Minnesota Fishing Rules

Minnesota Fishing Rules
The fishing in Minnesota is excellent year round. Anglers who live in the state and many visitors to Minnesota enjoy this pastime. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has rules the anglers must adhere to.


Minnesota residents older than 16 years old are required to have a license to fish legally, as do nonresidents. A lifetime license is available.

Legal Lines

An angler can legally have only one fishing line in the water during open-water fishing season and two during the ice-fishing season.


Once an angler reaches her daily limit of fish, she cannot cull fish. This means an individual cannot throw back a fish she planned to keep if she happens to catch a larger one later.

Season and Limits

Each game fish species has a specific season during which anglers can catch the fish. Many species such as northern pike and muskellunge have a minimum length requirement, while others such as crappie and perch have no such stipulation.

Darkhouse Spearing

A form of ice fishing called darkhouse spearing is legal on Minnesota lakes during the winter, with pike, whitefish and catfish caught this way. A special license is required to participate in this activity in addition to a regular fishing license; nonresidents cannot fish in this manner.

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