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Paynesville Press - May 7, 2003

New fish limits to take effect

New limits for crappie, sunfish, lake trout, and catfish will take effect on the 2003 fishing opener on Saturday, May 10.

Daily and possession limits for crappies will go from 15 to 10, for sunfish from 30 to 20, and for lake trout from three to two. The catfish limits remain at five, but only one may be more than 24 inches and only two may be flatheads.

The limit changes are the result of extensive biological analysis and public input that began about two years ago. Most Minnesota game fish limits have remained unchanged for the last 40 to 70 years, yet fishing pressure and technology have increased dramatically during that time, according to the DNR.

During the public input process, the DNR received more than 5,000 comments and held 19 public meetings statewide.

The DNR encourages anglers to take time and review the 2003 fishing regulations before the inland fishing opener on Saturday.

"We made a number of changes this year, and anglers need to make sure they are aware of the regulations before they fish," said Linda Erickson-Eastwood, program manager for the DNR Division of Fisheries.

Changes and new regulations are listed on page 5 of the regulations booklets, which are available wherever fishing licenses are sold. Special and experimental regulations are summarized on pages 27-42 in the regulations booklet.

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