Minnesota anglers are reminded of new regulations on various water bodies and other changes for the general 2012 fishing season. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials said the changes are summarized on page 4 of the 2012 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available at any license agent or online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.
New regulations for 2012 are listed below along with the page number in the regulations booklet where anglers can find more detail.
A change permitting multiple hooks on a single line allows anglers to use a crawler harness (page 9).
A change allowing artificial lures/bait to have an additional hook (page 9) allows anglers to use a stinger hook (page 9).
A new specific prohibition on noodling clarifies an existing provision that prohibits taking fish by hand (page 10).
When size restrictions are in place for a specific body of water and a fish is consumed on a watercraft docked or moored to shore and anglers are physically on the water, anglers must retain the fish carcass with head, dorsal fin and tail intact. Even after consumption, the fish must be counted as part of the possession limit.
Aquatic Invasive Species
Labeling from purchased dead bait must be retained (www.mndnr.gov/bait and page 12).
Bait buckets must be drained or have water exchanged if bait is kept prior to leaving any water body (page 12).
Drain plugs must be removed from all boating-related equipment prior to transporting (page 13).
A new list of waters infested with invasive species is provided (pages 16-25).
New restrictions on using fish taken from Lake Superior and its tributaries as bait are listed (page 33).
Catfish anglers may harvest bait in an infested waterbody and use that bait in the same water body, effective July 1.
The Minnesota Legislature repealed a requirement that watercraft display an aquatic invasive species (AIS) information sticker to avoid confusion when provisions of a new law go into effect in 2015. Although no longer required, placement of stickers on boats is still encouraged as a reminder about important AIS information.
The new law will require operators of trailers transporting watercraft or water-related equipment to complete an online AIS training course, beginning in 2015. When completed, trailer operators will receive a trailer sticker certifying their completion of the course.
Without repeal of the existing AIS sticker requirement, which was approved by the Legislature in 2011, display of both decals would have been required.
New experimental and special regulations were added or modified on six lakes and one stream with quality walleye, sunfish, crappie, brook trout or bass regulations (pages 34-54). Length-based regulations on northern pike were dropped on 21 lakes.
Lakes with key changes include:
Lake Vermilion (St. Louis County), walleye slot limit modified.
Long Lake (Kandiyohi County), largemouth bass slot limit modified.
Splithand, Little Splithand and Dixon lakes (Itasca County), panfish bag limits added.
Lester Lake (Hubbard County), catch and release for all species added.
Lawndale Creek (Wilkin County) catch and release for brook trout added.
Mille Lacs Lake walleye regulations were tightened. All walleye 17 to 28 inches must be immediately released. The possession limit is four fish, with only one longer than 28 inches.
A night fishing closure on Mille Lacs begins at 10 p.m. on Monday, May 14, and lasts from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily through Sunday, June 10. Night fishing on Mille Lacs begins at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11.
Anglers are reminded to check online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing for the latest additions or corrections.