Monday, May 19, 2014

Sturgeon fishing expands under proposed rules

A statewide catch-and-release season for sturgeon is among several rule changes proposed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Now, there are only a few waters in the state where anglers can legally fish for sturgeon.

New rules would also affect those who fish for trout and bass, among other species.

“This is the first time in a long time that seasons for major angling species have been changed,” said Linda Erickson-Eastwood, DNR fisheries program manager. “We made the changes based on sound data analysis. They will continue to provide high-quality fishing and additional fishing opportunities.”

The DNR is accepting comments on the proposed rules. Rulemaking documents are available at The proposed changes include but are not limited to:

  • New statewide catch-and-release seasons for bass and sturgeon.
  • Close the taking of flathead catfish during the winter.

  • Open trout lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties to winter trout fishing.
  • Little Andrus (Snowshoe Lake) in Cass County; Allen and Pleasant lakes in Crow Wing County; and Bad Medicine Lake in Becker County will remain closed to winter fishing.

  • Require a barb on arrows used for bowfishing.
  • Open Spring Lake in Itasca County to whitefish netting.
  • Restrictions placed on where nets can be placed for smelting on Grindstone Lake.
  • For border waters, changes simplify, provide additional opportunities, make rules consistent with the Minnesota inland regulations, or make consistent with bordering government regulations, as well as clarify the no-culling rule.

The DNR intends to adopt the rule changes without a public hearing unless 25 signatures requesting a hearing are received. Submit requests for a hearing in writing by 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 18. Send comments or questions on the rules or written requests for a public hearing to Linda Erickson-Eastwood, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.