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By Louie Stout

If you boat in Michigan, you better take note of a new law that went into effect last month.

The newly-amended Michigan Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act now makes it an offense if you launch a boat in Michigan waters with any aquatic plant attached.

Violators face up to a $100 fine. The law is designed to help protect Michigan waters from the spread of aquatic invasive species.

In addition, you are required to remove all drain plugs from bilges, ballast tanks and livewells before leaving the ramp.

Seth Feider

You won’t find better smallmouth anglers in a sport show lineup than what will be featured at D&R Sports Center’s 31st annual Spring Fishing and Boat Show April 19-20.

In addition to Kevin and Jonathon VanDam, Mark Zona and Chris Noffsinger, speakers will include Minnesota’s Seth Feider and Canadian TV host Dave Mercer at the Kalamazoo shop.

Or, if you want to fine tune your crankbait tactics, renowned cranker David Fritts will be offering his tips.

As always, several boat and tackle vendors will be available to discuss new products and tactics. Special pricing on boats and tackle will be offered during the show.

Attendance is free and hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 19 (a Friday) and 9-5 Saturday. For details on seminar schedules, visit www.dandrsports.com.

MDNR Report

If you're fishing for smelt this year, make sure you know about a legislative change, signed at the end of 2018, that alters how anglers can target smelt in Michigan.

The previous state statute let people use any number of hooks attached to a single line, while fishing for smelt, alewife or other bait fish in the Great Lakes or recognized smelt waters. Now, anglers fishing for those species can use no more than three lines per person, with no more than six hooks or lures on all lines. All hooks attached to artificial bait or “night crawler harness” are counted as one hook (note: for crappie/perch rigs and umbrella rigs, each hook is counted as part of the total six allowed). This means anglers may use up to six hooks on one line or spread the six hooks out over up to three lines.

For more information on fishing regulations, see the current Michigan Fishing Guide, available at fishing license vendors and online at michigan.gov/fishingguide.