News release: Public input needed on fisheries management plans for 112 Minnesota lakes

February 2, 2024

February is the month to connect with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries offices across Minnesota about 112 lakes in 34 counties that will have their fisheries lake management plans updated in 2024.

“People interested in the health and quality of Minnesota’s fisheries are a critical part of the DNR’s fisheries lake management planning process,” said Jon Hansen, DNR fisheries management consultant. “These plans establish fisheries management goals and objectives for each lake and define the work fisheries biologists do each year. Plans aren’t complete without observations and input from a lake’s stakeholders.”

The list of lakes is on the DNR website. Fisheries management plans for Minnesota’s 10 largest lakes follow a similar but separate update process. 

People who want to discuss management for a lake can call or email the area fisheries office listed for that lake during February. Those observations and comments, obtained during the initial step of the process, will be considered as area fisheries managers begin developing updates for each fisheries management plan.

“We want to hear from anyone interested in these fisheries,” Hansen said. “Comments about experiences, observations, concerns and wishes for the fishery – rather than suggestions on how the DNR might accomplish a specific goal or objective – are the most helpful kinds of input.”

Some questions to consider include:

  • “What kind of fishing experience are you looking for?”
  • “Are there fish habitat concerns you’d like to share?”
  • “What kinds of fish do you like to catch?”
  • “Do you like catching big fish or a lot of fish?”
  • “Do you have social concerns about the fishery?”

The DNR’s interest in comments goes beyond individuals. Representatives of lake associations, outdoors groups, conservations organizations and local units of government are encouraged to comment during this initial period.

Based on a lake’s needs, location or public interest, area fisheries managers might determine additional public engagement is necessary before a plan can be completed. Those opportunities will be promoted regionally and posted on the DNR lake management page.

For additional information about why and how the DNR develops and utilizes fisheries management plans for Minnesota’s 4,500 actively managed lakes, visit the DNR’s lake management planning page.

The lakes, listed by county, scheduled for lake management plan updates in 2024 include:

Anoka: Crooked

Becker: Bad Medicine, Little Cormorant, Waboose

Beltrami: Plantagenet, Bemidji, Big Bass

Blue Earth: Crystal (Lake Crystal), Loon (Lake Crystal)

Carlton: Forbay (Carlton)

Carver: Eagle

Cook: Little Bass (Remer), Pleasant, Gadwell, Vale, Stony, Crooked, Greenwood, Homer, Mcfarland, Mountain, Otter, Wampus

Cottonwood: Double

Crow Wing: Rock (Pine Center), Smith (Garrison)

Douglas: Aaron (Millerville)

Hennepin: Medicine, Nokomis

Hubbard: East Crooked, Middle Crooked, West Crooked

Itasca: Blandin (Grand Rapids), Buck (Nashwauk), Burrows (Marcell), Cutfoot Sioux (Squaw Lake), Deer (Deer River), Little Cutfoot (Deer River), Little Moose (Grand Rapids), Moonshine (Grand Rapids), Moose (Deer River), No-te-she-bun (Remer), O'Brien (Nashwauk), Snowball (Calumet), Trestle (Talmoon), Wilson

Kandiyohi: Norway, Andrew, Games

Koochiching: Pine

Lake: Coffee, Organ, Basswood, Bald Eagle, Cedar (Winton), Fall, Good, Indiana, Lax, Little Knife, Newfound, Newton, Ojibway, Snowbank, Sucker

LeSueur: Gorman (Cordova), Roemhildts (Elysian), Volney (Le Center)

Lincoln: Hendricks, Perch

Meeker: Wolf (Dassel), Little Mud (Watkins), Little Swan (Dassel), Ripley (Litchfield), Round (Litchfield)

Murray: Fulda Lakes

Nobles: Bella

Otter Tail: Fish (Fergus Falls), Crystal (Pelican Rapids), Long (Fergus Falls)

Polk: Union

Pope: Pelican (Long Beach), Reno (Forada), Emily (Hancock)

Ramsey: Turtle

Rice: Cedar (Faribault)

St. Louis: Wild Rice Reservoir (Duluth), Boulder Reservoir (Duluth), Deepwater (Chisholm), Burntside, Ash, East & West Twin, Birch, Blueberry, Cedar (Aurora), Cedar Island, Crellin, Cummings, Elbow, Esquagama, Little Trout, Trout

Stearns: Two Rivers, Big Sauk, Little Birch

Todd: Beauty, Big Sauk, Little Birch

Waseca: Reeds (Elysian), St. Olaf (New Richland)

Washington: Lily

Wright: Deer

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