The Department of Natural Resources has announced new spearing regulations that will result in new fishing opportunities on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County. A nearly 75-year-old prohibition on spearing in Houghton Lake has been removed and crossbows have been added to the list of acceptable spearing gear. The changes became immediately effective on Oct. 11, 2012, when DNR Director Keith Creagh signed Fisheries Order 219, Spearing Regulations – Statewide.

The Houghton Lake spearing prohibition was listed in statute and Fisheries Order 219 mimics statute. The recent passage of Public Act 301 on Sept. 27 removed the spearing ban on Houghton Lake, which had been in effect since 1940. In July a bill was signed authorizing the DNR to regulate the use of crossbows for fishing. These two new provisions will take immediate effect.

Although Fisheries Order 219 may be reviewed and amended on an annual basis, a review of this order will occur no later than Aug. 1, 2016. The order may be found on the DNR website on the Fish Orders page.

For more information on spearfishing in Michigan, visit

Image courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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