Anglers reminded that importing some baitfish is unlawful

July 18, 2014

The Department of Natural Resources reminds the public that importing certain baitfish species is prohibited. The DNR has recently received numerous questions regarding the importation of baitfish into Michigan and points these inquiries to the Susceptible Fish Species list in Fish Disease Control Order 245.

The release – both intentional and unintentional – of live baitfish  is one of the best ways to spread fish diseases. To protect Michigan’s world-class fisheries, imported baitfish should be inspected and certified that they are free of diseases, such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus.

Popular baitfish species on the Susceptible Fish Species list include, but are not limited to: bluntnose minnow, emerald shiner, Pacific herring, spottail shiner and white sucker.

It is unlawful to bring any of these species into Michigan unless they have been approved by the DNR for importation, which requires being certified by approved laboratories as disease-free. This includes bringing baitfish into Michigan for commercial, recreation or personal use.

For more information, review Fish Order 245 here: 
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/FO_245.10_317517_7.pdf.

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