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 102 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.
Trout stockings planned for 2020 winter season (lakes)
Courthouse Lake (Chaska), Quarry Lake (Shakopee), and Little Long Lake (Minnetrista) will receive their planned rainbow trout quotas in time for the winter fishing season -- 1,300 trout for Courthouse, 12,000 for Quarry, and 500 for Little Long.
Some larger trout will also be available at Courthouse Lake -- approximately 100 rainbow trout and 175 brown trout. Final total of species, sizes, and numbers will be posted here once we receive confirmations. Any trout surviving from previous stockings will also be available in our managed trout lakes. Christmas Lake was last stocked with trout in 2016, so few, if any, fish remain.
Winter season opens January 18, 2020. Check MN DNR fishing regulations for details about trout fishing in lakes. See our Trout waters page for more information about local trout-fishing management and opportunities.
Recent fish kill reports
Spring-Summer 2019 Reports of dead fish were reported from the first rapid warmup in water temperatures. The timings, numbers, fish species affected, and lake conditions were consistent with seasonal, bacterial-related causes limited to fish and sometimes amphibians. Water conditions related to high temperatures and lower oxygen were also present in some cases, which also triggered fish illnesses and deaths. Lakes with such reports were:
- Carver County: Waconia
- Hennepin County: Bke Maka Ska (Calhoun), Cedar Island, Gleason, Harriet, Parkers, Twin
- Scott County: Cedar
Winter 2018-19 Several shallow waters; our Winterkills page lists reported waters and describes this phenomenon
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 (MN DNR West Metro Fisheries Office main web page). Study Details (includes Lake Minnetonka summary through August 2018)
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 strongly 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.
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. (2019 spring sampling data, lake survey summaries, and one winterkill assessment available in "Recent fish surveys")
- Largemouth Bass Sizes From Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Angler-Report Project: Local Lakes-- Data Summaries 2003-2018 Cooperative Study Summary: Bass Anglers' Reports 2003-13 (Full 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)
- 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
- 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
- Our work
- 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.
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] Vacant Office Administrative Specialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 221 Keegan Lund Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist 651-259-5828 [email protected]