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Helpful tips for anglers on fishing opener 2011

Minnesota's interstates, highways, and county roads will fill with anxious anglers in anticipation of the May 14 walleye and northern pike fishing opener. Once anglers arrive at their favorite fishing spot, they may encounter a conservation officer of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"The fishing opener results in an increased workload for our officers, so we are asking for everyone's help," said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement chief. "We want anglers to have a safe and enjoyable experience. We feel the best way to assist a conservation officer is by providing information on common rules and regulations to anglers prior to the opener."

Here is helpful information for anglers.

Fishing License

All residents and nonresidents age 16 years or older are required to have an appropriate fishing license while angling. To purchase a license, residents and nonresidents must have their social security number on file with DNR or must provide it. Anglers can buy a Minnesota fishing license electronically at one of nearly 1,600 participating bait or outdoor stores statewide, or by calling 888-665-4236, or online.  Also, pick up a copy of the 2011 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook along with the license as a ready reference guide to limits and transportation of fish.



Motorized watercraft operators must have their registration on board. The number issued to a boat and the current state validation decal must be displayed on the forward half of the hull on each side of the boat.

Aquatic Invasive


Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and spiny water fleas have affected many Minnesota fresh water ecosystems, but there are ways to stop the spread and protect the resource. State law requires that boaters:

• remove any visible plants and animals from your boat, trailer and other boating equipment

• drain water from the boat, livewell, bilge, and impeller by removing drain plugs and open water draining devices before leaving any water access

• Boaters are also encouraged to spray, rise or dry boats and recreational equipment before transporting to another water body, especially after leaving zebra mussel and spiny waterflea infested waters.

Experimental and

Special Regulations

Experimental and special fish regulations such as slot limits or catch-and-release, which differ from normal statewide regulations, are used to manage a specific lake or stream in a special way. These regulations help the DNR improve fishing quality, protect unique fisheries, provide additional fishing opportunities, or protect threatened species. The DNR regularly evaluates experimental regulations to see whether they are worth continuing. A partial list of water with experimental or special regulations, which are posted at access sites, is available in the 2011 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook and online.


Poachers are not sportsmen. Overlimits, license and closed season violations impact the resource and diminish opportunities for everyone. Tips are received through the 24-hour phone line 800-652-9093.