How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fishing regulations get more complex every year

There are 345 lakes with special rule provisions in 2007, up from 285 last year. That is why the DNR's fishing regulations booklet is must reading.

Doug Smith

Fishing regulations have become more common and complex over the years, and that's the case again for 2007.
A prime example: There are 345 lakes with special fishing regulations this year, up from 285 last year.

Perhaps more than ever, anglers need to be aware of the myriad fishing regulations. At 82 pages, the 2007 DNR fishing regulations booklet is a must-read for anglers. Pick up a copy at most sporting goods stores or bait shops, or you can see them online at the DNR's website,

Here are some changes for this season, but, as always, see the regulations booklet for more details:

Muskie management

There's a 48-inch minimum size limit on 47 muskie lakes and connecting waters and two rivers; the lakes include Mille Lacs, Bemidji, Cass and Leech. The idea is to protect the burgeoning muskie fishery.

Daily-possession limits

To clear up any confusion, the DNR this year spelled out that the daily and possession bag limits for most fish species are the same. And that limit includes fish in a livewell, at home or at a resort. The daily limit is the number of fish an angler is allowed to take in one calendar day. Eating or giving fish away on the same day doesn't allow an angler to possess additional fish taken that same day.

Transporting fish

The DNR also has clarified its regulations on transporting fish. "Except on the body of water where taken, live fish may not be transported in a quantity of water sufficient to keep them alive unless the fish are bait or the person is authorized to do so by the DNR," part of the regulation states. There's much more, of course. The fish-transporting regulations take up more than a page in the DNR regulations booklet.

Spiny waterflea

New regulations also have been imposed this year restricting transport of water and bait on Minnesota-Canada border waters to prevent the spread of spiny waterflea, an invasive species that got into the Great Lakes in the ballast of cargo ships and has been moving inland. The regulations affect Rainy Lake, Namakan Lake, Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. They prohibit the transport of water and the harvest of bait for personal use and restrict the commercial harvest of bait from those waters, similar to zebra mussel-infested waters in Minnesota. The critters collect in masses, sticking to fishing lines, downrigger cables and anchor lines.


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