing, netting, or anything else a restriction or exemption once again. So unless it lists sunfishes as exempt or as an exception, you can't do it. So basically, they say it in multiple different ways.
Thank you, vano397; that helps me to get my head around it.

Lol, did you pm dead short yet? It's 100% illegal to trap fish.
I did contact him, but I haven't heard from him yet. You seem to be very confident that it is legal. Can you explain why you think so? it would be a great help to me.
 
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