The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that anglers are now allowed to fish from shore on the Red Cedar River, on the campus of Michigan State University. This will be the first time since an ordinance to ban fishing was passed in the 1960s. In December 2012, the MSU board of trustees approved a change to that ordinance, permitting hook-and-line fishing on the north bank of the river between the western edge of Brody Complex and the Sparty bridge.
The Red Cedar has been off-limits to shore fishing because the entire campus of MSU was considered a preserve and, therefore, hunting, fishing and gathering were not allowed. Additionally, there were safety concerns about fishing along the riverbank and bridges due to the amount of pedestrian traffic.
Fishing within the designated area will be allowed during a three-year test period. Available species will include steelhead and suckers in the spring, smallmouth bass in the summer, salmon in the fall, and a host of other native species. The Michigan DNR stocks the Grand River system heavily with steelhead, coho salmon, and a variety of other sport fish species. Both of these salmonid species return via the Grand River to the Lansing area, traveling over 120 river miles and passing seven dams.
“Hopefully, students and citizens will take advantage of this new angling access and opportunity over the next three years and find that it is a successful location,” said Jim Dexter, chief of the DNR's Fisheries Division. “If so, it would be well worth future consideration to extend access on the Red Cedar.”
The Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit is currently working on a DNR management prescription to stock 3,000 steelhead in the Red Cedar this spring, further enhancing future angling opportunities on campus. These fish are probably unnecessary, due to strong returns of spring steelhead, but should help bolster interest in the newly opened fishery.
As with any public waters in Michigan, a fishing license is required to fish this section of the Red Cedar. If anglers are targeting trout and/or salmon, they will need to purchase an all-species license.