Fishermen in Michigan could be casting for cash. No this isn't a joke. Fishing in Michigan can actually win you some money.

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The DNR, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is asking fisherman who catch trout or salmon to check for a clip on the adipose fin, that small, fleshy fin behind the dorsal fin. If you find one is could be worth $100.

Why the tagging?

It's all about science. The whole fish tag returns program helps biologists understand survival, age and movements of important sport fish according to Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin coordinator,

"We are particularly interested in confirming the wild contribution of Chinook salmon to the fishery, movement and wild contribution of steelhead in lakes and rivers, and survival and movement of Atlantic salmon," Wesley said. "This reward program will help incentivize anglers to become community scientists and help us collect valuable data."


What fish are tagged?

Keep in mind, not every fish around the Great Lakes is tagged. In our area you will find that they have marked popular game fish like steelhead, Chinook salmon, Atlantic salmon, brown trout and lake trout.

How do you cash in?

If you are looking to keep a tagged fish, you can return the head to any of the drop off locations. The program has also partnered with local sporting business such as Captain Chuck's II in Ludington, Moonshine Lures, Jay's Sporting Goods, Blood Run Tackle and Collins Design and Build who are able to sponsor 33 rewards worth $100 each.

The program details are as follows:

  • Each head with a tag that is turned in equals one drawing entry.
  • Tagged fish must be submitted by Nov. 1, 2021.
  • Eligible tagged fish include steelhead, brown trout and Chinook or Atlantic salmon.
  • Your contact information (name, address, phone number) and catch data (date, location, body of water) must be included with each head.
  • The drawing will occur around February 2022.
  • The head must be left at a Michigan drop-off location.

For more information click here. 


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