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image links to news release News Release DNR Open House Lake of the Woods Fisheries Management Plan July 24, 2018

image links to press release "A draft five-year plan that guides fisheries management activities for Lake of the Woods will be discussed at a public open house on Tuesday, July 24. The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lake of the Woods Ambulance garage, 111 First St. SW in Baudette.

“This open house will let participants ask questions and submit comments. No presentation will be made so people can arrive at any time,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette area fisheries supervisor. “The open house also serves as an opportunity to meet new staff in the Baudette area fisheries office.”

The plan outlines proposed five-year fish population objectives and management actions for walleye, sauger, northern pike and lake sturgeon. The draft management plan was developed in partnership with the 14-member Lake of the Woods Fisheries Input Group comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders with an interest in the popular border lake.

A 30-day online public comment period ended July 11. Additional comments can be submitted in writing at the public open house and through Wednesday, Aug. 15. The updated Lake of the Woods Management Plan will be finalized early this fall.

More information about Lake of the Woods and the draft fisheries management plan can be found on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods."


image links to fishing guide jeff sundin Jeff Sundin Fishing Report July 15, 2018 "Raising The Raisable; Itasca Area Water Levels Vastly Improved"

Last year at this time, drought conditions made launching a fiberglass boat at some of the shallow water ramps was a dicey proposition. For me, getting into the water and horsing my glass boat off the trailer bunks got me through until about August 1st, but after that, I had to switch over to using the Alaskan almost exclusively until the end of the fishing season.
The drought conditions persisted this spring, especially in the area north and west of Grand Rapids where rainfall was lighter than it was further south. In fact one of the most common email questions before the fishing opener was; “can I get my boat into the Landings on Lakes like Bowstring, Round, Little Winnie and others.”
Happily, we now have vastly improved access to all Itasca Area Lakes which can..." Read >> Fishing Report July 15, 2018


image links to news release News Release June 20, 2018 DNR Considers changing Lake of the Woods Walleye-Sauger Regulations

image of lake map "Angling regulations on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River in northern Minnesota would change under a proposal being considered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to reduce the number of walleye and sauger allowed to be kept in the winter on the lake, and on the river allowing only catch-and-release fishing for those fish in the spring.

“We recently went through a public process of updating the Lake of the Woods Fisheries Management Plan and identified several potential areas of concern with regard to current levels of harvest,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette fisheries supervisor. “That’s why we’re discussing these potential changes.”

The proposed changes would reduce the aggregate limit of walleye and sauger in the winter to align with the summer regulations on Lake of the Woods, and make spring angling on the Rainy River catch-and-release for walleye and sauger. The changes would go into effect starting March 1, 2019.

Anglers will see yellow signs at public water accesses around Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River later this month notifying the public of the proposal. Future news releases will provide the details of a formal public comment period during the fall, and will include ways to provide comment to the DNR on the proposal.

Learn more about Lake of the Woods management go to mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods."


image links to news release News Release May 30, 2018 "DNR cautions lakeshore property owners about using hydraulic jets"

Using hydraulic jets to get rid of “muck” or to uproot aquatic plants in public waters is illegal, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“We remind lakeshore property owners that just because you can buy a hydraulic jet does not make them legal to use in all situations,” said Jon Hansen, aquatic plant management consultant. “You may not use them in any way that disturbs the lake bottom or destroys rooted aquatic plants,”

Aquatic plants help keep water clean and fish populations healthy. Misusing hydraulic jets can destroy fish habitat and muddy the water.

Hydraulic jets, including products like HydroSweep, Aqua Blaster, Aqua Thruster and Aquasweep, can resemble a fan or trolling motor contained in a short tube and create strong currents of moving water. These products are often advertised to control or remove “muck” and “weeds” from a lake bottom; however, using hydraulic jets in this manner is not allowed in Minnesota.

A person may legally operate a hydraulic jet if it is placed high enough off the lake bed so that it does not disturb the bottom or destroy rooted aquatic plants. It should be directed upward toward the water’s surface, which can prevent dead vegetation and duckweed from collecting around docks and boat lifts. Any displacement of sediment or removal of aquatic plants as a result of operating a hydraulic jet would be deemed a violation and may result in a fine.

Aquatic plant regulations and a guide to aquatic plants can be found at mndnr.gov/shorelandplants. For information on DNR water permits, visit mndnr.gov/permits.


New Northern Pike Fishing Regulations For 2018 Minnesota Fishing Season

image of northern pike New regulations for catching and keeping northern pike will be the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state.

“Anyone who wants to keep pike in Minnesota’s inland waters needs to take a close look at these regulations and be prepared to measure the pike they want to keep starting on the Saturday, May 12, fishing opener,” said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The new fishing regulations have three distinct zones to address the different characteristics of pike populations in Minnesota. While not designed to manage for trophy pike, the new regulations are meant to restore pike populations for better harvest opportunities across the state for sizes that make good table fare, up to around 28 inches or so. image of grilled northern pike

“It’s almost go-time and we’re happy to be at this point after years of discussion on these issues with pike,” Stevens said. “This has been a long-running topic of conversation and is becoming reality in the 2018 fishing season.”

The move toward new regulations was a response to anglers’ concerns about the over-abundance of hammer-handle pike in much of central to north-central Minnesota; the low numbers of pike present in southern waters; and a desire to protect large pike in the northeastern part of the state. The new pike harvest regulations apply to inland waters of the state.

• North-central: Limit of 10 northern pike, but not more than two pike longer than 26 inches; all from 22 to 26 inches must be released.
• Northeast: Two pike; anglers must release all from 30 to 40 inches, with only one over 40 inches allowed in possession.
• South: Two fish; minimum size 24 inches.

Darkhouse spearing regulations for pike change slightly and those regulations are listed in the spearing section of the regulations booklet.

Meanwhile, the new pike regulations do not affect border waters fishing regulations and special regulations that cover individual lakes, rivers and streams.

For more information on the new zone regulations visit mndnr.gov/pike or contact a local area fisheries office. Contact information can be found in the fishing regulations booklet, available online at >> mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.


image links to news release News Release May 3, 2018 Itasca County Fishing Closures Will Protect Spawning Fish

image of spawning walleyes "Anglers in Itasca County will notice fishing closure signs at several area lakes and a creek this spring. These temporary closures are regularly enacted during the start of the fishing season to protect concentrations of spawning fish that may be vulnerable to over-harvest.

All closed areas will be posted with signs and fishing for all species will be prohibited.

The following closures are in effect from now until June 30:

Johnson Lake (south of Marcell): panfish spawning areas on the south end of the lake, northern bay, and small bay on the west shore.

Round Lake (near Lawrence Lake), panfish spawning areas in two bays on south side of the lake.
The following closure is in effect from May 3 until May 31:

Moody’s Creek, Walleye spawning area from county road 432 upstream 1/2 mile.

The following waters are closed from May 12 until midnight on May 18:

First River flowage from William’s Narrows upstream to Egg Lake, including Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake. This closure is necessary to conserve walleyes that are still concentrated for spawning or may have been held in the area due to netting for egg take operations at Little Cut Foot Sioux.

Under Minnesota law, the Department of Natural Resources is given authority to seasonally close fish spawning area.

Questions can be directed to the DNR fisheries office in Grand Rapids at 218-328-8836Call: 218-328-8836, or to grandrapids.fisheries@state.mn.us."


image links to news release April 9, 2018 Upper Red Lake walleye regulations announced for 2018 open water season

Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this spring will again be able to keep four walleye of which only one may be longer than 17 inches, continuing the same regulation that was in place this past winter and the previous 2017 open water season.

Harvest under the four-fish bag limit, one-over-17 regulation resulted in about 152,000 pounds for the winter season – a record high for winter harvest since reopening walleye fishing in 2006 – and there remains room within the target harvest range to allow this regulation to continue into the open water season.

“Anglers really like the current opportunities to keep lots of walleye on Upper Red Lake,” said Gary Barnard, area fisheries supervisor in Bemidji for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “These regulations serve a specific purpose now, but we want to be clear that eventually we may need to pull back.”

Red Lake’s walleye harvest is managed under a joint harvest plan, revised in 2015 by the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee. An Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee reviewed previous season harvest totals and regulation options and recommended continuation of the current walleye regulation for the state waters of Upper Red Lake.

The revised harvest plan recommends an aggressive approach when walleye spawning stock is in surplus, as it currently is. The one-over component of this regulation replaced a protected slot limit in December 2015, and has been used ever since in combination with either a three- or four-fish bag limit.

Surplus spawning stock means that there are more adult spawners than needed for good reproduction. Removing some of the excess is good for the population since it will improve growth and survival of young fish.

Adjustments to size or bag limits may be needed in the future if the spawning stock needs more protection. “For now, the regulations meet our objectives by spreading harvest over a wide range of sizes and removing some of the surplus spawning stock,” Barnard said.

More information on Red Lake fishing regulations are available at mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.


Northern Pike, The Quest For Quality - Jeff Sundin

image of huge pike "Travel with almost any group of anglers in Northern Minnesota and you’re bound to hear some pretty dicey comments that reflect poorly on the present state of Northern Pike fishing in the northland.

All too often, anglers encounter lakes that have enormous populations of stunted Pike where catching a "quality fish" could earn you a lifetime achievement award. Try to swim a lure through these legions of small Pike and it’s easy to see how they would raise the ire of anyone hoping to attract the attention of more worthy combatants.

Snakes, scissors bills, slimes and a host of other even less flattering nicknames get thrown around on nearly every fishing trip.

But in my travels as a full time fishing guide, I have seen strange transformations occur whenever someone catches ..." Read >> The Quest For Quality Pike


Kids Can Posess Their Own Fish Limits In Minnesota

Q) When I'm fishing with kids, can they have their own limit of fish in addition to mine?

A) Nonresidents age 16 and older are required to have an appropriate fishing license while angling. Non residents under age 16 do not need a license if the parent or guardian is licensed. Children of an adult who has a Minnesota Nonresident Family License may possess their own limit of fish.

However, if the adult has only an Individual License or if the parents have a Husband and Wife License, then the child’s fish are included in the adult’s limit. Nonresidents under age 16 may purchase a nonresident youth license and possess their own limit of fish.

Minnesota Residents under age 16 may take fish without a license. The statute does not state explicitly that under age residents my possess their own limit of fish. But the legislators use of the phrase "take fish" implies that the kids are entitled to their own limit.

*See a complete, Printable PDF >> Minnesota Statutes 97A.451 License Requirements and Exemptions Relating To Age


Jeff Sundin is a full time, professional fishing guide, outdoor writer and photographer. Book Jeff for guided fishing trips, for fishing seminars, fishing promotions and media events. Click here >> learn more about Jeff Sundin.

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