July, 2019 – Protecting your rights never takes a vacation, even during the middle of a Michigan summer. Here at the Law Office of John Freeman, summer fishing is a part of the norm. Whether it is an afternoon trolling night-crawlers on the St. Clair River for Walleye, using wax worms to clobber monster Bluegill in Ohio, heading to Florida in search of salt-water sail fish, or remembering a giant lake trout caught through the ice in January, it is always important to be aware of your rights and to protect them.

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One way of protecting your rights is knowing the rules. With summer outdoor fun comes responsibilities and rules. And the rules always seem like they are changing. For example, in March 2019, the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act changed. Boaters are now required to do more to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species. Also, fishing with live or cut bait, or releasing your catch requires anglers to take steps to limit the movement of fish diseases and invasive species.

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And of course, do not forget the daily and possession limits, size regulations, and legal methods of angling as well. These depend on the species targeted and often change from one body of water to the next.

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Nothing can ruin a fun filled day on the water faster than an unexpected encounter with your local DNR Conservation Officer. In the best-case scenario, the encounter could end with a lecture and a promise not to make the same mistake again. Worst case scenario… well, you may find yourself charged with a crime. Before paying a DNR ticket or admitting to something in court thinking it is no big deal, be sure to consult with an experienced hunting and fishing law attorney. Admissions of guilt can lead to hefty fines, limitations on your hunting and fishing rights, and even incarceration.

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If you or someone you love is in trouble with a hunting or fishing offense, contact the Law Office of John Freeman. It could be the most important call you make. Your hunting and fishing rights, and your freedom could depend on it.