My user name should be Padilen
Because I like paddling a kayak.
Your wife is correct.
There are 2 rivers in my neck of the woods that have sections that you need permits for. The Pine River were it runs through the Huron/ Manistee National Forest. And the Pere Marquette River. They are free if got on the day you use or 2 dollars reserved. You can get them at the US Forest Service offices in Cadillac and Baldwin (not sure where else). There is also a fee for parking at US Forest lots, or yearly permit . Some State lots require passport/ or fee. You place money envelope/slot at site. I've been told that if you get a ticket for parking with out Pass/ paying or on the river without pass its 125 fine. I enjoy being able to enjoy the forest/ rivers so I support them by buying my permits.
A man died Sunday canoeing not on the river but sliding down a sand hill in it. Thrown out and hit a log/stump .