News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, April 8

April 8, 2024

Stream trout fishing opens in streams statewide April 13

Minnesota’s popular stream trout season opens Saturday, April 13, with quality fishing opportunities in every region of the state. Brook trout and splake fishing also open April 13 on Lake Superior and its tributary streams.

Trout anglers can find information on Minnesota’s trout streams and lakes on Minnesota DNR’s website. Anglers will find helpful learning guides and fishing tips tailored to each of Minnesota’s six trout fishing regions. Anglers can also access StreamFinder, which provides anglers with a description, species list, regulations and access information for trout streams throughout Minnesota, and is modeled after the DNR’s popular LakeFinder tool.

Minnesota has roughly 3,800 miles of designated trout streams. Anglers 18-64 years old fishing on designated trout waters must have a trout stamp validation in addition to an angling license and a trout stamp is required for anglers 18-64 years old to possess trout or salmon they catch on any Minnesota water. Complete trout season details are available at the Minnesota DNR’s fishing webpage.

Spring turkey hunting begins April 17

Minnesota turkey hunting begins this month, with opportunities available from Wednesday, April 17, through Friday, May 31. The season is divided into six hunt periods, A-F.

Wild turkey hunting is popular in Minnesota and turkey hunting — including setting decoys, listening for gobbles and calling to birds — can make for an active and unforgettable experience. For anyone new to the experience, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has how-to guides and videos on a learn-to-hunt webpage.

More information and important season and regulation details about turkey hunting in Minnesota can be found on the Minnesota DNR website. Hunters concerned about avian influenza and wild turkeys can find more information about safe handling practices from USDA and the response to the disease in Minnesota on the DNR avian influenza webpage.

2024 spring turkey season dates:

  • Youth season - April 17-May 31
  • Archery season - April 17-May 31
  • A - April 17-23
  • B - April 24-30
  • C - May 1-7
  • D - May 8-14
  • E - May 15-21
  • F - May 22-31

Renew watercraft registration early, use online renewal

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages boat owners to renew expired watercraft registrations before this year’s boating season.

Boater owners are encouraged to renew registrations online or at a local deputy registrar’s office rather than by mail. People renewing online can print out the confirmation page to use as their temporary permit. Boaters also may write down their temporary authorization number from the confirmation page. The registration card and expiration decals will then be mailed to the boat owner.

The Minnesota Legislature approved a watercraft license fee increase in May 2023. Watercraft registrations had not increased since 2006. Watercraft registrations are good for three years and the resulting revenue is used exclusively for boating and lake or river related expenditures such as boating enforcement, search and rescue, maintaining public water access sites, monitoring of water quality and stream-flow data, and acting on public water work permit applications.

To renew a watercraft registration online, visit the DNR's online license sales page, click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. To renew in person, visit a deputy registrar. Deputy registrar locations are available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website. People can also renew in person at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on coldwater fisheries and brook trout conservation   

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the spring program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.

In a webinar on Wednesday, April 10, Derek Bahr, DNR fisheries research scientist, and Heather Baird, DNR forest fisheries landscape coordinator, will discuss how climate and landscape changes are affecting coldwater fish communities in Minnesota lakes, how the DNR is working with partners to mitigate those effects and what each of us can do to help.

In a webinar on Wednesday, April 17, Melissa Wagner, Lanesboro DNR fisheries supervisor, will discuss the Minnesota Driftless strain of brook trout that the Minnesota DNR is using to reintroduce brook trout to streams where they are no longer found, enhance streams lacking brook trout reproduction and increase fishing opportunities to catch brook trout. Brook trout conservation is important, as they are the only species of trout native to southeast Minnesota. Wagner will share the history of this conservation project and what it means for future stream management and anglers.

The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series webinars are free and offered year-round, though registration is required. Visit the Outdoor Skills and Stewardship webpage of the Minnesota DNR website for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars.

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