Regulation changes include Mille Lacs, spawn bags, bowfishing

(Released April 24, 2014)

Changes to special or experimental fishing regulations – including previously announced changes on Mille Lacs Lake – are among several that will be in effect when anglers head out for the 2014 Minnesota fishing opener, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Changes are summarized on page 19 of the 2014 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available at any license agent or online.

New regulations for 2014 are listed below. Anglers are reminded to check online for the latest additions or corrections. Another change, involving small sacks of fish eggs called spawn bags, is not in the regulations booklet but is in effect for those trout fishing on Lake Superior and its tributaries.

Special regulations change on lakes
New or modified experimental or special regulations changes include those to:

  • Mille Lacs Lake in Mille Lacs County, modified northern pike, smallmouth bass and night fishing regulations, Mille Lacs anglers can learn more about regulation changes online.
  • Leech Lake in Cass County, modified walleye regulations.
  • Stony Lake in Cass County, dropped largemouth bass regulations.
  • Lake Thirteen in Cass County, modified bass regulation.
  • Mukooda Lake in St. Louis County, added lake trout regulation.

Spawn bags allowed
The use of spawn bags in Lake Superior and its tributaries for trout fishing is now legal. Restrictions include:

  • Eggs from legally taken and possessed trout harvested from Lake Superior or its tributaries below the posted boundaries may be used to make spawn bags. Those spawn bags from Lake Superior trout may only be used on Lake Superior and its tributaries below the posted boundaries – and no other location in the state.
  • Spawn bags can be bought and sold only if the bags are made from either: fish eggs from a licensed aquaculture facility; or fish eggs legally taken from a source outside Minnesota that has been certified disease-free and are preserved and labeled under a Minnesota bait preservation permit. These certified commercial spawn bags can be used throughout the state.

Early bowfishing season added
A new early bowfishing season has been in effect for bullhead, sucker, redhorse and rough fish (page 67). The early season is open only on waters south of Highway 210 and only from a boat and only while on a lake or on the Mississippi, Minnesota or St. Croix rivers.

  • In 2014, the early season runs from Monday, Feb. 24, to Friday, April 25.
  • In 2015, early the season runs from Monday, Feb. 23, to Friday, April 24.

The regular statewide bowfishing season runs from April 26, 2014 to Feb. 22, 2015.

Sucker spearing season lengthened
The spearing season on sucker fish was extended and is now from the last Saturday in April through the last Sunday in February (page 66). Those dates for this season are Saturday, April 26, 2014, to Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Keep in mind that the season for spearing other rough fish species ends on the third Sunday in February, one week shorter than the season for suckers.

Spearing bans removed

The following lakes are open for dark house northern pike spearing during the open season (page 69):

  • Beers Lake in Otter Tail County.
  • Big Mantrap Lake in Hubbard County.
  • Cross Lake and its Snake River Flowage in Pine County.
  • Deer Lake in Itasca County.
  • Eagle Lake in Hennepin County.
  • Lobster Lake in Douglas County.
  • Moose Lake in Itasca County.
  • North Star/Little North Star Lake in Itasca County.
  • Lake Owasso in Ramsey County.
  • Spider Lake in Itasca County.
  • Sugar Lake in Wright County.
  • West Battle Lake in Otter Tail County.