Fishing

Lakes


Walker area fisheries

Office address

Map of Walker work area

07316 State 371 Northwest
Walker, MN 56484
218-547-1683
walker.fisheries@state.mn.us

Minnesota map showing Walker location

Anglers who fish in Cass County benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Walker area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Doug Schultz and a staff of five full-time and one part-time employees manage 126 fishing lakes and 70 miles of rivers and streams. These waters incLicense Dollars At Work campaign linklude popular fishing destinations such as Leech, Woman and Ten Mile lakes and numerous smaller waters.

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

At work for you

Collecting catch information from anglers during a winter creel survey on Leech Lake.

Collecting catch information from anglers during a winter creel survey on Leech Lake.

  • Managing the fisheries of 126 lakes, 21 of which have experimental or special fishing regulations, as well as five lakes for stream trout.
  • Managing and researching Leech Lake as part of the DNR's large lake monitoring program. This work has included annual fisheries surveys, periodic creel surveys and an extensive public input process to develop a new five-year management plan.
  • Working with tribal and federal authorities to reduce cormorant predation on the Leech Lake fishery by providing financial and logistical support for control efforts.
  • Collecting about 57 million walleye eggs per year as part of the statewide walleye propagation program and stocking approximately 7.5 million walleye fry and 13,000 pounds of fingerlings annually.
  • Collecting about 450,000 muskellunge eggs from Leech Lake every fourth year as the foundation of the statewide muskellunge culture program.
  • Conducting periodic surveys of fishing public (creel surveys) on up to 13 lakes per year.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Walker area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Walker 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 Walker staff

Name
Position
Phone
Email
Doug Schultz Area supervisor 218-547-1683 doug.schultz@state.mn.us
Scott Gustafson Assistant area supervisor 218-547-1683 scott.gustafson@state.mn.us
Carl Pedersen Large lake specialist 218-547-1683 carl.pedersen@state.mn.us
Marilyn Baker Office administrative speialist 218-547-1683 marilyn.baker@state.mn.us