Trout fishing seasons might get longer

The dream of many Minnesota trout anglers could be realized this fall and next winter, as the Department of Natural Resources is planning to extend catch-and-release fishing in this region in three ways:

• On all streams through Oct. 15, instead of ending at the end of September as is the law now.

• In some state parks, probably Whitewater, Forestville and Beaver Creek Valley, from Oct. 16 through Dec. 31.

• On all streams from Jan. 1 through April 1; the winter season is now restricted to selected waters. Beginning April 1 now, all streams are open and the regular season, when keeping fish on most streams is allowed, begins in mid-April.

The season was once closed through much of the fall and winter, but the DNR slowly opened it to some catch-and-release angling to determine if it would harm fish populations. Data didn't show significant mortality from that angling, and more streams were added in winter. Some anglers said they would like to fish year-round in Minnesota instead of heading to other states, such as Iowa.


The proposed new rules and repeal of others will be adopted without a public hearing unless 25 signatures requesting a hearing are received in writing by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28.

The DNR is also seeking public input on the proposals.

Comments or questions on the proposed changes and written requests for a public hearing should be submitted to Linda Erickson-Eastwood, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155-4020.

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