Michigan Net Laws

Gill Net Marking

Gill Nets set in water greater than 15 feet, must be marked on the surface at each end with a 4 foot staff buoy, 12″x12″ red or orange flag, and owner’s license number.

gill mark set

Gill Nets set in water less than 15 feet, must be marked on the surface at each end with a 6″x14″ float with owner’s license number, and a 1.5″x4″ float every 12 feet, or a red or orange 6″x14″ float every 300 feet.

mark less than 15

Current Michigan Law for Marking Fish Nets (Marine Safety Act)

  • Buoys marking fish nets can be placed without a permit from the DNR
  • Buoys marking gill or trap nets shall have a spar buoy with a staff not less than 1 inch in diameter spar
  • Buoy exposure shall not be less than 5.5 ft above the water surface
  • Spar buoy shall have a black flag on top not less than 10 x 12 in. (Note: The DNR Law Division has not cited the use of orange flags as a violation)
  • Have affixed a license number or other identification number
  • Be maintained in good and serviceable condition
  • Float in an upright position
  • The lifting buoy of a trap net shall have metallic plates or cylinders not less than 6 inches in height affixed near the top and capable of radar detection from an arc of 360 degrees
  • Affixing of a metal radar reflective device to the top of a gill net buoy is optional

Net Marking – prior to 1/1/2002

  • All nets must be marked at each end with a buoy on the surface.
  • Buoy must show the license number of the owner of the net.

Consent Decree download PDF file