Bait dealers authorized to preserve bait

To help prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in Minnesota waters, anglers cannot use cisco, smelt, or other VHS susceptible species as bait in any water body except Lake Superior unless it was harvested from a waterbody that tested negative for presence of the VHS virus within the past year, or has been preserved by a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit holder using accepted methods known to make the virus inactive.

The rule was enacted to protect Minnesota's inland waters from VHS, which is now present in Lake Superior. When fishing using preserved cisco or rainbow smelt as bait, anglers must have in their possession the label from the batch of bait being used. The label must contain the bait processor's DNR permit number, the lot number, and the date of processing.

It remains legal to harvest cisco and rainbow smelt for personal consumption in Lake Superior and Minnesota's inland waters. VHS does not have any impact on humans through direct contact or via fish consumption.

Business Name Phone NumberCity
Birchview Resort 218-634-1693Baudette
Collins' Fish and Bait Farms 701-371-6881Dent
D & H Bait Store 218-287-2203Dilworth
Chalstrom's Bait 218-726-0094Duluth
Broke Brothers Bait 218-743-3247Effie
Todd's Live Bait 320-592-3615McGrath
North Country Bait 218-732-7500Park Rapids
Fletcher's Bait 320-352-2155Sauk Centre
Moland Specialty Bait 952-473-0570Wayzata