Senate panel next to consider early fishing opener | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Senate panel next to consider early fishing opener

Posted: April 15, 2012 - 10:28pm

ST. PAUL (AP) — A Minnesota Senate panel will look at whether to open the fishing season a week early.

The House already has approved a bill that would shift the opener to May 5 so the scheduled May 12 opener won’t conflict with Mother’s Day. Proponents say that’s safe because walleyes are expected to finish spawning early thanks to the warm spring.

The Senate environment committee will hold a hearing Monday. Chairman Bill Ingebrigtsen says they won’t take a vote, but he wants hear from the Department of Natural Resources. The early opener could be added to the Senate’s main game and fish bill when it comes up on the floor this week.

The DNR says it doesn’t have biological concerns, but an early opener might affect harvest regulations on Mille Lacs Lake.