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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This might be a question that Corey or Jason could answer from the official point of view. I`m having a friendly debate with a buddy of mine. The 2004 Michigan fishing guide on page 18 states that "Possesion limit is equal to the daily limit". Does that mean I can only have 1 limit of fish in my freezer or can I have more than one limit? I say you can`t have more than one limit. My buddy says you can have more than one limit. What is the official interpretation? Nothing is riding on this but just a chance to razz each other. Thanks for the input. LOL
 

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The possesion limit is a daily bag limit. Once the fish is processed (no indentifying features remain) or consumed, you can aquire a new limit. Now if you are staying in a cabin and on a fishing trip and you are catching fish each day to take home, you can only have in your possession the daily limit per person. You would have to consume the rest. Legally you could be prosecuted for pouching if you have more than the daily limit in your possession.

This is the way I understand it.
 

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Yup, he's right. Limit of walleye is six, that means you can "legally" have only six in your freezer at any one time.
 

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Lets see if I understand what you are saying. If I have a limit of walleye in my freezer at home and I go out fishing I can not keep any of the Walleye I catch. If that is the case I think most of the people out there are going to jail. How many of us have had more than that in the freezer at once?
 

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Page 17 says Daily limit =total number of fish that you are permitted to catch and keep in ONE DAY. Tommorrow is another day. I always thought possesion meant what you have in your boat. So daily limit = possesion limit.
 

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My understanding is: To be a Walleye you need to have skin,teeth, a brain, organs, fins,bones,ect. so once its processed, its now a filet,not a walleye anymore, but a walleye filet.

The key word is DAILY LIMIT. So if i'm having the family over for a fish fry, and i go out Monday and catch my limit, come home, filet the fish, toss the remains out. Now i fish Wednesday bag another limit of Walleye, filet them, now there not walleye anymore but walleye filets, have 20 filets (because you get two filets per eye) I'm not breaking the law because i never left the lake with more than my DAILY LIMIT.

h2o<--says once there processed there not walleye's anymore and I Quote, that's all i have to say about that.
 

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The fishing reg's do not say "daily limit". The daily limit is also the "possesion limit". We had this discussion with the CO on Michigan-Sportsman .com.

On Monday you catch your limit of any specie, then on Tuesday you went fishing again. You can only keep more of that specie if you consumed some prior.

Here's his answer:

Possession limit is how many you have under your control. Yes in your freezer is in your possession. An item has to be in someone's possession. Until the item is ate or disposed of, where you no longer have control of or a say of what happens to the item, it is in your possession.

An example of season vs. possession, pheasants you are only allowed to shoot 2 per day, if you shoot 2 today, put them in your freezer and shoot 2 tomorrow and put those in your freezer then you now have 4 in possession. You can't hunt for pheasants any more until you eat one or more. You can only shoot eight pheasants for the season as long as you have ate the four in your freezer before you get you other four the next weekend (if your lucky enough to get 8 ).

This example if for pheasants but is the same for fish also.

"Fish and game regulations" as written by the DNR.

If you still doubt this call your local DNR office for a first hand explanation.

I know there are lots of us with possibly more than our limits in our freezers, but this is the way the law reads. Will a CO check out your freezer? Probably not unless you are suspected of selling your excess. Then you can expect a call. I would think that 99% of us have nothing to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for clearing that up Mike. That`s how I see it too. I wish a CO or Jason or Corey would pipe in. Good luck out there Mike. I`ll be out either on StClair or Erie tommorow. Still tossing a coin.
 

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On my last fly-in trip (ontario) the CO's were counting the fish in the freezer (labeled with nametags), then went out on the lake and pulled people over, if you had more than your limit (in your possesion on the lake & in the freezer)
then you got a ticket!!
From what I understand the law stands the same here.
(rarely if ever enforced)
 

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So you can't buy more than 5 walleye at the fish store because you'll have more than your limit and can the fish store have more than 5 walleyes to sell? Or any species?
 

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h2o, go to this link. Buying from a commercial store is a whole different thing. They are licenced to sell fish.

They can tell store bought from locally caught from DNA.

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/sh...possesion+limit

Czar, Lt. Ray Boehnger on Michigan-sportsman answered that quetion numerous times. Go to the law forum and ask any question and he'll answer for you.
 

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When i called Lakeside and spoke to the manager, he said you can have more than 5 eyes in your freezer as long as your not a poacher. So if you leave the lake on monday with 5 eyes dispose of the orfal, go out wednesday get 5 more it's ok to put them in the freezer. As long as you don't leave the lake with more than your daily limit. Besides if a law is never enforced is it really a law.
 

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I think I would go by the CO's answer and not the word of a store manager. (he might have the wrong answer).

In all likelyhood you would never be checked unless you are suspected of selling fish.

And also, I don't think I would advertise the fact that I limit out each day and have a freezer full of fish. Thats telling the world I'm a poacher.
 

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Oh i agree i don't eat any fish. I don't keep them. I fish for fun. But why would a manager say that if it wasn't true. So if you have a limit of eyes in the freezer your saying you can't fish, because if you catch a eye accidently your in possesion of one over your limit and there for a poacher right.
 

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You can fish but not keep. You must release it and not put it in your livewell. The manager is just misinformed. He might argue that he is right but lets see who would win in court. My money is on the CO.
 

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I am speaking for Indiana. Since I am a Conservation Officer here this is what we practice. Your daily bag limit is just that. How many you can catch and keep in any given day. Your possession limit has to do with the number you can possess while in the field. This protects the resource from people catching more than the daily bag limit and saying they caught some of them in Canada or another state or saying they caught some before midnight and then some after midnight. We are not interested in how many you have in your freezer at home, as we would need a warrant to get into the freezer anyhow. Since your possession limit is 1 day bag limit, you can't possess more than that in the field
and say some were caught in Canada. But that does not allow for someone to catch a limit then take them home, then go back and catch more. You would then be violating the daily bag limit.
 

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meaniegenie: Thank you for clearing that up, as we debate this issue. The key word is DAILY LIMIT. Not being interested in how many are in the freezer is the answer. Here's a senero, you take home a daily limit on monday. Wednesday you go fishing again but have a sandwich with the eyes you caught on Monday. You can't keep eyes till you consume the sandwich. LOL Just a bit of humor to dwell on.
I never have and never will promote poaching, it's against the law but sometimes the laws are vague as with the freezer issue.

Who knows anybody that has been arrested for having filets from monday and more filets from wednesday at there home.
 

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h2o, the Co here in Michigan says the "daily limit" is the same as your "possesion limit". I just read the rule book you get with your license and thats what it says. Matter of fact I have a reg's booklet from 1971 and it states the same thing.

I like the Indiana law better, but we live in Michigan.

Like I said, in practice you have nothing to worry about if you are not suspected of selling fish or having limits taken on a daily basis.

I may have 7 walleye in my freezer right now but I'm not losing any sleep over it (being subject to a search warrant). I'm sure many people who ice fish for perch have more than 50 in their freezers. Will they be awaiting a CO with a warrent soon? NO.

I just stated the law according to the reg's and the CO. That was the original question.

PS. I would think once cooked it would be concidered consumed.
 

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I've always understood the practicalness of the law to be the way meaniegeanie described it, but the wording of the law is that you can't have unlimited quantities of filets in your freezer.

There are people who take a limit of whatever fish (say during a spawn/run) and take them back to the camper/cabin/etc, process, then go out and get another limit. They are fish hogs. That is part of what the law/regs are meant to stop as meaniegeanie said.

But the MDNR can count what you have in the freezer and ticket you for over your possession, say if someone calls and reports that you are a poacher and/or selling fish. This does happen sometimes in Michigan with fish and/or game. The assumption is that if you like to eat fish and follow the regulations, you will be eating the fish at about the same rate you catch them and have plenty in your freezer/frig to fill your tummy.

I thought there were also regulations in Michigan that fish in your possession, even after processing, had to be recognizable as to what they were and the regs describe how to do that? Who has that information at hand? (I'm at work and out of lunch time.)

I don't have a problem with anyone who wants to keep fish legally caught for a fresh meal (including bass). We should never give up our rights to harvest when the resource is able to allow it. I don't like gluttony that involves waste especially.
 
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