Bill would limit hours for boats on public inland lakes in Michigan; Rep plans to draft new language

Miochigan free fishing weekend
Posted at 12:51 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 19:54:56-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Michigan state representative says he is in the process of drafting new language for a proposed bill that would limit the boating hours on public inland lakes in Michigan.

State Rep. Jason Sheppard introduced House Bill 4362 with State Rep. David LaGrand on March 13 and it was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

The bill would make it illegal to operate a vessel on a public inland lake before 8 a.m. and after sunset. It immediately drew criticism from those who love the water, saying it would mean no more early fishing, no sunset cruises and much more.

In a Facebook post, Rep. Sheppard said he is clarifying the intent of the bill.

"I have observed over the years that many inland lakes have set their own hours, through DNR rules, for activities such as high-speed boating and water skiing. These activities are prohibited in many lakes from the hours of 6:30pm until 10am the following day. Many of these rules were adopted in the mid-1960s. Clearly, these hours do not represent today’s families and their schedules.

I introduced HB 4362 to allow for more time to enjoy on Michigan’s inland lakes—unfortunately, the way the bill was written does the opposite. Please know that I am in the process of drafting alternative language to more clearly attain my goal of making our state’s waters more accessible to all."