If you like to fish and eat what you catch, then it's a good idea to know what fish are safe to eat in Michigan.

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Fishing Michigan

Father and son fishing together

There is nothing sitting by a Michigan river, stream, or lake and catching a nice mess of fish then a nice fish fry to follow when you get home.


Michigan anglers are so lucky to have so many species of fish to fish for. From the Salmon and Lake Trout of the Great Lakes to bluegill, bass, northern pike, and several others in the state's inland lakes, rivers, and streams.

What Causes Limits on Eating Fish?

oil refinery factory beside a river. classic energy and heavy industry.
eyesfoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto

All the water options in Michigan are great for fishing but unfortunately, the Great Lakes and large river systems are likely locations chemical companies set up their operations that affect those waters and the fish in them.

Chemicals like perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) build up in fish and can make them uneatable.

Tommy Carroll/TSM
Tommy Carroll/TSM

MLive reported that you should not eat bluegill and sunfish in the lower branch of the Rouge River all the way to the Detroit River.

The Huron River in Wayne County had a "Do Not Fish" advisory on most species but has since lifted the advisory but limiting the amount you can eat.

What About Eating Fish on the West Side of Michigan?

Fly Fishing
ANDY_BOWLIN/ThinkStock/GettyStock c

Anglers on the west side of Michigan have a lot of waters that offer a variety of trout, steelhead, lake trout, and salmon. There are limits to the number of these types of fish and others. Here is a complete guide to help fishermen know what they can and can't eat or how much of a particular fish they should eat.

Largemouth bass

The state of Michigan each puts out an annual guideline of the fish you can and cannot eat plus the locations where these rules are in place all throughout the state. Here is a complete guide for Michigan you can check out here.

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