Editorial: Fish responsibly, follow guidelines

Published 9:41 am Friday, June 10, 2016


With the annual Take a Kid Fishing Weekend upon us, thousands of people across the state will be out in full force this weekend to fish.

Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don’t need a license this weekend to do so. It’s a great opportunity to make some memories, while also instilling a love for the outdoors.

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In Albert Lea, the Fountain Lake Sportsmen’s Club will hand out 500 free rods and bait to children from 9 a.m. to noon at the Edgewater Park fishing pier.

While we encourage participation in this event and others, we also encourage people to know the fishing rules for the rest of the season for the state and to follow them. The following is a list of common fishing questions — and their answers.


Do I need a license?

Aside from Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, generally, people need to buy a fishing license if they are 16 or older. Licenses run from March 1 through the end of February. Residents may fish without a license from shore of a state park. Licenses are still required in city, county, regional and federal parks.


When can I fish?

People can fish any time of year, any day of the week as long as the fish they’re trying to catch can be legally caught at that time.


What can I catch?

Some fish, such as crappie, catfish, sunfish, perch and bullheads can be caught at any time. Other fish, such as walleye, northern pike and bass, can only be caught during certain times of year. For example, walleye season is from May 14 through Feb. 26.


What can’t I do when fishing?

• Don’t drag anchors or other weights through aquatic vegetation with a motor-propelled boat.

• Don’t dispose of any rubbish, including parts of fish, fish guts or other animals, poisonous substances, fish line or other harmful chemicals to aquatic life, into public waters.

• Don’t buy or sell game fish.


What is the limit on fish I can take home?

For walleye, people can take home six. Not more than one can be over 20 inches long.

For northern pike, people can take home three. Not more than one can be over 30 inches long.

The limit for crappie is 10 and for sunfish 20.

If you catch a fish and don’t intend to use it for anything, return it back to the water. The Department of Natural Resources states you cannot purposely waste a fish by leaving it, or any usable portion of it, on a bank or in the water.

If you see anyone violating these rules, don’t hesitate to let the DNR know. The DNR officer for Albert Lea is Jeremy Henke. He can be reached at 383-7417, according to the DNR.