Some anglers go above and beyond to make fishing better in Minnesota by purchasing walleye stamps that help the Department of Natural Resources add walleye to lakes where there otherwise would be none.
“Buying a walleye stamp is a concrete way to help maintain fishing opportunities in Minnesota,” said Neil Vanderbosch, DNR fisheries program consultant.
Funds from walleye stamps go toward the cost of purchasing 4- to 6-inch walleye called fingerlings from private fish farms for stocking into lakes. A walleye stamp is not required to fish for or keep walleye.
Anglers with a fishing license can purchase the walleye stamp validation for $5, and for an extra 75 cents can have the pictorial stamp mailed to them. Walleye stamps can be purchased anywhere Minnesota fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by phone by calling 888-665-4236. Alternatively, anglers can download a form found at mndnr.gov/stamps and return it to the DNR to have the stamp mailed.
The DNR raises and stocks walleye, but also buys walleye fingerlings from private producers to be stocked into lakes – walleye stamp sales help pay for these fish. Since 2009, funds from the walleye stamp have purchased over 40,000 pounds of walleye fingerlings that have been stocked in the fall, all over the state. Walleye fingerlings generally are stocked in lakes that do not have naturally reproducing walleye populations.
A vast majority of the walleye Minnesota anglers catch come from waters where the fish reproduce naturally – about 260 larger walleye lakes and in large rivers. But because of stocking, walleye can be found in an additional 1,050 Minnesota lakes spread throughout the state.
More information about habitat stamps can be found at mndnr.gov/stamps.