The productive warmwater lakes and streams in MN DNR's West Metro Fisheries Area provide many opportunities for carp and other rough fish species. The best bets are the larger rivers, such as the Mississippi, Minnesota, and South Fork Crow, as well as their associated lakes (such as the Minnesota River floodplain lakes; examples of potential-- highly variable because of water levels/flooding-- can be found in the 2006 Study .)
Places to catch rough fish also include 1) ponds managed in the Fishing In the Neighborhood (FiN) Program, 2) streams, particularly just below dams and barriers, and 3) wetlands and shallow lakes, especially if connected to larger waters.
But since most anglers are more familiar and comfortable with larger lakes, we have listed ones with public boat accesses that, based on angler use and commercial fishing permits, support higher populations of fishes such as common carp, bullheads, and buffalo.
Notes and Recommendations:
Follow all regulations and ethics regarding under-utilized species, especially related to seasons, methods, aquatic invasive species, and proper use of killed fish. Leaving fish dead in the water or disposing them on shores is Wanton Waste and against the law. Check recent fish population surveys and possible consumption advisories via LakeFinder.
Know whether individual lakes and their access points have closed hours, fees, or Surface Use Restrictions such as motor or speed limitations. Lake Minnetonka has system-wide rules and restrictions coordinated through the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District; a summary is found in the organization's rules and regulations .
Bowfishermen Before heading out, confirm whether local weapons/archery ordinances allow bowfishing where you plan to go; contact the appropriate city/local government if you're unsure. (Examples: Lake Minnetonka allows bowfishing only under certain conditions and only in certain areas-- see web link above for details; Minneapolis and many suburbs have weapon-use restrictions that prohibit or severely limit bowfishing.)
Lakes With Boat Ramps Having Potential For Carp, Bullhead, Or Buffalofish
(From commercial fishing reports/permits 1999-2014 & angler reports; this list provides suggestions, with no guarantees of completeness or future success)
- Steiger (Stieger)
- Bde Maka Ska (Calhoun)
- Lower Penn
- Mount (Mt.) Normandale