Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
An angler from Stillwater has set a new record for lake sturgeon in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ catch-and-release category. Jack Burke and fishing buddy Michael Orgas were recently on a lake sturgeon fishing trip to remember. Fishing on the Rainy River in Koochiching County, the duo was having a lot of success fishing for Minnesota’s biggest fish, landing 20 fish in three days including six lake sturgeon over 60 inches before hooking into the new state record – a 73-inch long lake sturgeon.
Avid angler Dustin Stone caught a new state record silver redhorse in the certified weight category of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ record fish program. Stone caught the 10-pound, 6-ounce silver redhorse while fishing for lake sturgeon on the Rainy River in Koochiching County on April 28. He was fishing with 80-pound braided line tipped with a night crawler.
Hunters are reminded that applications for bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through Friday, May 4, wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing license are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236. A total of 3,350 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season is open from Saturday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 14.
The new northern pike fishing regulations, which were announced recently and go into effect on the May 12 fishing opener, have three distinct zones to address the different characteristics of pike populations in Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Each of the zones – north-central, northeast and south – provide protection for different sizes of pike, and there are reasons for those differences.
The lingering cold weather is delaying ice-out on Minnesota lakes and rivers, which could make it difficult for DNR crews to have the 1,500 public water accesses it manages ready in time for the May 12 fishing opener. “I want Minnesotans to know that we are doing everything we can to get ready for the fishing opener,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr, “but mostly what we need are warmer temperatures and sunshine.” There are approximately 3,000 public water access sites statewide, and the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division manages about half of them.
Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2017 expire Wednesday, Feb. 28, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Licenses for 2018 are now available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236. All 2018 fishing licenses become effective Thursday, March 1. New licenses are required for 2017 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Feb. 28.
First day hikes will take place at 14 Minnesota state parks on Monday, Jan. 1, as part of a nationwide effort, led by America's state parks, to promote starting the new year with fresh air and physical activity. More than 400 hikes are scheduled in all 50 states. Minnesota’s events include five daytime hikes, four snowshoe hikes, three full moon hikes. First day hikes are free. This year, for the first time, there’s an underground option too: Guided tours of the cave at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park will take place hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Beginning this ice fishing season, anglers using a wheelhouse type of ice or dark-house shelter are required to purchase a license to place the shelter on the ice, even when occupying it. A new definition for portable shelters has been provided in law, which states that a portable shelter is one that collapses, folds or is disassembled for transportation .
Special fishing regulations will change March 1 on a number of Minnesota waters following an annual public input and review process, according to the Department of Natural Resources. “Anglers need to know special regulations because they take precedence over statewide regulations,” said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the DNR. “We have special regulations to improve fish populations and make fishing better or more sustainable.”
Anglers and spearers pursuing northern pike this winter can prepare for new pike regulations that will be in effect for the spring fishing opener on Minnesota’s inland waters. “Pike regulations remain the same this winter, with major changes coming this spring,” said Chris Kavanaugh, northeast region fisheries manager. “As anglers continue fishing for pike, we encourage them to get used to measuring their catches and even consider keeping some of the smaller ones in the north-central part of the state.”