West Metro Area Fisheries Office
Related Contacts, Located at Central Region Office or Central Office headquarters, St. Paul
Notices & Updates (last updated 10/20/16)
Courthouse Lake Fall Stocking Scheduled late October 2016
Courthouse Lake is scheduled to receive its late-season amount of yearling rainbow trout sometime between October 24-27, depending on when water temperature becomes sufficiently cool. In addition to its standard quota of 1,000 rainbow trout yearlings, up to 1,500 surplus rainbow trout will be added. In addition, up to 110 combined adult rainbow trout and brown trout (anticipiated average weight range 2-5.5 lb each) will be stocked. These fish will be available until the Open-Water Season closure (11 pm October 31). Actual stocking date(s), amounts and sizes of fish will be confirmed here within two business days of stocking. See our Trout Waters page for more details about local trout-fishing management and opportunities.
2016 Seasonal Fish Kills
We had seen or received reports this spring/early summer of dead fish; the timing, numbers, and conditions are consistent with seasonal, bacterial-related causes limited to fish. Lakes reported, along with (County) and [last previously reported die-off]: Independence (Hennepin) [5/24/14], Minnetonka (Hennepin) [6/10/15], Cedar Island (Hennepin), Lotus (Carver) [winter 2013-14], Nokomis (Hennepin) [7/27/14], Harriet (Hennepin) [7/24/14], Prior (Scott) [6/10/14], Sarah (Hennepin) [6/12/02], and Fish (Hennepin) [6/14/05]. Some more details, particularly related to Scott County in 2015, can be found here. In 2015, such kills were reported in seven lakes in our Area.
Recent Regulation Changes: 1) 54-Inch Minimimum For Muskies 2) Darkhouse Spearing Bans Lifted
Fishing-law changes effective with the 2015 Legislative Session had two major local impacts: 1) increased legal harvestable size of many-- but not all-- muskellunge (muskie) waters. Minimum harvest length for muskies increased to 54 inches. Lakes managed for tiger muskie (or containing remnant populations) and the Mississippi River upstream from the Coon Rapids Dam have different regulations; 2) allowed dark-house spearing on these lakes-- Minnetonka (and connected lakes Forest, Libbs, Peavey, and Tanager), Rebecca, and Stieger [Steiger].
All other applicable regulations-- including Special Regulations-- related to species, allowable harvest, methods, and seasons remain in effect. Check our Special Fishing Regulations page or consult the Statewide Regulations for more detail.
Lake Minnetonka Muskie Study-- Please Report Tagged and Fin-Clipped Fish
MN DNR, Muskies, Inc. Twin Cities Chapter, and Hugh C. Becker Foundation began a project on Lake Minnetonka to evaluate muskellunge (muskie) stocking effectiveness. Since 2009, muskie have been stocked with an individually numbered yellow tag near the dorsal fin. If you catch a tagged muskie that you plan to release, please leave the tag in the fish but record the 6-digit tag number, date caught, lake name, fish species, and fish length via the internet tag-report form or to our office's phone, email, or address (above). Study Details (includes 2014 season information)
West Metro Fisheries Office Location
Our office is in the Blue Lake Business Center on Scott Co. Hwy. 101 (between US Hwy 169 and Valleyfair amusement park). We share space with two other MN DNR disciplines (Parks & Trails, Wildlife) and Conservation Corps Minnesota-Iowa .
No license sales or registration/titling services are available, and we have no hatchery or live fish displays for tours. If you'd like to visit us in person, we recommend you contact us beforehand to ensure staff will be here. Because we're a small, field-oriented office, drop-in visitors could find no available help or a locked building.
West Metro Area Fisheries Information
- Stocking - Check LakeFinder, Local Stocking Plans or FiN Fishing Pond Update
- Surveys - Check LakeFinder or Recent Fish Surveys for lake sampling. (Note: 2016 sampling to date & 2015 preliminary summaries in Recent Fish Surveys) Largemouth Bass Sizes From Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Angler-Report Project: Ten Local Lakes-- Data Summaries 2003-15 MNBFN Cooperative Study Summary: Bass Anglers' Reports 2003-13 (Full presentation/explanation of study; results end in 2013)
- Fish Catch Rate (Abundance) Tables For Walleye, Northern Pike, Crappie, & Bluegill
- Local Trout Waters Carp & Rough Fish Lakes
- Lake Minnetonka (with 2014-16 construction-related travel alert)
- Special Fishing Regulations In Our 3-County Area
- Lake Rebecca Muskie Egg-Take
- Winter Oxygen Monitoring Winterkills Aerated Fishing Lakes
2012 State of the Metro Mississippi River Website/Report
2006 Special Study: Minnesota River Floodplain Lakes (Large File: 3 MB | 66 pg)
Angler (Creel) Survey Summaries 1995-2005
Regional Fishing Outlooks
information compiled by area fisheries managers