Statewide Fishing Regulation Changes

Permanent rule package

Fish Rules

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources intends to adopt rule amendments and to repeal rules governing various fishing regulations.

Notice of the DNR's of intent to adopt rules without a public hearing is scheduled for publication in the
May 12, 2014, issue of the State Register. Please review the entire Dual Notice for more details.

Rulemaking documents:

Agency Contact person:

Linda Erickson-Eastwood
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 20
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-4020
Email:  linda.erickson-eastwood@state.mn.us
Telephone: (651) 259-5206 or 1-888-MINNDNR

Among the changes to be considered are the following.

Trout regulations

  • Open trout lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard counties to winter trout fishing. Little Andrus (Snowshoe Lake) Cass Co; Allen and Pleasant Lakes, Crow Wing Co.; and Bad Medicine Lake, Becker Co. will remain closed to winter fishing.

Other Game Fish Regulations

  • New statewide catch and release seasons for bass and sturgeon,
  • 50" minimum size limit statewide for pure strain muskie
  • Open Spring Lake, Itasca Co to whitefish netting
  • Restrictions on where nets can be placed for smelting on Grindstone
  • Close the taking of flathead catfish during the winter

Border Waters

  • Changes to simplify, provide additional opportunities, make changes that are consistent with the Minnesota inland regulations, or make consistent with the bordering state's regulations for Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Canada
  • Clarify the no-culling rule

Others

  • Require a barb on arrows used for bowfishing
  • Remove obsolete and redundant rules for bowfishing, aquatic plant control of lotus, Take a Kid Fishing, Mink and Somers Lakes (Wright County), and licensing requirements.
  • Technical changes for Lake Superior rules to clarify that the lake proper is included as part of the existing rules.
  • Technical changes that move rule language from one part to another for consolidation or clarification: Annie Battle (Ottertail County), La Salle (Hubbard County), Moody Creek (Itasca County), and Pike River (St. Louis and Carlton County)

Special note about Muskie size limit: 

The portion of this package that is proposing a 50 inches size limit for muskie on inland waters (Minn. Rules, part 6262.0200) was superseded by legislative actions. According to Laws of 2014, Chapter 290, Section 66, all inland waters will have a minimum size of 54 inches, except for the Muskie-northern pike hybrid lakes in the seven-county metro area and those that the commissioner establishes a minimum size limit of 48 inches. Consequently, the DNR will only be taking comment for hearings on the proposed Muskie rule changes relating to border waters (Chapter 6266).

Legislative language as passed:

Sec. 66. MUSKELLUNGE MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT; RULEMAKING.

By March 1, 2015, the commissioner of natural resources shall amend Minnesota Rules, part 6262.0200, to provide that the minimum size limit for muskellunge in all inland waters is 54 inches, except for: (1) muskellunge-northern pike hybrid lakes in the seven-county metropolitan area; and (2) individual lakes where the commissioner establishes a minimum size limit of 48 inches. Minnesota Statutes, section 97C.005, does not apply to establishment of size limits for individual lakes under this section. The commissioner may use the good cause exemption under Minnesota Statutes, section 14.388, subdivision 1, clause (3), to adopt rules under this section, and Minnesota Statutes, section 14.386, does not apply, except as provided under Minnesota Statutes, section 14.388.