The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold an open house to collect public comments and share information on two proposed fishing regulation changes related to sunfish in Lake Winnibigoshish and connected waters, and northern pike in Balsam, Haskell and Scrapper lakes in Itasca County.
The open house will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Squaw Lake Community Center located at 60162 County Highway 4, in the town of Squaw Lake in Itasca County. The open house covers two regulation proposals.
On Lake Winnibigoshish and the connected Mississippi River to Cass Lake (Beltrami, Cass, Itasca counties), the daily limit would be reduced to five sunfish. This change would facilitate easier enforcement on these waters and is already in effect for connected Cut Foot Sioux and Little Cut Foot Sioux lakes.
In the connected lakes of Balsam, Haskell and Scrapper (Itasca County), a 24- to 36-inch protected slot limit, with a three-fish possession limit, would be applied to northern pike. Currently, Balsam Lake has this limit, but the other two connected waters do not.
In addition to the Oct. 4 open house, there will be a statewide open house to accept comments on these and other proposed regulations, listed on the Minnesota DNR website, from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.
If adopted, the proposed sunfish regulations would be effective beginning March 1, 2024, and the northern pike regulations would be effective May 11, 2024.
Comments about proposed regulation changes can also be made online by visiting the Minnesota DNR website and taking the online survey. In addition, comments about these proposals can be directed to the Grand Rapids area fisheries office by calling 218-328-8836, emailing [email protected], or mailing to Grand Rapids Area Fisheries, 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744. Comments will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 20.