Quality sunfish initiative

Underwater photo of bluegill swimming over a nesting bedFor years, anglers have been telling the DNR they were satisfied with sunfish/bluegill numbers but an increasing number of anglers have been concerned about catching so many small sunfish.

The prevalent use of electronic fish finders and other technological advancements combined with rapid social media communication has heightened those concerns.

DNR fisheries managers responded with a quality sunfish initiative that uses proven daily limits of five or 10 sunfish to protect and improve sunfish quality on select lakes with both biological potential to produce large sunfish and strong public support.

The initiative increased the number of lakes with reduced bag limits from 60 (as of 2020) to 225 (as of 2022). These regulations will be monitored during the next decade to determine their impact and effectiveness.

What is a sunfish?

Sunfish is a generic name for a group fish that includes bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, longear, warmouth and their hybrids.

Do the reduced limits apply to my daily limit or possession limit?
Nearly all special regulations with reduced limits for sunfish (and crappie) reduce the daily limit but retain the statewide possession limits. For example, if a lake has a reduced daily limit of five sunfish, anglers can keep five sunfish each day from the lake but may never possess more than 20 sunfish (from that lake or any other).
Lakes with QSI regulations

Sorted alphabetically by county and lake name

Northwest
AdoptedRegionAreaApplies toPrimary waterCountySpeciesAdopted language
20211Detroit LakesBig Floyd LakeBig FloydBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211Detroit LakesBuffalo LakeBuffaloBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211Detroit LakesHeight of Land LakeHeight of LandBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221Detroit LakesIsland LakeIslandBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211Detroit LakesLittle Sugar Bush LakeLittle Sugar BushBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211Detroit LakesNorth Tamarack LakeNorth TamarackBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221Detroit LakesSand Lake and connected Talac and Sorenson LakesSandBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221Detroit LakesTurtle LakeTurtleBeckerSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211BemidjiBeltrami Lake and connected waters, Turtle River and Fox LakeBeltramiBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiBig LakeBigBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiBig Bass LakeBig BassBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiCampbell LakeCampbellBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiCass Chain and connected waters Wolf, Ose, Andrusia, unnamed stream (Big Lake Creek), Mississippi River, Cass, Fox Creek, Pike Bay, Windigo, Buck, Big Rice, Little Rice, Kitchi, Turtle River, and Pug Hole LakeCassBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiDeer LakeDeerBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiJulia LakeJuliaBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiMedicine LakeMedicineBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiMovil Lake including Turtle RiverMovilBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiThree Island Lake including Turtle RiverThree IslandBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiTurtle Lakes, Big and Little including Turtle RiverTurtle (Big Turtle)BeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211BemidjiTurtle River LakeTurtle RiverBeltramiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221WalkerBeuber LakeBeuberCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211WalkerBig Portage Lake and connected waters, Rice and Deep Portage LakesBig PortageCassSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit 10.
20221WalkerBoy Lake and connected Swift LakeBoy, SwiftCassSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit 10
20221WalkerCrooked Lake and connected Welsh LakeCrooked, WelshCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221WalkerIsland Lake (near Longville)IslandCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211WalkerLeech LakeLeechCassSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20211WalkerSucker Lakes, Upper, Middle, and LowerLower SuckerCassSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20221WalkerLower Trelipe LakeLower TrelipeCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221WalkerOx Yoke LakeOx YokeCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211BemidjiPike Bay Lake and connected Fox CreekPike BayCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221WalkerSanburn LakeSanburnCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221WalkerSugar LakeSugarCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221WalkerUpper Trelipe LakeUpper TrelipeCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221WalkerVermillion LakeVermillionCassSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211BemidjiMinerva LakeMinervaClearwaterSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221GlenwoodAndrew LakeAndrewDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodBlackwell LakeBlackwellDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211GlenwoodIrene LakeIreneDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221GlenwoodMill LakeMillDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodMoon LakeMoonDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211GlenwoodOsakis and Little Osakis LakesOsakisDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221GlenwoodRed Rock LakeRed RockDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodRound LakeRoundDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20221GlenwoodVermont LakeVermontDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211GlenwoodWhiskey LakeWhiskeyDouglasSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221Park RapidsCrow Wing Lake, 1stFirst Crow WingHubbardSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211Park RapidsCrow Wing Lakes, Second, Third, and FourthFourth Crow WingHubbardSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221Park RapidsGarfield LakeGarfieldHubbardSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211Fergus FallsBass LakeBassOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221Fergus FallsPine Lake, BigBig PineOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221Fergus FallsCrystal LakeCrystalOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211Fergus FallsDeer Lake and connected Otter Tail RiverDeerOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20211Fergus FallsEast Lost Lake and connected Otter Tail RiverEast LostOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20211Fergus FallsFish LakeFishOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211Fergus FallsFish LakeFishOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211Fergus FallsFranklin LakeFranklinOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20211Fergus FallsLong LakeLongOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221Fergus FallsMiddle LakeMiddleOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20211Fergus FallsPrairie LakePrairieOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20211Fergus FallsRed River LakeRed RiverOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221Fergus FallsLida Lakes, South and North, including connecting Mud LakeSouth LidaOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211Fergus FallsStuart LakeStuartOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221Fergus FallsVenstrom LakeVenstromOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211Fergus FallsWall LakeWallOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20211Fergus FallsWest Lost LakeWest LostOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20211Fergus FallsWest Silent LakeWest SilentOtter TailSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20221Detroit LakesSarah LakeSarahPolkSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodAmelia LakeAmeliaPopeSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20211GlenwoodGilchrist LakeGilchristPopeSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20211GlenwoodGrove LakeGrovePopeSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20221GlenwoodLeven LakeLevenPopeSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodMinnewaska LakeMinnewaskaPopeSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodVillard LakeVillardPopeSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20221GlenwoodReno LakeRenoPope/DouglasSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20212AitkinClear LakeClearAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
Northeast
AdoptedRegionAreaApplies toPrimary waterCountySpeciesAdopted language
20212AitkinDam Lake and connected waters, Lily Lake and Dam BrookDamAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20212AitkinGun LakeGunAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20212AitkinMinnewawa Lake and connected Horsehoe LakeMinnewawaAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20212AitkinRat LakeRatAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20212AitkinVanduse LakeVanduseAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20212AitkinWaukenabo LakeWaukenaboAitkinSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20222DuluthMoosehead LakeMooseheadCarltonSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdBorden LakeBordenCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdEast Twin LakeEast TwinCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdEdward LakeEdwardCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdGladstone LakeGladstoneCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20222BrainerdLake HubertHubertCrow WingSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdMississippi River from Brainerd Dam upstream to Highway 6 including Rice, Little Rabbit, and Half Moon Lakes and connected backwatersMississipi River - Brainerd dam u/s to Hwy 6Crow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdNorth LongNorth LongCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdPerch LakePerchCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdMission Lakes, Upper and LowerUpper MissionCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212BrainerdWhitefish Chain including connected Cross Lake Reservoir, Lower Hay, Arrowhead, Bertha, Clamshell, Big Trout, Pig, Island-Loon, Rush-Hen, Dagget, and Little Pine lakesWhitefishCrow WingSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212Grand RapidsBear LakeBearItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20222Grand RapidsDeer Lake and connected Pickerel and Battle lakesDeerItascaSunfishSunfish: daily 5
20212Grand RapidsIsland LakeIslandItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20212Grand RapidsJay Gould Lake and connected waters, Little Jay Gould Lake Blackwater Reservoir, and Mississippi River upstream to the State Highway 6 and County Road 63 bridges, and downstream to the Pokegama damJay Gould, Little Jay GouldItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20212Grand RapidsLittle Bowstring LakeLittle BowstringItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20222Grand RapidsLittle Turtle Lake (near Marcell)Little TurtleItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20222Grand RapidsPokegama Lake (near Grand Rapids)PokegamaItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20222Grand RapidsSand Lake upstream to CSAH 35 bridge, including Portage, Birdseye, Little Sand, Rice, and the Bowstring River downstream to the County Road 145 bridgeSandItascaSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20212TowerBear Head LakeBear HeadSt. LouisSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20212International FallsBlackduck LakeBlackduck LakeSt. LouisSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20212International FallsElephant LakeElephant LakeSt. LouisSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20222DuluthElliot LakeElliotSt. LouisSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20222DuluthFish Lake FlowageFishSt. LouisSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20212TowerLow LakeLowSt. LouisSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20222DuluthStrand LakeStrandSt. LouisSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20222DuluthWhiteface ReservoirWhitefaceSt. LouisSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20222DuluthWild Rice ReservoirWild RiceSt. LouisSunfish and crappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
Central
AdoptedRegionAreaApplies toPrimary waterCountySpeciesAdopted language
20213East MetroCenterville LakeCentervilleAnokaSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213East MetroMartin LakeMartinAnokaSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20213West MetroParley LakeParleyCarverSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20213West MetroRiley LakeRileyCarverSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20213East MetroMarion LakeMarionDakotaSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213West MetroDutch LakeDutchHennepinSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20213West MetroMedicine LakeMedicineHennepinSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20213West MetroSarah LakeSarahHennepinSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20223Little FallsShakopee Lake near Onamia, HWY 26 bridge to lake outlet of Lake Onamia at HWY 27Shakopee/OnamiaMille LacsSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20213Little FallsRound LakeRound (NE)MorrisonSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20223HinckleyCross Lake and connected waters including the Snake River upstream to and including underneath Interstate 35 and downstream to County Road 9.CrossPineSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20223HinckleyPokegama Lake and connected waters including the Snake River from Little Walleye landing downstream to Interstate 35.PokegamaPineSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20213East MetroOwasso LakeOwassoRamseySunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213West MetroPrior Lakes, Upper and LowerUpper PriorScottSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.
20213Sauk RapidsSauk River Chain of Lakes from State Highway 23 Bridge in T.123, R.31, S.24, downstream to the Cold Spring Dam in T.123, R.30, S.23, including connecting waters, Sauk River, and Becker, Horseshoe, Cedar Island, Zumwalde, Great Northern, Schneider, Krays, Bolfing, and Knaus LakesHorseshoeStearnsSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20213Sauk RapidsLong LakeLongStearnsSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20213Little FallsBeauty LakeBeautyToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Little FallsBuck LakeBuckToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Little FallsCedar LakeCedarToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Little FallsLady LakeLadyToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Little FallsLily Lake and connected Long LakeLily-LongToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Little FallsMary LakeMaryToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Little FallsMoose LakeMooseToddSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213East MetroBig Marine LakeBig MarineWashingtonSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20213East MetroShields LakeShieldsWashingtonSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20213Sauk RapidsSylvia Lakes, East and WestEast SylviaWrightSunfish and CrappieCrappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit 10.
20213Sauk RapidsIndian LakeIndian LakeWrightSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
Southern
AdoptedRegionAreaApplies toPrimary waterCountySpeciesAdopted language
20214SpicerDiamond LakeDiamondKandiyohiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20214SpicerFlorida LakeFloridaKandiyohiSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20214SpicerGeorge LakeGeorgeKandiyohiSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20224SpicerGeorge LakeGeorgeKandiyohiCrappieCrappie: daily limit 5
20214SpicerLong LakeLongKandiyohiSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20214SpicerNest LakeNestKandiyohiSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10.
20224WatervilleLake WashingtonWashingtonLe SueurSunfishSunfish: daily 10
20224HutchinsonLake Minnie-BelleMinnie-BelleMeekerSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20224HutchinsonLake RipleyRipleyMeekerSunfishSunfish: daily limit 5
20214WatervilleMazaska LakeMazaskaRiceSunfishSunfish: daily limit five.
20224WatervilleShields LakeShieldsRiceSunfishSunfish: daily limit 10