Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Winter anglers on Lake Mille Lacs will again enjoy a walleye harvest this winter for the third season in a row, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Similar to last season, anglers will be allowed to keep walleye on Mille Lacs starting Saturday, Dec. 1, with no bait restrictions and a limit of one walleye between 21-23 inches, or one fish over 28 inches.
A 43 1/2 inch pike caught by a member of the Women Anglers of Minnesota on Mille Lacs Lake sets the first northern pike state record in the Department of Natural Resources’ catch-and-release category. Angler Maddy Ogg caught and released the huge pike Oct. 6 during what she described as a cold and windy day of fishing. She and companions Mike Buckingham and Jenni Buckingham got an early start that morning, soon landing two fish at the same time.
With the bear hunting season set to begin Saturday, Sept. 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks that hunters avoid shooting research bears marked with distinctively large, colorful ear tags and have radio-collars.
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.