Whitefish-tullibee sport-netting to open on northern lakes

Recreational netting for whitefish-tullibee opens Friday, Oct. 11, on designated lakes that are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperature, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

These lakes, known as Schedule II lakes, offer recreational netting on the following schedule:

  • Schedule II A lakes open Friday, Oct. 11, and close Sunday, Dec. 1.
  • Schedule II B lakes open Friday, Nov. 1, and close Sunday, Dec. 8.
  • Schedule II C lakes open Friday, Nov. 8, and close Sunday, Dec. 8.

Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to factors that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places.

Netting in infested waters may be restricted or closed to sport netting of whitefish and tullibee. 

The list of all Schedule I and II lakes, status of the seasonal openings and closures, as well as detailed netting regulations are available online or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296 6157 or toll-free at 888-646-6367.

Lakes closed to recreational netting in 2013 are:

  • Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties.
  • Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County.
  • O’Reilly Lake in Itasca County.
  • Burgen Lake in Douglas County.
  • East and West Fox lakes in Crow Wing County.
  • Island Lake in Itasca County.
  • Little Jessie Lake in Itasca County.
  • Lakota Lake in Douglas County.
  • Mitchell Lake in Crow Wing County.
  • Nisswa Lake in Crow Wing County.
  • Osakis Lake in Douglas and Todd counties.
  • Roy Lake in Cass and Crow Wing counties.
  • Serpent Lake in Crow Wing County.
  • Victoria Lake in Douglas County.

Anyone setting whitefish/tullibee nets in the following lakes, which contain spiny waterfleas but are open to netting in 2013, may not use nets and equipment in any other lakes open to whitefish/tullibee netting in 2012:

  • Devil Track Lake in Cook County.
  • Caribou Lake in Cook County.
  • Greenwood Lake in Cook County.
  • Lake of the Woods in Lake of the Woods and Roseau counties.
  • Namakan Lake in St. Louis County.
  • Crane Lake in St. Louis County.
  • Sand Point in St. Louis County.
  • Shagawa Lake in St. Louis County (new in 2013).
  • Rainy Lake in Koochiching and St. Louis counties. 

About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water.

Minnesota law restricts the size of the net and its openings; requires that netting be done in water not deeper than six feet unless specifically authorized; stipulates that netted fish cannot be sold; and requires that only rough fish caught in the net may be kept. State law also limits net size to 100 feet long and 3 feet wide; allows one person to use no more than one net; and forbids recreational netters from possessing angling equipment when netting whitefish-tullibee.