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
- 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
Local seasonal fish kills
Reports of dead fish have occurred during spring and early summer 2018. The timing, number, fish species affected, and lake conditions are consistent with seasonal, bacterial-related causes limited to fish and sometimes amphibians. The rapid warm-up of these waters affected number and severity of these incidences. Lakes with such observations or reports:
- Carver County: Eagle, Minnewashta, Reitz, Riley
- Hennepin County: Eagle-Pike, Minnetonka, Nokomis, Parkers, Weaver
- Scott County: Cedar Fish, Thole
Winter 2017-18 was snowy and cold, which led to long-lasting lake ice. As a result, low oxygen caused fish kills in several local waters where they have occurred previously or where they might be expected. Waters with observed or reported winterkills after ice-out 2018 were:
- Bassett Creek (pools/impoundment)
- Minnehaha Creek/Gray Bay Dam outlet marsh
- Rice Marsh
Trout stocked for 2018 spring opener (lakes)
Courthouse Lake (Chaska) received its planned quota for the start of the open-water fishing season. 1,500 yearling rainbow trout with an average size of 0.4 lb each were stocked.
Any surviving trout from previous stockings are also available in Courthouse Lake, as well as Quarry Lake, Little Long Lake, and Christmas Lake. Quarry and Little Long Lakes were stocked in winter 2017-18, and Christmas Lake was last stocked with yearling rainbow trout in 2016.
See our Trout waters page for more details about local trout-fishing management and opportunities.
Lake Minnetonka muskie study: Please report tagged, 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.
Fisheries info for the west metro area
- Stocking - Check LakeFinder, Local Stocking Plans or FiN Fishing Pond Update
- Surveys - Check LakeFinder or Recent Fish Surveys for lake sampling. (2018 season data now available in "Recent Fish Surveys")
- Largemouth Bass Sizes From Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Angler-Report Project: Thirteen Local Lakes-- Data Summaries 2003-Present MNBFN Cooperative Study Summary: Bass Anglers' Reports 2003-13 (Full presentation/explanation of study; results end in 2013)
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
- 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 Winterkills Aerated Fishing Lakes
- Area Staff
Contact our West Metro staff
Slide text left for phones & emails
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]