DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

April 12, 2021

Minnesota DNR announces temporary, seasonal fishing closures

To protect spawning fish, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has begun to close certain portions of some Minnesota waters. The closings are routine and based on local conditions.

Closings occur each year as ice-out begins and waters begin to warm. The DNR closes the spawning locations to fishing only where habitat is limited and fish are very concentrated in one location, such as a river or the bay of a lake where fish congregate during spawning.

Areas closed to fishing are listed and updated on the DNR website. Portions of waters closed to fishing also are posted at access sites and in other visible areas. Anglers may fish in areas that are not posted.

Boaters: renew your watercraft registration early, use online renewal

Boaters, remember to give yourself enough time to renew your watercraft registration if it has expired. As a result of COVID-19 and an increase in requests, the DNR License Center currently is requiring up to nine weeks to process mail-in boat registration renewals. Additional staff have been pulled in to help with the backlog.

To avoid the wait, the DNR is encouraging boaters to renew boat registrations online or at a local deputy registrar’s office, rather than by mail. If you renew online, you can print out the confirmation page as your temporary permit. You also may write down your temporary authorization number from the confirmation page.

Your registration card and expiration decals will then be mailed to you. To renew online visit the DNR website and click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. To renew in person, visit a deputy registrar.  Deputy registrar locations are available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.

Anglers: Remember to check for new sunfish regulations

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds sunfish anglers to closely check the 2021 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet and signs at water accesses for new sunfish limits that are in effect on 94 waters. The new regulations went into effect March 1. Lower limits on specific waters are part of an initiative to protect and improve sunfish sizes. These changes are in response to angler-driven concerns over the declining sizes of sunfish in Minnesota.

Minnesota fishing regulations use sunfish as the generic name for bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, longear, warmouth and their hybrids. More about sunfish biology and the Quality Sunfish Initiative is available on the DNR website.