News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac

April 25, 2022

Minnesota moms fish free May 7-8

During Take a Mom Fishing Weekend Saturday, May 7, to Sunday, May 8, moms who live in Minnesota can fish without purchasing a license.

The Minnesota State Legislature established this special weekend in 1988 to coincide with Mother’s Day. Most years, the fishing opener and Take a Mom Fishing Weekend are on the same weekend, but not this year. On Take a Mom Fishing weekend, fishing is open for many species like crappie, sunfish, catfish, or native fish like buffalo, sucker, bullhead or sheepshead. Walleye and northern pike seasons will open the following weekend on Saturday, May 14.

Fishing season dates and regulations are available on the DNR fishing page. Find out how and where to fish, learn about fishing equipment, read about ways to catch different kinds of fish and get acquainted with fishing ethics and stewardship on the DNR learn to fish page.

Reminder: new sunfish regulations in effect on 52 lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds sunfish anglers to closely check the 2022 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet and signs at water accesses for new sunfish limits that went into effect March 1 on 52 lakes and connected waters.

The new regulations lower limits on specific waters as part of a DNR initiative to protect and improve sunfish sizes. These changes are in response to angler-driven concerns over the declining sizes of sunfish in Minnesota.

Anglers can keep only the prescribed number of fish per day but can return the next day for another limit if they don’t exceed the statewide inland water possession limit of 20 sunfish per angler. Minnesota fishing regulations use sunfish as the generic name for bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, longear, warmouth and their hybrids.

More about the Quality Sunfish Initiative is available on the sunfish page of the DNR website.

Bear hunting license application deadline is May 6

Prospective bear hunters have until Friday, May 6, to apply for a bear hunting license from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Applications for the 2022 season can be submitted online, at any license agent or via telephone at 888-665-4236. Bear season opens Thursday, Sept. 1, and closes Sunday, Oct. 16.

Lottery winners will be notified by Wednesday, June 1. The deadline to purchase bear hunting licenses awarded by lottery is Monday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available over the counter starting at noon Thursday, Aug. 4.

An unlimited number of bear licenses also will be sold over the counter for the no-quota area that includes east-central and far northwestern Minnesota. No-quota licenses are valid only in the no-quota area.

Hunters with a bear license who are interested in taking a problem bear should contact the area DNR wildlife manager to be added to the hunter contact list for notification as opportunities arise.

Complete instructions about how to apply for a license, maps of permit areas and a listing of permit availability for each area are available on the DNR website.

DNR webinars cover 4-H youth program, wild rice management

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites Minnesotans interested in fishing, wildlife and outdoor skills to tune into upcoming webinars that will discuss a 4-H youth program and wild rice management.

The first, on the 4-H outdoor adventures program, will be at noon Wednesday, April 27.

The Minnesota 4-H outdoor adventures program is a comprehensive outdoor education program that includes shooting sports and wildlife, 4-H ATV safety, wildlife biology, fishing, conservation and outdoor skills. Join the webinar to explore the program and how youth and adults can get involved.

The second, on wild rice management, will be at noon Wednesday, May 4. Minnesota has more natural wild rice than any other state in the nation and the webinar will share some of the DNR’s common wild rice management techniques and highlight some success stories.

The webinars are part of the DNR’s 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. The webinars are free, but registration is required. More information, including registration information for webinars each Wednesday through May 25, is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website.

Minnesota Twins offer free hats

Anyone with a 2022 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free camouflage Minnesota Twins logo cap thanks to a special Twins ticket offer.

The Minnesota DNR Days are back at Twins games this season, through a partnership between the Twins and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The upcoming Minnesota DNR Days partnership games are:

  • Friday, May 6, vs. the Oakland Athletics at 7:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 25, vs. the Colorado Rockies at 1:10 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 3, vs. the Baltimore Orioles at 1:10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 16, vs. the Kansas City Royals at 6:40 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 9 vs. the Cleveland Guardians at 7:10 p.m.

License holders can purchase a reserved game ticket online and receive a special Twins cap at the game. Ticket prices vary by game. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Instructions for purchasing tickets are on the Minnesota DNR Days page.

People may buy fishing and hunting licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile license buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.