The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has set dates for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on seven lakes in the Tower DNR fisheries work area.
These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes in water temperatures. They are opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website.
Schedule I Lakes (48-hour notice)
- Vermilion, Basswood, Fall and Newton lakes will be open to netting Friday, Oct. 23 through Wednesday, Nov. 11. (Minimum 3.5 inch mesh size for Vermilion and Newton Lakes. Minimum 1.75 inch mesh size for Basswood and Fall lakes.)
- Shagawa Lake will be open to netting Friday, Nov. 6 through Saturday, Nov. 28. (Minimum 3.5 inch mesh size)
- Bear Island & Ojibway lakes will be open to netting Friday, Nov. 20 through Sunday, Dec. 20. (Minimum 1.75 inch mesh size)
Vermilion, Basswood, Fall, Newton and Shagawa lakes are designated as infested with spiny waterflea so netters should review rules that help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. Fishing regulations require that netters purchase both a whitefish netting license and an angling license.
The DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures, fish abundance and vulnerability of game fish. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be harmed by recreational netting in shallow water.
Find information about sport-netting by lake, minimum mesh sizes, and fishing regulations in the regulations document or contact the DNR’s Tower area office at 650 Highway 169, Tower, MN 55790, or call 218-300-7802.