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Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is June 6-8

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It’s Take a Kid Fishing Weekend in Minnesota on Friday-Sunday, June 6-8, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

During this three-day period, Minnesotans age 16 or older do not need a fishing license while taking a child age 15 or younger fishing.

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For more information on how, when and where to fish, see the DNR’s Fish Minnesota page at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn.

Muskie season opens Saturday

Anglers have one big reason to cast again and again when the statewide muskellunge season opens Saturday, June 7 – big muskie live in Minnesota waters.

Minnesota is a muskie fishing destination, thanks in part to research-based management by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a catch-and-release ethic shared by many muskie anglers.

“People come here because they have the chance to catch a giant muskie,” said Mike Habrat, DNR fisheries specialist in Detroit Lakes. “Muskie anglers are more than happy to cast all day long and not catch a fish, but if they get the chance to see one of those fish follow their lure to the boat – that’s all they talk about for the next two weeks.”

For these reasons, some circles of muskie anglers even refer to themselves as muskie hunters. The chance to catch a trophy is what led the Minnesota Muskie and Pike Alliance to support a 54-inch minimum size limit, which was adopted into this year’s game and fish bill, and will become effective with the 2015 muskie season.

What will be the result? The change likely will allow fish to grow larger, said Habrat. Until the new size limit goes into effect, the statewide minimum size is 48 inches.

The change also supersedes previous rulemaking efforts undertaken by the DNR, which had a rule in process that would have increased the statewide minimum from 48- to 50-inches, with plans to move select waters to 56 inches. The new legislation supersedes the rule, except on border waters and other select waters designated by the DNR commissioner.

The length limit makes exceptions for muskie-northern pike hybrids, also called tiger muskie, in the seven-county metro area, where the minimum size limit remains 40 inches on certain lakes.

Minnesota’s rise as a renowned muskie fishing destination is the result of research that identified how best to capture and rear a large-growing native strain of muskie, stocking this strain in appropriate waters, and managing the harvest. The new size length regulation will help the state continue to be a destination for those seeking large muskie, Habrat said.

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