Area News | Home | Marketplace | Community

Return to Sports Archives

Paynesville Press - August 7, 2002

DNR releases proposed changes to fishing limits

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing a reduction to the statewide daily and possession limits for sunfish, crappie, catfish, and lake trout on inland and Canadian border waters. The proposed rule changes would be implemented in May 2003.

The changes do not affect the limits for walleye, bass, northern pike, or stream trout.

The proposed changes include:
•crappie (black and white) daily and possession limit would be reduced from 15 to 10;
•sunfish daily and possession limit would be reduced from 30 to 20;
•lake trout daily and possession limit would be reduced from three to two;
•catfish daily and possession limit would remain at five, but only two could be flathead catfish and only one, whether flathead or channel, could be more than 24 inches long.

Requests for a public hearing on the proposed changes must be submitted in writing. The request should include the specific rule for which a hearing is requested and why, and include the writer's name and address. Requests must be received prior to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Send requests to Linda Erickson-Eastwood, Box 12, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4012. Comments supporting or opposing the rules can be submitted via the Internet at or by e-mail to

For more information about the proposed changes, call toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

This is a species of great concern to biologists due to declines in average size in many lakes. One of the proposals submitted for public review was to lower the crappie limit from 15 to six, but there was no public support. The DNR is proposing a 10-fish limit, which surveys showed would be acceptable to most anglers.

This group of species includes bluegill, which are the most popular sunfish for anglers. Like crappie, bluegill have shown a steady decline in average size. One proposal submitted for public review was to lower the sunfish limit from 30 to 10. This proposal had little public support. The DNR is proposing a limit of 20, which most anglers indicated they would accept.

Lake trout
Overharvest of this species is of great concern to DNR biologists. Lowering the limit to two had strong statewide support, including anglers in the Arrowhead region, which holds most of Minnesota's roughly 100 lake trout lakes.

Of greatest concern with catfish is anglers taking home limits of large flathead and channel catfish on rivers such as the Mississippi and the Minnesota. The one-over-24-inches regulation, already in place on the Red River and its tributaries, will help protect those trophy fisheries. Reducing the limit to only two flatheads should also help maintain quality fishing opportunities for that species.

Contact the author at   •   Return to Sports

Home | Marketplace | Community