Fish for free in most Minnesota state parks

Minnesota residents can fish without a fishing license in most Minnesota state parks, including ice fishing!

Happy child catches large fishIf the body of water requires a trout stamp, you will need a fishing license whether you are fishing for trout or for something else. If no trout stamp is required, a Minnesota resident may fish in a state park without a fishing license when:

  1. Fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park; or
  2. Fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park.

Read the full statute
Learn more about fishing in Minnesota

You will still need a vehicle permit to enter a Minnesota state park. All park rules must be followed as usual, as well as any fishing rules and regulations.

Note: This is only true for Minnesota state parks, not for Minnesota state recreation areas or for city, county, regional or national parks -- all of these require Minnesota residents to have a fishing license.

Map of Free Fishing Locations in Minnesota State ParksLake Bronson State ParkHayes Lake State ParkZippel Bay State ParkFranz Jevne State ParkLake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State ParkLake Bemidji State ParkBear Head Lake State ParkScenic State ParkMcCarthy Beach State ParkOld Mill State ParkHill Annex Mine State ParkItasca State ParkBuffalo River State ParkSchoolcraft State ParkSavanna Portage State ParkJay Cooke State ParkMoose Lake State ParkMille Lacs Kathio State ParkCrow Wing State ParkBanning State ParkBanning State ParkGlendalough State ParkLake Carlos State ParkCharles A. Lindbergh State ParkFather Hennepin State ParkGlacial Lakes State ParkBig Stone Lake State ParkMonson Lake State ParkSibley State ParkSt. Croix State ParkWild River State ParkInterstate State ParkLake Maria State ParkLac qui Parle State ParkWilliam O Brien State ParkFort Snelling State ParkAfton State ParkFrontenac State ParkUpper Sioux Agency State ParkJohn A. Latsch State ParkNerstrand Big Woods State ParkSakatah Lake State ParkRice Lake State ParkFort Ridgely State ParkCamden State ParkFlandrau State ParkSplit Rock Creek State ParkBlue Mounds State ParkLake Shetek State ParkKilen Woods State ParkMyre-Big Island State ParkMinneopa State ParkLake Louise State Park

At parks with trout fishing opportunities, a trout stamp must be purchased before fishing.

Free loaner equipment is not available during the COVID-19 pandemic.