Lake Erie daily possession limit for walleyes will remain at six

Six-fish limit on Michigan's waters of Lake Erie to remain through April 30, 2016.
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Press Release

April 8, 2015

Contact: Jim Francis, 517-284-6244 or 248-666-7444

Lake Erie daily possession limit for walleyes will remain at six   

Up close photo of walleyeThe Department of Natural Resources announced today that the daily possession limit for walleyes in Michigan's waters of Lake Erie will remain at six through April 30, 2016. 

In 2011 Michigan adopted a process for setting creel limit regulations that allows the DNR to use real-time population data instead of using year-old survey results. This process parallels one adopted by Ohio in 2010. 

"This regulations process is critical to helping us manage walleyes in Lake Erie in a timely manner," said DNR Lake Erie Basin Coordinator Jim Francis. "In order to do that, we have to set regulations in March instead of the previous autumn." 

Michigan's daily possession limit for walleyes on Lake Erie is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the guidance of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The TAC generally is based on overall abundance of walleyes; the committee establishes quotas for each jurisdiction based on the percentage of habitat for adult walleyes in each jurisdiction's waters of the lake. The daily limit is based on a formula that projects how many walleyes anglers can keep but still remain within the quota.

See the table below for an explanation of the formula used to set the daily creel limit.

The Total Allowable Catch for Lake Erie for 2015 is 4.114 million fish, making Michigan's quota 240,000 fish.  

As a result of this regulations process, the daily possession limit for walleyes on Lake Erie is not set until TACs are determined each March, after the annual Michigan Fishing Guide goes to press. Anglers must check for changes annually. The DNR has developed a strategy to communicate the walleye creel limit that includes a statewide press release, updated online Fishing Guide, and a prerecorded message at 888-367-7060 to inform anglers of the creel limit.

For 2015, there are no changes to either the fishing season or size limit for walleyes on Lake Erie.

If Michigan's share of the annual
TAC is
Then the daily possession limit for walleye
 shall be
greater than 108,364 six (6)
96,958 to 108,364 five (5)
85,551 to 96,957 four (4)
74,144 to 85,550 three (3)
62,737 to 74,143 two (2)
less than 62,737 one (1)

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to