Fishing tournament regulations

Permit Requirements

Permits are issued to Minnesota residents only. Permit requirements and permit fees are shown, below:

  • A person may conduct a contest without a permit provided any one of the following four criteria apply:
    1. There are a) 25 boats or less (or 150 participants or less for ice fishing contests or 100 participants for shore-based contests, b) entry fee is $25 or less, and c) the contest is not limited to trout; OR
    2. The contest is not limited to specifically named waters, and the contest is not limited to trout; OR
    3. The contest is limited to rough fish taken via hook-and-line (bowfishing tournaments require a permit); OR,
    4. The total prize value is $500 or less
  • The charitable fee waiver was eliminated in 2009. All contests must pay a fee for a tournament permit.
  • Permit fees for open-water contests are shown below:
    • Fee for open-water contests without off-site weigh-ins (weigh-in is located on contest waters):
      • Youth contests where all participants are 18 or younger: $50
      • Small contests (50 or fewer boats or shore-based contests): $70
      • Large contests (more than 50 boats): $225
    • Fee for open-water contests with off-site weigh-ins:
      • Small contests: $280
      • Large contests: $560
  • Fee for ice contests (more than 150 participants) is $135

The DNR permit may allow for live-release weigh-ins at public accesses. Written permission from the authority responsible for jurisdiction of the public access is required.

If a permit is required, and if entry fees are over $25 per person, or total prizes are valued at more than $25,000, and the applicant has not previously conducted a permitted fishing contest or has ever failed to make required prize awards in a fishing contest, the applicant will be required to furnish evidence of financial responsibility in the form of a surety bond or bank letter of credit in the amount of $25,000.