With bowfishing for rough fish such as carp growing in popularity, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that they need a plan for what to do with any fish harvested – a plan that doesn’t entail disposing of the carcasses in a ditch or at a public access.
“We’re seeing a few too many cases where people are just dumping the fish,” said Capt. Greg Salo, DNR central region enforcement supervisor. “Not only is that pretty disgusting, it’s littering, a misdemeanor that carries a $150 fine.”
Curt Cich, president of the Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association, said the practice also gives bowfishing and the people who enjoy it a bad image. “These activities by a few people don’t reflect the practices of the majority of bowfishers, who practice their sport ethically and responsibly,” Cich said.
Cich recommends that all bowfishers have a disposal plan before practicing the activity.
Appropriate disposal techniques for carp include donating to mink or hog farms, composting, and burying the carcasses on private land with the permission of the owner.
Because bowfishing often is practiced at night in shallow, near-shore waters using bright lights powered by generators, misunderstandings between the anglers and lakeshore owners can sometimes arise.
The practice is legal, Salo noted, if the noise generated between sunset and sunrise does not exceed 65 decibels, and no arrows are discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure, or within 300 feet of a campsite.
Lakeshore residents should not harass anglers who are legally bowfishing.