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Michigan Drafts Walleye Management Plan

A healthy, abundant walleye population is a big part of Michigan’s fisheries. These native fish provide exciting opportunities for world-class recreational fishing and play an important ecological role as a top predator. Though several local, regional and Great Lakes-centric walleye plans exist, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has drafted the first statewide walleye plan focused on inland waters – and is asking the public’s help in finalizing it.

The draft version of the “Management Plan for Walleye in Michigan’s Inland Waters” is available for review and written comment through April 1. All comments should be sent via email to

Seth Herbst, the DNR’s aquatic species and regulatory affairs manager, is leading the initiative. He said this draft plan was developed to guide the department’s management effort toward maximizing both angler satisfaction and the ecological benefits of walleye fisheries.

“Walleye is a high-priority species for management in Michigan because of its ecological, social and cultural significance,” Herbst said. “Walleye fishing is a big draw for anglers.”

Although walleye reside in the Great Lakes, rivers and inland lakes, Herbst said this draft plan takes a narrow focus on inland waters – primarily inland lakes – because the walleye management in those other bodies of water is primarily addressed in various other existing management or rehabilitation plans.

The new walleye management plan for inland waters aims to provide an overview of:

  • The status of the species in Michigan.
  • The biology and ecology of inland walleye populations.
  • Angler perceptions about walleye management and fishing opportunities.
  • A brief description of previous management efforts.

The plan also identifies several management goals that broadly address social and ecological characteristics of walleye fisheries, because both elements are key to successful future species management.

The DNR Fisheries Division developed the draft “Management Plan for Walleye in Michigan’s Inland Waters” with assistance from Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Department faculty and in consultation with Tribal governments.

Learn more about the walleye species and management efforts at

Michigan’s annual fishing license is valid from March 1 of a given year through March 31 of the following year. Visit for all the information you need to get started.

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