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10 Things To Know About The Minnesota Fishing Opener, From The Minnesota DNR

Hamish Blair/ALLSPORT

On you marks, get set, fish!  The Minnesota fishing opening is finally upon us and as you get your lines out, the Minnesota DNR has 10 things you should know about the fishing opener.  From new piers and improved piers, a LakeFinder program, to a Take A Mom Fishing deal, it’s all here.  You may want to make this page a favorite to refer back to.

Here are the 10 things that will come in very handy this fishing season.  Good luck out there!

Fish Minnesota
Getting answers to fishing questions has never been easier. The new Fish Minnesota website from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn offers simplified information about fishing regulations, lakes and more, so anglers can find what they need to know to go fishing for the first time fishing or the thousandth.

Know the lake on the go with LakeFinder
Fishing gear is packed. Coffee is hot. Everything’s ready for the fishing opener. Are there any special regulations on the lake? Which access is closest to the bait shop? Don’t sweat it. Use LakeFinder Mobile at www.mndnr.gov/lakefind to access a bevy of information using a mobile device.

Heading to Mille Lacs? Consider new opportunity for northern pike fishing
Anglers on Lake Mille Lacs will be able to keep more northern pike this fishing opener under a variety of new regulations for the lake. More liberal northern pike regulation follows from knowledge that pike can withstand additional fishing pressure because pike are fast-growing and populations are at or near record highs. For more information, see www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

Try fishing in a Minnesota state park
In most cases, Minnesotans don’t need a license when fishing in a state park. For more information, see www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/fishing.html.

Rent fishing gear near the metro
Ever wanted to try fishing but didn’t want to invest in the gear right away? The DNR Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program in the seven-county metro area provides opportunities to fish from shores and piers in waters managed for such fishing – and some FiN locations lend fishing equipment. See more information at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/fin.

New and improved fishing piers 
Didn’t know there was a fishing pier on that lake? There wasn’t until recently. Here is a list of new fishing piers completed in 2013 that were reported to the DNR, listed by county, lake, access and work completed, respectively:

  • Cottonwood County, Bean Lake.
  • Le Sueur County, Jefferson Lake, Geldners Saw Mill.
  • Rock County, South Mound Creek Pool, Blue Mounds State Park.
  • St. Louis, Lake Vermilion, Stuntz Bay, Lake Vermilion State Park.
  • Washington County, Colby Lake, (partnership with Washington County, FiN program and DNR Parks and Trails).

For a list of fishing piers, see www.mndnr.gov/fishing_piers.

Take a mom fishing
Take a Mom Fishing Weekend allows any mother who is a resident of Minnesota to fish without a license on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11, a weekend that coincides with both the 2014 walleye and northern pike fishing opener and also Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Don’t confuse the openers
True, the traditional walleye and northern pike fishing opener is on Saturday, May 10. But whether you can keep other types of fish depends. The opener for bass, for example, is Saturday, May 24, in the southern part of Minnesota, while the opener for muskie is Saturday, June 7. Find out the specifics of the seasons, or lake-specific regulations, from a mobile device at LakeFinder Mobile at www.mndnr.gov/lakefind.

Buy a license that fits
People buy a hat that fits, so why not buy a license that fits, too. The DNR offers a variety of license types that make it even easier to get the whole family involved, including a married combination annual license, a 72-hour fishing license, and others. Licenses are available at any DNR license agent, online via mobile and desktop at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

Be safe near cold water
With water temperatures likely colder than normal even if ice is out, anglers are reminded that frigid water can have dangerous and potentially fatal impacts. Anglers should exercise extra caution and wear life vests. Hypothermia occurs quickly in cold water and the shock of falling into icy water also can cause cardiac arrest, even for people in good health.

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