|97C.003||[Repealed, 2002 c 351 s 34]|
|97C.005||SPECIAL MANAGEMENT WATERS.|
|97C.015||[Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52]|
|97C.02||ACQUISITION OF CRITICAL AQUATIC HABITAT.|
|97C.021||ANGLING RESTRICTED IN TROUT STREAMS.|
|97C.025||FISHING AND MOTORBOATS RESTRICTED IN CERTAIN AREAS.|
|97C.031||LAKES WITH UNBALANCED FISH POPULATIONS.|
|97C.035||ENDANGERED FISH POPULATIONS.|
|97C.041||COMMISSIONER MAY REMOVE ROUGH FISH AND CATFISH.|
|97C.045||REMOVAL OF ROUGH FISH FROM BOUNDARY WATERS.|
|97C.051||SPECIAL PERMITS TO USE PISCICIDES.|
|97C.055||DEAD FISH REMOVAL.|
|97C.061||DRAGGING A WEIGHT OR AN ANCHOR THROUGH VEGETATION.|
|97C.065||POLLUTANTS IN WATERS.|
|97C.071||PERMIT REQUIRED FOR STRUCTURE IN PUBLIC WATERS.|
|97C.075||FISH SCREENS IN FLOWING WATERS.|
|97C.077||FISH SCREENS IN LAKES.|
|97C.085||PERMIT REQUIRED FOR TAGGING FISH.|
|97C.087||SPECIAL FISH MANAGEMENT TAGS.|
|97C.201||STATE FISH STOCKING PROHIBITED WITHOUT PUBLIC ACCESS.|
|97C.203||EXCHANGE OF FISH OR WILDLIFE RESOURCES; DISPOSAL OF STATE HATCHERY PRODUCTS.|
|97C.205||TRANSPORTING AND STOCKING FISH.|
|97C.209||[Repealed, 1992 c 566 s 23]|
|97C.211||PRIVATE FISH HATCHERIES.|
|97C.215||SPECIAL PERMITS FOR UNITED STATES AGENTS.|
|97C.301||LICENSE REQUIRED TO TAKE FISH.|
|97C.303||CONSERVATION ANGLING LICENSE.|
|97C.305||TROUT AND SALMON STAMP VALIDATION.|
|97C.311||LAKE SUPERIOR FISHING GUIDE LICENSE.|
|97C.315||ANGLING LINES AND HOOKS.|
|97C.317||FISHING AS A PARTY.|
|97C.321||RESTRICTIONS ON UNATTENDED LINES.|
|97C.325||RESTRICTIONS ON TAKING FISH.|
|97C.327||MEASUREMENT OF FISH LENGTH.|
|97C.331||SNAGGING FISH PROHIBITED.|
|97C.335||USE OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS TO TAKE FISH PROHIBITED.|
|97C.341||CERTAIN AQUATIC LIFE PROHIBITED FOR BAIT.|
|97C.345||RESTRICTIONS ON USE AND POSSESSION OF NETS AND SPEARS.|
|97C.346||PROHIBITION ON RETURNING CERTAIN NETTED ROUGH FISH TO WATERS.|
|97C.347||[Repealed, 1988 c 588 s 17]|
|97C.351||FISH NETS MUST HAVE TAG ATTACHED.|
|97C.355||SHELTERS ON ICE; DARK HOUSES AND FISH HOUSES.|
|97C.361||RESTRICTIONS ON FISH HOUSES AND DARK HOUSES IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA.|
|97C.365||[Repealed, 2007 c 131 art 1 s 96]|
|97C.375||TAKING ROUGH FISH BY SPEARING.|
|97C.381||HARPOONING ROUGH FISH.|
|97C.385||COMMISSIONER'S AUTHORITY TO REGULATE WINTER FISHING.|
|97C.391||BUYING AND SELLING FISH.|
|97C.392||[Never effective, 2004 c 215 s 29; 2004 c 255 s 51]|
|97C.395||OPEN SEASONS FOR ANGLING.|
|97C.402||[Repealed, 1988 c 588 s 17]|
|97C.403||[Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52]|
|97C.405||[Repealed, 2009 c 176 art 2 s 71]|
|97C.411||STURGEON AND PADDLEFISH.|
|97C.415||TROUT AND SALMON.|
|97C.417||REPORTING ASIAN CARP.|
|97C.501||MINNOW LICENSES REQUIRED.|
|97C.521||TRANSPORTATION OF CARP FINGERLINGS PROHIBITED.|
|97C.525||RESTRICTIONS ON TRANSPORTATION OF MINNOWS.|
|97C.611||SNAPPING TURTLES; LIMITS.|
|97C.615||[Repealed, 1989 c 266 s 5]|
|97C.621||AREAS MAY BE CLOSED TO TAKING TURTLES.|
|MUSSELS AND CLAMS|
|NETTING AND COMMERCIAL FISHING|
|97C.801||TAKING ROUGH FISH ON MISSISSIPPI RIVER.|
|97C.805||NETTING OF LAKE WHITEFISH AND CISCOES.|
|97C.811||COMMERCIAL FISHING IN INLAND WATERS.|
|97C.815||COMMERCIAL FISHING AREAS.|
|97C.821||POSSESSION, SALE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF COMMERCIAL FISH.|
|97C.825||LAKE OF THE WOODS AND RAINY LAKE FISHING.|
|97C.827||LAKE OF THE WOODS; COMMERCIAL FISHING OF ROUGH FISH.|
|97C.831||NAMAKAN AND SAND POINT LAKES; COMMERCIAL FISHING.|
|97C.835||LAKE SUPERIOR COMMERCIAL FISHING.|
|97C.836||LAKE SUPERIOR LAKE TROUT EXPANDED ASSESSMENT HARVEST.|
|97C.843||POSSESSION FOR COMMERCIAL NETTING.|
|97C.845||INTERFERENCE WITH COMMERCIAL FISHING.|
|97C.851||COMMERCIAL FISHING IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS; RESORT OWNERS.|
|97C.855||UPPER AND LOWER RED LAKE AND NETT LAKE; TRANSPORTATION, SALE, AND DISPOSAL.|
|97C.861||FISH VENDOR REQUIREMENTS.|
(a) Experimental waters are lakes and streams where special regulations are used and evaluated to meet a specific fisheries objective.
(b) The commissioner may designate any waters of the state having free access to the public as experimental waters. The designated experimental waters may not exceed 200 lakes and 50 streams at one time. For all experimental waters, the commissioner shall develop an evaluation plan and specify a termination date. On the termination date, the commissioner shall vacate or extend the experimental waters designation, or designate the experimental waters as special management waters under section 97C.005. The commissioner shall by rule establish methods and criteria for public initiation of experimental waters designation and for public participation in the evaluation of the waters designated.
(c) Designation of experimental waters under this section is not subject to chapter 14.
(a) Before the commissioner designates, or vacates or extends the designation of, experimental waters, a public meeting must be held in the county where the largest portion of the waters is located.
(b) At least 90 days before the public meeting and during the open angling season for fish the taking of which is, or is proposed to be, regulated under subdivision 3 on the waters under consideration, notice of the proposed designation, vacation, or extension must be posted at publicly maintained access points on the water.
(c) Before the public meeting, notice of the meeting must be published in a news release issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the proposed experimental waters are located. The notice must be published at least once between 30 and 60 days before the meeting, and at least once between seven and 30 days before the meeting.
(d) The notices required in this subdivision must summarize the proposed action, invite public comment, and specify a deadline for the receipt of public comments. The commissioner shall mail a copy of each required notice to persons who have registered their names with the commissioner for this purpose. The commissioner shall consider any public comments received in making a final decision.
(e) If a water to be designated is a lake with a water area of more than 1,500 acres, or is a stream or river with a reach of more than six miles, a public meeting must also be held in the seven-county metropolitan area.
The commissioner may, in accordance with the procedures in subdivision 2 or by rule under chapter 14, establish open seasons, limits, methods, and other requirements for taking fish on experimental waters.
(a) Special management waters are waters that:
(1) have been subject to special regulations that have been evaluated and proven effective under an experimental waters designation under section 97C.001; or
(2) are classified by the commissioner for primary use as trophy lakes, family fishing lakes, designated trout lakes, designated trout streams, special species management lakes, and other designated uses.
(b) The commissioner may designate any waters of the state, including experimental waters, as special management waters. The commissioner shall by rule establish methods and criteria for public participation in the evaluation and designation of waters as special management waters.
(c) Designation of special management waters under this section is not subject to chapter 14.
(a) Before the commissioner designates special management waters, public comment must be received and, for waters other than those proposed to be designated as trout streams or trout lakes, a public meeting must be held in the county where the largest portion of the waters is located.
(b) For waters previously designated as experimental waters, a proposed change in status to special management waters must be announced before the public meeting by notice published in a news release issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the waters are located. The notice must be published at least once between 30 and 60 days before the public meeting, and at least once between seven and 30 days before the meeting. If a water proposed to be designated is a lake with a water area of more than 1,500 acres, or is a stream or river with a reach of more than six miles, a public meeting must also be held in the seven-county metropolitan area.
(c) For proposed special management waters, other than designated trout lakes and designated trout streams, that were not previously designated as experimental waters, notice of the proposed designation must be given as provided in this paragraph. The notice must be posted at publicly maintained access points at least 90 days before the public meeting and during the open angling season for fish the taking of which on the waters is proposed to be regulated under subdivision 3. Before the public meeting, notice of the meeting must be published in a news release issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the proposed special management waters are located. The notice must be published at least once between 30 and 60 days before the meeting, and at least once between seven and 30 days before the meeting. If a water to be designated is a lake with a water area of more than 1,500 acres, or is a stream or river with a reach of more than six miles, a public meeting must also be held in the seven-county metropolitan area.
(d) For waters proposed to be designated as trout streams or trout lakes, notice of the proposed designation must be published at least 90 days before the effective date of the designation in a news release issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the waters are located. In addition, all riparian owners along the waters must be notified at least 90 days before the effective date of the designation.
(e) The notices required in this subdivision must summarize the proposed action, invite public comment, and specify a deadline for the receipt of public comments. The commissioner shall mail a copy of each required notice to persons who have registered their names with the commissioner for this purpose. The commissioner shall consider any public comments received in making a final decision.
The commissioner may, in accordance with the procedures in subdivision 2, paragraphs (c) and (e), or by rule under chapter 14, establish open seasons, limits, methods, and other requirements for taking fish on special management waters.
(a) The commissioner may, after preparing a statement of need and reasonableness and holding a public meeting, designate waters with muskellunge as muskellunge waters.
(b) The commissioner may prescribe rules for each designated muskellunge waters that:
(1) restrict spearing from a dark house;
(2) restrict angling from a dark house;
(3) limit the open season to take fish;
(4) limit the size of fish that may be kept; and
(5) limit the number of each species of fish that may be kept.
(c) The commissioner must give notice and hold a hearing before adopting rules under this subdivision. The rules must have a termination date and may only be extended upon a showing by the commissioner, at a hearing, that the muskellunge population in the designated waters has been enhanced.
(d) The provisions of section 97C.385, subdivision 1, requiring the angling season on a lake to be closed in proportion to the spearing season do not apply to designated muskellunge lakes.
(e) The commissioner, in designating a muskellunge water on lakes wholly or partially within an Indian reservation, may not designate a whole lake larger than 29,775 acres in surface area, except that sensitive areas of lakes larger than 29,775 acres may be designated if clause (a) is complied with.
The commissioner shall acquire lands that are critical for fish and other aquatic life and that meet criteria described for aquatic management areas in section 86A.05, subdivision 14. The lands that are acquired may be developed to manage lakes, rivers, streams, and adjacent wetlands and lands for aquatic life, water quality, intrinsic biological value, public fishing, and other compatible outdoor recreational uses. The land may be acquired by gift, lease, easement, or purchase. The commissioner shall designate land acquired under this subdivision as aquatic management areas for the purposes of the outdoor recreation system.
A person may only take fish from a designated trout stream during the open season for trout in the stream.
(a) The commissioner may prohibit or restrict the taking of fish or the operation of motorboats by posting waters that:
(1) are designated as spawning beds or fish preserves;
(2) are being used by the commissioner for fisheries research or management activities; or
An area may be posted under this paragraph if necessary to prevent excessive depletion of fish or interference with fisheries research or management activities or private fish hatchery or aquatic farm operations.
(b) The commissioner will consider the following criteria in determining if waters licensed under a private fish hatchery or aquatic farm should be posted under paragraph (a):
(1) the waters contain game fish brood stock that are vital to the private fish hatchery or aquatic farm operation;
(2) game fish are present in the licensed waters only as a result of aquaculture activities by the licensee; and
(3) no public access to the waters existed when the waters were first licensed.
(c) A private fish hatchery or aquatic farm licensee may not take fish or authorize others to take fish in licensed waters that are posted under paragraph (a), except as provided in section 17.4983, subdivision 3, and except that if waters are posted to allow the taking of fish under special restrictions, licensees and others who can legally access the waters may take fish under those special restrictions.
(d) Before March 1, 2003, riparian landowners adjacent to licensed waters on April 30, 2002, and riparian landowners who own land adjacent to waters licensed after April 30, 2002, on the date the waters become licensed waters, plus their children and grandchildren, may take two daily limits of fish per month under an angling license subject to the other limits and conditions in the game and fish laws.
(e) Except as provided in paragraphs (c), (d), and (f), a person may not take fish or operate a motorboat if prohibited by posting under paragraph (a).
(f) An owner of riparian land adjacent to an area posted under paragraph (a) may operate a motorboat through the area by the shortest direct route at a speed of not more than five miles per hour.
(g) Postings for water bodies designated under paragraph (a), clause (1), or being used for fisheries research or management under paragraph (a), clause (2), are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply.
The commissioner may establish and amend a list of lakes and rivers that have been found by the fisheries director to contain an unbalanced fish population, or to contain species of fish that have become stunted from overpopulation. The list may not include more than 100 lakes and rivers, or more than six in a county. The commissioner may, by rule, establish open seasons, limits, and methods of taking fish from lakes and rivers on the list. The rule must be published in each county containing the lake or river.
If the commissioner determines that fish are in danger of dying, or if waters will be restored with the use of piscicides, the commissioner may rescue the fish under subdivision 2 or allow taking of the fish under subdivision 3.
If the commissioner rescues fish endangered by lack of oxygen in the winter, the fish may be transferred to other waters, sold, or otherwise disposed of.
(a) The commissioner may authorize residents to take fish:
(1) in any quantity;
(2) in any manner, except by use of seines, hoop nets, fyke nets, and explosives; and
(3) for personal use only, except rough fish may be sold.
(b) The commissioner may authorize the taking of fish by posting notice conspicuously along the shore of the waters and publishing a news release in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the waters are located.
The commissioner may take rough fish, lake whitefish, and rainbow smelt with seines, nets, and other devices. The commissioner may also take catfish with seines, nets, and other devices on the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary waters. The commissioner may hire or contract persons, or issue permits, to take the fish. The commissioner shall prescribe the manner of taking and disposal. The commissioner may award a contract under this section without competitive bidding. Before establishing the contractor's compensation, the commissioner must consider the qualifications of the contractor, including the contractor's equipment, knowledge of the waters, and ability to perform the work.
The commissioner may enter into agreements with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, relating to the removal of rough fish in boundary waters. The agreements may include:
(1) contracting to remove rough fish;
(2) inspection of the work;
(3) the division of proceeds; and
(4) regulating the taking of rough fish.
(a) The commissioner may issue a special permit, without a fee, to apply piscicides to restore waters at the permittee's expense. The commissioner may by rule prescribe insurance requirements for permit applicants.
(b) A permit under this section may be issued to an individual, a group of riparian owners, or a lake improvement association. The permit may only be issued if all riparian owners have consented in writing.
The commissioner may set special open seasons, limits, and methods to take fish before the piscicides are applied. The commissioner must post the special provisions at or near the waters.
The commissioner shall remove and dispose of dead fish that accumulate in or upon the shores of public waters in quantities that are a public nuisance or are detrimental to game fish.
A person may not use a motorboat to drag an anchor or other weight through aquatic vegetation, except by commissioner's rule.
A person may not dispose of any substance in state waters, or allow any substance to enter state waters, in quantities that injure or are detrimental to the propagation of wild animals or taint the flesh of wild animals. Each day of violation is a separate offense. An occurring or continuous violation is a public nuisance. An action may be brought by the attorney general to enjoin and abate nuisance upon request of the commissioner. This section does not apply to chemicals used for pest control for the general welfare of the public.
A person may not construct or maintain a dam or other obstruction, except a boat pier, in or over public waters without a permit from the commissioner. The commissioner may establish permit conditions for the construction or modification of a fishway around or over a dam or obstruction.
A person may not obstruct a creek, stream, or river to prevent the passage of fish with a rack or screen without the permission of the commissioner. The person that erected the obstruction, or the owner of the land where the obstruction is located, must immediately remove the obstruction upon order of the commissioner.
If all or a major part of a navigable lake is located within a single county and has been stocked with fish by the United States government, the county board, in order to maintain fish in the lake and prevent their escape from the lake, may erect and maintain screens at the inlets and outlets of the lake. The county board may appropriate from the county treasury money for the erection and maintenance of the screens.
If a lake is located in more than one county, the county boards of the affected counties may jointly provide for the erection and maintenance of screens. The expense of the screens and maintenance must be paid equally between the counties, and the county boards must appropriate money from the county treasury of their respective counties to pay the expenses of the screens and maintenance.
A person may not conduct a fishing contest on waters except as provided in this section.
A person may conduct a fishing contest without a permit from the commissioner provided:
(1) the following criteria are met:
(i) there are 25 boats or less for open water contests and 150 participants or less for ice fishing contests;
(ii) the entry fee is $25 per person or less;
(iii) the total prize value is $25,000 or less; and
(iv) the contest is not limited to trout species only;
(2) the following criteria are met:
(i) the contest is not limited to specifically named waters; and
(ii) the contest is not limited to trout species only;
(3) all the contest participants are age 18 years or under;
(4) the contest is limited to rough fish; or
(5) the total prize value is $500 or less.
(a) A person must have a permit from the commissioner to conduct a fishing contest that does not meet the criteria in subdivision 2. The commissioner shall charge a fee for the permit that recovers the costs of issuing the permit and of monitoring the activities allowed by the permit. Notwithstanding section 16A.1283, the commissioner may, by written order published in the State Register, establish contest permit fees. The fees are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply.
(b) If entry fees are over $25 per person, or total prizes are valued at more than $25,000, and if the applicant has either:
(1) not previously conducted a fishing contest requiring a permit under this subdivision; or
(2) ever failed to make required prize awards in a fishing contest conducted by the applicant, the commissioner may require the applicant to furnish the commissioner evidence of financial responsibility in the form of a surety bond or bank letter of credit in the amount of $25,000.
(c) The permit fee for any individual contest may not exceed the following amounts:
(1) $60 for an open water contest not exceeding 50 boats and without off-site weigh-in;
(2) $200 for an open water contest with more than 50 boats and without off-site weigh-in;
(3) $250 for an open water contest not exceeding 50 boats with off-site weigh-in;
(4) $500 for an open water contest with more than 50 boats with off-site weigh-in; or
(5) $120 for an ice fishing contest with more than 150 participants.
(a) The commissioner may by rule establish restrictions on fishing contests to protect fish and fish habitat, to restrict activities during high use periods, to restrict activities that affect research or management work, to restrict the number of boats, and for the safety of contest participants.
(b) By March 1, 2011, the commissioner shall develop a best practices certification program for fishing contest organizers to ensure the proper handling and release of fish.
An organization that is permitted under this section and licensed by the lawful Gambling Control Board to conduct raffles may conduct a raffle in conjunction with an ice fishing contest. The organization may sell a combined ticket for a single price for the ice fishing contest and raffle, provided that the combined ticket states in at least eight-point type the amount of the price that applies to the ice fishing contest and the amount that applies to the raffle. All other provisions of sections 349.11 to 349.23 apply to the raffle.
(a) Beginning August 1 each year, the commissioner shall accept permit applications for fishing contests to be held in the following year.
(b) If the number of permit applications received by the commissioner from August 1 through the last Friday in September exceeds the limits specified in subdivisions 7 and 8, the commissioner shall notify the affected applicants that their requested locations and time period are subject to a drawing. After notification, the commissioner shall allow the affected applicants a minimum of seven days to change the location or time period requested on their applications, provided that the change is not to a location or time period for which applications are already at or above the limits specified in subdivisions 7 and 8.
(c) After the applicants have been given at least seven days to change their applications, the commissioner shall conduct a drawing for all locations and time periods for which applications exceed limits. First preference in the drawings shall be given to applicants for established or traditional fishing contests, and second preference to applicants for contests that are not established as traditional fishing contests based on the number of times they have been unsuccessful in previous drawings. Except for applicants of established or traditional fishing contests, an applicant who is successful in a drawing loses all accumulated preference. "Established or traditional fishing contest" means a fishing contest that was issued permits in 1999 and 2000 or was issued permits four out of five years from 1996 to 2000 for the same lake and time period. Beginning with 2001, established or traditional fishing contests must continue to be conducted at least four out of five years for the same lake and time period to remain established or traditional.
(d) The commissioner has until November 7 to approve or deny permit applications that are submitted by 4:30 p.m. on the last Friday in September. The commissioner may approve a permit application that is received after 4:30 p.m. on the last Friday in September if approving the application would not result in exceeding the limits in subdivisions 7 and 8.
(e) The commissioner shall develop an online Web-based fishing contest permit application process.
(a) On all waters 55,000 acres or less, the commissioner may ensure that each of the state's waters has at least two weekends per month with no permitted fishing contests.
(b) Unless otherwise authorized by the commissioner, permitted fishing contests that are conducted for more than one day may not include more than one weekend day from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
(c) The commissioner may not approve permits for fishing contests on a weekend with a fishing season opener if the contest targets a species for which the season is opening.
The number of permitted fishing contests allowed each month on a water body shall not exceed the following limits:
|Maximum number of permitted fishing contests||Maximum number of large permitted fishing contests||Maximum number of permitted fishing contest days|
|less than 2,000||2||0||4|
|more than 55,000||no limit||no limit||no limit|
For boundary water lakes, the limits on the number of permitted fishing contests shall be determined based on the Minnesota acreage.
|Maximum number of permitted fishing contests||Maximum number of large permitted fishing contests||Maximum number of permitted fishing contest days|
|Mississippi River: Pool 1, 2, 3, 5, 5A, 6, 7, 8, 9||4 (each pool)||2 (each pool)||8 (each pool)|
|St. Croix River||2||1||4|
|Lake St. Croix||4||2||8|
Contest waters identified in the permit for Mississippi River pools are limited to no more than one lockage upstream and one lockage downstream from the pool where the contest access and weigh-in is located.
Contest waters for Lake St. Croix are bounded by the U.S. Highway 10 bridge at Prescott upstream to the Arcola Bar. Contest waters for the St. Croix River are bounded by the Arcola Bar upstream to the Wisconsin state line.
For all other rivers, no more than two contest permits, not to exceed four days combined, may be issued for any continuous segment of a river per month. Of the two contests permitted, only one shall be a large permitted fishing contest. Permits issued by the commissioner shall not exceed 60 continuous river miles.
Notwithstanding the limits in subdivision 8, the commissioner may allow up to five additional permits each year for fishing contests on bodies of water that are 5,000 acres or more in size. No more than one additional contest may be permitted on one body of water in a single year. For additional fishing contests permitted under this subdivision, the fishing contest permit applicant must demonstrate to the commissioner that the contest will:
(1) provide economic benefits to the local area;
(2) promote public awareness of fishing and the state's resources; and
(3) conform to best management practices for the lake.
(a) The commissioner may require fishing contest permittees to limit prefishing to week days only as a condition of a fishing contest permit. The commissioner may require proof from permittees that prefishing restrictions on the permit are communicated to fishing contest participants and enforced.
(b) The commissioner may require permit restrictions on the hours that a permitted fishing contest is conducted, including, but not limited to, starting and ending times.
(c) The commissioner may require permit restrictions on the number of parking spaces that may be used on a state-owned public water access site. The commissioner may require proof from permittees that parking restrictions on the permit are communicated to fishing contest participants and enforced.
(d) To prevent undue mortality of released fish, the commissioner may require restrictions for off-site weigh-ins and live releases on a fishing contest permit or may deny permits requesting an off-site weigh-in or live release. The commissioner may allow for live release weigh-ins at public accesses.
(e) A person may not transfer a fishing contest permit to another person.
(f) Failure to comply with fishing contest permit restrictions may be considered grounds for denial of future permit applications.
For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given:
(a) "Permitted fishing contest" means an open water fishing contest or ice fishing contest that requires a permit from the commissioner under subdivision 3.
(b) "Large permitted fishing contest" means an open water fishing contest with more than 50 boats or more than 100 participants that requires a permit from the commissioner under subdivision 3.
(c) "Participant" means a person who is taking part in a fishing contest.
(d) "Permitted fishing contest day" means a day on a water body where a permitted fishing contest is held. Two permitted fishing contests that are held on the same water body on the same day count as two permitted fishing contest days.
(e) "Off-site weigh-in" means a weigh-in of fish from a fishing contest at a location that is not adjacent to the waters listed on the fishing contest permit.
(f) "Prefishing" means fishing by participants of a permitted fishing contest prior to the scheduled dates of the contest on waters listed on the fishing contest permit.
1986 c 386 art 3 s 17; 1991 c 259 s 23; 1993 c 231 s 49-51; 1993 c 269 s 25; 1Sp1995 c 1 s 33; 2000 c 473 s 13-19; 2002 c 351 s 22; 2006 c 281 art 2 s 43-46; 2007 c 57 art 1 s 101; 2009 c 176 art 2 s 51-55
A person may not tag or otherwise mark a live fish for identification without a permit from the commissioner, except for special fish management tags as authorized under section 97A.551.
If the commissioner determines it is necessary to require that a species of fish be tagged with a special fish management tag, the commissioner shall prescribe, by rule, the species to be tagged, tagging procedures, and eligibility requirements.
Application for special fish management tags must be accompanied by a $5, nonrefundable application fee for each tag. A person may not make more than one tag application each year. If a person makes more than one application, the person is ineligible for a special fish management tag for that season after determination by the commissioner, without a hearing.
The commissioner and state agencies may only stock fish in waters where there is public access. The commissioner may stock fish in any stream within privately owned lands where the public is granted free access to and use of the stream for fishing purposes.
(a) The commissioner shall dispose of fish hatchery products or exchange fish or wildlife resources only after they have been tested for certifiable diseases. The testing must have been completed within the 12 months preceding the disposal or exchange. Fish or wildlife resources subject to an exchange must have received a disease-free certification for those certifiable diseases not currently documented in Minnesota. Disease certification must be provided prior to accepting the fish or wildlife resource. When the fish or wildlife resource is not certified as disease-free, they may be stocked or transferred only into waters that already contain that disease.
(b) State hatchery products shall be disposed of according to the following order of priorities:
(1) distribution of fish eggs and fry to state hatcheries to hatch fry or raise fingerlings for stocking waters of the state for recreational fishing;
(2) transfer to other government agencies in exchange for fish or wildlife resources of equal value or private fish hatcheries in exchange for fish to be stocked in waters of the state for recreational fishing;
(3) sale to private fish hatcheries or licensed aquatic farms at a price not less than the fair wholesale market value, established as the average price charged at the state's private hatcheries and contiguous states per volume rates;
(4) transfer to other government agencies, colleges, or universities for cooperative fish management and research purposes; and
(5) sale of not more than $25 fair market value to any school, museum, or commercial enterprise for curriculum implementation, educational programs, public exhibition, or cooperative displays.
(a) Except on the water body where taken, a person may not transport a live fish in a quantity of water sufficient to keep the fish alive, unless the fish:
(2) is being transported for a fishing contest weigh-in under section 97C.081;
(4) is being transported by a commercial fishing license holder under section 97C.821; or
(5) is being transported as otherwise authorized in this section or as prescribed for certifiable diseases under sections 17.46 to 17.4999.
(b) The commissioner may adopt rules to allow and regulate:
(1) the transportation of fish and fish eggs; and
(2) the stocking of waters with fish or fish eggs.
(c) The commissioner must allow the possession of fish on special management or experimental waters to be prepared as a meal on the ice or on the shore of that water body if the fish:
(1) were lawfully taken;
(2) have been packaged by a licensed fish packer; and
(3) do not otherwise exceed the statewide possession limits.
(d) The commissioner shall prescribe rules designed to encourage local sporting organizations to propagate game fish by using rearing ponds. The rules must:
(1) prescribe methods to acquire brood stock for the ponds by seining public waters;
(2) allow the sporting organizations to own and use seines and other necessary equipment; and
(3) prescribe methods for stocking the fish in public waters that give priority to the needs of the community where the fish are reared and the desires of the organization operating the rearing pond.
(e) A person age 16 or under may, for purposes of display in a home aquarium, transport largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, rock bass, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange spotted sunfish, and black, yellow, and brown bullheads taken by angling. No more than four of each species may be transported at any one time, and any individual fish can be no longer than ten inches in total length.
A person may not operate a private fish hatchery without a private fish hatchery license. A private fish hatchery is a facility for raising fish, including minnows, for sale, stocking waters, angling, or processing. A private fish hatchery license is valid for five years but must be renewed annually.
The commissioner shall prescribe rules that allow a person to maintain and operate a private fish hatchery to raise and dispose of fish. The commissioner shall establish and assess a fee to cover the cost of inspection and disease certification of private hatcheries.
(a) A private fish hatchery may not obtain fish outside of the state unless the fish or the source of the fish are approved by the commissioner. The commissioner may apply more stringent requirements to fish or a source of fish from outside the state than are applied to fish and sources of fish from within the state. The commissioner must either approve or deny the acquisition within 30 days after receiving a written request for approval. Minnows acquired must be processed and not released into public waters, except as provided in section 97C.515, subdivision 4. A request may be for annual acquisition.
(b) If the commissioner denies approval, a written notice must be submitted to the applicant stating the reasons for the denial and the commissioner must:
(1) designate approved sources to obtain the desired fish or fish eggs; or
(2) sell the fish or fish eggs from state fish hatcheries at fair market value.
A person may take fish by angling without a fishing license at a licensed private fish hatchery or an artificial pool containing only fish purchased from a private fish hatchery, if the operator of the hatchery or pool furnishes each person catching fish a certificate prescribed by the commissioner. The certificate must state the number and species of the fish caught and other information as prescribed by the commissioner. A person without a fishing license may possess, ship, and transport within the state the fish caught in the same manner as fish taken by a resident with a fishing license.
A person may not take sucker eggs from public waters for a private fish hatchery without a license to do so.
The commissioner may not sell walleye fry for less than fair market value, defined as the average price charged by private walleye fry wholesalers located in Minnesota.
Information on production, harvest, and sales of aquatic life by a private fish hatchery is nonpublic information.
The commissioner may issue a special permit, without a fee, to an authorized agent of the United States to conduct fish culture operations, rescue work, and related fishery operations.
A person may not take fish without an angling license.
A person may not take fish by spearing from a dark house without a dark house spearing license and an angling license.
A person may not take fish by netting without the required license to net fish and an angling license.
An aquatic farm licensee may take aquatic life under the aquatic farm license and its endorsements as authorized without additional licenses under the game and fish laws.
The commissioner shall make available a conservation angling license according to this section. Conservation angling licenses shall be offered for resident individuals and resident married couples.
Daily and possession limits for fish taken under a conservation angling license are one-half the daily and possession limits for the corresponding fish taken under a standard angling license, rounded down to the next whole number if necessary.
Except as provided in subdivision 2 or section 97A.405, subdivision 2, a person over age 16 and under age 65 required to possess an angling license must have a trout and salmon stamp validation to:
(1) take fish by angling in:
(i) a stream designated by the commissioner as a trout stream;
(ii) a lake designated by the commissioner as a trout lake; or
(iii) Lake Superior; or
(2) possess trout or salmon taken in the state by angling.
A trout and salmon stamp validation is not required to take fish by angling or to possess trout and salmon if:
(1) the person:
(i) possesses a license to take fish by angling for a period of 24 hours from the time of issuance under section 97A.475, subdivision 6, clause (5), or subdivision 7, clause (5), and
(ii) is taking fish by angling, or the trout or salmon were taken by the person, during the period the license is valid;
(2) the person is taking fish, or the trout or salmon were taken by the person, as authorized under section 97C.035; or
(3) the person has a valid license issued under section 97A.441, subdivision 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.
A person may not operate a charter boat and guide anglers on Lake Superior or the St. Louis River Estuary for compensation without a fishing guide license. For purposes of this subdivision and section 97A.475, subdivision 15, "St. Louis River Estuary" means the United States Coast Guard navigable waters of the lower St. Louis River to the Minnesota State Highway No. 23 bridge.
The commissioner shall adopt rules for:
(1) issuance of the licenses, including qualifications for licensees; and
(2) record keeping and reporting by licensees.
A person may not use a watercraft for activities authorized under this section unless the watercraft complies with all applicable licensing and safety requirements of the United States Coast Guard.
An angler may not use more than one line except:
(1) two lines may be used to take fish through the ice; and
(2) the commissioner may, by rule, authorize the use of two lines in areas designated by the commissioner in Lake Superior.
An angler may not have more than one hook on a line, except:
(1) three artificial flies may be on a line used to take largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trout, crappies, sunfish, and rock bass;
(2) a single artificial bait may contain more than one hook; and
(3) as otherwise prescribed by the commissioner.
While two or more persons are taking fish by angling as a party, the total number of fish taken and the total number of fish possessed by the party may not exceed the limit of the number of persons in the party that may take and possess fish by angling. For the purpose of this section, a party means:
(1) for persons who are not on the water, the persons are maintaining unaided visual and vocal contact;
(2) for persons who are on frozen water surfaces, the persons are maintaining unaided visual and vocal contact; and
(3) for persons who are on open water surfaces, the persons are angling from a single watercraft.
A person may not take fish by angling with a set line or an unattended line except as provided in this section and rules adopted under the game and fish laws.
A person may use an unattended line to take fish through the ice if:
(1) the person is within sight of the line; or
(2) a tip-up is attached to the line and the person is within 200 feet of the tip-up.
(a) Except as specifically authorized, a person may not take fish with:
(1) explosives, chemicals, drugs, poisons, lime, medicated bait, fish berries, or other similar substances;
(2) substances or devices that kill, stun, or affect the nervous system of fish;
(3) nets, traps, trot lines, or snares; or
(4) spring devices that impale, hook, or capture fish.
(b) If a person possesses a substance or device listed in paragraph (a) on waters, shores, or islands, it is presumptive evidence that the person is in violation of this section.
(c) The commissioner may, by rule, allow the use of a nonmotorized device with a recoil mechanism to take fish through the ice.
(d) To protect water quality or improve habitat for fish or wildlife, the commissioner may prescribe restrictions on fishing seasons, limits, or methods on specific bodies of water.
For the purpose of determining compliance with size limits for fish in this chapter or in rules of the commissioner, the length of a fish must be measured from the tip of the nose or jaw, whichever is longer, to the farthest tip of the tail when fully extended.
A person may not:
(1) intentionally take fish by snagging; or
(2) use a snag line, snag pole, snag hook, or cluster of fish hooks, designed to be placed in or drawn through the water to hook the body of a fish.
On tributaries to Lake Superior below the posted boundaries, and on tributaries to Lake Superior with no posted boundaries, a fish that is hooked in any part of the body except in the mouth must be immediately unhooked and returned to the water.
(a) A person may not use artificial lights to lure or attract fish or to see fish in the water while spearing, except that while angling or spearing, a person may:
(1) affix a lighted artificial bait with hooks attached to the end of a fishing line; or
(2) use a lighted decoy for spearing.
(b) A battery that is used in lighted fishing lures must not contain mercury.
(c) The restrictions in paragraph (a) do not apply to bow fishing.
(a) A person may not use live minnows imported from outside of the state, game fish, goldfish, or carp for bait.
(b) A person may not import or possess live, frozen, or processed bait from known waters where viral hemorrhagic septicemia has been identified as being present. For purposes of this paragraph, "bait" includes fish, aquatic worms, amphibians, invertebrates, and insects used for angling.
Except as specifically authorized, a person may not take fish from the third Monday in February to April 30 with a spear, fish trap, net, dip net, seine, or other device capable of taking fish.
(a) Except as specifically authorized, a person may not possess a spear, fish trap, net, dip net, seine, or other device capable of taking fish on or near any waters. Possession includes personal possession and in a vehicle.
(b) A person may possess spears, dip nets, and spear guns allowed under section 97C.381 on or near waters between sunrise and sunset from May 1 to the last Sunday in February, or as otherwise prescribed by the commissioner.
A person may possess and use a dip net between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset from May 1 to the third Sunday in February.
Subdivisions 1 to 3 do not apply to:
(1) nets used to take rainbow smelt during the open season;
(2) nets used to land game fish taken by angling;
(3) seines or traps used for the taking of minnows for bait;
(4) nets, seines, or traps possessed and used under an aquatic farm license; and
(5) angling equipment.
The commissioner may adopt rules to regulate the use of nets to take fish.
A person may not release carp or buffalo taken by netting back into the water.
A person may not possess a fish net unless specifically authorized or a tag is attached bearing the name and address of the owner when the net is not in use and the name and address of the operator when the net is in use, as prescribed by the commissioner. This section does not apply to minnow nets, landing nets, dip nets, and nets in stock for sale by dealers.
All shelters on the ice of state waters, including dark houses and fish houses, must have: (1) the owner's name and address, (2) the owner's driver's license number, or (3) the "MDNR#" license identification number issued to the owner legibly displayed on the exterior with characters at least two inches high.
(a) A person may not leave a dark house, fish house, or shelter unattended on the ice at any time between midnight and one hour before sunrise unless:
(1) the house or shelter is licensed; and
(2) has the license tag attached to the exterior in a readily visible location, except as provided in this subdivision.
(b) The commissioner must issue a tag with a dark house, fish house, or shelter license, marked with a number to correspond with the license and the year of issue. A dark house, fish house, or shelter license is not required of a resident on boundary waters where the adjacent state does not charge a fee for the same activity.
A person may not use a dark house or fish house unless the door is constructed so that it can be opened from the outside when it is in use.
A person may not erect a dark house, fish house, or shelter within ten feet of an existing dark house, fish house, or shelter.
A person may not burn a structure on the ice of state waters without permission of the commissioner. The commissioner may allow burning only after determining that the structure cannot be removed from the ice by another reasonable manner. The owner must remove the remains of the burned structure from the ice.
(a) A shelter, including a fish house or dark house, may not be on the ice unattended between midnight and one hour before sunrise after:
(1) the first Monday in March, for state waters south of a line starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border and formed by rights-of-way of U.S. Route No. 10, then east along U.S. Route No. 10 to Trunk Highway No. 34, then east along Trunk Highway No. 34 to Trunk Highway No. 200, then east along Trunk Highway No. 200 to U.S. Route No. 2, then east along U.S. Route No. 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border; and
(2) the third Monday in March, for other state waters.
A shelter, including a fish house or dark house, on the ice in violation of this subdivision is subject to the enforcement provisions of paragraph (b). The commissioner may, by rule, change the dates in this paragraph for any part of state waters. Copies of the rule must be conspicuously posted on the shores of the waters as prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) A conservation officer must confiscate a fish house, dark house, or shelter in violation of paragraph (a). The officer may remove, burn, or destroy the house or shelter. The officer shall seize the contents of the house or shelter and hold them for 60 days. If the seized articles have not been claimed by the owner, they may be retained for the use of the division or sold at the highest price obtainable in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.
A fish house, dark house, or shelter left on the ice overnight must be marked with reflective material on each side of the structure. The reflective material must measure a total area of no less than two square inches on each side of the structure.
(a) Structures on the ice in violation of this section may be confiscated and disposed of, retained by the division, or sold at the highest price obtainable, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) In addition to other penalties provided by law, the owner of a structure left on the ice in violation of this section is subject to a civil penalty under section 115A.99.
(c) This subdivision also applies to structures left on state public access sites for more than 48 hours past the deadlines specified in subdivision 7.
1986 c 386 art 3 s 33; 1989 c 199 s 1; 1991 c 84 s 1; 1991 c 259 s 23; 1993 c 172 s 57; 1995 c 65 s 1; 1Sp1995 c 1 s 39,40; 1996 c 403 s 1; 1998 c 252 s 2; 2001 c 185 s 31,32; 2003 c 28 art 1 s 15,16; 2004 c 215 s 28; 2006 c 281 art 2 s 49; 2007 c 57 art 1 s 102; 2007 c 131 art 1 s 49; 2008 c 368 art 2 s 61-65; 2009 c 176 art 2 s 59
A person may only use a portable fish house or dark house within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The house must be removed from the waters and collapsed or disassembled each night. The house may not remain in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area if the person leaves the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Only rough fish, catfish, lake whitefish, and northern pike may be taken by spearing.
Catfish, lake whitefish, and northern pike may be speared only from dark houses.
A person may not take fish by angling or the use of tip-ups while spearing fish in a dark house, except that a person may take fish by angling if only one angling line is in use and any fish caught by angling is immediately released to the water or placed on the ice.
The open season for spearing through the ice is November 15 to the last Sunday in February.
Nonresidents may spear from a fish house or dark house.
A resident or nonresident may take rough fish by spearing during the times, in waters, and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner.
The bow fishing season for residents and nonresidents is from May 1 to the last Sunday in February at any time of the day.
A person may possess bows and arrows for the purposes of bow fishing on or within 100 feet of waters at any time from May 1 to the last Sunday in February, subject to local ordinances. A person must take reasonable measures to retrieve arrows and wounded fish.
From sunset to sunrise, a person bow fishing with the assistance of a gasoline-powered motor must use a four-stroke engine powered generator. The noise limits for total noise while bow fishing from sunset to sunrise shall not exceed a noise level of 65 decibels on the A scale measured at a distance of 50 feet from the motorboat or equivalent noise levels at other distances as specified by the commissioner in a pass-by test or 67 decibels on the A scale measured at idle in a stationary test at least four feet above the water and at least four feet behind the transom of the motorboat being tested. The noise levels under section 86B.321 apply to persons traveling to and from bow fishing sites from sunset to sunrise.
A person shall not discharge an arrow while bow fishing within 150 feet of an occupied structure or within 300 feet of a campsite from sunset to sunrise.
Rough fish taken by bow fishing shall not be returned to the water and rough fish may not be left on the banks of any water of the state.
A resident or nonresident may use a rubber powered gun, spring gun, or compressed air gun to take rough fish by harpooning. The harpoon must be fastened to a line not more than 20 feet long. The commissioner may prescribe the times, the waters, and the manner for harpooning rough fish.
If the commissioner closes the statutory open season for the spearing of a game fish species in any waters, the commissioner must, in the same rule, close the following statutory open season for angling for the same species in the waters in the same proportion.
If the commissioner reduces the limit of a species of game fish taken by spearing in any waters under section 97A.045, subdivision 2, the commissioner must reduce the limit for taking of the species by angling in the waters during the following open season for angling.
A person may not buy or sell fish taken from the waters of this state, except:
(2) rough fish excluding ciscoes;
(3) smelt taken from Lake Superior and rivers and streams that flow into Lake Superior;
(4) fish taken under licensed commercial fishing operations;
(5) fish that are private aquatic life; and
(6) fish lawfully taken and subject to sale from other states and countries.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, muskellunge, and sunfish may be bought or sold by a private hatchery or aquatic farm, or as prescribed by the commissioner.
The commissioner may by rule establish reasonable conditions on the buying and selling of fish that would prevent or slow the spread of certifiable diseases and invasive species.
(a) The open seasons to take fish by angling are as follows:
(1) for walleye, sauger, northern pike, muskellunge, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass, the Saturday two weeks prior to the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to the last Sunday in February;
(2) for lake trout, from January 1 to October 31;
(3) for the winter season for lake trout on all lakes located outside or partially within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, from January 15 to March 31;
(4) for the winter season for lake trout on all lakes located entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, from January 1 to March 31;
(5) for brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and splake, between January 1 to October 31 as prescribed by the commissioner by rule except as provided in section 97C.415, subdivision 2;
(6) for the winter season for brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and splake on all lakes, from January 15 to March 31; and
(7) for salmon, as prescribed by the commissioner by rule.
(b) The commissioner shall close the season in areas of the state where fish are spawning and closing the season will protect the resource.
For sunfish, white crappie, black crappie, yellow perch, catfish, rock bass, white bass, lake whitefish, and rough fish, the open season is continuous.
Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the commissioner shall, by rule, prescribe the limits on the number of each species of fish that may be taken in one day and the number that may be possessed.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person may have no more than one walleye larger than 20 inches and one northern pike larger than 30 inches in possession.
(b) The restrictions in paragraph (a) do not apply to boundary waters.
Lake sturgeon, shovelnose sturgeon, and paddlefish may not be taken, bought, sold, transported or possessed except as provided by rule of the commissioner. The commissioner may only allow the taking of these fish in waters that the state boundary passes through and in tributaries to the St. Croix River.
A person may not take trout, except lake trout, between 11:00 p.m. and one hour before sunrise.
The commissioner may prescribe the open season and conditions for taking brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, steelhead trout, and salmon in any portion of a stream that flows into Lake Superior.
The commissioner may prescribe, by rule, the method of taking and possessing salmon.
A person who takes any of the following Asian carp species must report the type of carp taken to the commissioner within seven days of taking:
(1) grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella);
(2) bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis); or
(3) silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix).
(a) A person may not be a minnow retailer without a minnow retailer license except as provided in subdivisions 2, paragraph (d), and 3. A person must purchase a minnow retailer license for each minnow retail outlet operated, except as provided by subdivision 2, paragraph (d).
(b) A minnow retailer must obtain a minnow retailer's vehicle license for each motor vehicle used by the minnow retailer to transport more than 12 dozen minnows to the minnow retailer's place of business, except as provided in subdivision 3. A minnow retailer is not required to obtain a minnow retailer's vehicle license if minnows are being transported by common carrier and information is provided that allows the commissioner to find out the location of the shipment in the state.
(a) A person may not be a minnow dealer without a minnow dealer license except as provided in subdivision 3.
(b) A minnow dealer must obtain a minnow dealer's vehicle license for each motor vehicle used to transport minnows. The serial number, motor vehicle license number, make, and model must be on the license. The license must be conspicuously displayed in the vehicle.
(c) A minnow dealer may not transport minnows out of the state without an exporting minnow dealer license. A minnow dealer must obtain an exporting minnow dealer's vehicle license for each motor vehicle used to transport minnows out of the state. The serial number, motor vehicle license number, make, and model must be on the license. The license must be conspicuously displayed in the vehicle.
(d) A person with a minnow dealer's license may sell minnows at one retail outlet. A minnow dealer must obtain a minnow retailer license for each additional retail outlet operated. A minnow dealer operating a retail outlet under a minnow dealer's license must list the following information for the retail outlet: name of the business; city; state; zip code; and legal description or fire number. The retail outlet name and location may be changed by making application to the commissioner.
A resident under age 18 may take leeches, sell leeches at retail, and transport leeches without a minnow retailer or dealer license.
(a) A nonresident must obtain an exporting minnow dealer's vehicle license for the motor vehicle used to transport minnows. The serial number, motor vehicle license number, make, and model must be on the license. The license must be conspicuously displayed in the vehicle.
(b) Only one nonresident exporting minnow dealer vehicle license may be issued to a nonresident exporting minnow dealer.
(a) Minnows may be taken, possessed, bought, and sold, subject to the restrictions in this chapter, section 84D.03, subdivision 3, and rules adopted by the commissioner under paragraph (b). A person may not take, possess, or sell minnows except for use as bait or for ornamental or aquacultural purposes.
(b) The commissioner may adopt rules for the taking, possession, purchase, sale, and transportation of minnows.
The open season for taking minnows is continuous, except as provided in subdivisions 3 and 4.
The commissioner may close any state waters for commercially taking minnows if a survey is conducted and the commissioner determines it is necessary to close the waters to prevent depletion or extinction of the minnows.
A person may not take minnows from designated trout lakes or trout streams without a special permit issued by the commissioner.
A person must use equipment approved by the commissioner to possess or transport minnows for sale. This subdivision does not apply to licensed aquatic farms.
A person may not knowingly damage, disturb, or interfere with legal commercial minnow harvest operations.
When nets and traps are lawfully set and tended, minnows and incidentally taken game fish under four inches in length are not considered to be in possession until the minnows or game fish are placed on a motor vehicle or trailer for transport on land.
Except as provided in subdivision 2, a person may not take minnows with a seine longer than 25 feet, and deeper than:
(1) 148 meshes of 1/4 inch bar measure;
(2) 197 meshes of 3/16 inch bar measure; or
(3) four feet of material of less than 3/16 inch bar measure.
A minnow dealer may take minnows with a seine that is not longer than 50 feet, and not deeper than:
(1) 222 meshes of 1/4 inch bar measure;
(2) 296 meshes of 3/16 inch bar measure; or
(3) six feet of material of less than 3/16 inch bar measure.
A person may not bring live minnows into the state except as provided in this section.
(a) A person may transport minnows through the state with a permit from the commissioner. The permit must state the name and address of the person, the number and species of minnows, the point of entry into the state, the destination, and the route through the state. The permit is not valid for more than 12 hours after it is issued.
(b) The commissioner may require the person transporting minnow species found on the official list of viral hemorrhagic septicemia susceptible species published by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, to provide health certification for viral hemorrhagic septicemia or other certifiable diseases. For certifiable diseases not currently documented in Minnesota, the certification must be dated within the 12 months preceding transport.
(a) A person with a private fish hatchery or aquatic farm license may transport minnows with a transportation permit from contiguous states to the private fish hatchery or aquatic farm, provided the minnows are used for processing or feeding hatchery fish.
(b) The commissioner may require inspection of minnows and disease certification for species on the official list of viral hemorrhagic septicemia susceptible species published by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, that are being transported from outside the state.
(c) The commissioner may approve the import of minnows into areas or waters where certifiable diseases have been identified as being present.
(a) The commissioner may issue a special permit, without a fee, to allow a person with a private fish hatchery license to import minnows from other states for export. A permit under this subdivision is not required for importation authorized under subdivision 4.
(b) An applicant for a permit under this subdivision shall submit to the commissioner sufficient information to identify potential threats to native plant and animal species and an evaluation of the feasibility of the proposal. The permit may include reasonable restrictions on importation, transportation, possession, containment, disease certification, and disposal of minnows to ensure that native species are protected. The permit may have a term of up to two years and may be modified, suspended, or revoked by the commissioner for cause, including violation of a condition of the permit.
Except as provided in section 17.4984, subdivision 2, paragraph (g), a person may not transport live carp fingerlings.
This section does not apply to the transportation of 24 dozen minnows, or less, or to transportation with a permit issued under section 97C.515, subdivision 2.
A person may not transport minnows out of the state, except as provided in this section.
A resident minnow dealer or a nonresident exporting minnow dealer may transport minnows out of the state. A nonresident exporting minnow dealer must possess a bill of lading issued by a resident minnow dealer with an exporting minnow dealer's license. The bill of lading must be on a form furnished by the commissioner and must state the nonresident exporting minnow dealer's name and address, the route through the state, number and species of minnows, and the time it was issued.
A minnow retailer transporting minnows from a place of wholesale purchase to the retailer's place of business must use the most reasonably direct route.
The nonresident exporting minnow dealer must transport the minnows out of the state within 24 hours of the time of issuance stated on the bill of lading. A person may not transport minnows in a motor vehicle licensed in another state without an exporting minnow dealer's vehicle license.
An exporting minnow dealer may transport minnows by common carrier and must provide on request by the commissioner information pertaining to product, quantity, and destination.
The open season for frogs is May 16 to March 31. The commissioner may, by rule, establish closed seasons in specified areas.
(a) A person may not take or possess frogs without an angling license if the person is required to have an angling license to take fish.
(b) A person may not purchase, possess, and transport frogs for purposes other than bait without a license to purchase, possess, and transport frogs.
(c) A person may not take, possess, transport, and sell frogs for purposes other than bait without a license to take, possess, transport, and sell frogs.
A person may not use cloth screens or similar devices to take frogs.
The commissioner may issue permits to take frogs with the use of artificial lights in waters designated in the permit.
(a) A person may possess frogs, up to six inches long, without limit if the frogs are possessed, bought, sold, and transported for bait.
(b) Unless the commissioner prescribes otherwise, a person may possess frogs over six inches long and:
(1) transport the frogs, except by common carrier; and
(2) sell the frogs in any quantity during the open season.
(c) The length of a frog is measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the hind toes, with the legs fully extended.
The commissioner shall prescribe rules for taking, buying, selling, possessing, importing, and transporting frogs for purposes other than bait.
The commissioner may issue permits for importing, raising, and selling frogs for human consumption.
In addition to any other license required in this section, a person may not take, possess, or transport turtles without a resident angling license, except as provided in subdivision 2c.
(a) A person may not take, possess, buy, or transport turtles for sale; sell turtles; or take turtles for sale using commercial equipment without a turtle seller's license, except as provided in subdivision 2c.
(b) Except for renewals, no new turtle seller's licenses may be issued after August 1, 2002.
(c) A turtle seller's license is transferable by the turtle seller licensee by making application to the commissioner. A turtle seller's license may be transferred only once under this paragraph and the transfer must be to a child of the person holding the turtle seller's license.
A person who does not possess a turtle seller's license must obtain a recreational turtle license to take turtles for personal use with commercial equipment.
(a) A person with a turtle seller's license may list one person as an apprentice on the license. A person acting as an apprentice for a turtle seller licensee must have an apprentice license and may assist the turtle licensee in all licensed activities.
(b) The turtle seller licensee or turtle seller's apprentice licensee must be present at all turtle operations conducted under the turtle seller's license. Turtle operations include going to and from turtle harvest locations; setting, lifting, and removing commercial turtle equipment; taking turtles out of equipment; and transporting turtles from harvest locations.
(c) A turtle seller's apprentice license is transferable by the turtle seller licensee by making application to the commissioner. A person listed as an apprentice by a turtle seller licensee must not be listed as an apprentice by another turtle seller licensee nor may an apprentice possess a turtle seller's license or a recreational turtle license.
A person does not need a turtle seller's license or an angling license:
(1) when buying turtles for resale at a retail outlet;
(2) when buying a turtle at a retail outlet;
(3) if the person is a nonresident buying a turtle from a licensed turtle seller for export out of state. Shipping documents provided by the turtle seller must accompany each shipment exported out of state by a nonresident. Shipping documents must include: name, address, city, state, and zip code of the buyer; number of each species of turtle; and name and license number of the turtle seller; or
(4) to take, possess, and rent or sell up to 25 turtles greater than four inches in length for the purpose of providing the turtles to participants at a nonprofit turtle race, if the person is a resident under age 18. The person is responsible for the well-being of the turtles.
(a) A person may take turtles in any manner, except by the use of:
(1) explosives, drugs, poisons, lime, and other harmful substances;
(2) traps, except as provided in paragraph (b) and rules adopted under this section;
(3) nets other than anglers' fish landing nets; or
(4) commercial equipment, except as provided in rules adopted under this section.
(b) Until new rules are adopted under this section, a person with a turtle seller's license may take turtles with a floating turtle trap that:
(1) has one or more openings above the water surface that measure at least ten inches by four inches; and
(2) has a mesh size of not less than one-half inch, bar measure.
A person may not:
(1) knowingly place or maintain an obstruction that will hinder, prevent, or interfere with a licensed turtle operation;
(2) remove turtles, other wild animals, or fish from a floating or submerged trap licensed under the game and fish laws; or
(3) knowingly damage, disturb, or interfere with a licensed turtle operation.
The commissioner may adopt rules for taking turtles. The commissioner may prescribe seasons, limits, closed areas, and other restrictions and requirements the commissioner deems necessary for the conservation of turtles.
A person may not possess more than three snapping turtles of the species Chelydra serpentina without a turtle seller's license. Until new rules are adopted under section 97C.605, a person may not take snapping turtles of a size less than ten inches wide including curvature, measured from side to side across the shell at midpoint. After new rules are adopted under section 97C.605, a person may only take snapping turtles of a size specified in the adopted rules.
The commissioner may prohibit the taking of turtles from state waters where operations are being conducted to aid fish propagation.
The commissioner may by rule set size limits and prescribe conditions for the taking, possession, transportation, sale, and purchase of mussels.
A person may only harvest mussels by handpicking.
Mussels and clams may be possessed, bought, sold, and transported in any quantity during the open season and seven days after the season closes.
(a) The open season for taking mussels is from May 16 to the last day of February.
(b) The commissioner may by rule restrict the open season for taking mussels for commercial purposes.
The commissioner may close up to 50 percent of the mussel-producing waters of the state to the taking of mussels.
A person must return undersized mussels to the water without injury.
(a) A license is required to commercially take rough fish with seines in the Mississippi River from the St. Croix River junction to St. Anthony Falls.
(b) A person may take rough fish in the Mississippi River, from the St. Croix River junction to St. Anthony Falls, only with the following equipment and methods:
(1) operations shall be conducted only in the flowing waters of the river and in tributary backwaters prescribed by the commissioner;
(2) seines may be used only as prescribed by this section and rules adopted by the commissioner;
(3) seines must be hauled to a landing immediately after being placed;
(4) two seines may not be joined together in the water; and
(5) a seine may not be landed between sunset and sunrise.
(a) The commissioner shall, by rule, prescribe the open season and open state waters for netting lake whitefish and ciscoes. The commissioner may open specific lakes and waters that are otherwise closed if the commissioner posts notice of the date and time in appropriate public places at least 48 hours before the open season begins.
(b) The commissioner may close specific lakes and waters that are otherwise open under this subdivision if the commissioner posts notice of the closing at a minimum of three sites on the shore of the waters, including all public water access sites. Before closing waters under this paragraph, the commissioner shall determine that the closure is necessary to protect game fish populations.
(a) The netting of lake whitefish and ciscoes is subject to the restrictions in this subdivision.
(b) A person may not use:
(1) more than two nets;
(2) a net more than 100 feet long; or
(3) a net more than three feet wide.
(c) The mesh size of the nets may not be less than:
(1) 1-3/4 inches, stretch measure, for nets used to take ciscoes; and
(2) 3-1/2 inches, stretch measure, for all other nets.
(d) A net may not be set in water, including ice thickness, deeper than six feet.
(e) The commissioner may designate waters where nets may be set so that portions of the net extend into water deeper than six feet under conditions prescribed by the commissioner to protect game fish. A pole or stake must project at least two feet above the surface of the water or ice at one end of each net.
(f) A net may not be set within 50 feet of another net.
(g) A person may not have angling equipment in possession while netting lake whitefish or ciscoes.
Notwithstanding section 97C.391, subdivision 1, lake whitefish and ciscoes taken under this section may not be bought or sold.
Lake whitefish and ciscoes taken under this section may be taken and possessed without limit. Rough fish caught while netting may be retained. All other fish taken while netting must be returned to the water immediately.
For the purposes of this section and section 97A.475, subdivision 30, "inland waters" means all waters entirely located within the boundaries of the state and the border waters between Minnesota and North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, excluding those waters described in section 97C.801.
For purposes of this section and section 97A.475, subdivision 30, "commercial fish" are carp; bowfin; burbot; cisco; goldeye; rainbow smelt; black bullhead, brown bullhead, and yellow bullhead; lake whitefish; members of the sucker family, Catostomidae, including white sucker, redhorse, bigmouth buffalo, and smallmouth buffalo; members of the drum family, Sciaenidae, including sheepshead; and members of the gar family, Lepisosteidae.
The commissioner shall, by rule, regulate the taking, possession, transportation, and sale of commercial fish, and the licensing of commercial fishing operators in inland waters.
A person may not commercially fish inland waters without a commercial fishing license. Nonresidents may only be licensed to fish waters not previously assigned to residents. In the license application the applicant must list the number of feet of seine of each depth to be licensed.
Licenses to net commercial fish in inland waters are issued to residents and nonresidents annually subject to this section and shall be valid for commercial fishing during the open season for commercial fishing in inland waters from the day after Labor Day to the day before the open season for walleye.
(a) A license to take commercial fish is void upon:
(1) the licensee's death;
(2) cessation of commercial fishing operations within an assigned area, except as provided by paragraph (c);
(3) conviction of two or more violations of inland commercial fishing laws within a license period; or
(4) failure to apply for a new or renewal license prior to June 15 of any year.
(b) A commercial inland fishing license is not subject to the license revocation provisions of section 97A.421. Commercial fishing rights and area assignments covered by a license that becomes void reverts to the commissioner for reassignment.
(c) A person possessing a valid inland commercial fishing license may apply to the commissioner for transfer of an assigned commercial fishing area to another person. Upon receipt of the application, the commissioner shall notify the applicant that the application for transfer has been received and shall determine if other people are interested in the assigned area by:
(1) notifying the Inland Commercial Fish Trade Association in writing; and
(2) publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the assigned area.
These notices must allow interested persons 30 days to notify the commissioner of their interest in the assigned area. Within 60 days after publishing notice, the commissioner shall review the qualifications of all interested persons and approve or deny the transfer based on the criteria in section 97C.815, subdivision 2. If the transfer is denied, the licensee may retain the license or request that it become void.
A licensed inland commercial fishing operator shall submit a report on the licensed activities the operator was engaged in to the commissioner each month. The report must be on a form provided by the commissioner and submitted prior to the 15th day of the following month. The report shall be submitted whether fishing activity took place unless the operator has a written release from this obligation signed by the commissioner.
The commissioner shall specify inland commercial fishing areas, taking into account the amount, size, and proximity of waters specified, the species to be removed, and the type and quantity of fishing gear and equipment necessary to provide an adequate removal effort. The commissioner may change inland commercial fishing area boundaries by rule prior to a new licensing period.
The commissioner shall assign licensed inland commercial fishing operators to commercial fishing areas and each operator shall be obligated to fish in the area that the commissioner has assigned to them. The commissioner's assignment shall be valid as long as the assigned operator continues to purchase a license, continues to provide an adequate removal effort in a good and professional manner, and is not convicted of two or more violations of laws or rules governing inland commercial fishing operations during any one license period. In the operator assignment, the commissioner shall consider the proximity of the operator to the area, the type and quantity of fish gear and equipment possessed, knowledge of the affected waters, and general ability to perform the work well.
If an area is not assigned, or the operator licensed for the area is not fishing that area, the commissioner may issue a special inland commercial fishing permit for the area. The permit may be issued to an individual holding a valid inland commercial fishing license. The permit must describe the specific waters involved, the county, the species to be removed, the equipment to be used, and the time period of the total operation.
The commissioner shall consult with representatives of the Inland Commercial Fishing Trade Association when disagreements arise in the areas of license issuance, problems with performance pursuant to the license, transfers of licenses, area assignments, and the entry of new commercial fishing operators into the inland commercial fishery.
Subject to the applicable provisions of the game and fish laws, fish taken under commercial fishing licenses may be possessed in any quantity, bought, sold, and transported at any time. Commercial fishing licensees may transport their catch live to holding facilities, if the licensee has exclusive control of the facilities. Commercial fishing licensees may harvest fish from their holding facilities at any time with their licensed gear. The commissioner may prohibit the transport of live fish taken under a commercial fishing license from waters that contain nonnative species, are designated as infested waters, or are infected with any certifiable disease.
The commissioner may not issue a new commercial fishing license that allows netting of game fish on Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake.
The following rules and restrictions shall apply to all commercial fishing operations conducted in Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake unless otherwise changed by rule of the commissioner under authority of section 97A.045, subdivision 4:
(a) Any fish, except largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, muskellunge, crappies, sturgeon, and sunfish, may be taken subject to all other restrictions contained in the game and fish laws.
(b) Pound net mesh and staked trap net mesh may not be less than 2-1/2 inches nor more than four inches stretch measure in the pound or crib.
(c) Gill net mesh may not be less than four inches stretch measure, and may not be more than 30 meshes in width.
(d) Fyke net mesh may not be less than 2-1/2 inches nor more than four inches stretch measure in the pot or crib. Fyke nets may not have a hoop or opening more than six feet in height, wings more than 100 feet in length, nor a lead more than 400 feet in length.
(e) Submerged trap net mesh may not be less than 2-1/2 inches nor more than three inches stretch measure in the heart, pot, or crib. A submerged trap net may not have a pot or crib exceeding 150 square feet in area, a lead exceeding 300 feet in length, nor a pot or lead exceeding 12 feet in depth.
A person may not operate more than six pound nets, 4,000 feet of gill nets, eight submerged trap nets, ten fyke or staked trap nets, or one pound net station.
Nets may only be set at a place consented to by the commissioner.
(a) The maximum amount of nets permitted to be licensed shall be:
(1) in Lake of the Woods, 50-pound nets, 160 submerged trap nets, and 80 fyke or staked trap nets; and
(2) in Rainy Lake, 20-pound nets.
(b) Commercial fishing may be prohibited in the Minnesota portions of international waters when it is prohibited in the international waters by Canadian authorities.
The commissioner may require a person licensed to take fish for commercial purposes in the waters covered by this section to take eggs for propagation purposes when it can be done in connection with the licensed commercial fishing. The eggs must be taken under rules prescribed by the commissioner.
The commissioner shall promote and encourage taking rough fish from Lake of the Woods.
The commissioner shall issue commercial fishing licenses to take rough fish on Lake of the Woods. The issuance of the commercial fishing licenses may not be restricted because a person holds other licenses under the game and fish laws or operates particular kinds of businesses.
Lake whitefish and rough fish may be taken by licensed commercial fishing operators unless otherwise changed by rule of the commissioner, under section 97C.805, subdivision 1, from Namakan Lake and Sand Point Lake.
Gill nets may not be used in Sand Point Lake.
The maximum amount of nets permitted to be licensed in Sand Point Lake shall be 12 pound, fyke, or submerged trap nets.
The maximum amount of nets that may be licensed in Namakan Lake shall be (1) 7,000 feet of gill net, with a mesh not less than four inches stretch measure, and (2) 12 pound, fyke, or submerged trap nets.
(a) A license to fish commercially in Lake Superior shall be issued to a maximum of 25 residents. To qualify for licensing, a resident must have landed fish in the previous year with a value of at least $1,500, and must have engaged in commercial fishing for at least 30 days of the previous year. An applicant may be issued a license, at the discretion of the commissioner, if failure to meet the requirements for the dollar value of fish landed or number of days fished resulted from illness or other mitigating circumstances, or the applicant has reached the age of 65 and has been licensed at least five of the previous ten years.
(b) A license may be issued to a resident who has not previously fished commercially on Lake Superior and has not been convicted of a game and fish law violation in the preceding three years, if the applicant:
(1) shows a bill of sale indicating the purchase of gear and facilities connected with an existing license;
(2) shows proof of inheritance of all the gear and facilities connected with an existing license; or
(3) has served at least two years as an apprentice in a Minnesota Lake Superior licensed commercial fishing operation.
Lake trout, ciscoes, chubs, alewives, lake whitefish, round whitefish, pygmy whitefish, rainbow smelt, and rough fish may be taken by licensed commercial fishing operators from Lake Superior, in accordance with this section.
Pound or trap nets may be used to take lake whitefish, round whitefish, pygmy whitefish, ciscoes, chubs, alewives, rainbow smelt, and rough fish in Lake Superior, including St. Louis Bay east of the U.S. Highway 53 bridge, under the rules prescribed by the commissioner.
Gill nets for taking lake trout and lake whitefish may not be less than 4-1/2 inch extension measure mesh. The commissioner may prescribe rules to limit the total amount of gill net to be licensed for the taking of lake trout and lake whitefish and may limit the amount of net to be operated by each licensee.
Gill nets for taking ciscoes and chubs may not be less than 2-1/4 inch extension measure mesh and may not exceed 2-3/4 inch extension measure mesh except that smaller or larger mesh sizes may be used under a permit issued by the commissioner.
The amount of gill net licensed in Minnesota waters of Lake Superior may not exceed 300,000 feet of net weighted to fish in a floating or suspended position off the bottom and 300,000 feet of net weighted to fish on the bottom.
A licensee may not operate more than 6,000 feet of gill net weighted to fish in a floating or suspended position off the bottom or 25,000 feet of gill net weighted to fish on the bottom. The commissioner may authorize gill net footage in excess of the individual limits when the commissioner determines that all of the gill net footage permitted for Minnesota waters of Lake Superior would not otherwise be allocated in a license year. The commissioner must allocate this excess gill net footage equitably among the licensees who have applied for it.
The commissioner may issue special permits to duly licensed commercial fishing operators for the purpose of taking lake trout, ciscoes, and lake whitefish in Lake Superior and adjacent waters under rules prescribed by the commissioner.
The commissioner shall provide for taking of lake trout by licensed commercial operators in Lake Superior management zones MN-3 and MN-2 for expanded assessment and sale. The commissioner shall authorize expanded assessment taking and sale of lake trout in Lake Superior management zone MN-3 beginning annually in 2007 and zone MN-2 beginning annually in 2010. Total assessment taking and sale may not exceed 3,000 lake trout in zone MN-3 and 2,000 lake trout in zone MN-2 and may be reduced when necessary to protect the lake trout population or to manage the effects of invasive species or fish disease. Taking lake trout for expanded assessment and sale shall be allowed from June 1 to September 30, but may end earlier in the respective zones if the quotas are reached. The quotas must be reassessed at the expiration of the current ten-year Fisheries Management Plan for the Minnesota Waters of Lake Superior dated September 2006.
A person with a commercial fishing license may list one person as an apprentice on the license. A person acting as an apprentice for a commercial fishing licensee must have an apprentice license. The commercial fishing licensee or the apprentice listed on the license must be present at all commercial fishing operations including going to and from fishing locations, or in setting or lifting nets, or removing fish from nets. A person possessing an angling license may assist the holder of a master's or apprentice license in going to and from fishing locations, or in setting or lifting nets, or removing fish from nets.
An apprentice license is transferable to another by the holder of a master's license applying to the commissioner.
When commercial nets, seines, bags, or cribs are lawfully set and tended, incidentally taken fish not included in the license are not considered in possession if they are returned to the water or if they are tagged in accordance with section 97C.835 before they are placed on a motor vehicle or trailer for transport on land.
A person may not:
(1) knowingly place or maintain an obstruction that will hinder, prevent, or interfere with a licensed commercial fishing operation;
(2) remove fish from nets licensed under the game and fish laws; or
(3) knowingly damage, disturb, or interfere with commercial fishing nets.
A license to buy or sell fish or to take fish commercially in international waters extending from Pigeon Point West to the North Dakota boundary line may not be issued to a person engaged in the business of conducting a summer resort, or to a member of the person's household or to an employee of the person.
The commissioner may, by rule, allow the transportation, sale, and disposal of fish taken within the Red Lake Indian Reservation on Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake and from waters within the Nett Lake Indian Reservation also known as Bois Forte Indian Reservation.
A person may not sell fish with the use of a motor vehicle without a fish vendor's license.
(a) A licensed fish vendor or the vendor's employee may not misrepresent a species of fish to be sold. If a licensed fish vendor or employee of the fish vendor is convicted of misrepresenting a species of fish that is sold, the license shall be revoked, and the licensee is not eligible to obtain a fish vendor's license for one year after revocation.
(b) Misrepresentation includes the designation of fish by a name other than its common name in:
(1) the state; and
(2) in the locality where it was taken if it is not generally known by any common name in the state.
(a) A person engaged in a business providing services to a person taking fish may not prepare dressed game fish for shipment without a fish packer's license. The fish packer must maintain a permanent record of:
(1) the name, address, and license number of the shipper;
(2) the name and address of the consignee; and
(3) the number of each species and net weight of fish in the shipment.
(b) The records of the fish packer must be made available to an enforcement officer upon request.
The commissioner may adopt rules establishing requirements for labeling and packing fish under a fish packer's license. The commissioner shall require only the license number of the fish packer, the name and license number of the angler or person who lawfully possesses the fish, the name of the lake on which the fish were caught, the species of fish, and the number of fish to appear on a label. The commissioner must not allow sauger to be labeled as walleye.
The commissioner may adopt rules, including record-keeping requirements, for taking, importing, buying, selling, possessing, and transporting crayfish.