DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

May 3, 2021

Regional fishing reports available from the DNR in preparation for opener
Anglers looking for local information before the Saturday, May 15, fishing opener for walleye, bass, northern pike and trout in lakes can gain local knowledge from regional fishing reports by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The regional fishing reports include details about waters throughout each region, and can be found on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/fishing by clicking on “Fishing outlooks by region.”

Webinar focuses on open water walleye fishing basics  

People interested in learning more about walleye fishing basics are invited to join a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources webinar at noon on Wednesday, May 5. Ray Ruiz, DNR hunting and fishing skills liaison, and large water angler Steve Robertson, will discuss how to catch our state fish. The webinar is part of the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series, which aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, as well as skills to enjoy these opportunities. Registration and more information are available online.

DNR urges people to leave deer fawns alone 

Deer fawns are being born at this time of year and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks that people avoid disturbing or touching them.

Most fawns are born from mid-May to mid-June, and they do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks of life. Instead, they remain still to avoid being seen. During these times, fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers but are often left on their own while their mothers forage nearby.

Be assured deer fawns do fine even if they look abandoned or fragile. Even if a fawn is wounded or abandoned as a result of car strike or animal attack, people should not transport it before speaking with a wildlife rehabilitator. More information about what people should do if they find fawns or other species of baby wild animals is available on the DNR website.

Bear hunt application deadline is May 7

Prospective bear hunters have through Friday, May 7, to apply for a bear hunting license in lottery areas. Applications for the 2021 season should be submitted online or via telephone at 888-665-4236.

A total of 3,575 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. The fee to apply is $5. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents. The season is open from Wednesday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 17.

Lottery winners will be notified by June 1. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Sunday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available starting at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

The no-quota area that includes east-central and far northwestern Minnesota is not part of the lottery drawing and will have an unlimited number of licenses available that may be purchased starting July 1.

Overall, bear permit numbers for quota areas have remained unchanged since last year to allow bear population numbers to gradually increase and support a robust bear population. Bear hunting information is available on the DNR website.

Take a Mom Fishing Weekend is May 8-9

Take a Mom Fishing Weekend — when Minnesota-resident moms can fish without purchasing a license — is Saturday, May 8, to Sunday, May 9. This special weekend is defined in Minnesota statutes as the weekend that coincides with Mother’s Day.

Most years, under Minnesota law, the fishing opener and Take a Mom Fishing Weekend fall on the same weekend, but not this year. Per state law, the 2021 fishing opener is Saturday, May 15.

Though the walleye season won’t be open for the 2021 Take a Mom Fishing Weekend, fishing is open for several other species, including crappie, sunfish, and under-appreciated fish like buffalo, sucker, bullhead or sheepshead.

Anglers be aware: There is an error in the printed version of the Minnesota Fishing Regulations book regarding the dates for Take a Mom Fishing Weekend. The correct dates are May 8-9. Fishing season details are available on the DNR fishing page.