Lanesboro area



Lanesboro Area fisheries

Office address

Map of Lanesboro work area

23785 Grosbeak Road
Lanesboro, MN 55949

Minnesota map showing Lanesboro location

Anglers who fish in Fillmore, Houston, Winona and portions of Olmsted and Wabasha county benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Lanesboro area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Ron Benjamin and a staff of five full-time and two seasonal employees manage 170 miles of bass/warm-water rivers and 600 miles of trout streams. These waters include popular License Dollars At Work campaign linkfishing destinations such as the Root River, Trout Run Creek and Whitewater River.

  • Area highlights
  • Fishing license increase
  • Notices & links
  • Area staff

At work for you

Lanesboro area fisheries biologists electro-fishing on a southeastern Minnesota  trout stream.

Lanesboro area fisheries biologists electro-fishing on a southeastern Minnesota trout stream.

  • Manage more than 600 miles of trout and 170 miles of warm-water streams.
  • Manage and monitor 175 miles angling easements and acquire multiple new angling easements to increase angling opportunities in southeastern Minnesota.
  • Utilize professionally trained staff to improve trout habitat in 1-2 miles of streams each year.
  • Conduct more than 80 stream surveys and population assessments to update more than 10 stream management plans along with long-term monitoring of 20 stream segments.
  • Provide public information, education and multiple outreach programs annually. Lanesboro provides and transports fish to many southern Minnesota county fair displays.
  • Manage a trout stocking program to re-introduce and foster the establishment of heritage strain of brook trout; stock 360,000 brown trout fingerlings annually to augment area of poor natural reproduction; and stock 78,000 yearlings in small towns for anglers, especially youth and senior.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Lanesboro area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Lanesboro area fisheries staff is funded by money raised through fishing license sales. But reductions in buying power due to increasing costs for products, services and equipment have put this work and the recreational opportunities it creates at risk.

In response, the DNR is seeking a fishing license fee increase in the 2017 legislative session. The increase would raise the price of a resident annual fishing license from $22 to $25. Other fishing license types also would increase. The proposed increases should sustain existing fisheries operations until 2021.

The increase for an individual license – roughly the price of a scoop of minnows – may fill some existing vacancies but will not create any new positions. It will simply sustain existing programs and area office budgets, many of which already are reduced.

What happens with a fee increaseWhat happens without a fee increase

State lottery & legacy amendment dollars are off limits

Clean Water Land & Legacy Fund logo Enviornment and Natural Resources Trust Fund logo

State law prohibits tax dollars, including funds generated by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment and Minnesota State Lottery, from funding area fisheries offices and the core work they do. Fisheries management that creates world-class fishing here in Minnesota is a user-funded, user-benefit system.

General hunting and fishing license fees were last increased in 2012 at an amount designed to keep game and fish operations solvent for about six years. Prior to that, it had been 10 years since the last general fee increase. Periodic fee increases – one about every five years since 1970 – are how Minnesota funds routine fisheries management. Many fishing organizations traditionally have supported periodic fee increases because high-quality fishing is recreation worth paying for.

In November 2016, the Game and Fish Fund Budget Oversight Committee – a citizen group that monitors the DNR's fisheries, wildlife and enforcement revenues and expenditures – recommended that the Legislature increase fishing and hunting license fees during the 2017 legislative session.

The DNR's fisheries section has a long tradition of belt-tightening. Statewide, staff size is down about 13 percent from roughly a decade ago. Moreover, the section is holding an additional 24 vacancies, most of which will not be filled even with fee increase. This means it is common for field offices to have fewer employees and leaner budgets than they once did.

Contact our Lanesboro staff

Ron Benjamin Area Supervisor 507-467-2442, Ext. 222
Vaughn Snook Assistant Area Supervisor 507-467-2442, Ext. 225
Joyce Rusert Office Administraive Specialist 507-467-2442, Ext. 221
Jason Roloff Fisheries Specialist 507-467-2442, Ext. 224
Vacant Fisheries Specialist    
Travis Viker Fisheries Technician 507-467-2442, Ext. 228
Steve Erickson Fisheries Specialist 507-467-2442, Ext. 227
Rex Bearbower Heavy Equipment Operator 507-467-2442 Ext 230  
Blake Lee Heavy Equipment Operator 507-467-2442 Ext 229  
Melissa Konsti Stream Habitat Specialist 507-875-2625