Anglers catch all they need to know at new DNR Fish Minnesota site

(Released May 7, 2014)

Minnesota fishing regulations and other helpful information are now available on a new, easy-to-use Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website. The new Fish Minnesota site is part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Unsession initiative and Plain Language Executive Order that directed state agencies to make information easier to access and easier to understand.

Anglers who visit mndnr.gov/fishmn will find rewritten and reorganized open water fishing regulations cast in a user-friendly question and answer format.

“I have been fishing in Minnesota for my entire life,” Dayton said. “But even the most experienced anglers couldn’t possibly know all of the state’s many fishing regulations, which are essential for responsible wildlife management. This new mobile site will help all Minnesotans more easily find and understand the state’s fishing rules and regulations.”

“Citizens win when information is easier to get and easier to understand,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “Navigating the online fishing regulations has become a lot easier and now with a mobile device, you’ll always have what you need to know wherever you go.”

The agency has also made enhancements for those who access fishing information from desktop computers or mobile devices using the agency’s popular LakeFinder site. The rewrite began with open water regulations in time for the Minnesota fishing opener. Ice fishing and fish spearing regulations will soon follow.

New online fishing regulations are grouped by category in a format that links directly to answers. Lake-specific fishing regulations appear by simply typing in the lake’s name. The site also includes fishing terminology and locations of fishing piers, boat landings, family-friendly fishing spots and metro-area bait shops. Fishing licenses can be bought online as well.

“Now everything you need is in the palm of your hand and easier to understand,” said Landwehr. “Buy a license. Look up a regulation. Get lake depth contours. Check fish consumption advice. It’s all at your fingertips.”

The Fish Minnesota site answers basic questions such as:
•    Do I need a license?
•    When can I fish?
•    What can I catch?
•    How can I fish?
•    Where can I fish?
•    What if I catch fish?

Al Stevens, who coordinates DNR fishing regulations, said the rise of special fishing regulations over the past two decades increased the number of fishing regulation booklet pages. So did the growth in the number lakes and rivers infested with aquatic invasive species, which are listed in the fishing regulations book.

“The book got bigger as we fined-tuned our fishing regulations and responded to the rise of infested waters,” Stevens said. “Now with the online LakeFinder and Fish Minnesota we’re swinging back to making things easier to find and understand with quick navigation options.”

As Fish Minnesota debuts, the DNR is also seeking feedback on the site. Comments can be directed to webmaster.dnr@state.mn.us.

Find the Plain Language Executive Order here.