Special Regulations Proposed for Walleye, Bass, Northern Pike, Crappie, Sunfish, Muskie and Trout on Some Lakes

Aug 18, 2005

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold public input meetings to discuss and take public comments on both new regulation proposals and existing special regulations for walleye, bass, northern pike, crappie, sunfish, muskie and trout on 53 lakes and three rivers located across the state. Of special interest to anglers are Upper Red Lake and Lake Vermilion, where new regulations are being proposed to protect and improve walleye, and Lake of the Woods, where the current regulation for northern pike has been evaluated.

Many of the new proposals are a result of a statewide review of existing regulations, which began in 1999. These discussions resulted in a suite of regulations designed to improve fishing for walleye, bass, northern pike, crappie, sunfish and bluegill. Referred to as the fisheries "toolbox regulations," these regulations provide simple, effective options for fisheries managers to choose from.

Although managers can still propose regulations outside the toolbox options, use of toolbox regulations will minimize the number of different regulations, resulting in better angler compliance and streamline the evaluations of new regulations. Lakes chosen for these toolbox regulations or for other types of regulations will be monitored over a 10- to 15-year period to evaluate the effectiveness of the regulations in improving fish populations

In addition to new proposals, several public meetings will review regulations currently in place on lakes and streams. These regulations have been evaluated over a number of years. The public is invited to provide comment on whether to extend, modify, or drop the regulations.

Currently, the DNR has special or experimental regulations in effect for walleye in 49 lakes, bass in 48 lakes, northern pike in 103 lakes, crappie in 19 lakes and sunfish in 27 lakes. Much has been learned from these and earlier attempts to improve fish populations with length and/or bag limits, according to the DNR.

Lakes were posted this spring at public access points with signs that announced the proposals. Public notices for each of the meetings will be published in local newspapers. For more information on these upcoming local meetings, contact the local DNR Fisheries office.

For those unable to attend a local meeting, an open house will be held on Sept 22, 8-4:30 p.m. at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul. Staff will be available to take comment on any proposal. Additional comments can be submitted up to 10 days after the meeting by mail, by e-mail to al.stevens@dnr.state.mn.us or by calling (651) 297-3287.

Written or verbal comments will also be accepted at the local fisheries office up to 10 days following the meeting. To locate phone numbers and addresses of local fisheries offices, see page 93 in the 2005 Fishing Regulations Booklet, or visit the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us . The open houses are scheduled for:

- Many Point Lake (Becker County) muskie, Aug. 16, 7-9 p.m., Many Point Lake Boy Scout Camp, Ponsford

- French Lake (Rice County) winter spearing regulations, Aug. 22, 4-7 p.m., Elks Lodge, Faribault

- Lake Sallie and Lake Melissa (Becker County) northern pike, Aug. 23, 7-9 p.m., Becker County Technical College, Detroit Lakes

- Green Lake (Kandiyohi County) bass, northern pike, walleye, Aug. 25, 5-9 p.m., Dethlef's Senior Center, Spicer

- Vermillion River (Dakota County) trout, Sept. 6, 7-9 p.m., Rambling River Center, Farmington

- Pierz Lake (Morrison County) bass, Sept. 8, 7-9 p.m., Healy High School, Pierz

- Big Birch Lake (Todd and Stearns counties) northern pike, Sept. 9, 5-9 p.m., Grey Eagle Elementary School, Grey Eagle

- Itasca, Elk, Ozawindib, and Mary lakes (Clearwater and Hubbard counties) sunfish, crappie, bass, northern pike and walleye, Sept. 13, 7- 9 p.m., Itasca State Park Visitor's Center, Itasca State Park

- Lake Minnewashta (Carver County) largemouth bass, Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m., Chanhassen Recreation Center, Chanhassen

- North Turtle Lake and Franklin Lake (Otter Tail County) bass, crappie, Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m., Fergus Falls Area DNR office, and Sept 15, 7-9 p.m., Lake Region Electric Cooperative Headquarters, Pelican Rapids

- Lake Agnes and Lake Henry (Douglas County) bass, Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m., Douglas County Fairgrounds (Viking Sportsmen's Club), Alexandria

- Big Mantrap, Belle Taine, Shallow, Fishhook, and Kabekona lakes (Hubbard County) bass, crappie, walleye, Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m., Park Rapids Public Library, Park Rapids

- Upper Red Lake (Beltrami) walleye, northern pike, Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m., Kelliher Community Center, Kelliher

- Farm, Garden, South Farm, White Iron Chain, and Vermilion lakes (Lake and St. Louis counties) walleye, Sept.19, 4-7 p.m., Fall Lake Town Hall, Ely

- Deer, Battle, Pickerel and Turtle lakes (Itasca County) bass, sunfish, Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m., Bigfork City Hall, Bigfork

- Balsam Lake and Spider Lake (Itasca County) northern pike, Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m., Balsam Memorial Hall, Bovey

- Blackduck, Big Bass, Balm, Deer, Gull, South Twin, and Clearwater lakes (Beltrami County) sunfish, bass, northern Pike and walleye, Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m., Northern Township Hall, Bemidji

- Cottonwood Lake (Grant County) sunfish, walleye, Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m., Oddfellows Lodge Hall, Herman

- Long Lake (Kandiyohi County) bass, Sept. 20, 5:30-8 p.m., New London City Hall, New London

- Red Wing Pottery Pond (Goodhue County) trout, Sept. 21, 6:30-8 p.m., Elks Lodge, Red Wing

- Sand Lake (Lake County) sunfish, and Dyers Lake (Cook County) sunfish and crappie, Sept. 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Finland Rec Hall, Finland

- Stoney Brook (Cass County) trout, Sept. 22, 6-8 p.m., Brainerd Area Fishery Office, Brainerd

- Lake of the Woods and Rainy River (Lake of the Woods, Koochiching, Roseau counties) northern pike, Sept. 28, 7-9 p.m., Lake of the Woods High School, Baudette. Sept. 29, 7-9 p.m., Roseau High School, Roseau

- Chisago Lake and South Lindstrom Lake (Chisago County) bass, Oct. 4, 4-6:30 p.m., Chisago City Hall, Chisago City

- Long Lake and Crooked Lake (Stearns County) bass, northern pike, Oct. 5, 7-9 p.m., Lyndon Township Hall, Clearwater

- Rainy Lake (Koochiching and St. Louis counties) walleye, Oct. 18, 7-9 p.m., Rainy River Community College, International Falls

- Jane Lake (Washington County) bass, Oct. 25, 7-8 p.m., Lake Elmo City Hall, Lake Elmo

- Turtle Lake (Ramsey County) bass, Oct. 27, 7-8 p.m., DNR Regional Fisheries office, 1200 Warner Rd, St. Paul.

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