Membership Info

joinmssfa-460Why Join The Steelheaders?

By joining one of MSSFA 18 Chapters your joining a group of fishermen, woman and children who enjoys being around the Great Lakes and its fishery.  By joining, you’re also showing that you care enough about the Great Lakes and it’s fishery that you’re willing to join a group of individuals that want to get as much as they can from what the Great Lakes has to offer while maintaining its natural beauty and resource.

Become a better angler.

If there’s one thing a Steelheader knows how to do equally as well is that we know how to enjoy the fishery by knowing the latest techniques and tactics that constantly puts fish in the boat under all conditions.  It’s well known that if you want to improve at something you need to surround yourself with people who are just as eager to learn as well as being involved with people who have the experience to show you how.  In every MSSFA Chapter there are such people, people who are experts at salmon, steelhead, lake trout and even walleye and other Michigan game fish. Many Steelheaders are as comfortable on the river or stream as they are on the big lakes or small ponds, they don’t just fish for salmon or trout, they fish for all species and enjoy being outdoors and on the water.


All MSSFA Chapters have their own schedules with events such as membership meetings where ideas are shared and Chapter happenings are discussed.  Some of the other events include kid’s fish outings, cook outs, boat & fishing show involvement and seminars. Most chapters publish their own chapter newsletter to keep you informed of upcoming local events and issues. One of our most popular outings we have are chapter tournaments.  Mostly these are not big money, high entry fee tournaments.  They are outings where the members get together for a fun day of competition between club members at various ports around the state. Families and friends who enjoy one another’s company make up the teams and after a day of fishing, they usually finish with a big cook out or social gathering.  Each Chapter has their own schedule which can be seen on the chapters web page or in the official MSSFA publication of the Great Lakes Sportfishing News that you receive for free just by joining.

Yes, we do stay on top of what’s going on in Lansing with potential laws concerning the fishery as well as what’s being discussed inside the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  In fact, the Steelheaders have representatives and input on a number of Great Lakes Advisory Committees where we express the concerns and viewpoints of our Membership. We have a tribal representative to monitor tribal laws and issues, an executive director that meets regularly with the DNR Fisheries Chief, the Director of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and various State Representatives and Senators.

Joining the Steelheaders is simple and compared to many other organizations, still inexpensive for what you get.  To join, search out a Chapter and take a look at what they are involved in.  Feel free to contact someone from that Chapter and ask questions.  If you have any questions on who to contact, start by contacting the Membership Office at


With any Chapter, you can get involved with as much or as little as your schedule allows. Whether you just fish in the tournaments, attend the membership meetings or you simply join just to receive the Steelheader Newspaper, it’s up to you but at least you’ll have the opportunity to get involved with the outings when you are ready as well as having a voice in the direction of maintaining a healthy fishery.

As a member you will also be entitled to numerous discounts from various merchants around the state by showing your MSSFA Membership card to them when making purchases, see the web site or the GLSFN for a complete list of the “It Pays to Belong” merchants.

Accomplishments of the Steelheaders over the last 40 years include:

  • Reduction in gill netting in the Great Lakes
  • Implantation of the 3 rod bill to allow anglers to fish with up to 3 fishing rods
  • Bringing needed funding to the DNR and Federal agencies for Cormorant research and control
  • Common creel limit amongst states for Salmon and Trout fishing on the Great Lakes
  • Provide scholarships and grants for conservation related graduate studies
  • Work to put in place Ballast Water laws
  • Support for Great Lakes Marine Sanctuary’s
  • Provide input and recommendations to the DNR on fishery plant increases and reductions
  • Fund, build and maintain Net Pen Projects around the state
  • Provide sponsorship and support for the Salmon in Schools program
  • Work with various communities around the state on building or improving fish cleaning facilities
  • Facilitate a legislative night in Lansing to gather support from state representatives for DNR Fisheries issues
  • Provide volunteers to various communities for public events and tournaments

Membership Structure

The Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association (MSSFA) membership is structured in the following way.  The MSSFA has a State Organization that is governed by it’s own Board of Directors and By-Laws. Branching off of the State Organization are individual MSSFA Chapters located throughout the State.  Each Chapter is governed by it’s own Board of Directors and By-Laws.  Each Chapter plans and coordinates their own events.  An individuals membership into any of the MSSFA Chapter’s (including the State Chapter) is a member of the State Organization and/or the Chapter of their choice.  Membership fees vary from Chapter to Chapter so it’s recommended that you contact the Membership Director of the Chapter you want to join or the State Membership Director. Both of these individuals can answer any questions or get you signed-up in the MSSFA.

Payment Options: (Visa & Master Card Accepted)

A person can join the MSSFA at any of the Chapter’s Membership Meetings or events or by going through the State Office where your information will be given to the appropriate chapter.  We accept personal checks, cash, Visa and Master Card. Sorry but at this time we are unable to accept membership dues through our website. Contact the State Membership Director to make other arrangements.

Membership Types:

Regular Membership–  This type covers an individual, their spouse and dependant children for a period of 1 year unless specified otherwise. The MSSFA Chapter the person joins is considered their “Home Chapter” and is eligible to participate in that chapters outings, events, etc. as long as the abides by that chapters rules & regulations. Chapter fees vary between chapters. All MSSFA Chapters are governed by their own Board of Directors, By-Laws and/or Constitution. The “At-Large” Chapter is available to individuals who do not have immediate access to a local chapter. The At-Large Chapter does not hold any membership meetings, tournaments or other events but it does include a subscription to the GLSFN. A member of the At-Large Chapter does allow an individual to join another chapter as an “Associate Member”. (see associate member description below)

Associate Membership- An individual who currently has an active “Home Chapter” membership in any of MSSFA Chapter’s is entitled to join any number of additional MSSFA Chapters as an “Associate Member” which gives them access to that particulars chapters events and/or outings but are governed by that chapter’s rules and regulation. Rules and regulations vary from chapter to chapter so your Home Chapter’s rules and regulations may not apply to another chapter. Associate Membership fees vary from chapter to chapter. If you would like to join another chapter as an Associate Member, it’s recommended you directly contact the Membership Director of the Chapter you wish to join or contact the State Membership Director and they can arraign your Associate Membership for you. 

Automatic Renewal- Any member who wishes to automatically renew their membership into the MSSFA can do so by contacting their Home Chapter’s Membership Director or the State Membership Director.  Not all Chapters may participate in the automatic renewal process however, the State Office does. The State Office accepts memberships for any type of membership into all chapters. 

Senior Membership- Currently the MSSFA does not have a separate membership classification for NEW SENIOR MEMBERS.

Junior Memberships- These types of memberships vary from Chapter to Chapter and are offered to individuals under 17 years of age. Please contact your Home Chapter’s Membership Director or the State Membership Director for details.

Lifetime Membership-  These types of membership currently under evaluation.

Join the MSSFA by printing the application form below and mailing it to the address shown with payment.  Chapter dues are listed on the form. Don’t forget to indicate using a checkmark which chapter you want to belong to.