DNR proposes special fishing regulations, seeks public’s input

The Minnesota DNR is asking for input on several fishing regulation proposals on multiple waterways for the 2024 fishing season.

The DNR said that the regulations, if enacted, will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The state agency is proposing new regulations on the following topics:

  • Northern pike in Gull Lake chain (Cass and Crow Wing counties) – A proposed experimental regulation is intended to provide better protection for large northern pike and reduce enforcement complexities by applying the same regulation to all connected waters.
  • Northern pike in Pearl Lake (Stearns County) – An experimental protected slot limit is expiring in 2024 and survey data indicate the regulation is not achieving management objectives. The proposal would allow the regulation to expire and revert to the North Central Zone northern pike regulation.
  • Crappie and sunfish in Clearwater and Maple lakes (Wright County) – In an effort to maintain and hopefully increase size quality of both crappie and sunfish, the proposal would reduce the daily limits in both lakes, which have heavy fishing pressure.
  • Sunfish in First, Second, Third and Fourth Crow Wing lakes (Hubbard County) – To reduce angler confusion and facilitate easier enforcement, the proposal would combine all four Crow Wing lakes and the connected Crow Wing River into one regulated waterbody with a daily limit of five sunfish.
  • Sunfish in Winnibigoshish Lake and connected waters (Beltrami, Cass, Itasca counties) –To facilitate easier enforcement, the proposal would include Lake Winnibigoshish in the reduced daily limit for sunfish that is already in effect for connected Cut Foot Sioux and Little Cut Foot Sioux lakes.
  • Northern pike in Balsam, Haskell and Scrapper Lakes (Itasca County) – This proposal would apply one of two slot limits for northern pike to all three connected lakes. Currently, Balsam Lake has a protected slot limit, but the two connected waters do not.
  • Walleye in Big Sand Lake (Hubbard County) – The walleye population in Big Sand Lake has not responded to various special regulations, including the current slot limit. This proposal would repeal the special regulation and apply the statewide regulation, which is not expected to impact the existing walleye fishery.

Anyone can provide feedback on the proposals through an online survey that will be open to the public through Friday, Oct. 20. Comments on individual proposals can also be directed to area fisheries offices.

General input can be directed to DNR Fisheries Management Consultant Jon Hansen at jon.hansen@state.mn.us or by calling 651-259-5239.

Information on in-person meetings being held between Thursday, Sept. 7 and Thursday, Oct. 5 can be found here.