News release: DNR seeks input on proposed special fishing regulations

August 1, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for input on several special fishing regulation proposals.

Each year, the DNR proposes new special fishing regulations that apply to individual waters and asks the public for input about the proposals. The regulations, if enacted, are reviewed on a regular basis.

The DNR is considering experimental and special fishing regulations for the 2023 fishing season that address the following topics:

  • Walleye in Big Sandy Lake (Aitkin County) — An experimental walleye harvest slot limit (14-18”, 1 over 26” allowed) is expiring in 2023 and the DNR is interested in whether anglers support continuing this regulation.
  • Panfish in Dyers Lake (Cook County) and Sand Lake (Lake County) — Reduced sunfish and crappie limits have been working effectively on these lakes for a while. A proposed change would slightly modify the regulation from a reduced possession limit to a reduced daily limit. The changes would make these lakes consistent with other special sunfish and crappie regulations across the state.
  • Brown trout in the Vermillion River (Dakota County) — A proposed change would expand an existing catch-and-release-only regulation to the entire Vermillion River.
  • Lake trout in Caribou Lake (Itasca County) — A proposed experimental regulation is intended to maintain a naturally reproducing population by only allowing one fish to be kept and requiring that the fish be at least 20 inches.
  • Walleye in Island and Round lakes (Itasca County) — Highly protective slot limits have successfully built up enough large walleye in these lakes to afford some additional harvest. A proposed change would relax the protected slot to a narrower range (20-24”).
  • Northern pike in West Battle, Otter Tail, and Turtle River Chain of Lakes (Fergus Falls and Bemidji area lakes in Otter Tail and Beltrami counties) — Multiple lakes have recently undergone a review of special northern pike regulations. Proposed changes include reverting to the statewide regulations for some of these lakes, while others would switch to a different special regulation and still others would retain the current slot limit.

Anyone can provide input about these proposals via an online survey that is available through Monday, Oct. 17. For additional details or to comment directly by email, U.S. mail or phone about individual proposals, contact the area fisheries office. General input may also be submitted to Jon Hansen at [email protected] or 651-259-5239, or via U.S. mail to Fishing regulations/Jon Hansen, Box 20, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

The DNR also will be hosting in-person open houses in each county where the proposed changes would apply and one in the Twin Cities metro area to cover all proposals.

For those who want to attend an in-person meeting, information can be found on the DNR website or by calling an area fisheries office. The meetings will take place on various dates between Sept. 1 and Oct. 5. The metro area open house will be from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the DNR’s Central Office at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

Notification of the proposed changes to special fishing regulations have been posted at the accesses to each lake included in the proposal.