Head of the DNR's Enforcement Division Talks Fishing Opener Weekend

Head of the DNR's Enforcement Division Talks Fishing Opener Weekend Click to Enlarge Photo: Unsplash

(KNSI) - This weekend is the Minnesota state fishing opener, and while the big celebration in Ottertail County is not taking place, many people will still be getting out on the lakes.

This year, anglers are being asked to fish close to home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Colonel Rodman Smith, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, says finding a new favorite lake is just a tap away thanks to a new app.

"Lakefinder has just under 5,000 lakes on it. It will tell you everything about an individual lake. About what kind of fish are in there, what's being stocked in there, if there's any invasive species in there if there's any special regulation on that lake."

When you're putting in this weekend, Rodman says along with lifejackets, bait, and tackle, pack your patience.

"You may see a few public accesses that may not have all that typical spring maintenance, and so this year, when you get to the landing, because of that spring maintenance issue, you're probably going to need more patience at those accesses."

DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen says that while most of its 1,700 statewide public water accesses have undergone basic safety maintenance, docks, and other amenities will not all be in place before the May 9 fishing opener.

In a press release from the DNR, Strommen says, "Ramps are functional at most sites, but not all of the usual amenities like docks will be fully deployed by this weekend's opener. There will be plenty of great places to fish and boat close to home."

Walleye, northern and sauger are getting all of the attention this weekend, it's an opener of sorts for another fish, too. A few years ago, the Minnesota state legislature approved catch and release for bass from now until Memorial Day weekend.

There are some changes to size and possession limits. See them by clicking here.