New spear and bow-and-arrow angling regulations, announced by the Department of Natural Resources, will provide additional recreational opportunities starting in the 2012 fishing season.

The changes are a result of a multi-year review process begun by an internal DNR Fisheries Division workgroup designed to simplify spearing regulations. Changes in the regulations were made in concert with citizens on the Warmwater Resources Advisory Committee and signed in a fisheries order by DNR Director Rodney Stokes.

Beginning April 1, licensed anglers will be allowed to use spears and bows and arrows to take designated species of fish year-round, except on designated trout waters or as noted in the list of non-spearing waters. Gizzard shad, goldfish and grass carp have been added to the list of species.

The season for spearing northern pike and muskellunge through the ice will remain Dec. 1 – March 15, but the number of waters prohibiting spearing for pike and muskellunge has been reduced from 40 to 30.

For additional information, please consult the 2012 Michigan Fishing Guide, which will be available on line at  or license dealers in late February.

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