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Minnesota

Fishing

Fishing

GENERAL REGULATIONS

NEW REGULATIONS FOR 2023

New—Statewide Daily and Possession Limit for gar

  • Gar (including longnose and shortnose gar) now have a daily and possession limit of 10 fish combined on all waters of Minnesota, including border waters.

New—Experimental Regulations

  • Caribou Lake (Itasca County): The possession limit for lake trout is reduced to one and all fish under 20" must be immediately released.
  • Portions of two tributaries (Cloquet and Otter rivers) of Island Reservoir (St. Louis County) were added to an existing experimental regulation.

New and Modified—Special Regulations

  • Big Sandy Lake and connected waters (Aitkin County): The existing experimental walleye regulation has been converted to a special regulation.
  • Round Lake (Itasca County): an existing protected slot limit for walleye has been modified so all walleye from 20-24" must be immediately released and only one over 24" is allowed.
  • Vermillion River (Dakota County): angling season extended to follow the southeast Minnesota streams season. Brown trout catch and release only regulation now applies to the entire river.
  • Special regulations on the following waters have been modified so all northern pike from 22-30" must be immediately released. The possession limit is10 and only one over 30" is allowed.
    • A portion of the Turtle River chain of lakes including connected Little Turtle, Big Turtle, Movil, Beltrami, Fox lakes and the Turtle River from Little TurtleLake downstream to Fox Lake (Beltrami County).
  • Special northern pike regulations on the following waters have been repealed and the North Central Zone regulation is now in effect. The possession limit is 10 but all northern pike from 22-26" must be immediately released and no more than two over 26" are allowed.
    • Otter Tail Lake (Otter Tail County)
    • Three Island Lake and Turtle River Lake (Beltrami County)
    • West Battle Lake (Otter Tail County)

AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are nonnative animals and plants that do not naturally occur in our waters and may cause ecological or economic harm. See images below of some AIS that have been found in Minnesota.

You can help prevent the introduction and spread of AIS by following both the required and recommended actions listed before moving your boat, bait or other equipment from one waterbody to another.

Report new infestations: If you suspect a new infestation of an AIS, note the exact location, take a photo or keep the specimen, and call a DNR AIS Specialist: 888-MINNDNR.

Invasive carp captures must be immediately reported to the DNR, call 651-587-2781 or email [email protected] Please take a photo, keep carcass cool but do not freeze, and make arrangements with the DNR to transport the carp to the nearest area fisheries office. You may keep invasive carp for personal use with a special permit, which is available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/invasive-carp.

Red swamp crayfish

2 to 5" long. Raised bright red spots on claws.

Red Swamp Crayfish

Zebra and quagga mussel

The only freshwater mollusks that attach to objects with byssal threads (up to 1½"); larvae float in water and are too small to see.

Zebra and Quagga Mussel

Bighead and silver carp

Eye located at lower part of head below the mouth; Silver can jump more than 10 feet high.

Bighead Carp
©C. Iverson, MN DNR
Silver Carp
©C. Iverson, MN DNR

Starry stonewort

Grass-like algae with a small, star-shaped structure called a “bulbil” less than ¼-inch in diameter.

Starry stonewort

Faucet snail

Up to ½" long, light brown to black, 4-5 whorls.

Faucet snail

New Zealand mudsnail

Up to 1⁄5" long, light to dark brown, cone-shaped shell, 5-6 whorls.

New Zealand mudsnail

Round goby

Single scallop-shaped pelvic fin, fish is usually 3-6" long.

Round goby

Spiny waterflea

Long tail, white with black spots, looks like gelatinous globs on fishing line, small (up to 3⁄8").

Spiny waterflea

Eurasian watermilfoil

12 to 21 leaflet pairs per leaf.

Eurasian watermilfoil

Ruffe

Spots between rays of dorsal fin, no gap between fins.

Ruffe
©C. Iverson, MN DNR

Required Actions—It’s the Law!

Most anglers and boaters follow Minnesota’s Clean, Drain, Dispose laws to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:

Clean all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers and other water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.

Drain water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait container, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving any water access or shoreland property.

  • Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches and worms, in the trash.

  • It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another.
  • It is illegal to release worms in the state; worms are not native to Minnesota.
  • If you want to keep your live bait, on shore before leaving, you must always drain all water from your bait container and refill it with bottled or dechlorinated tap water.

Recommended Actions—Protect Your Waters

To further decontaminate your watercraft and equipment, it’s important to spray, rinse or dry everything before going to another waterbody, especially if your boat has been in the water or moored for more than 24 hours—or if you have recently been in zebra mussel or spiny waterflea infested waters. Do one or more of the following:

  • Dry for at least five days.
  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water. To reduce the risk of spreading zebra mussels, use water that is 120 °F at the point of contact and spray each area for at least two minutes, or use 140 °F water for at least 10 seconds on each area.

Lakes and Rivers Listed as “Infested”

What do I need to do when I visit a lake or river on the infested waters list?

You should follow the same aquatic invasive species regulations: Clean, Drain, Dispose— every time you visit any lake or river, infested or not.

  • If you are harvesting bait, commercial fishing, or diverting or taking water, you need to follow special regulations in infested waters.

How do I know which waters are listed as infested?

  • For the most complete and current infested waters list, visit mndnr.gov/AIS or request a copy from [email protected] or call 651-259-5100.
  • You can use LakeFinder to find out if a particular lake is listed as infested: mndnr.gov/lakefind.
  • Infested waters are posted with orange Invasive Species Alert signs at the public access.

Watercraft Inspections

The Minnesota DNR has had a watercraft inspection program since 1992 to help prevent the spread of AIS. With the help of our partners, today nearly1,000 authorized watercraft inspectors are working at lakes and rivers across Minnesota. The information below will help you prepare for a watercraft inspection. In 2021, 95 percent of boaters surveyed by inspectors arrived while following Minnesota’s Clean, Drain, Dispose laws.

What should I expect from an inspection?

Inspectors are trained to:

  • Introduce themselves as a watercraft inspector.
  • Provide tips on how to inspect your own equipment.
  • Physically inspect your boat, trailer and any other water-related equipment— meaning they may touch your boat or trailer to feel for tiny attached zebra mussels or other invasive species.
  • Physically inspect compartments that may hold water, such as live wells or bilge areas.
  • Deny launch if: 1) the inspector finds invasive species or any plants attached, and until the invasive species or plants are removed; or 2) you refuse an inspection.

› Although inspectors have the authority to deny launch, they will work with you to try to bring your watercraft into compliance.

› Inspectors will not deny launch based solely on where, or when, you last used your watercraft.

  • Ask questions to help improve the DNR’s inspection program. You are not required to answer these questions.

How should I prepare for an inspection?

When entering an access:

  • Always follow all state laws regarding AIS and arrive in compliance with Clean, Drain and Dispose laws.
  • Open the lids of closed compartments that could hold water, like live wells, so the inspector can see they are drained. Your drain plugs should all be open while you transport your boat.
  • Remember to install the drain plug after the inspection and before launching.

When exiting an access:

  • Remove any plants, mud, and invasive animals.
  • Pull all drain plugs.
  • Open water-holding compartments to allow inspection.

What about on-site watercraft decontamination?

An inspector may require your watercraft to be decontaminated prior to launching or before leaving an access, if a unit is on-site. Most decontaminations can be done quickly. Trained inspectors use hot water to target areas to kill AIS. An inspector may also use high-pressure water. The DNR performs watercraft decontaminations free of charge.

How do I find a decontamination station?

The DNR posts decontamination unit locations online at mndnr.gov/decon.

At these sites, inspectors will perform a courtesy inspection and determine if any decontamination is required.

Tell us how we’re doing at: [email protected]

DEFINITIONS

Culling (sorting)

The act of replacing one fish with another fish. See border waters with North Dakota.

Daily versus possession limits (collectively called bag limits)

A possession limit is the number of a particular species allowed in an angler’s possession, including any and all locations such as a livewell or freezer at home. A daily limit is the number of a particular species an angler is allowed to keep in a calendar day, including those that are gifted or consumed. Daily and possession limits are most often the same with the exception of statewide perch limits and special regulations for sunfish and crappie which reduce a daily limit but retain the statewide possession limit. While on or angling in a water with a daily limit that is lower than the possession limit, a person may not have more than the daily limit of that species in their immediate physical possession.

Designated stream trout lakes

These waters have been listed in Minnesota Rule and have been stocked with trout that are typically found in streams: rainbow, brown, or brook trout. Some also have splake,

a cross between a lake trout and a brook trout.

Game fish

Includes the following and their hybrids: American eel, bass (includes rock, white, and yellow), burbot, catfish, cisco (tullibee), crappie, muskellunge, northern pike, paddlefish, salmon, sauger, sturgeon, sunfish, trout, walleye, whitefish, and yellow perch.

Immediately released or returned to the water

Immediately released fish are only retained long enough to unhook, measure and photograph. Fish not immediately released are counted as part of an angler's daily and possession limit.

Inland waters

Lakes and rivers within Minnesota not bordering Canada or another state.

Minimum size limit

Prohibits harvest of fish less than a specified length.

Minnows

All sizes of true minnows (excluding carp and goldfish), leeches, mudminnows, tadpole madtoms, stonecats; the following if 12" or less: suckers, redhorses, buffalo, carpsuckers; the following if 7" or less: bullhead, cisco (tullibee), lake whitefish, goldeye, and mooneye. Border water regulations may vary.

One-over the size limit

Allows the harvest of one fish over a set size limit as part of the daily or possession limit.

Protected slot limit

Prohibits harvest of fish from a designated size range. Fish within this size range must be immediately released.

Rough fish

Carp, buffalo, sucker (including redhorse and carpsuckers), freshwater drum (sheepshead), bowfin (dogfish), gar, goldeye and bullhead. Border waters regulations may vary.

GENERAL REGULATIONS

TACKLE AND LINES

How many lines can I fish with?

  • You may use only one line during the open water season.
  • You may use two lines through the ice except on designated trout lakes and streams.
  • On designated trout lakes and streams, only one line is allowed at any time.
  • More than one line may be allowed on border waters and Lake Superior.

How many hooks can I use on the end of my line?

  • Only one artificial bait/lure or one single tackle configuration can be used at the end of your line for it to be considered a single line.
  • Up to three single- or multiple-pronged hooks may be used as a single tackle configuration but the total distance between hooks cannot exceed 9"(see below).
  • “Umbrella” style rigs may be used provided only one wire contains hooks. The other wires may include lures/baits but cannot contain hooks.
  • You may use up to three artificial flies on one fishing line when you are fishing for bass, crappie, rock bass, sunfish, or trout. There are no restrictions on distance between the flies.
  • Unless fishing on a designated trout stream or lake, you may add one additional “stinger” hook on a line as part of a single artificial lure or bait. The“stinger” hook must be within 3" of the artificial lure/bait.

Single Tackle Configuration Example

Single Tackle Configuration

Artificial Lure/Baits Examples

Artificial Lure/Baits

BAIT

Can I use bait in Minnesota waters?

  • You can fish with a variety of live or dead bait including worms, night crawlers, insects and larvae. If you are fishing with minnows or leeches, a number of restrictions apply.
  • If you choose to keep your bait when done fishing, you must exchange water in bait buckets with tap or bottled water prior to leaving any water body, except when you are fishing through the ice. The exception for ice fishing does not apply when fishing on Lake Superior.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into Minnesota lakes and rivers. All earthworms are non-native and can damage forests if released.
  • You can’t use whole or parts of game fish, goldfish, carp, or salamanders (including mudpuppies) for bait.

What are the rules for taking and transporting live minnows and leeches?

  • You can't import live minnows or leeches into Minnesota.
  • Dead bait may only be imported if it comes from a waterbody tested negative for Viral Hemmorhagic Septicemia (VHS) with a negative fish health certification or has been preserved under a DNR bait preservation permit issued to a commercial license. All imported dead bait must be labeled and the labeling kept on your person while angling (see website for examples).
  • You can take an unlimited number of minnows and leeches with an angling license for personal use; however you may not transport more than 12 dozen at one time without a commercial minnow license. All minnows and leeches must be transported in tap/well or bottled water.

Where can I harvest minnows and leeches?

You can take them from all waters of the state where you can legally access the water except:

  • Within the boundaries of state parks.
  • Within designated trout waters, except under permit.
  • Most aquatic invasive species infested waters. See mndnr.gov/AIS for a current list.
  • All streams and connected waters in Lincoln, Pipestone, Murray, Rock and Nobles counties south of U.S. Highway 14 and west of U.S. Highway 59 to the South Dakota border.
  • A harvest permit is required to take madtoms and stonecats in Dodge, Freeborn and Mower counties.

Can I harvest bait from infested waters?

  • Minnows and leeches may be taken for personal use from waters infested solely with Eurasian watermilfoil using a cylindrical trap not exceeding 16" in diameter and 32" long. At these waters, harvested bait may only be used on the water where taken. The harvest and use of bait from other infested waters is prohibited.
  • Within infested streams and rivers (except for the St. Louis River Estuary), bullhead, sucker, mooneye, goldeye, and freshwater drum may be taken by hook and line for personal use as bait on the same water. Harvested bait may not be transported live from the river or stream. Where a river or stream is divided by barriers such as dams, fish for bait must be caught and used on the same section.
  • You can obtain a DNR permit at mndnr.gov/fishing to take gizzard shad by cast net for personal use as bait for fishing from Minnesota portions of theMississippi River downstream of St. Anthony Falls, the Minnesota River downstream of Granite Falls, and the St. Croix River downstream of the dam at Taylors Falls.

How can I take minnows and leeches?

You can use dip nets, seines and traps. See restrictions below:

  • Seines may not be longer than 25 feet nor have bar mesh greater than 1⁄4". If the bar mesh is between 3⁄16" and 1⁄4", the seine may not be taller than 37",otherwise the seine may not be taller than 48".
  • Traps dimensions may not exceed 30" in length, 30" in width, nor 15" in height. The diameter of the opening may not exceed 11⁄2", and the mesh size may not exceed 1⁄2" bar measure. Traps must have a waterfproof tag bearing the name and address of the owner.
  • You cannot use throw nets (cast nets) without a DNR permit.

When do I need to get a commercial license to take and sell minnows and leeches?

  • If you want to transport more than 12 dozen.
  • If you want to sell minnows or leeches at retail or wholesale.

What are the rules for live suckers?

Suckers 12" and shorter are considered minnows and regular bait rules for minnows apply. However, suckers longer than 12" may only be transported alive if they are in containers that are not livewells or other parts of a boat and only if bought from a licensed commercial vendor. You must have a valid sales receipt from the vendor on your person.

What are the rules for live bullheads?

  • Live bullheads may not be transported north of Minnesota Highway 210.
  • Bullheads less than 7" in length are considered minnows and may be possessed in any quantity south of Minnesota Highway 210. Bullheads must be transported in a container with a locking lid.
  • You may take and possess bullheads, 7-10" in length, for use as live bait. They are counted as part of your daily and possession limit of 100.
  • Legal methods of taking bullheads are dip net, angling or minnow seines.

What is restricted bait and can I harvest and use it?

  • Restricted bait includes cisco (tullibee) less than 7", smelt, and VHS-susceptible species (such as fathead minnows, bluntnose minnows, spottail shiners, and emerald shiners).
  • For restricted bait rules on Lake Superior and tributaries se below.
  • Live restricted bait must have been purchased from a licensed retailer (retain proof of purchase) or come from a VHS-free source.
  • Dead restricted bait can only be used if it was harvested from a waterbody tested for VHS with a negative fish health certification, a VHS free zone (see mndnr.gov/bait/dead), or has been preserved and labeled under a bait preservation permit issued to a commercial license.
  • All restricted dead bait must be labeled and the labeling kept on your person while angling (see www.dnr.state.mn.us/bait/dead.html for examples).
  • Freezing is not a bait preservation method because freezing doesn’t kill VHS.

Where can I get more information about bait?

Check the Other Species section of the online regulations or contact the Minnesota DNR Information Center at 888-MINNDNR, or go to mndnr.gov/bait

METHODS

What if people are fishing together from a boat or on shore?

  • A party is two or more people fishing together from a single watercraft or on shore while maintaining unaided visual and vocal contact.
  • The number of fish your party possesses can’t be more than the combined limits of all party members. You may not transport more than your individual daily or possession limit.

What fishing methods are illegal?

  • Intentionally fishing for a species during its closed season.
  • Using an artificial light to lure, attract or spot fish. However, you may use a lighted artificial lure. Batteries used in lighted fishing lures must not contain mercury.
  • Leaving your fishing line with hooks attached in the water unattended. Receiving electronic notifications is not considered attending your fishing line.
  • Using explosives, firearms, chemicals (not including a scented bait), spring (or automatic hook setting) devices that impale or hook fish, or electricity to take fish.
  • Taking fish by hand (noodling) or by snagging.

POSSESSION

How many fish can I keep?

  • Your daily and possession limits are the same unless otherwise noted. Some lakes have reduced daily limits but statewide possession limits which means an angler can keep one limit per day from that lake but can't exceed the statewide possession limit at any time.
  • A fish is in your possession once you have caught and kept it. Your possession limit includes any fish you have kept that day plus any fish in storage from a previous day.
  • Processed fish (e.g. pickled, smoked) still count towards your limit.
  • Culling is allowed in most waters except North Dakota border waters and Mille Lacs (except bass may be culled), until you reach your daily or possession limit.
  • Once you reach your daily or possession limit for a species, you may keep fishing but all fish of that species must be immediately released and no culling is allowed. If fishing is good you may want to stay below your limit to accommodate keeping a deeply hooked, legal sized fish.

What are length limits?

Some waters have fish length restrictions, such as slot limits, minimum size limits, or one-over the size limit.

You can’t possess any fish outside the legal length limits of the waters on which you are traveling or fishing, unless all of the following conditions are true: 1) The fish was legally taken from a connected water body or packaged by a licensed fish packer; 2) You are traveling back to your lodging or docking and taking the most direct route; and 3) You are not fishing while you are in transit.

What if I’ve caught fish on waters with size restrictions different from statewide regulations?

  • Unless you are in the act of preparing the fish for a meal, any kept fish with size restrictions different than statewide regulations may not be filleted. Kept fish must still have their heads, tails, fins, and skin intact so they can be measured and counted. Carcasses count toward your possession limit until you dispose of them.
  • You may eat legal sized fish while on the ice, docked, or moored to shore but you must retain the carcass including the head, dorsal fin, and tail. Any fish caught and eaten on the same day count toward your daily limit.

Can I give away fish that I’ve kept?

If you have kept a fish and want to transfer it as a gift, it must be accompanied by a receipt that must remain with the gift. The person receiving the gift can’t possess more than the statewide limit including your gift. The receipt must contain all of the following information:

  • Name and address of the owner.
  • Name and address of recipient.
  • Date of transfer.
  • Description of the gift (number and species).
  • License number (DNR number or transaction number) under which the fish was taken.

TRANSPORTATION

Can I transport live fish I caught (other than bait)?

No, fish being harvested may not be transported in enough water to keep them alive. You can't transfer live fish or fish eggs from one body of water to another.

What about fish for an aquarium?

If you are older than 16, you can transport live fish for display in a home aquarium only if you purchase the fish from an aquaculture licensee and have proof of purchase.

Youth age 16 and younger can legally transport certain live fish for display in a home aquarium if:

  • They have legally caught the fish from among the following species: largemouth, smallmouth or rock bass; yellow perch; crappie; bluegill, pumpkinseed, green or orange-spotted sunfish; black, yellow, and brown bullhead.
  • No more than four fish of each species are transported at any one time.
  • All fish are 10" or less in length.
  • Fish are not transported in water taken from any lake or stream. You must bring bottled or tap water for transport.

How do I prepare fish I’ve caught for transport?

  • You must package and transport fish in such a way that they can be readily unwrapped, separated, identified and counted.
  • A fish may not be cut into more than two fillets.
  • If you are transporting lake sturgeon, muskellunge, catfish, splake or brook, brown and rainbow trout, you must transport them with the head and tail intact so the fish can be measured.
  • Bullhead, sunfish and crappie may be filleted without leaving a patch of skin.
  • Fillets from all other species must have a 1-inch square patch of skin with scales intact from a portion of the body other than the belly, unless they are packaged by a licensed fish packer.
  • Sauger without head and tail intact will be counted as walleye unless they are packaged by a licensed fish packer.

One of the best ways to transport your fish so they can be counted and identified is in clear plastic freezer bags.

Fillets Example

Fillets and dressed fish must show at least a 1-inch square patch of skin with scales so fish species can be identified.

OTHER SPECIES

Threatened and Endangered Species

You can’t take or possess any state-endangered or threatened species, including skipjack herring, crystal darter, pallid shiner, slender madtom, gravel chub, plains topminnow, black buffalo, pugnose shiner, paddlefish, Blanchard’s cricket frog, Blanding’s turtle, wood turtle, or endangered or threatened mussels, unless you have an endangered species permit.

Crayfish

Can I take my own crayfish?

Yes, people with a fishing license and children younger than 16 can take and possess up to 25 pounds of live crayfish for personal use. However, you cannot possess red swamp crayfish, as they are a prohibited invasive species. A permit is needed to sell crayfish or take/possess more than 25 pounds of crayfish. More information can be found at mndnr.gov/fishing/commercial.

When can I take crayfish?

From April 1 to November 30. Traps may be left overnight but may only be tended from one hour before sunrise through one hour after sunset.

Where can I use crayfish as bait?

  • Crayfish may not be used for bait in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway north or upstream of the St. Croix Boom Site boat launch, or within VoyageursNational Park.
  • Except as noted above, preserved crayfish may be used in all waters of the state and live crayfish may only be used in the water where they were captured.

Frogs and Salamanders

Can I take my own frogs?

In most cases, yes:

  • People with a fishing license and children younger than 16 can take, use, buy and sell an unlimited number of frogs up to 6" long for bait.
  • A special frog license is required to take frogs for any purpose other than bait.
  • You must have an endangered species permit to possess Blanchard’s cricket frogs.

When can I take frogs for bait?

From May 16 to March 31 the following year.

Can I release frogs or tadpoles?

No. Unused frogs or tadpoles can’t be released in any Minnesota water.

Can I use salamanders (including mudpuppies) as bait?

No. Salamanders are protected wild animals and cannot be used as bait. Several salamander species including mudpuppies are species of special concern.

Mussels (Clams)

Can I take live mussels?

No. State law prohibits the harvest of live mussels. Twenty-four of Minnesota’s 51 native mussel species are endangered or threatened.

Can I take dead mussel shells?

People with a fishing license and children younger than 16 may hand-pick or possess up to 24 whole shells or 48 half shells from dead mussels of species that are not endangered or threatened.

  • Shell collection is allowed from May 16 through the last day in February the following year.
  • You can’t take mussel shells from the St. Croix River.
  • You can’t possess zebra mussels.
  • Mussel shells can’t be bought or sold.

Turtles

Can I take my own turtles?

Residents with a resident fishing license can take, possess and transport snapping and western painted turtles for personal use.

What kind of turtles can I take?

  • Western painted: between 4 and 5½" in shell length, possession limit three. Turtles used in turtle races may be any length greater than 4".
  • Snapping: minimum size is 12" in shell length, possession limit is three. Season is from July 1 through April 30 the following year.
  • All other species of turtles may only be purchased from a commercial vendor.

What about turtle races?

Residents younger than 18 may take, possess, and rent or sell up to 25 turtles for use in a non-profit turtle race. Each turtle must be greater than 4" in length.

How do you measure turtle shell length?

Measure the top shell length (the hard upper shell of the turtle) from above the neck to above the tail. The measuring device should measure a straight line above the curvature of the shell.

How can I take turtles?

If you want to use traps, nets or other commercial equipment, you will need a recreational turtle license in addition to an angling license. You may not use firearms, bows, spears, impaling objects, explosives, drugs, poisons, lime or other harmful substances to take turtles.

Can I take turtle eggs?

A DNR permit is required to take turtle eggs.

Can I release turtles in Minnesota?

No. Unused or unwanted turtles can’t be released in any Minnesota water.

Where do I get a recreational turtle license?

Licenses and permit applications are available from the Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4026. Phone 877-348-0498.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

  • If you catch a fish (including rough fish) and you don’t intend to use it for anything, you must return it immediately back into the water alive. You can’t waste a fish by discarding it, or any part of it, on the ice, on the bank, or into the water.
  • You can’t dispose of any rubbish (including parts of fish or other animals), or chemicals into public waters, or on shore.
  • You can’t deposit fish parts or other material (chum) into waters to attract fish.
  • You can’t possess or transport white perch, ruffe, round goby, black carp, bighead carp, grass carp or silver carp, unless you are taking them to a DNR office. If you catch a black, bighead, grass or silver carp, see below.
  • You can’t buy or sell game fish, whitefish, or cisco (tullibee) unless you buy fish from a commercial, private hatchery, or aquatic farm licensee.
  • You can't release bait (including worms) anywhere in Minnesota. All unwanted bait should be disposed of in the trash.

PERMITS

A Minnesota DNR permit is required to:

  • Transplant aquatic plants, apply chemicals and perform certain types of cutting to control vegetation in any public water.
  • Mark or tag fish and then release them.
  • Harvest minnows from designated trout lakes or streams or from most infested waters.
  • Conduct some fishing contests.

A permit from the county sheriff is required for most organized events on the water or ice, including fishing contests.

Find more information at mndnr.gov/permits or contact your regional Fisheries Office.

SPECIAL REGULATIONS

INTENSIVE MANAGEMENT LAKES

A number of lakes in Minnesota are managed under both treaties and DNR regulations. Angling harvest on these intensive management lakes may change throughout the year to maintain sustainable fish populations. If regulations change, information will be posted at public boat ramps, the DNR website, and in newspapers.

Mille Lacs Lake including tributaries to posted boundaries (Aitkin, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties). Regulations for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, tullibee, and other fish species will be posted at public access sites and the DNR website at mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

Red Lake, Upper including Shotley Brook and Tamarac River (Beltrami County). Those portions of Red Lake located within the Red Lake IndianReservation are closed to non-band members except by special authorization of the tribal council.

  • Northern pike: all from 30-40" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 40" allowed.
  • Walleye: Restrictions or changes will be posted at public access sites and on the DNR website. A person’s statewide possession limit may not include more than the current daily limit of Red Lake walleye.

WATERS WITH EXPERIMENTAL AND SPECIAL REGULATIONS

These regulations differ from statewide or border water regulations and take precedence. Unless otherwise stated, all general regulations, seasons, limits, border water regulations, possession, and transportation regulations apply to these waters. If you want to keep fish with special or experimental size restrictions, the fish must remain intact to verify it is of legal size until you are preparing to eat the fish. Regulations are posted at access sites but be sure to also check other sections of this booklet and other states’ regulations when on border waters. Note: some regulations specify a daily limit for the lake and others specify a possession limit.

These regulations are intended to improve fishing quality or provide unique opportunities. The DNR regularly evaluates the regulations and needs your compliance to ensure success.

National Wildlife Refuges may have differing regulations

Please check with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 612-713-5360.

Voyageurs National Park

In response to the threat of invasive species introductions, the park only allows artificial bait in the interior lakes and prohibits the use of privately owned watercraft and the landing of float planes in these lakes. These regulations do not apply to Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, Crane, and Sand Point lakes. Contact Voyageurs National Park for more information: 218-283-6600.

Lakes (County)

A

AGNES LAKE (Douglas) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

AITKIN LAKE including area known as Aitkin Flowage (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

ALEXANDER LAKE (Morrison) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

AMELIA LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

ANDREW LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

ANDRUSIA LAKE (Beltrami) See Cass Lake Chain.

ANN LAKE (Carver) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

ANNIE BATTLE LAKE including inlet to Molly Stark Lake and outlet to Blanche Lake (Otter Tail) Use of gas and electric motors, powered augers, and other electronic fish-finding devices is prohibited. Sunfish: daily limit five. Northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass: catch-and-release only. Crappie: possession limit five.

ARROWHEAD LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

ASH LAKE (St. Louis) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

B

BALM LAKE (Beltrami) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

BALSAM LAKE (Itasca) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

BASS LAKE near Cohasset (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BASS LAKE near Underwood (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BASS LAKE near Burtrum north of Long Lake (Todd) Walleye: possession limit two. Largemouth bass: possession limit one. Northern pike: possession limit three, all larger than 26" must be immediately released.

BASSWOOD LAKE (Lake) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Protected slot and possession limit applies to all Minnesota waters of Basswood Lake.

BATTLE LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

⁕NEW—BATTLE LAKE, West (Otter Tail) Northern pike: special regulation repealed.

BEAR CREEK RESERVOIR (Chester Woods) (Olmsted) See Rochester Olmsted County Area Lakes.

BEAR HEAD LAKE (St. Louis) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BEAR LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BEAUTY LAKE (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BECKER LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

⁕NEW—BELTRAMI LAKE (Beltrami) See Turtle River chain of lakes.

BERTHA LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

BEUBER LAKE (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BIG BASS LAKE (Beltrami) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit five.

BIG FLOYD LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BIG LAKE (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BIG MANTRAP (Hubbard) Crappie: daily limit five. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

BIG MARINE LAKE (Washington) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

BIG PINE LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10. Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

BIG PORTAGE LAKE and connected Rice and Deep Portage lakes (Cass) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

BIG RICE LAKE (Beltrami) See Cass Chain.

BIG SAND LAKE (Hubbard) Walleye: all from 20-28" must be immediately released. One over 28" allowed in possession.

BIG SANDY LAKE and connected waters (Aitkin): Aitkin Lake including area known as Aitkin Flowage, Davis Lake including bay known as Steamboat Lake, Flowage Lake, Sandy River Lake, Prairie River from confluence with Tamarack River downstream to confluence with Big Sandy Lake, Sandy River from State Highway 210 downstream to confluence with the Mississippi River, and West Savanna River from County Highway 14 downstream to confluence with the Prairie River. Sunfish: daily limit five. Walleye: all less than 14" or greater than 18" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

BIG SWAN LAKE (Todd) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit six, only one over 36".

BIG TROUT LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

BIRCH LAKE RESERVOIR including the South Kawishiwi River upstream to the first rapids north of Minnesota Highway 1 bridge (St. Louis) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

BLACKDUCK LAKE (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BLACKDUCK LAKE (St. Louis) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

BLACK BASS LAKE (Mille Lacs) Use of gas or electric augers, underwater cameras, and other electronic fish-finding devices is prohibited. Largemouth and smallmouth bass: catch-and-release only. Northern pike: catch-and-release only. Sunfish: daily limit five.

BLACKWELL LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

BLUEBERRY LAKE (Wadena) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

BOLFING LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

BORDEN LAKE (Crow Wing) Sunfish: daily limit five. Crappie: daily limit five.

BOY LAKE and connected Swift Lake (Cass) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

BUCK LAKE near Burtrum (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit five.

BUFFALO LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five.

C

CAMPBELL LAKE (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

⁕NEW—CARIBOU LAKE (Itasca) Lake Trout: minimum size limit 20". Possession limit one.

CARNELIAN LAKE (Stearns) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CASCADE LAKE (Cascade Ponds) (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

CASS CHAIN including connecting waters Wolf, Ose, Andrusia, Big Lake Creek, Mississippi River, Cass, Fox Creek, Pike Bay, Windigo, Buck, Big Rice, Little Rice, Kitchi, Turtle River, and Pug Hole (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CEDAR LAKE (Morrison) Walleye: possession limit two. Crappie: daily limit five. Northern pike: possession limit three, all larger than 26" must be immediately released.

CEDAR LAKE north of Sauk Centre (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CEDAR ISLAND LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

CENTER LAKE, North and South (Chisago) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

CENTERVILLE LAKE (Anoka) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CHARLEY LAKE (Ramsey) Closed to fishing.

CHILD LAKE (Cass) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

CHISAGO LAKE (Chisago) Largemouth bass: all 12" and larger must be immediately released.

CHRISTINA LAKE (Douglas) Closed to fishing.

CLAMSHELL LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

CLEAR LAKE (Aitkin) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

CLEAR LAKE (Waseca) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: catch-and-release only.

CLITHERALL LAKE (Otter Tail) Smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

COON LAKE (Anoka) Walleye: minimum size limit 17".

COON-SANDWICK LAKE (Itasca) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

CRANE LAKE including Vermilion Gorge and Echo River from mouth upstream to County Highway 424 bridge (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Walleye and sauger: possession limit six combined, only four may be walleye.

CRAWFORD LAKE (Wright) Largemouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

CROOKED LAKE (Anoka) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

CROOKED LAKE and connected Welsh Lake (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CROOKED LAKE (Stearns) Largemouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

CROSS LAKE and connected waters including the Snake River under the I-35 bridges downstream to the Cross Lake Road/County Road 9 bridge (Pine) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

CROSS LAKE RESERVOIR (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

CROW WING LAKE, 1st (Hubbard) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CROW WING LAKES, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (Hubbard) Sunfish: daily limit five.

CROW WING LAKES, 5th and 6th (Hubbard) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

CROW WING LAKES, 8th, 9th, and 10th (Hubbard) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

CRYSTAL LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

CUT FOOT SIOUX LAKE and connected Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake, First River Flowage, and Egg Lake (Itasca): Sunfish: daily limit five. Walleye: see Winnibigoshish.

D

DAGGETT LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

DAM LAKE and connected Lily Lake and Dam Brook (Aitkin) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

DAVIS LAKE (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

DEEP LAKE (Ramsey) Closed to fishing.

DEER LAKE (Beltrami) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Sunfish: daily limit five.

DEER LAKE near Effie (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

DEER LAKE including Otter Tail River (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit five.

DEMONTREVILLE LAKE (Wash ing ton) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

DIAMOND LAKE (Kandiyohi) Sunfish: daily limit five.

DIXON LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five. Walleye: see Winnibigoshish.

DUTCH LAKE (Hennepin) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

DYERS LAKE (Cook) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

E

EAST LOST LAKE including Otter Tail River (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

EDEN LAKE (Stearns) Channel catfish and flathead catfish: combined possession limit 10, not more than two may be flathead catfish. Only one over 24" allowed in possession.

EAST TWIN LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

EDWARD LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

ELEPHANT LAKE (St. Louis) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

ELLIOT LAKE (St. Louis) Sunfish: daily limit five.

EUNICE LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five. Crappie: minimum size limit 10". Daily limit five. Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

F

FARM LAKE (Lake) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: (includes the North Branch Kawishiwi River from Farm Lake 4.8 miles east to the long portage) All from 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

FARM ISLAND LAKE (Aitkin) Walleye: all from 16-19" must be immediately released.

FISH LAKE near Parkers Prairie (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit five.

FISH LAKE near Weetown (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit five.

FISH LAKE RESERVOIR (St. Louis) Walleye: all less than 13" or greater than 17" must be immediately released, except one over 26" allowed in possession. Possession limit three. Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

FISH TRAP LAKE (Morrison) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

FLADMARK LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: possession limit 10. Northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass: catch-and-release only. Crappie: possession limit five.

FLORIDA LAKE (Kandiyohi) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

FLOUR LAKE (Cook) Smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

FLOWAGE LAKE (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

FOSTER-AREND LAKE (Olmsted) Trout: continuous season. Possession limit three. One over 16" allowed in possession. Sunfish, crappie, yellow perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, see Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

⁕NEW—FOX LAKE (Beltrami) See Turtle River chain of lakes.

FRANKLIN LAKE (Otter Tail) Crappie: minimum size limit 10". Daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

G

GAMEHAVEN (Boy Scout Lake or Willow Reservoir No. 4) (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

GARDEN LAKE (Lake) Northern pike: all from 24"-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: all from 17"-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" is allowed in possession.

GARFIELD LAKE (Hubbard) Sunfish: daily limit five.

GEORGE LAKE (Hubbard) Northern pike: all from 24"-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

GEORGE LAKE (Kandiyohi) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

GILBERT LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

GILCHRIST LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

GIRL LAKE (Cass) Northern pike: all from 24"-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

GLADSTONE LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

GOODRICH LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

GOOSE LAKE (Chisago) Crappie: daily limit five. Walleye: minimum size limit 17".

GRAVE LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

GREAT NORTHERN LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

GREEN LAKE (Chisago) Walleye: minimum size limit 17".

GREEN LAKE (Kandiyohi) Walleye: possession limit three.

GREEN PRAIRIE LAKE (Morrison) Sunfish: possession limit 10.

GRINDSTONE LAKE (Pine) Smelt: seines may not be used within 100' of any inflow or outflow of the lake.

GROVE LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

GULL LAKE (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

GULL LAKE (Cook) Walleye: see Saganaga Lake.

GUN LAKE (Aitkin) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

H

HEIGHT OF LAND (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

HENRY LAKE (Douglas) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

HORSESHOE LAKE and connected Minnewawa Lake (Aitkin) Walleye: possession limit three. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

HORSESHOE LAKE (Cass) Near Backus. Sunfish: daily limit five.

HORSESHOE LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

HOVDE LAKE (Cass) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

HUBERT LAKE (Crow Wing) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all 12" and larger must be immediately released. Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

HUNGRY JACK LAKE (Cook) Smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

I

INDIAN LAKE (Wright) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

INGUADONA LAKE and connected Rice Lake (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit 10. Crappie: daily limit five.

IRENE LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

ISLAND LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

ISLAND LAKE near Longville (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

ISLAND LAKE near Deer River (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

ISLAND LAKE near Northome (Itasca) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: all from 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

ISLAND-LOON LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

ISLAND RESERVOIR including Cloquet River from mouth of Island Reservoir upstream 0.5 miles to rapids and Otter River from mouth of Island Reservoir upstream to Boulder Reservoir dam (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 15-20" must be immediately released. Possession limit 10, only one over 20".

ITASCA LAKE (Clearwater) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

J

JANE LAKE (Washington) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

JAY GOULD including Little Jay Gould and Blackwater Reservoir upstream to Highway 6 (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

JULIA LAKE (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

K

KABEKONA LAKE (Hubbard) Walleye: all from 20-26" must be immediately released. Possession limit four, only one over 26".

KABETOGAMA LAKE including Sullivan Bay and Ash River to Ash River Falls (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Walleye and sauger: possession limit six combined, only four may be walleye.

KALMAR RESERVOIR (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

KITCHI LAKE (Beltrami) See Cass Lake Chain.

KNAUS LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

KNIFE LAKE (Kanabec) Walleye: all from 18-24" must be immediately released. One over 24" allowed in possession. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must beimmediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

KRAYS LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

L

LA SALLE LAKE (Hubbard) Walleye: possession limit two. Largemouth and smallmouth bass: catch-and-release only. Crappie: possession limit five. Sunfish: possession limit five. Yellow perch: possession limit 10.

LAC QUI PARLE LAKE upstream to Marsh Lake Dam, including the Watson Sag upstream to the diversion dam (Lac qui Parle and Chippewa) Walleye: possession limit four, only one walleye over 20".

LADY LAKE near Grey Eagle (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LAKE OF THE WOODS including the Rainy River from the mouth upstream to the dam in International Falls (Roseau) Northern pike: all from 30-40" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 40". Walleye and sauger: all walleye from 191⁄2-28" must be immediately released. Possession limit six in combination, not more than four can be walleye, only one walleye over 28".

LEECH LAKE (Cass) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five. Walleye: Possession limit four, only one over 20".

LESTER LAKE (Hubbard) All species: catch-and-release only.

LEVEN LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

LIDA LAKES, South and North, including Mud Lake (Otter Tail) Crappie: minimum size limit is 11". Walleye: all from 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

LILY LAKE and connected Long Lake (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LIND LAKE (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LITTLE BOY LAKE (Cass) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. Possession limit four, only one over 26".

LITTLE BOWSTRING LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LITTLE CORMORANT LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five. Crappie: minimum size limit 10". Daily limit five. Walleye: minimum size limit 17".

LITTLE FLOYD LAKE (Becker) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Daily limit three, only one over 36".

LITTLE MANTRAP LAKE (Hubbard) Largemouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

LITTLE MCDONALD LAKE including Kerbs Lake (Otter Tail) Walleye: all from 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

LITTLE PINE LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

LITTLE PINE LAKE (Otter Tail) Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

LITTLE RABBIT LAKE (Crow Wing) See Mississippi River.

LITTLE SAUK LAKE (Todd) Walleye: possession limit two. Largemouth bass: possession limit one. Sunfish: possession limit five. Crappie: possession limit five. Yellow perch: possession limit 10.

LITTLE SPLITHAND LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LITTLE SUGAR BUSH LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LITTLE TOAD LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit 10. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

LITTLE TROUT LAKE (St. Louis) Lake trout: catch-and-release only.

⁕NEW—LITTLE TURTLE LAKE (Beltrami) See Turtle River chain of lakes.

LITTLE TURTLE LAKE near Marcell (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

LITTLE VERMILION LAKE including Loon River to Loon River Falls portage (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Walleye and sauger: possession limit six combined, only four may be walleye.

LITTLE WEBB LAKE (Cass) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

LITTLE WOMAN LAKE (Cass) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

LONG LAKE near Hawick (Kandiyohi) Largemouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

LONG LAKE near Clearwater (Stearns) Largemouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

LONG LAKE south of Richmond (Stearns) Channel catfish and flathead catfish: combined possession limit 10, not more than two may be flathead catfish. Only one over 24" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

LONG LAKE near Burtrum (Todd) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

LONG LAKE near Spaulding (Todd) Sunfish: possession limit 10.

LONG LAKE near Vergas (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

LOW LAKE (St. Louis) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

LOWER HAY LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

M

MAHNOMEN MINE and connected Alstead and Arco Mines (Crow Wing) Lake trout: Minimum length limit 20". Possession limit one.

MANDALL LAKE (Chisago) Crappie: daily limit five. Walleye: minimum size limit 17".

MANOR WOODS POND (Country Club Pond) (Olmsted) See Rochester Olmsted County Area Lakes.

MAPLE LAKE (Douglas) Crappie: minimum size limit 10". Daily limit five.

MAPLE LAKE (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

MARION LAKE (Dakota) Sunfish: daily limit five.

MARTIN LAKE (Anoka) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

MARY LAKE (Hubbard) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MARY LAKE (Todd) Sunfish: daily limit five.

MAZASKA LAKE (Rice) Sunfish: daily limit five.

MAUD LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five. Crappie: size limit 10". Daily limit five. Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

MEDICINE LAKE (Beltrami) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Sunfish: daily limit five.

MEDICINE LAKE (Hennepin) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MELISSA LAKE (Becker) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

MIDDLE LAKE (Otter Tail) Largemouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MILL LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

MILLE LACS (See Intensive Management Lakes).

MINK-SOMERS LAKE near Maple Lake (Wright) Sunfish: daily limit five. Crappie: daily limit five. Walleye: minimum size limit 17". Possession limit three. Largemouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Possession or use of live minnows is prohibited.

MINNEWASHTA LAKE (Carver) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

MINNEWASKA LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

MINNEWAWA LAKE and connected Horseshoe Lake (Aitkin) Walleye: possession limit three. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

MINERVA LAKE (Clearwater) Sunfish: daily limit five.

MINNIE BELLE LAKE (Meeker) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Sunfish: daily limit five.

MISSION LAKES, Lower and Upper (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Sunfish: daily limit five.

MITCHELL LAKE (Crow Wing) Northern pike (regulation modified): all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

MOCCASIN LAKE (Cass) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only. Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MOODY LAKE (Crow Wing) All species: catch-and-release only.

MOON LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit five.

MOOSE LAKE near Deer River (Itasca) Walleye (regulation modified): all from 20-24" must be immediately released. One over 24" allowed in possession.

MOOSE LAKE (Todd) Largemouth bass: all 12" and larger must be immediately released. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MOOSEHEAD LAKE (Carlton) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MOUND LAKE (Todd) Crappie: possession limit five.

⁕NEW—MOVIL LAKE including Turtle River (Beltrami) See Turtle River chain of lakes.

MUD LAKE (Stearns) Channel catfish and flathead catfish: combined possession limit 10, not more than two may be flathead catfish. Only one over 24" allowed in possession.

MUKOODA LAKE (St. Louis) Lake trout: catch-and-release only.

MULE LAKE (Cass) Walleye: possession limit three.

N

NAMAKAN LAKE (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Walleye and sauger: possession limit six combined, only four may be walleye.

NEST LAKE (Kandiyohi) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

NORTH BROWNS LAKE (Stearns) Channel catfish and flathead catfish: combined possession limit 10, not more than two may be flathead catfish. Only one over 24" allowed in possession.

NORTH LONG LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

NORTH STAR LAKE including Little North Star Lake (Itasca) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

NORTH TURTLE LAKE (Otter Tail) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Crappie: minimum size limit 10".

NORTH TWIN LAKE (Beltrami) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

NORWAY LAKE (Otter Tail) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Crappie: minimum size limit 10". Daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

O

OLSON LAKE (Washington) Largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

OSAKIS and Little Osakis lakes (Douglas and Todd) Sunfish: daily limit 10. Walleye: minimum size limit 15".

⁕NEW—OTTER TAIL LAKE (Otter Tail) Northern pike: special regulation repealed.

OWASSO LAKE (Ramsey) Sunfish: daily limit five.

OX YOKE LAKE (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

OZAWINDIB LAKE (Clearwater) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Crappie: daily limit five.

P

PARLEY LAKE (Carver) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

PEARL LAKE (Stearns) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

PELICAN LAKE (St. Louis) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

PENNINGTON MINE (Crow Wing) Lake trout: Minimum length limit 20". Possession limit one.

PERCH LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

PICKEREL LAKE (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

PIERZ (FISH) LAKE (Morrison) Largemouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

PIG LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

PIKE BAY LAKE and connected Fox Creek (Cass) See Cass Chain.

PIMUSHE LAKE (Beltrami) Sunfish: daily limit five.

PINE LAKE, BIG (Otter Tail) See Big Pine Lake (Otter Tail County).

PLATTE LAKE (Crow Wing) Sunfish: possession limit 10.

PLEASANT LAKE (Ramsey) Closed to fishing.

PLEASANT LAKE (Stearns) Sunfish: daily limit five.

POKEGAMA LAKE near Grand Rapids (Itasca) Sunfish: daily limit five.

POKEGAMA LAKE and connected waters including the Snake River from the Little Walleye landing downstream to the I-35 bridges (Pine) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

PORTAGE LAKE North of Ten Mile Lake (Cass) largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

PRAIRIE LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

PRIOR LAKE, Upper and Lower (Scott) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

Q

QUARRY HILL NATURE CENTER POND (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

R

RABBIT LAKES, Big and East Big (Crow Wing) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

RABOUR LAKE (Chisago) Crappie: daily limit five. Walleye: minimum size limit 17".

RACHEL LAKE and Little Rachel Lake (Douglas) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

RAINY LAKE including the Rainy River above the dam at International Falls, all of Rainy Lake to the dam at Kettle Falls, Black Bay including Gold Portage below the rapids, all of the Rat Root River, and Rat Root Lake (Koochiching and St. Louis) Walleye and sauger: possession limit eight (not more than four can be walleye). All walleye from 18-26" must be immediately released. One walleye over 26" allowed in possession.

RAT LAKE (Aitkin) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

RED LAKE (see above).

RED RIVER LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

RED ROCK LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

RED WING POTTERY POND (Goodhue) Trout: Continuous season. Possession limit three. One over 16" allowed in possession.

RENO LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

RICE LAKE and connected Inguadona Lake (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit 10. Crappie: daily limit five.

RICE LAKE east side of Brainerd (Crow Wing): See Mississippi River.

RILEY LAKE (Carver) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

RIPLEY LAKE (Meeker) Sunfish: daily limit five.

ROCHESTER–OLMSTED COUNTY AREA LAKES (Olmsted) includes: Bear Creek Reservoir (Chester Woods), Cascade Lake (Cascade Ponds), Foster-Arend Lake, Gamehaven Lake (Boy Scout Lake or Willow Reservoir No. 4), Kalmar Reservoir, Quarry Hill Nature Center Pond, Manor Woods Pond (Country Club Pond), Silver Lake, Silver Creek Reservoir, Willow Creek Reservoir. The daily and possession limits for the following species apply to the waters listed above as a whole, that is, only one daily and possession limit may be taken from the group of waters that comprise the Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes. Sunfish, crappie, yellow perch: combined possession limit 10, and only five may be crappie. Largemouth or smallmouth bass: possession limit of one. Northern pike: daily and possession limit one applies collectively to a subset of the Rochester–Olmsted County lakes: Cascade Lake, Game Haven Lake, Manor Woods, Silver Lake, Silver Creek Reservoir.

ROGERS LAKE (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

ROUND LAKE (Crow Wing) Northern pike: minimum size limit 30". Possession limit one.

ROUND LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit five.

ROUND LAKE near Harding (Morrison) Sunfish: daily limit five.

⁕NEW—ROUND LAKE near Squaw Lake including the Popple River downstream to State Highway Bridge 46 (Itasca) Walleye: all from 20-24" must be immediately released. One over 24" allowed in possession.

RUSH LAKE, East and West (Chisago) Northern pike: all from 26-40" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 40".

RUSH-HEN LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

S

SAGAMORE MINE (Crow Wing) Lake trout: minimum length limit 20". Possession limit one.

SAGANAGA LAKE including Gull Lake and the Sea Gull River (Cook) Walleye: minimum size limit 17". Possession limit three, only one over 20".

SALLIE LAKE (Becker) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

SANBORN LAKE (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

SAND LAKE and connected Talac and Sorenson Lakes (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five.

SAND LAKE including connecting Birds Eye Lake, Little Sand Lake, Portage Lake and Bowstring River upstream to County Road 35 bridge and downstream to the County Road 145 bridge (Itasca) Walleye: all 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit five.

SAND LAKE (Lake) Sunfish: daily limit five.

SAND POINT LAKE (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Walleye and sauger possession limit six combined, only four may be walleye.

SANDY RIVER LAKE (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

SARAH LAKE (Hennepin) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

SARAH LAKE (Polk) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

SAUK RIVER CHAIN OF LAKES from Highway 23 downstream to the Cold Spring Dam include connecting lakes Becker, Bolfing, Cedar Island, Great Northern, Horseshoe, Knaus, Krays, Schneider and Zumwalde (Stearns) Channel catfish and flathead catfish: combined possession limit 10, not more than two may be flathead catfish. Only one over 24" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

SCHNEIDER LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

SEA GULL LAKE including Alpine River between Alpine Lake and Sea Gull Lake (Cook) Walleye: minimum size limit 17". Possession limit three, only one over 20".

SEWELL LAKE (Otter Tail) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

SHAKOPEE LAKE (Mille Lacs) Sunfish: daily limit five.

SHAMINEAU LAKE (Morrison) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

SHIELDS LAKE (Rice) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

SHIELDS LAKE (Washington) Sunfish: daily limit five.

SILVER CREEK RESERVOIR (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes on.

SILVER LAKE (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

SOUTH FARM LAKE (Lake) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: all from 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession.

SOUTH LINDSTROM LAKE (Chisago) Largemouth bass: all 12" and larger must be immediately released.

SOUTH TWIN LAKE (Beltrami) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

SPIDER LAKE (Hubbard) Crappie: minimum size limit 10".

SPIDER LAKE (Itasca) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

SPLITHAND LAKE including Moody’s Creek upstream to County Road 432 (Itasca) Walleye: all from 20-24" must be immediately released. One over 24" allowed in possession. Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

ST. OLAF LAKE (Waseca) Northern pike: minimum size limit 30". Possession limit one.

STAR LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

STEIGER LAKE (Carver) Northern pike and largemouth bass: catch-and-release only.

STRAND LAKE (St. Louis) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

STUART LAKE (Otter Tail) Crappie: minimum size limit 10". Sunfish: daily limit 10.

SUCKER LAKES, Upper, Middle, and Lower (Cass) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

SUGAR LAKE (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

SUGAR LAKE (Wright) Crappie: daily limit five. Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

SULLIVAN LAKE (Morrison) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

SWAN LAKE including Swan River downstream to dam, upstream to County Road 12, and connected streams (Itasca) Walleye (regulation modified): all from 20-24" must be immediately released. One over 24" allowed in possession.

SWIFT LAKE (Cass) See Boy Lake.

SYLVAN LAKE near Pillager (Cass) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

SYLVIA LAKES, East and West (Wright) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

T

TAMARACK LAKE, North (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit five.

TEN MILE LAKE, North and South (Otter Tail) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

THIRTEEN LAKE (Cass) Largemouth and smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit five.

THOMPSON LAKE (Cook) Trout: catch-and-release only. Artificial lures and flies with a single hook only. Use and possession of bait prohibited. Closed to winter fishing.

⁕NEW—THREE ISLAND LAKE including Turtle River (Beltrami) Northern pike: special regulation repealed. Sunfish: daily limit five.

THRUSH LAKE (Cook) Trout: catch-and-release only. Artificial lures and flies with a single hook only. Use and possession of bait prohibited. Closed to winter fishing.

TRELIPE LAKE, Lower (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

TRELIPE LAKE, Upper (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

TROUT LAKE near Coleraine (Itasca) Walleye (regulation modified): all from 20-24" must be immediately released. One over 24" allowed in possession.

TURNIP LAKE (Cook) Trout: catch-and-release only. Artificial lures and flies with a single hook only. Use and possession of bait prohibited. Closed to winter fishing.

TURTLE LAKE (Becker) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

⁕NEW—TURTLE LAKE, BIG including connected Turtle River (Beltrami) See Turtle River chain of lakes.

TURTLE LAKE (Itasca) Smallmouth bass (regulation modified): all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

TURTLE LAKE (Ramsey) Largemouth bass (regulation modified): all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

⁕NEW—TURTLE River chain of lakes including connected Little Turtle, Big Turtle, Movil, Beltrami, Fox lakes, and the Turtle River from Little Turtle Lake downstream to Fox Lake (Beltrami) Northern pike: all from 22-30" must be immediately released. Possession limit is 10, only one over 30". Sunfish: daily limit five.

⁕NEW—TURTLE RIVER LAKE including Turtle River (Beltrami) Northern pike: special regulation repealed. Sunfish: daily limit five.

TWENTY-ONE LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: possession limit 10. Northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass: catch-and-release only. Crappie: possession limit five.

TWO ISLAND LAKE (Cook) Smallmouth bass: all from 14-20" must be immediately released. One over 20" allowed in possession.

V

VANDUSE (Hobo) LAKE (Aitkin) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

VENSTROM LAKE (Otter Tail) Crappie: minimum size limit 11". Walleye: all from 17-26" must be immediately released. One over 26" allowed in possession. Sunfish: daily limit 10.

VERMILLION LAKE (Cass) Sunfish: daily limit five.

VERMILION LAKE (St. Louis) Walleye: all from 20-26" must be immediately released. Possession limit four, only one over 26".

VERMONT LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

VILLARD LAKE (Pope) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

W

WABEDO LAKE (Cass) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: all from 18-26" must be immediately released. Possession limit four, only one over 26".

WACONIA LAKE (Carver) Walleye: minimum size limit 16".

WALL LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

WASHINGTON LAKE (Le Sueur) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

WAUKENABO LAKE and connected West Lake (Aitkin) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

WELSH LAKE (Cass) See Crooked Lake.

WEST LOST LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit 10.

WEST SILENT LAKE (Otter Tail) Sunfish: daily limit five.

WHISKEY LAKE (Douglas) Sunfish: daily limit five.

WHITE IRON LAKE (St. Louis and Lake) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36". Walleye: all from 17-26" must be immediately released. Only one over 26" allowed in possession.

WHITEFACE RESERVOIR (St. Louis) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.


WHITEFISH CHAIN, including connected Cross Lake Reservoir, Lower Hay, Arrowhead, Bertha, Clamshell, Big Trout, Pig, Island-Loon, Rush-Hen, Dagget, and Little Pine lakes (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

WILD RICE RESERVOIR (St. Louis) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

WHITEFISH LAKE (Crow Wing) See Whitefish Chain.

WILKINSON LAKE (Anoka and Ramsey) Closed to fishing.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR (Olmsted) See Rochester–Olmsted County Area Lakes.

WINDIGO LAKE (Beltrami) See Cass Chain.

WINNIBIGOSHISH Lake and connected waters (Beltrami, Cass, and Itasca): Mississippi River to Knutson Dam, Third River Flowage to Little Dixon Lake, Pigeon River to Pigeon Lake Dam, First River, Egg Lake through Cut Foot Sioux Lake, Raven Flowage to Raven Lake, and Sugar Lake. Walleye: all from 18-23" must be immediately released. One over 23" allowed in possession.

WOLF LAKE (Beltrami) See Cass Lake Chain.

WOMAN LAKE (Cass) Northern pike: all from 24-36" must be immediately released. Possession limit three, only one over 36".

Y

YAWKEY MINE (Crow Wing) Lake trout: minimum length limit 20". Possession limit one.

Z

ZUMWALDE LAKE (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

Streams and Rivers (County)

A

ASH RIVER (St. Louis) See Kabetogama Lake.

B

BAUDETTE RIVER mouth upstream to State Highway 11 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike, lake sturgeon, sauger, and walleye: see Lake of the Woods.

BEAVER CREEK, East (Houston) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream (Beaver Creek Valley State Park). See above for special angling seasons within the boundaries of Beaver Creek Valley State Park.

BELLE CREEK (Goodhue) Trout: catch-and-release on a 7.3 mile posted section from the confluence with the Cannon River upstream to Highway 19.

BOWSTRING RIVER (Itasca) See Sand Lake.

C

CAMP CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: catch-and-release on a 2.7-mile posted section from 0.8 miles above the confluence with the Root River, South Branch upstream 2.7 miles. Artificial lures and flies only. On the third Saturday in May, statewide regulations apply to the posted section of the stream.

CANFIELD CREEK (SOUTH BRANCH CREEK) (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream. Artificial lures and flies only. See above for special angling seasons within the boundaries of Canfield Creek in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

D

DEVIL TRACK RIVER (Cook) Fish sanctuary: mile 1.1 to mile 1.6 open to fishing from June 1 - August 31.

E

EAGLE CREEK (Scott) Trout: catch-and-release only.

ECHO RIVER (St. Louis) See Crane Lake.

F

FIRST RIVER (Itasca) See Winnibigoshish Lake.

FORESTVILLE CREEK (NORTH BRANCH CREEK) (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream. See above for special angling seasons within the boundaries of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park.

FRENCH RIVER (St. Louis) Fish sanctuary: all fishing closed from the river’s mouth at Lake Superior to the State Highway 61 four-lane expressway, including that portion of old Highway 61 that crosses the French River.

G

GARVIN BROOK (Winona) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released from the Highway 14 crossing to the source. Artificial lures and flies only.

GAUTHIER CREEK (Cook) Fish sanctuary: entire stream open to fishing from
June 1 - August 31 only.

GRIBBEN CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream. Artificial lures and flies only.

H

HAY CREEK (Goodhue) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on a 4-mile posted section from 325th Street downstream. Artificial lures and flies only.

HOOPER CREEK mouth upstream to State Highway 172 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike: see Lake of the Woods.

K

KADUNCE RIVER (Cook) Fish sanctuary: mile 0.2 (lower falls) to mile 0.4 open to fishing from June 1 - August 31 only.

KEDRON CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: catch-and-release only on the entire stream. Artificial lures and flies only.

KELLY CREEK mouth upstream to State Highway 172 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike: see Lake of the Woods.

KNIFE RIVER (St. Louis and Lake) Fish sanctuary: between the signs from the top of the second falls 100 feet downstream, and from State Highway 61 bridge downstream to the sign below the fish trap is permanently closed to fishing.

L

LAWNDALE CREEK (Wilkin) Brook trout: catch-and-release only for brook trout on a 3.5-mile posted section within Atherton Wildlife Management Area. Artificial lures and flies only. All hooks must be barbless.

LESTER RIVER (St. Louis) Immediately downstream from the Superior Street bridge to the bottom of the first falls is closed to fishing.

LOGAN CREEK (Olmsted) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream from the confluence with the Whitewater River, North Branch, upstream to the source. Artificial lures and flies only.

LOON RIVER See Little Vermilion Lake.

M

MAHOODS CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream.

MILL CREEK (Fillmore and Olmsted) Trout: special catch-and-release season
October 16 - December 31 on posted reach in Chatfield from the confluence with the North Branch Root River upstream to Sprau’s tributary.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER (Dakota) From the Hastings dam downstream to the Minnesota–Wisconsin border (inland waters of Pool 3) walleye: minimum size limit 15".

MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY (Ramsey, Washington, Hennepin, and Dakota) Walleye, sauger, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass: catch-and-release with a continuous season in the following stretches: a) Minnesota River downstream from the Mendota Bridge; b) Minnehaha Creek downstream from Minnehaha Falls; and c) Pool 2 of the Mississippi River between the Hastings Dam and the Ford Dam, including all backwater lakes and connecting waters except Crosby, Pickerel, Upper, Little Pigs Eye, and North Star Steel lakes.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER from Blandin Dam downstream to Coon Rapids Dam (Itasca, Aitkin, Crow Wing, Morrison, Benton, Sherburne, Wright, Anoka, and Hennepin) Muskellunge: catch-and-release only.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER (Sherburne, Stearns and Wright) Smallmouth bass: all from 12-20" must be immediately released from the confluence of the Crow River upstream to the St. Cloud Dam, including tributaries to the posted boundaries. Possession limit is three, with one over 20".

MISSISSIPPI RIVER from Brainerd Dam upstream to Highway 6 including Rice, Little Rabbit, and Half Moon Lakes and connected backwaters (Crow Wing) Crappie: daily limit five. Sunfish: daily limit five.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER (Beltrami, Cass, and Itasca) See Winnibigoshish Lake.

O

OTTER TAIL RIVER (Otter Tail, Becker, and Wilkin) Smallmouth bass: catch-and-release from Wilkin County Road 19 crossing upstream to the Friberg Dam including all impoundments, and from Otter Tail County Highway 51 upstream to the Hubbel Pond Dam including Mud, Rice, and Town lakes.

P

PIGEON RIVER (Itasca) See Winnibigoshish Lake.

PRAIRIE RIVER (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

PRAIRIE RIVER from Prairie Lake Dam downstream to Mississippi River (Itasca) Muskellunge: catch-and-release only.

R

RAINY RIVER (Koochiching) See below.

RAPID RIVER mouth upstream to State Highway 11 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike, lake sturgeon, sauger, and walleye: see Lake of the Woods.

RAT ROOT RIVER (Koochiching) See Rainy Lake.

RAVEN FLOWAGE (Itasca) See Winnibigoshish Lake.

RED LAKE TRIBUTARIES See Red Lake.

ROOT RIVER, Middle Branch (Fillmore) Trout: catch-and-release on the entire stream.

ROOT RIVER, South Branch (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on a 4.8-mile posted section within Forestville State Park. See above for special angling seasons within the boundaries of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Trout: special catch-and-release season October 16 - December 31 on posted reach in Preston from the River Place West bridge downstream to the U.S. Highway 52 bridge. Trout: special catch-and-release season October 16 - December 31 on posted reach in Lanesboro from the Lanesboro Dam downstream to the confluence with the Root River.

ROOT RIVER, South Fork (Fillmore) Trout: catch-and-release on a 7.7 mile section from County Road 12 upstream to the source. Artificial lures and flies only.

RUSH CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: special catch-and-release season
October 16 - December 31 on posted reach in Rushford.

S

ST. CROIX RIVERSee bellow.

ST. LOUIS RIVER (St. Louis) Fish sanctuary: no fishing allowed at any time from the Fond du Lac Dam downstream to the Minnesota–Wisconsin boundary cable. No fishing allowed from the boundary cable downstream to the Highway 23 bridge from March 1 - May 18. Muskellunge: minimum size limit 50" on only the Minnesota–Wisconsin border waters.

SANDY RIVER (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

SAUK RIVER (Stearns) See Sauk River Chain of Lakes.

SEA GULL RIVER (Cook) Walleye: see Saganaga Lake.

SHOTLEY BROOK from Highway 72 West to Upper Red Lake See Red Lake.

SILVER CREEK mouth upstream to State Highway 11 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike: see Lake of the Woods.

SNAKE RIVER (Pine) See Cross and Pokegama.

SPRING VALLEY CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on a 6.8-mile posted section from Deer Creek upstream to Fillmore Township Road 359. Trout: special catch-and-release season October 16 - December 31 on posted reach in Spring Valley from West Park Street downstream to Minnesota State Highway 16 bridge.

STONEY BROOK (Cass) Brook trout: all must be immediately released on the posted section beginning at the mouth at Upper Gull Lake upstream to the road crossing at County Road 29 (Minor’s Corner).

T

TAMARACK RIVER (from the Beltrami County line west to Upper Red lake) See
Red Lake.

THIRD RIVER FLOWAGE (Itasca) See Winnibigoshish Lake.

TROUT RUN CREEK (Fillmore and Winona) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream. Artificial lures and flies only.

TROUT RUN CREEK (in Whitewater State Park) See above for special angling seasons within the boundaries of Whitewater State Park.

TROUT VALLEY CREEK (Winona) Brook trout: minimum size limit 12". Possession limit one. Artificial lures and flies only.

TURTLE RIVER (Beltrami) See Turtle River chain of lakes.

V

VERMILION GORGE See Crane Lake.

⁕NEW—VERMILLION RIVER upstream of Vermillion Falls in Hastings and all tributaries (Dakota) Brown trout: catch-and-release only. Rainbow trout: Regular statewide regulations apply. The Vermillion River open seasons are the same as those for Southeast Minnesota, see Streams—Southeast Minnesota for details.

W

WABANICA RIVER mouth upstream to State Highway 172 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike, lake sturgeon, sauger, and walleye: see Lake of the Woods.

WARROAD RIVER mouth upstream to Warroad City Beach (Roseau) Northern pike, lake sturgeon, sauger, and walleye: see Lake of the Woods.

WATSON SAG (Chippewa) See Lac qui Parle Lake.

WEST INDIAN CREEK (Wabasha) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released from the upstream Wabasha County Road 4 crossing to the source.

WEST SAVANNA RIVER (Aitkin) See Big Sandy Lake.

WHITEWATER RIVER, Middle Branch (Winona and Olmsted) Trout: catch-and-release on a 9.2-mile posted section from the group camp in Whitewater State Park upstream to the source. Artificial lures and flies only. See above for special angling seasons within the boundaries of Whitewater State Park.

WHITEWATER RIVER, North Branch (Wabasha, Olmsted and Winona) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on a 12.1 mile posted section from Township Road 29 upstream to County Road 4. Artificial lures and flies only.

WINTER ROAD RIVER mouth upstream to State Highway 172 bridge (Lake of the Woods) Northern pike, lake sturgeon, sauger, and walleye: see Lake of the Woods.

WISEL CREEK (Fillmore) Trout: all from 12-16" must be immediately released on the entire stream.

Z

ZUMBRO RIVER, NORTH FORK (Goodhue and Wabasha) Trout: catch-and-release on an 11.9 mile posted section from the Zumbro River, Main Branch upstream to Highway 10.

ZUMBRO RIVER (Wabasha) Smallmouth bass: catch-and-release along a 12-mile posted section from Highway 63 at Zumbro Falls upstream to the Zumbro Lake Dam.

BORDER WATERS

This section covers Minnesota’s border waters with Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario andManitoba. It does not include the waters of Lake Superior, which are not covered under border water rules. More details can be found above for LakeSuperior. All calendar dates refer to 2023 unless noted otherwise.

LICENSING

What license do I need to fish border waters?

  • Minnesota residents must have a Minnesota license.
  • Residents of a state bordering that water must have their state’s license.
  • Other nonresidents may purchase a Minnesota or the bordering state’s nonresident license.

Can I fish anywhere on the border waters with a Minnesota license?

  • In Canadian border waters, Minnesota residents or nonresidents fishing with a Minnesota nonresident license, may only fish the Minnesota portion of the Canadian border waters. To fish the Canadian portion, you must have a Canadian license and may need a Remote Access Border Crossing Permit.
  • In other border waters, Minnesota residents or nonresidents fishing with a Minnesota nonresident license, may fish throughout the defined waters bordering the two states.

What if I don’t see a particular regulation listed in this section?

Unless otherwise noted, all general regulations relating to angling methods, licensing, season, limits, fish possession and transportation apply to border waters. Also, all fish must be within length limits regardless of where they were caught. Please check the Experimental and Special Regulations section (for different regulations that may apply.

If fishing regulations differ between the border states, what regulations do I follow?

You must obey the regulations of the state in which you are fishing. More permissive regulations are limited to that state’s waters.

Can I launch my boat or transport my catch back home from the adjacent state’s boat launch?

Yes, you can launch your boat and transport your catch by the most direct route back to the state that you are licensed.

Do bowfishing regulations allowed for inland waters apply to border waters? The bowfishing regulations covered are only allowed on Minnesota’s portion of the border waters. If the bordering state’s bowfishing regulations are the same, bowfishers may take legal fish shore to shore under a Minnesota license.

LAKE STURGEON TAGS

Lake sturgeon tags and mail-in registration cards are required for anyone who wishes to harvest and possess a lake sturgeon. However, a tag is not required to catch and release lake sturgeon.

The following requirements apply:

  • An angler may take and possess only one lake sturgeon per calendar year.
  • Lake sturgeon may not be possessed or transported without a tag.
  • Validate and attach the tag immediately upon reducing the fish to possession.
  • Tag must be attached to the narrow portion of the body in front of the tail fin.
  • Tags must be attached so that they cannot be easily removed.
  • Tags are not transferable and no duplicate tags will be issued.
  • Registration cards must be completed and mailed within 48 hours after harvesting a fish. Send to: Regional Fisheries, 2115 Birchmont Beach Road NE, Bemidji, MN 56601.
  • Lake sturgeon must be transported intact (gills and internal organs may be removed).
  • Members of a fishing party may not take sturgeon for other anglers’ limits; party fishing is not allowed for sturgeon.

CANADA–MINNESOTA

The seasons and regulations listed below apply to the Minnesota portions of the following waters. Daily and possession limits are the same unless otherwise noted.

Cook County: Clove Lake, Devils Elbow Lake, North Fowl Lake, South Fowl Lake, Gneiss (Round) Lake, Granite Lake, Granite River, Gunflint Lake, LittleGunflint Lake, Lily Lake (Fan, Vaseux), Magnetic Lake, Marabaeuf Lake, Moose Lake, Mountain Lake, North Lake, Little North Lake, Pigeon River, Pine River, RatLake, Rose Lake, Rove Lake, Saganaga Lake, South Lake, and Watap Lake.

Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties: Rainy River.

Koochiching and St. Louis counties: Rainy Lake (including Black Bay).

Lake County: Basswood Lake (except Jackfish, Pipestone, Hoist, and Back Bays, which are considered inland waters), Basswood River, Birch Lake, Carp Lake, Cypress Lake, Knife Lake (except South Arm), Little Knife Lake, Knife River, Melon Lake, Seed Lake, Sucker Lake, and Swamp Lake.

Lake and St. Louis counties: Crooked Lake.

Lake of the Woods and Roseau counties: Lake of the Woods.

St. Louis County: Bottle Lake, Iron Lake, Lac La Croix, Loon Lake, Loon River to Loon River Falls, Namakan Lake, Sand Point Lake, and Little VermilionLake.

Canada–Minnesota Regulations

  • One line per angler is allowed, except two lines may be used when ice fishing.
  • Parts of Saganaga, Little Gunflint, and Little North lakes are closed to fishing in May. For current dates, call Grand Marais Area Office: 218-387-6021.
  • While in Minnesota, anglers may not possess more than a Minnesota limit of fish from Canada–Minnesota border waters. Fish from Canadian inland waters may be possessed in Minnesota in excess of the Minnesota limit only if the angler has proof—such as lodging receipts or verification through U.S. Customs—that the fish were taken from inland Canadian waters.
  • A person cannot possess or use a gaff while fishing on the Rainy River.
  • Sauger without head and tail intact will be counted as walleye.
  • Bowfishing (Minnesota’s portion of the waters only).
  • Dark houses, fish houses and shelters.
  • Dark house spearing season November 15, 2023 - Feb. 25, 2024. Canada– Minnesota border water possession limits apply.

IOWA–MINNESOTA

The seasons and regulations listed below apply to the following waters:

  • Jackson County: Little Spirit Lake.
  • Jackson and Nobles counties: Iowa Lake.
  • Martin County: Okamanpeedan (Tuttle), Iowa, and Swag lakes.

Daily and possession limits are the same. All species not listed are covered by the inland regulations of the state where taken.

Iowa–Minnesota Regulations

  • Anglers may use up to two lines with two hooks per line.
  • Setlines, trotlines, or unattended lines are unlawful.
  • Spearing may be used anytime to take carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, bowfin, gar, or quillback.
  • Spearing game fish is unlawful.
  • Bowfishing regulations.
  • Dark house, fish house, and shelters regulations

NORTH DAKOTA–MINNESOTA

Seasons and regulations apply to the Bois de Sioux River and the Red River of the North. Daily and possession limits are the same. All species not listed are covered by the inland regulations of the state where taken.

North Dakota–Minnesota Regulations

  • Two lines are permitted, and two hooks are permitted on each line.
  • Dark house spearing is legal; however, catfish may not be speared at any time. Other rules regarding dark house spearing, ice angling, and ice shelters can be found below.
  • It is unlawful to possess a spear or bow and arrow on or adjacent to any water body where the spearing and archery season is closed.
  • Carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, suckers, redhorse, bowfin, and gar may be taken by spearing or archery between sunrise and sunset from May 1 throughDecember 31. The bowfishing regulations are allowed only on Minnesota’s portion of the border waters when they differ from those of the border state. If the bow- fishing regulations are the same, then they may be exercised from shore to shore.
  • Once you possess a fish caught by angling, you cannot replace it with another fish. However, at the end of your fishing day you may release live fish before leaving the water.
  • Check North Dakota regulations regarding fishing from North Dakota’s shore.

SOUTH DAKOTA–MINNESOTA

The seasons and regulations listed below apply to the following waters:

  • Big Stone County: Big Stone Lake.
  • Lincoln County: Hendricks Lake.
  • Traverse County: Lake Traverse, Mud Lake, Bois de Sioux River to North Dakota border, and Mustinka River from the mouth to the Minnesota StateHighway 117 bridge.

Daily and possession limits are the same unless otherwise noted. All species not listed are covered by the inland regulations of the state where taken.

South Dakota–Minnesota Regulations

  • Anglers may use two lines with up to three hooks per line.
  • Setlines, trotlines, or unattended lines are unlawful.
  • Carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, suckers, redhorse, bowfin, burbot, and gar may be taken by spearing from sunrise to sunset from May 1, 2023 throughFebruary 29, 2024.
  • The bowfishing regulations are allowed only on Minnesota’s portion of the border waters when they differ from those of South Dakota. If the bowfishing regulations are the same, then they may be exercised from shore to shore.
  • It is unlawful to possess a spear, spring gaff, or bow and arrow on or adjacent to any body of water where the spearing and archery season is closed.
  • Spearing game fish is unlawful except northern pike and catfish may be speared from a dark house.
  • Northern pike limit for dark house spearing is three. Other rules can be found below.
  • Catfish may not be taken by spearing anytime on the Bois De Sioux River from White Rock Dam to the North Dakota border.
  • Dark house, fish house and shelters.
  • Culling is not allowed on the Bois de Sioux River from the White Rock Dam to the North Dakota border. However, at the end of your fishing day you may release live fish before leaving the water.

WISCONSIN–MINNESOTA

The seasons and regulations listed below apply to the following waters:

Mississippi River (downstream of the Highway 10 bridge in Prescott, Wisconsin and all waters between the Burlington Northern [Wisconsin] and CanadianPacific [Minnesota] railroad tracks). Lake Pepin, St. Croix River, Lake St. Croix and St. Louis River Estuary.

Daily and possession limits are the same. All species not listed are covered by the inland regulations of the state where a fish is taken. Anglers may fish shore to shore with either a Minnesota or Wisconsin fishing license.

Wisconsin–Minnesota Regulations

  • Two lines with a single lure or bait on each are permitted. If fishing with one line, you may use two baits.
  • Fish hooked in any part of the body, except the mouth, must be returned to the water immediately.
  • Anglers must be within 400 feet of their tip-ups.
  • Rough fish may be taken by spearing and dip-netting between sunrise and sunset from April 29, 2023 - March 1, 2024. Dip net hoops cannot exceed 24"in diameter.
  • Spearing game fish is prohibited. It is unlawful to have a spear on or adjacent to any body of water where the spearing season is closed.
  • Dark house, fish house, and shelters.
  • The bowfishing regulations are allowed only on Minnesota’s portion of the border waters when they differ from those of Wisconsin. If the bowfishing regulations are the same, then they may be exercised from shore to shore.
  • Fish sanctuaries, no fishing allowed:
    • Mississippi River: no fishing allowed within 300 feet below Lock and Dam 3 (near Red Wing) and Lock and Dam 4 (Alma, Wisconsin) from March 1 -April 30.
    • St. Croix River: no fishing from Taylors Falls (St. Croix Falls) dam to 50 feet downstream from the pier in center of river.
    • St. Louis River Estuary: no fishing allowed at any time from the Fond du Lac Dam downstream to the Minnesota–Wisconsin boundary cable. No fishing allowed from the boundary cable downstream to the Highway 23 bridge from February 29 - May 18.

BOWFISHING

Can I fish with a bow and arrow?

You can bowfish for rough fish over open water or through the ice in a fish house or shelter, day or night, with or without lights, during the open season.

  • You need a fishing license if you’re 16 or older unless you qualify for an angling license exclusion.
  • Arrows must have a barb and be attached to the bow with a tethered line.
  • To possess a bow, you need to follow local ordinances. You can use a bow while taking rough fish from a watercraft with or without a motor.
  • From sunset to sunrise you cannot discharge a bow within 300 feet of a campsite or within 150 feet of an occupied structure.
  • You cannot make more than 65 decibels of noise on the “A” scale measured at a distance of 50 feet from the boat.
  • If you shoot a fish you have to try to retrieve the fish and your arrow.
  • You can’t shoot a fish and throw it back in the water, leave it on any bank of any waterway or any access site or otherwise illegally dispose of the fish.
  • You can’t bowfish in designated trout lakes and streams nor in posted spawning areas.

Can I fish with a crossbow?

You cannot unless:

  • You are age 60 or older; or you are disabled and have a valid crossbow permit. Permit applications are available from the DNR website.

What species may I take when bowfishing?

You may only bowfish for rough fish, which include carp, buffalo, sucker, redhorse, freshwater drum, bowfin, gar, goldeye and bullhead.

If I take fish by bowfishing can I also take fish by spearing, harpooning, dip netting or seining?

Yes, but you cannot exceed the daily limit for each species taken with any combination of bowfishing, spearing, harpooning, dip netting or seining equipment to reach the limit.

SPEARING, HARPOONING AND DIP NETS

Can I spear, harpoon or dip net for rough fish?

You can harpoon or dip net for rough fish from sunrise to sunset provided:

  • You have a fishing license if you’re 16 or older unless you qualify for an angling license exclusion.
  • Speared or dead fish are not returned to the water or left on the banks.

What equipment can I use for rough fish?

  • You can only use spears, underwater harpoons, dip nets, seines used for taking smelt, traps used for taking minnows for bait or angling equipment and nets associated with angling.
  • You can use any spear.
  • You can use an underwater harpoon or spear that is discharged by a

rubber-powered gun, spring gun or air gun and attached with a tethered line not more than 20 feet long and discharged only when the equipment and the operator are entirely under water.

  • Harpoons may not be carried in a cocked position while out of the water.
  • The hoops on hand-held dip nets cannot exceed 24" in diameter.
  • During a closed season, you cannot possess spears, traps, dip nets, seines or harpoons on or near any waters.

Where can I spear, harpoon or dip net for fish?

  • All inland waters except Baby Lake (Cass County) and where taking fish is prohibited.
  • You cannot harpoon within 1,000 feet of swimming beach.
  • You can’t spear, harpoon or dip net in a designated trout stream or trout lake.

Can I sell or buy rough fish?

Yes. All rough fish can be bought or sold.

Can I take a limit of fish for each method?

No. You cannot exceed the daily limit for each species taken with any combination of spearing, harpooning, dip netting or seining equipment to reach the limit.Fish taken by bowfishing also are included in this limit.

DARK HOUSE SPEARING

What is a dark house?

Any structure that is darkened to view fish under the ice. Holes in the ice are cut inside these structures so fish can be speared. Please mark your holes upon leaving.

Do I need a license to spear from a dark house?

Residents age 18 through 89 and nonresidents age 18 and older need a spearing license and an angling license. Youth age 16 and 17 need an angling license but do not need a spearing license.

What methods can I use while spearing in a dark house?

  • You can use spears.
  • You may fish with one additional line but any fish caught must be landed immediately and not left out as a decoy.
  • You cannot use artificial lights to see fish or attract fish when spearing.
  • You can use lighted decoy fish but any battery in the lighted decoy must not contain mercury.

What species of fish can I spear from a dark house?

Northern pike, catfish, whitefish and rough fish.

If more than one person is spearing in a dark house, how many fish can you spear?

Party fishing does not apply to spearing. Each person can only spear their own fish.

Where can I spear fish in a dark house?

Most inland waters. Only Baby Lake (Cass County) is closed to dark house spearing.

HEAT YOUR FISH HOUSE-SAFELY!

The following types of heaters are recommended for heating fish houses:

Vent Free Heater with Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS)

Vent-Free Heater

This heater usually uses infrared technology for the heating element. The ODS will shut off the heating unit if oxygen levels get low.

Direct Vent Heater - Direct Vent (DV)

Direct Vent Heater

This heater has a sealed combustion chamber and vents all combustion products through the sidewall and uses combustion air from outside the fish house.

Conventional Vent Space Heater

Conventional Vent Space Heater

This heater has a vent that goes up through the roof of a fish house and requires fresh air for combust ion to be brought in from the outside.

QUICK TIPS FOR FISH HOUSE SAFETY

NEVER USE -sunflower type heaters. They are not recommended for use in fish houses. Most are approved for outdoor use only and have no safety systems to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Use outdoors only!

  • Only use heaters that are listed as or approved for use in your fish house.
  • Follow manufacturers' installation recommendations.
  • Check all gas connections for leaks.
  • Keep propane cylinders OUTSIDE.

ICE ANGLING

How many lines can I use through the ice?

Two, except on designated trout lakes and streams you can only use one line.

How far away can I go from my lines?

You must remain within sight of your line. If you’re using a tip-up (a device with spooled line and a flag that pops up to indicate when a fish bites) you need to be within 200 feet.

Does ice fishing have any other regulations that differ from open water fishing besides the number of lines I can use?

No, anglers must follow all general and special regulations.

ICE SHELTERS

What is a shelter?

A fish house, dark house, or other structure that is set on the ice to provide shelter.

What is a portable shelter?

A portable shelter is one that collapses, folds, or is disassembled for transportation. Portable shelters do not include trailer/campers with or without slide-outs.

Do I need a license for my fish house or dark house?

  • All shelters, except portable shelters, placed on the ice in inland and Canadian border waters need a shelter license.
  • However, portable shelters in inland and Canadian border waters need a license if a person leaves the portable shelter unattended any time between midnight and one hour before sunrise, or is not within 200 feet of the portable shelter.
  • The fish house license tag must be readily visible from the exterior of the shelter.
  • A shelter license is not required on the border waters between Minnesota and Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • A shelter license is valid from March 1 through April 30 of the following year.

Do I need any kind of identification on my shelter?

All shelters need identification, except portable shelters that are occupied. Occupying a shelter means staying within 200 feet of it. Identification means:

  • One of the following: owner’s name and address; owner’s driver’s license number; or owner’s Minnesota DNR identification number.
  • Identification must be readily visible from the exterior of the shelter with characters at least 2" high.

Where can I place my shelter?

  • Anywhere on Minnesota waters. Shelters must be no closer than 10 feet apart.
  • In the BWCAW you can use a shelter but must remove it from the ice each night and each time you leave the BWCAW.

Are there any regulations about shelters I must comply with?

Any shelters on the ice overnight must have at least 2 square inches of reflective material on each side.

Are there different shelter regulations for border waters for adjacent states? If you are on border waters between Minnesota and Wisconsin,Iowa or North and South Dakota, the regulations for the state that issues your fishing license apply for your shelter.

Does the trailer I use to haul my fish house, fishing equipment or fish house on wheels need to be registered?

Yes. See your local deputy registrar for trailer registration.

Can I use a fish shelter after the removal date?

Yes. After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.

What happens if I don’t remove my shelter before the deadline?

The owners of the shelter will be prosecuted, and the structure and contents may be confiscated or destroyed by a conservation officer.

Can I leave my shelter on a public access site after I take it off the ice?

No.

What happens if I don’t remove fish house blocking materials placed under a fish house to keep it from freezing to the ice surface, or trash that was generated during ice fishing activities?

  • Anglers are required to remove all litter or trash generated during ice fishing activities.
  • Anglers can be issued a citation for littering or a civil citation for a solid waste violation or for products left on the ice due to ice fishing activities.

Shelter Removal Dates

Shelter Removal Dates

All shelters must be off the ice no later than midnight for each of the dates given in the following categories below.

Inland Waters

Dates of removal are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S.

Highway 10, east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota– Wisconsin border.

Border Waters

  • Minnesota–Iowa, February 20
  • Minnesota–Wisconsin, March 1
  • Minnesota–North and South Dakota, March 5
  • Minnesota–Canada, March 31

How to Measure the Total Length of a Fish

To determine the legal length of a fish, lay it flat on its side, pinch or squeeze the tail to maximize length, and measure from the nose or jaw, whichever is longer, to the farthest part of the tail when fully extended.

Weigh Your Fish With a Ruler

Fish are sometimes injured when weighed. With this chart, you can quickly determine the approximate weight of your fish using a ruler or tape measure.

These figures are rough estimates only. Actual weights vary slightly by season and waterbody.

Crappie length (inches)

Crappie weight (lbs.)

8

0.3

9

0.4

10

0.6

11

0.8

12

1.1

13

1.4

14

1.8

15

2.2

16

2.7

17

3.3

Sunfish length (inches)

Sunfish weight (lbs.)

6

0.2

7

0.3

8

0.4

9

0.6

10

0.9

11

1.1

12

1.5

13

1.9

14

2.4

Muskie length (inches)

Muskie weight (lbs.)

48

29

49

32

50

34

51

36

52

39

53

41

54

44

55

47

56

50

Trout length (inches)

Trout weight (lbs.)

8

0.2

9

0.3

10

0.4

11

0.6

12

0.8

13

0.9

14

1.1

15

1.4

16

1.6

17

1.8

18

2.3

Bass length (inches)

Bass weight (lbs.)

12

1.0

13

1.3

14

1.7

15

2.1

16

2.5

17

3.0

18

3.6

19

4.2

20

5.0

21

5.7

22

6.6

23

7.6

Walleye length (inches)

Walleye weight (lbs.)

14

0.9

15

1.1

16

1.3

17

1.6

18

2

19

2.3

20

2.7

21

3.2

22

3.6

23

4.2

24

4.8

25

5.4

26

6.2

27

6.9

28

7.9

Northern length (inches)

Northern weight (lbs.)

18

1.2

19

1.4

20

1.6

21

1.9

22

2.2

23

2.5

24

2.9

25

3.3

26

3.8

27

4.2

28

4.7

29

5.3

30

5.8

31

6.5

32

7.1

33

7.9

34

8.7

35

9.3

36

10.4

37

11.5

38

12.2

39

13.2

40

16

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Boat and Water Safety

Everyone on your boat needs to have an accessible, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest of the proper size and type. In addition, if the boat is 16 feet or longer, there must also be an approved throwable device such as a boater’s seat cushion or ring buoy.

Children under the age of ten must wear a life jacket on board any boat underway. Underway means not attached to a permanent mooring or tied to a dock. There are exceptions to the law for: children who are below the top deck, or in an enclosed cabin, or on a boat operated by a licensed captain, or on a boat that is anchored for the purpose of swimming or diving.

It’s always a good idea to wear your life jacket. Most fatal boating mishaps occur when boats capsize or people fall overboard, especially on small boats.These types of accidents can happen even on calm waters, while traveling at slow speed or stopped.

For a complete summary of the boating regulations and safety information, contact the DNR Information Center for a copy of the Minnesota Boating Guide, or find it online at mndnr.gov/safety/boatwater. For rules pertaining to the use of motorboats within Wildlife Management Areas, refer to the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook or call the DNR.

Aquatic Management Areas

The DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife acquires land along lakes and streams to protect critical fish habitat and to provide fishing opportunities. These areas, known as Aquatic Management Areas (AMAs), have specific use types (easement, restricted use and general use) and are posted with signs that indicate allowable and unauthorized uses for each use type. As a reminder it is always unlawful to leave any personal equipment, such as tree stands, unattended onAMAs. For more information on AMAs please go to the AMA Finder at: mndnr.gov/amas.

Catch-and-Release

Catch-and-release fishing offers anglers a way to enjoy their sport with less harm to the resource.

  • Do not plan to release fish that have been on a stringer or in a livewell.
  • Play and land the fish quickly.
  • Don’t angle for fish in very deep water, unless you plan to keep what you catch. Fizzing of fish, or the act of inserting a needle into a fish intended to deflate the gas bladder, caught from deep water can do more harm than good and is not legal.
  • Handle the fish gently and keep it in the water as much as possible.
  • Do not hold the fish by the eye sockets or gills, but rather by the lower lip or under the gill plate and also support the belly of the fish.
  • Wet your hands before touching a fish to prevent removing its protective coating.
  • If a hook is deeply embedded, cut the line so that at least 1" hangs out of the mouth. This helps the hook to lay flush when the fish takes in food.
  • Circle hooks may help in reducing deeply hooked fish. They are made to hook fish in the mouth.
  • A fish that can be legally kept should not be released if it is bleeding heavily, which indicates its chance of survival is poor.
  • You cannot target a species during its closed season, even if you plan to release it.

Managing Minnesota’s Fisheries

The DNR Fish and Wildlife Division is responsible for managing the state’s diverse fisheries resources (4,500 fishable lakes and 16,000 miles of fishable streams).

Each year, roughly 2 million people fish in Minnesota, and sport fishing generates approximately $2.4 billion in direct expenditures, making angling one of the state’s largest industries.

Much of Minnesota’s fisheries program is reimbursed by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program (federal excise tax), administered by the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service.

Master Angler Program

The Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota in partnership with DNR recognizes anglers who catch large fish of various species. Categories include adult, youth, and catch-and-release.

For more information on becoming a Master Angler, visit the DNR website or fishinghalloffamemn.com

Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program

The program provides funding for projects to restore, enhance, and protect Minnesota’s fish, game, and wildlife habitat. See mndnr.gov/cpl for details.

STATE RECORD FISH PROGRAM

Catch-and-Release Length

Why a record length program?

To track and record angler catches based on the measured total length of a fish rather than the certified weight, allowing anglers to preserve large fish by immediately releasing them.

What fish are eligible?

Muskellunge, northern pike, lake sturgeon, and flathead catfish. These fish are large, typically targeted as trophies and commonly caught and released by anglers.

Records are updated at the end of each calendar year. As of January 2023, the

catch-and-release records are: muskellunge, 58 1⁄4", Mille Lacs Lake (Mille Lacs County); lake sturgeon, 78", St. Croix River (Washington County); flathead catfish, 521⁄2", St. Croix River (Washington County); northern pike, 461⁄4", Basswood Lake (Lake County).

How do I submit an application?

Complete rules and an application are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/recordfish. Each application must include a photo of the fish being measured next to a ruler and be witnessed by someone willing to vouch for the catch.

Certified Weight

If you catch and keep a fish that you think could be a record weight, follow these steps:

  • Take the fish to a DNR fisheries office for positive identification and a state record fish application.
  • Weigh the fish on a state-certified scale (found at most bait shops and butcher shops), witnessed by two observers.
  • Complete the application and send it along with a clear, full-length photo of your fish to the address listed on the form.
  • DNR does not keep line class records.

The following is a complete list of Minnesota’s state record certified weight fish and the county where they were caught. Weights given are in pounds and ounces (example: 55-5 is 55 pounds, 5 ounces). No additional species or hybrids are being considered for certified weight state record fish.

Bass, Largemouth: 8-15, Auburn Lake (Carver).

Bass, Rock: 2-0, Osakis Lake (Todd); and 2-0, Lake Winnibigoshish (Cass).

Bass, Smallmouth: 8-0, West Battle Lake (Otter Tail).

Bass, White: 4-8, Vadnais Lake (Ramsey).

Bowfin: 12-9, Mississippi River (Wabasha).

Buffalo, Bigmouth: 41-11, Mississippi River (Goodhue).

Buffalo, Smallmouth: 20-0, Big Sandy (Aitkin).

Bullhead, Black: 3-13, Reno Lake (Pope).

Bullhead, Brown: 7-1, Shallow Lake (Itasca).

Bullhead, Yellow: 3-10, Osakis Lake (Todd).

Burbot: 19-10, Lake of the Woods (Lake of the Woods).

Carp, Common: 55-5, Clearwater Lake (Wright).

Carpsucker, Quillback: 7-4, Upper Red Lake (Beltrami).

Carpsucker, River: 4-6, Minnesota River (Carver).

Catfish, Channel: 38-0, Mississippi River (Hennepin).

Catfish, Flathead: 70-0, St. Croix River (Washington).

Cisco (Tullibee): 5-13, Sybil Lake (Otter Tail).

Crappie, Black: 5-0, Vermillion River (Dakota).

Crappie, White: 3-15, Lake Constance (Wright).

Drum, Freshwater (Sheepshead): 35-3, Mississippi River (Winona).

Gar, Longnose: 16-12, St. Croix River (Washington).

Gar, Shortnose: 5-4, Minnesota River (Renville).

Goldeye: 3-5, Minnesota River (Blue Earth).

Hogsucker, Northern: 1-15, Sunrise River (Chisago).

Mooneye: 1-15, Minnesota River (Redwood).

Muskellunge: 55-14, Mille Lacs Lake (Mille Lacs).

Muskellunge, Tiger: 34-12, Lake Elmo (Washington).

Perch, Yellow: 3-4, Lake Plantagenet (Hubbard).

Pike, Northern: 45-12, Basswood Lake (Lake).

Redhorse, Golden: 4-8, Otter Tail River (Otter Tail).

Redhorse, Greater: 12-11, Sauk River (Stearns).

Redhorse, River: 12-10, Kettle River (Pine).

Redhorse, Shorthead: 7-15, Rum River (Anoka).

Redhorse, Silver: 10-6, Rainy River (Lake of the Woods).

Salmon, Atlantic: 12-13, Baptism River (Lake).

Salmon, Chinook: 33-4, Poplar River (Cook); and 33-4, Lake Superior (St. Louis).

Salmon, Coho: 10-6, Lake Superior (Lake).

Salmon, Kokanee: 2-15, Caribou Lake (Itasca).

Salmon, Pink: 4-8, Cascade River (Cook).

Sauger: 6-2, Mississippi River (Goodhue).

Saugeye (Walleye-Sauger Hybrid): 9-13, Mississippi River (Goodhue).

Sturgeon, Lake: 94-4, Kettle River (Pine).

Sturgeon Shovelnose: 6-7, Mississippi River (Goodhue).

Sucker, Longnose: 3-10, Brule River (Cook).

Sucker, White: 9-1, Big Fish Lake (Stearns).

Sunfish, Bluegill: 2-13, Alice Lake (Hubbard).

Sunfish, Green: 1-4, North Arbor Lake (Hennepin).

Sunfish, Hybrid: 1-12, Zumbro River (Olmsted); and 1-12, Green Lake (Kandiyohi).

Sunfish, Pumpkinseed: 1-5, Leech Lake (Cass).

Trout, Brook: 6-5, Pigeon River (Cook).

Trout, Brown: 16-12, Lake Superior (St. Louis).

Trout, Lake: 43-8, Lake Superior (Cook).

Trout, Rainbow (Steelhead): 16-6, Devil Track River (Cook).

Trout, Splake: 13-5, Larson Lake (Itasca). Trout, Tiger: 2-9, Mill Creek (Olmsted). Walleye: 17-8, Seagull River (Cook).

Warmouth: 0-9, Bartlet Lake (Winona).

Whitefish, Lake: 13-9, Lake of the Woods (Roseau).

Whitefish, Round (Menominee): 2-7, Lake Superior (Cook).

CONTACT INFORMATION

Conservation Officer

Call the DNR Information Center to connect with a Conservation Officer: 888-MINNDNR (888-646-6367). If you witness a violation in progress or need to contact a Conservation Officer immediately, call the Turn in Poachers 24-hour hotline: 800-652-9093.

HEALTH ADVISORY AND FISH

Most fish are healthy to eat and are a great source of protein, healthy fats (Omega-3s), and important vitamins, but any fish (store-bought or sport-caught) could have contaminants such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that can harm human health—especially children and fetuses. The Minnesota Department of Health lets people know how often fish can be safely eaten.

The guidelines below are based on contaminants measured in fish from lakes across the state. For more information, call the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-4911, toll-free at 800-657-3908 or visit health.state.mn.us/fish

Tips for safe fish eating
  • For consumption advice on individual waters that have been tested visit mndnr.gov/lakefind.
  • Older and larger predator fish (walleyes, northern pike, lake trout) contain more mercury—eat smaller predators.
  • Eat more panfish (sunfish, crappies) and fewer fish that eat other fish (walleyes, northern pike, lake trout).
  • PCBs accumulate the most in fatty fishes such as carp, catfish, and lake trout.

STATEWIDE CONSUMPTION GUIDELINES FOR FISH CAUGHT IN MINNESOTA

For consumption advice on individual waters that have been tested visit mndnr.gov/lakefind

Children and Women of Child-bearing Age:

One meal per week of the following:

  • Sunfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Bullhead
  • Stream trout
  • Cisco
  • Whitefish

One meal per month of the following:

  • Walleye
  • Northern pike
  • Catfish
  • Lake trout
  • All sizes of other species

Do not eat the following:

  • Muskellunge

Other Adults:

Check health.state.mn.us/fish for current guidance of the following:

  • Sunfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Bullhead
  • Stream trout
  • Cisco
  • Whitefish

One meal per week of the following:

  • All sizes of other species