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Minnesota Fishing Limits


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Bag Limit Public Survey, Executive Summary

Summary Of Bag Limit Recommendations

History Of Current Bag Limits

Data On What Anglers Catch

Angler Comments On Bag Limits

Managing Minnesota's Fishing Resource

Related Links
Fish and Game Finder Magazine

Fish Fair

Fishing Minnesota
Fleeger Fishing

Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation

Minnesota Fishing

Minnesota Fishing Online

Minnesota Trout Unlimited

Women Anglers of Minnesota

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Last Updated 4/22/01

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        I created this page to discuss the controversy over the current fishing bag limits in Minnesota lakes and rivers.  Many anglers assume that limits are based on sound biological fact and are meant to protect fish populations from overfishing.  But the fact is, most bag limits were established so long ago that biologists aren't entirely sure how they were devised.  Some bag limits were established more than a half a century ago.  Because fishing technology and attitudes have changed so much sinece then, many anglers and fisheries biologists now wonder is these old limits have become outdated and need revision.  Below I have listed some things that contribute to the controversy of bag limits.  Hopefully this page will give you some insight on the reasoning for bag limits.

Bag Limit Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Remind anglers that fish are a finite resource and have value Total harvest, size of fish, and catch rates may not be measurably changed on many waters
May reduce total harvest of some species, such as panfish Foster the public perception that limit reductions are all that is needed to improve fishing
Mya reduce harvest for some heavily fished species where many anglers cather their limit May negatively affect resort and bait industry economies
Potentially distribute fish to more anglers during periods of high catchability May reduce angling participation or negatively affect angler behavior
May reduce harvest during multiple-day angler trips Anglers may anticipate greater benefits than may actually occur
Promote a conservation ethic May increase public resistance when implementing other regulations
May play a role in reducing harvest if technology enables more anglers to catch their limit

Seasons and Limits For Inland Waters
Species Open Season Possession Limit
Walleye and Sauger (either or combined) May 12, 2001 - February 17, 2002 6 (Not more than 1 walleye over 24 inches may be taken daily.)
Northern Pike May 12, 2001 - February 17, 2002 3 (Not more than 1 over 30 inchese may be taken daily.)
Muskellunge including Hybrid Muskellunge June 2, 2001 - February 12, 2002 1
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass May 26, 2001- February 17, 2002 6 (No harvest of smallmouth bass is allowed from September 10, 2001 through the end of the season.  All smallmouth bass taken during this period must be immediately returned to the water.)
Crappie Continuous 15
Sunfish and Bluegill (either or combined) Continuous 30
Rock Bass Continuous 30
White Bass Continuous 30
Channel and Flathead Catfish (either or combined) Continuous 5
Perch Continuous 20 daily and 50 in possession through November 30, 2001
Bullhead Continuous 100
Whitefish and Rogh Fish Continuous No Limit
Smelt Continuous No Limit
Lake Sturgeon or Shovelnose Sturgeon Closed
Paddlefish No Open Season

Minnesota Fish Species

Nibbles (Links) Description

2001 Minnesota Fishing Regulations
You can download the 2001 Minnesota fishing regulations here.

Fishing In Minnesota
This is Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources fishing page.

Fishing Regulations - State of Minnesota - Brainerd
This page lists the some of the fishing regulations and has more information on fish.

Minnesota Fishing License Fees
This page lists the complete fees for all fish licenses.

Minnesota Fishing
A good page with lots of information on fishing Minnesota.
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This page was created and is updated by Darron Culbert
If you have any questions or concerns please email me at