Anglers and waters
- There are about 1.4 million licensed anglers in Minnesota.
- About 500,000 people are expected to fish on Minnesota’s opening day of the walleye and northern pike season, Saturday, May 12.
- Minnesota has 11,842 lakes, 4,500 of which are considered fishing lakes. There are over 18,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams, including 3,800 miles of trout streams.
- Average annual expenditure per angler in Minnesota is about $1,500.*
- Although not every kind of fish lives everywhere, 162 species of fish can be found in Minnesota waters.
Participation and the economy
- Fishing contributes $2.4 billion to the state’s economy in direct retail sales, ranking Minnesota third in the nation for angler expenditures.*
- Fishing supports nearly 35,500 Minnesota jobs.**
- Minnesota ranks second in resident fishing participation at 32 percent, second only to Alaska.*
Who goes fishing?
- Most resident anglers are from urban areas. However, a higher percentage of people living in rural Minnesota fish compared to the percentage of people living in urban areas who fish.*
- Males account for 65 percent of fishing license holders. Females account for 35 percent.
- Significantly more time is spent fishing on lakes than on rivers and streams. *
- The average Minnesota angler spends 15 days fishing each year.*
- Walleye are the most sought-after fish in Minnesota, followed by northern pike and muskie combined, then panfish, bass, crappie and trout.*
Visit mndnr.gov/LicenseDollarsAtWork for more information about how the DNR spends fishing license dollars, and select a Fisheries area to find local information.
* 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, (U.S. and Minnesota reports) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
** Sportfishing in America, January 2013, produced by Southwick and Associates.