Public invited to comment on special fishing regulations

During a series of public meetings, anglers and others can give their opinions about fishing regulations that are in place or are newly proposed for 15 lakes and one trout stream, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR has scheduled 13 meetings across the state in coming weeks to review regulations that apply to individual waters, and the DNR also is accepting written and verbal public comments on the regulations before and 10 days after each meeting.

Highlights of topics being covered include proposals to modify existing special walleye regulations on Leech Lake, walleye and sauger regulations on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River, northern pike regulations on Lake Vermilion; and a review of experimental walleye regulations on Kabetogama, Namakan, Crane and Little Vermilion lakes.

“Anglers and the public should know they have an important role to play in shaping fishing regulations, and we value their opinions,” said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries regulations consultant. “In the end we all want to make sure anglers continue to have quality fishing in Minnesota.”

In many places statewide regulations, such as bag limits, do an adequate job in providing opportunities to catch quality-sized fish; however, special regulations are a more specific tool that fish managers can use to ensure there are local opportunities for quality fishing. Special or experimental regulations are found in their own section of the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook (pages 38 to 54).

Meeting details

  • Cass County (Walker area fisheries): Review special walleye regulations on Leech Lake, 6-8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, Walker Community Center, Walker.
  • Fillmore County (Lanesboro area fisheries): Review a proposal for special trout regulations on Rush Creek within the city of Rushford, 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, Rushford City Hall, 101 N. Mill St., Rushford.
  • Hubbard County (Park Rapids area fisheries): Review a proposal for sunfish and crappie regulations on 5th and 6th Crow Wing lakes, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, Community Meeting Room at Northwoods Bank, Park Rapids.
  • Lake of the Woods and Koochiching counties (Baudette area fisheries): Review of the special walleye and sauger regulations on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River, 6-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, Lake of the Woods High School, Baudette.
  • Meeker County (Hutchinson area fisheries): Review of the special northern pike regulation on Minnie-Belle Lake, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, Meeker County Courthouse, 325 N. Sibley Ave., Litchfield.
  • Pine County (Hinckley area fisheries): Review of the special northern pike regulation on Sturgeon Lake, 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, YMCA Camp Miller in Mitchell Lodge, 89382 E. Frontage Road, Sturgeon Lake.
  • St. Louis County (Tower area fisheries): Review of the special northern pike regulation on Lake Vermilion, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, Tower Civic Center, 402 Pine St., Tower.
  • St. Louis County (International Falls area fisheries): Review of the special walleye regulations on Namkan Reservoir (Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane and Little Vermilion lakes), 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, Kabetogama Community Center, 9707 Gamma Road, Kabetogama. Also, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, Crane Lake Fire Hall, 7400 Handberg Road, Crane Lake.
  • South Dakota border waters (Ortonville area fisheries): Hendricks Lake in Lincoln County, Big Stone Lake in Big Stone County, Traverse Lake in Traverse County, Bois de Sioux River to the North Dakota Border in Traverse County and Mustinka River from its mouth to the State Highway 117 Bridge; discuss removing an unneeded, duplicate special regulation governing taking of walleye, crappie and sunfish on the Minnesota-South Dakota border waters and clarifying the one-over-20 inch rule for possession of walleye; 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, DNR fisheries office, 890 Pine Ave., Ortonville.
  • Stearns County (Sauk Rapids fisheries area): Review of the experimental northern pike regulation on Pearl Lake and the special regulation for northern pike on Big Fish Lake.  Pearl Lake meeting is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, Holy Cross Catholic School, 10672 County Road 8, Kimball; Big Fish Lake meeting is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, Collegeville Township Hall, 27724 County Road 50, Cold Spring.
  • Wright County (Sauk Rapids area fisheries): Review of the experimental northern pike regulations on East and West Sylvia lakes, 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, Southside Township Hall, 8209 County Road 3, Annandale.

Call or write to local fisheries offices to comment about regulations proposals. Phone numbers of local fisheries offices can be found online at mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries, or on page 87 of the fishing regulations handbook. The offices will accept written or verbal comments up to 10 days following a local meeting.

Anyone who cannot attend a local meeting can attend an open house about the regulation proposals that will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road. No formal presentations will be made at the open house.

Additionally, staff will accept comments on any proposal through Monday, Oct. 8. Comment by email to al.stevens@state.mn.us or by calling him at 651-259-5239.