The DNR intends to change a variety of fishing regulations this year.
The proposed regulations are part of a rule package the agency would like to implement during the 2000 angling season. The set of proposed rules does not include the rule that would reduce the statewide perch limits for inland waters of Minnesota.
That proposed rule may be covered under a separate rulemaking proceeding, pending the outcome of current legislation.
Proposed rule changes would include a size regulation for smallmouth bass of one fish over 21 inches on Mille Lacs Lake. A growing interest in a trophy smallmouth bass fishery has prompted concerns that more protection is needed.
The DNR also proposes to change the northern pike experimental protected slot size limit to 24-32 inches for Pelican Lake in St. Louis County. Slot limits implemented in 1998 have proven unpopular with some anglers. Public input indicated anglers were opposed to the northern pike slot limit.
The DNR may reduce the possession limits for all fish on Little Sauk Lake in Todd County. The lake is being proposed as the first of a kind "conservation lake." Regulations would significantly reduce possession limits for all species in order to provide a higher quality fishing experience.
The limits would be five sunfish, five crappie, 10 yellow perch, two walleye and one bass. Also included would be a northern pike protected slot of 24-30 inches, with only one northern more than 30 inches in possession.
Another new regulation would prohibit the possession of trout on Eagle Creek in Scott County, one of a few remaining trout streams in the Twin cities metro area.
The creek is undergoing major habitat restoration efforts and anglers feel trout need complete protection from harvest during this period.
Current regulations would be made permanent for the Red River on the Minnesota-North Dakota border and the Mississippi, St. Croix and St. Louis rivers on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.
Requests for a public hearing must be submitted in writing and received by the DNR no later than 4:30 p.m. April 19. Requests should be submitted to Linda Erickson-Eastwood, Box 12, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4012. Public comment supporting or opposing the rules can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the rules or to comment, call (888) MINNDNR from the remainder of Minnesota.
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