Saint Paul, MN

Anglers can give feedback on the newly proposed Minnesota sunfish fishing regulations until October

Paula Carlsen

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ST. PAUL, MN - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources proposes adjustments to protect and improve sunfish size by cutting daily limits on 52 lakes. Anglers can provide input on the proposed regulations that will take effect next year if enacted.

"The majority of the proposed regulations are for the second and final year of the DNR's Quality Sunfish Initiative, which is intended to address concerns expressed by some anglers that sunfish are shrinking or in danger of shrinking in size," said Jon Hansen, DNR fisheries program consultant. "We're proposing daily limit reductions and inviting the public to provide feedback via an online survey or in-person meeting."

The proposed daily limit reductions for 52 lakes would take effect in March 2022. Sunfish daily bag limits would be decreased from the current statewide limit of 20 sunfish to five sunfish on some lakes and ten sunfish on others under the plan.

Several lakes have similarly proposed similar reductions in crappie daily bag restrictions. Notice of the proposed modifications to special fishing laws has been posted at each lake's access points.

In June, the DNR opened an online presentation and feedback period for the proposed modifications. The DNR has received roughly 450 responses to the online survey thus far. The online survey will remain open through Sunday, October 31, and is available here

The sessions will be held between September 21 and October 20. Tuesday, October 5, from noon to 4 p.m., the metro area open house will be held at the DNR's Central Office at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Please revisit this page to determine if any changes have been made in response to the growing COVID-19 reaction.

Sunfish is a generic term used in Minnesota fishing rules to refer to bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, longear, warmouth, and their hybrids.

Similarly, East Metro Area Fisheries staff proposes to terminate an experimental regulation for walleye on Clear Lake in Anoka County after a decade-long study failed to demonstrate favorable effects for the walleye population.

In accordance with state law, the DNR will also hold in-person open houses in each county affected by the proposed changes and one in the Twin Cities metro area to address all suggestions. Individuals interested in attending an in-person meeting can obtain information on the DNR website by clicking here.

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