Anglers who fish in Carver, Hennepin and Scott counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' West Metro area fisheries staff.
Area Fisheries Supervisor Daryl Ellison and a staff of five full-time and one part-time employee manage 101 fishing lakes and 108 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and two large rivers – the Minnesota and Mississippi.
- What We Do
At work for you
West Metro fisheries staff strip eggs from a female muskellunge for the statewide muskie stocking program.
- Produce up to 1.3 million muskellunge and tiger muskellunge eggs per year for statewide stocking needs.
- Stock walleye, muskellunge and trout in 35 lakes in the western metropolitan area.
- Manage the Fishing in the Neighborhood Program (FiN) to introduce more city and suburban residents to fishing by providing close-to-home angling on 26 small lakes and ponds by stocking more than 20,000 catchable-sized fish each year.
- FiN staff participated in over 50 aquatic education events in 2016, teaching more than 5,000 youth, seniors and disabled citizens about angling and local aquatic resources. Also worked with local units of government and fishing groups in 2015-16 to construct two fishing piers and one shore-fishing structure.
- Acquire display fish and assist maintaining the aquatic displays at the Minnesota State Fair.
- Conduct research studies on muskellunge survival, walleye abundance trends and walleye stocking strategies.
- Area Notes & Updates
- Aquatic Plant Management: Questions and Permits 651-259-5831 (ask for Aquatic Plant Mgt. staff)
- Fish and Wildlife Kills: Minnesota Duty Officer 651-649-5451 / 1-800-422-0798
Trout Stockings For 2018 Winter Season (updated January 16, 2018)
Quarry Lake (Shakopee), Courthouse Lake (Chaska), and Little Long Lake (Minnetrista) received their planned quotas for the winter fishing season (began January 13, 2018 one hour before sunrise). Amounts of yearling rainbow trout stocked were: Quarry Lake, 12,000 advanced fingerling-aged fish; Courthouse Lake, 1,300 fish and Little Long Lake, 500 fish. Average sizes of rainbow trout were 0.6-0.7 lb for Courthouse and Little Long and 0.4 lb for Quarry.
Courthouse Lake received small quantities of adult rainbow trout and brown trout-- 100 rainbow trout and 190 brown trout; average sizes were 3-7 lb. Any surviving trout from previous stockings are also be available in these lakes, as well as in Christmas Lake (Shorewood); Christmas was last stocked with yearling rainbow trout in 2016.
See our Trout Waters page for more details about local trout-fishing management and opportunities.
Seasonal Fish Kills
Related to winterkill-- no local lakes have been opened to Liberalized Fishing as of mid-January 2018. More information on liberalized fishing and list of opened lakes statewide can be found here.
We had seen or received several dead-fish reports in spring/summer 2016. The timing, numbers, and conditions were consistent with seasonal, bacterial-related causes limited to fish. Lakes reported, along with (County) and [last previously reported die-off]: Swede (Carver) [winter 2013-14], Cedar (Scott) [6/1/15], 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) Dark House 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 muskie size regulations. 2) The activity of dark house spearing that used to be banned on these lakes-- Minnetonka (and connected lakes Forest, Libbs, Peavey, and Tanager), Rebecca, and Stieger [Steiger]-- is now allowed.
All other applicable regulations-- including any Special Regulations-- remain in effect. Related to the most-asked question: you may now go dark house spearing on Stieger (Steiger) lake for other eligible species, but-- because of the Special Regulation-- you still MAY NOT spear/harvest northern pike. 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. Largemouth Bass Sizes From Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Angler-Report Project: Thirteen Local Lakes-- Data Summaries 2003-16 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
- Special Fishing Regulations In Our 3-County Area
- Lake Rebecca Muskie Egg-Take
- Winter Oxygen Monitoring (2017-18 Testing Begun) 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
- Area Staff
Contact our West Metro staff
Daryl Ellison Area Supervisor 952-496-4141, Ext. 222 [email protected] Taylor Polomis Assistant Area Supervisor 952-496-4141, Ext. 223 [email protected] Matt Petersen Fishing in the Neighborhood 952-496-4141, Ext. 226 [email protected] Mario Travaline Fishing in the Neighborhood 952-496-4141, Ext. 225 [email protected] Kristan Maccaroni Fisheries Specialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 224 [email protected] Jason Harris Fisheries Specialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 227 [email protected] Lori Snider Office Administrative Specialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 221 [email protected] Keegan Lund Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist 651-259-5828 [email protected]