DNR clears up confusion, says May 15 is fishing opener

Monday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources clarified the fishing opener date due to some recent confusion.

This year’s fishing season for walleye, bass, trout in lakes and northern pike will begin on May 15, the DNR said.

While the opener usually is over Mother’s Day weekend, it will be a week later this year. The DNR said that’s because the state statutes set the fishing opener date as two weeks before the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, which happens to be as late as it can be this year.

The DNR added that there is an error in the printed version of the Minnesota Fishing Regulations book regarding the dates for 2021 Take a Mom Fishing Weekend. That weekend — when resident moms can fish without buying a license — will be May 8-9, this year.

"We encourage Minnesota moms to get out and fish for free on May 8 and 9," Jon Hansen, fisheries program consultant for the DNR, said. "Even though the walleye season won’t be open, there are still plenty of fun and easy fishing opportunities for crappie, sunfish, or even under-appreciated fish like buffalo, sucker, bullhead or sheepshead."

Fishing season dates and the corrected handbook is available online.