Start Planning 2006 Fishing Tournaments

September 15, 2005

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has started accepting applications for 2006 fishing tournaments. Applications received by Oct. 28 will be given preference under rules adopted to redistribute tournament traffic on busy lakes.

The DNR limits the size and frequency of tournaments on lakes smaller than 55,000 acres. Any open-water tournament that has more than 30 participants or an entry fee more than $25 requires a DNR permit. Permits for ice fishing contests are required for contests exceeding 150 participants. Permits are free. In 2005, DNR issued nearly 600 permits statewide for both open water and ice fishing contests.

"By limiting the number of contests held on any lake on a monthly basis, we are addressing the concerns of lake users that fishing tournaments disturb their fishing, swimming, boating and other water recreation," said Al Stevens, DNR Fisheries Program consultant. "For the most part, our tournament program has resulted in fewer complaints over the last several years because tournament organizers distributed tournaments over a number of lakes rather than focusing on a select few. Additionally, we keep two weekends each month free of permitted tournaments."

The number of tournaments allowed each month is based on lake size. For example, on lakes smaller than 2,000 acres, two tournaments per month are allowed, limited to 50 boats or 100 participants. Lakes from 15,000 to 55,000 acres can have five contests per month, three of which may exceed 100 participants. There are no limits for lakes larger than 55,000 acres.

If the number of applications exceeds monthly limits, the DNR uses a lottery to allocate available permits. Applications received from Sept. 1 through Oct. 28 will be eligible for any necessary lottery drawing. Tournaments with a history established prior to 2001 for a particular lake and time period will have preference.

Applications received after Oct. 28 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis through the 2006 tournament season.

For a complete summary of the tournament regulations, call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 from the Twin Cities or 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) in greater Minnesota.

Summary and a tournament application is also available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us .

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