Anglers and others can give their opinions about fishing regulations that are in place or are newly proposed on 14 lakes and three rivers.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has scheduled eight public meetings across the state in coming weeks to review regulations, and the DNR also is accepting written and verbal public comments on the regulations before and 10 days after each meeting.
Highlights of topics being covered include Lake Vermilion walleye regulations, and a proposal to offer new fall catch-and-release trout fishing opportunities on three waters in southeastern Minnesota.
“We want there to be more places with quality fishing in this state, and just as importantly, we want these opportunities to remain available long into the future,” said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries regulation consultant. “For more than 30 years, we’ve managed fish populations in many places using regulations that apply to specific waters, called special or experimental regulations.”
Special or experimental regulations limit the length or number of fish anglers can keep, and are found in their own section of the 2016 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook (pages 29 to 43) and online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.
While the DNR regularly reviews both special and experimental regulations, experimental regulations are in effect for a specific period of time, usually 10 to 15 years. Before experimental regulations end, fisheries managers evaluate them and gather input from public meetings to help determine whether they should be extended, modified or dropped.
- Cass County: Discussion of proposal for new bag limits for sunfish and black crappie on Little Webb and Moccasin lakes, and for sunfish on Lake Thirteen, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, Woodrow Township Hall, 1133 County Road 11 NW, Hackensack.
- Fillmore County: Review of proposal for new catch-and-release trout regulations on sections of the South Branch of the Root River, Spring Valley Creek and Mill Creek, 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, Lanesboro Public Library, Lanesboro.
- Itasca County: Review of existing northern pike regulations on Bowstring, Sand, Little Sand, Portage, Birds Eye, Round and Alice lakes and connected waters, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Sand Lake Community Center, County Road 4 near Squaw Lake.
- Stearns County: Review of existing sunfish regulations for Pleasant Lake, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, Rockville City Hall, 229 E. Broadway St., Rockville; and review of existing sunfish regulation for Carnelian Lake, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, Kimball City Hall, 1 Main St. N., Kimball.
- St. Louis County: Review of existing walleye regulation on Lake Vermilion, 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, Tower Civic Center, 402 Pine St., Tower.
- Wright County: Review of existing northern pike and black crappie regulation on Sugar Lake, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, Corinna Township Hall, 9801 Ireland Ave. NW, Annandale.
Call or write to local fisheries offices to comment about regulations proposals. Telephone numbers of local fisheries offices can be found online at www.mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries, or on page 88 of the fishing regulations handbook. The offices will accept written or verbal comments up to 10 days following a local meeting.
Anyone who cannot attend a local meeting can attend an open house about the regulation proposals that will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road. No formal presentations will be made at the open house. However, staff will be available to take comments on any proposal by Monday, Oct. 10. Comment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 651-259-5239.