Anglers will have more opportunities to fish for bass, sturgeon and trout this year thanks to changes in Minnesota’s fishing regulations. Fishing regulations changes are summarized on page six on the 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be available by Sunday March 1, at any license agent or online at http://www.mndnr.gov/fishmn and http://www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.
Bass fishing expands
Beginning Saturday, May 9th, anglers in most of the state can catch and release bass until the regular harvest season opens Saturday, May 23. Meanwhile, anglers in northeast Minnesota can continue to catch and keep bass during these two weeks. Northeast Minnesota is defined as essentially north and east of U.S. Highway 53. In another bass season change, the fall closure on harvest of smallmouth bass has been lifted in the northeast. Interested in ddoing more bass fishing in Minnesota this year? Learn more at http://www.mndnr.gov/fishmn/bass.
Sturgeon Fishing Opportunities Expand
Anglers will have more opportunities to fish for lake sturgeon starting March 1. However, season dates differ depending on location. On inland waters and Minnesota waters bordering North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, a new catch-and-release season will allow anglers to fish for lake sturgeon from June 16 until April 14, a season lasting nearly 10 months. Anglers here cannot fish for lake sturgeon from April 15 to June 15, a closure intended to protect the fish during their spawning season.
On Minnesota waters bordering Canada there are harvest, catch-and-release and closed seasons for lake sturgeon. On waters bordering Wisconsin, there is a lake sturgeon harvest season in the St. Croix River south of Taylors Falls including Lake St. Croix, but otherwise all waters have catch-and release lake sturgeon seasons that differ depending on date and location. Season details can be found in the border waters section of the fishing regulations at http://www.mndnr.gov/fishmn or on page 43 of the 2015 Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be available online at http://www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing on March 1.
Muskie Minimum Length Increased
This year, the minimum length limit to keep a muskie is 54 inches. The previous limit was 48 inches. Various muskie angling organizations supported the change. Exceptions to the new 54 inch minimum length limit apply for muskie-northern pike hybrids, also called tiger muskie, in the seven-county metro area, where the minimum length limit remains 40 inches on certain lakes.
2015 Fishing Regulation Booklet
Anglers are encouraged to read the 2015 fishing regulations booklet to review these and other changes, including:
Expanded seasons for stream trout, both in streams and winter fishing in lakes.
New limits and seasons on Minnesota waters bordering Canada, including a new size restriction for walleye that becomes effective March 1 [only one walleye will be allowed in possession over 20 inches, where previously there was no size restriction].
The flathead catfish season will close in winter.
Anglers are also reminded to check online at http://www.mndnr.gov/fishmn and http://www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing for the latest additions or corrections. In addition, changes to special or experimental regulations may be in effect, and are listed by lake online and in the special regulations section of the printed booklet.