DNR launches bait shop locator application to assist public
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently launched a new tool on its website that assists individuals with locating retail bait shops across Michigan. The Retail Bait Shop Locator is a comprehensive map featuring licensed bait retailers that sell minnows, wigglers and crayfish to the general public.
The web-based application is ideal for those planning trips across the state who might need to purchase bait along the way. It can be found by visiting Michigan.gov/fishing and clicking on Fishing in Michigan, and then Commercial Bait Industry in the left navigation. The Retail Bait Shop Locator is not a downloadable app, but is compatible with all types of electronic devices.
Anglers regularly contact the DNR to inquire about where to purchase live bait. This application was developed to help anglers get the information they need. The DNR regulates this industry and issues minnow dealer licenses annually throughout the state, which will allow the Retail Bait Shop Locator to stay up to date each year.
“We would advise the public to always call any listed retail outlet found in the application before making a trip to purchase bait,” said DNR fisheries biologist Tom Goniea. “Some locations are seasonal or have varied hours and may not carry an angler’s preferred bait.”
The Retail Bait Shop Locator lives within a new section of the DNR’s website that is dedicated to the commercial bait industry. Found on the Commercial Bait Industry page, this website provides tons of information on this little-known sector, including harvest regulations, where bait harvest occurs, how live bait gets from the wild to local bait shops, the economic impact of bait collection and sales, and much more.
The DNR believes the new Commercial Bait Industry page will be useful to the public in better understanding how valuable bait is in Michigan. The site will be updated with new information and retail locations for bait purchase as necessary.