With the 2023 Minnesota legislature already in session, MN-FISH has been at work at the state capitol in our on-going efforts to substantially increase state investment in sport fishing.


3 Goals MN-FISH

Going into 2023, the state has a budget surplus in excess of $17.0 billion dollars, an historic amount when compared to previous years, according to MN-FISH executive director Mark Holsten, a former state legislator and
DNR commissioner.

“The volume of money available this legislative session is staggering,” said Holsten. “It should open a number of doors for reinvesting in our valued state fisheries, which contribute more than $4.4 billion in economic
benefit to the state.”

Also, unprecedented this legislative session is the number of new legislators, all elected last November.

Many legislators, especially those newly elected, don’t yet understand how the DNR, our fisheries or how infrastructure supporting anglers are funded,” said Holsten. “We are working overtime to provide needed education as we are relying on the legislature to understand the need for investing in our fisheries if we are going to provide best-in-class fishing to Minnesotans and those who travel to Minnesota to fish.

Our goal should be to make our hatchery system state of the art. With new construction comes efficiencies and the ability to meet current needs,” said Holsten.

Like last year, MN-FISH has hired a team of professional lobbyists to push for funding. Your MN-FISH membership and donations help support efforts to secure needed funding. Please donate to MNFISH if you can. It’s easy. Click on MNFISH.com and follow the prompts. Investing in Minnesota’s fisheries and public access to state waters benefits all Minnesotans.


2023 State of Minnesota Fishing Summit

MN-FISH announced it will be hosting a State of Minnesota Fishing Summit in 2023, though final dates for the event have yet to be released.

Last April, MN-FISH made history by holding the firstever State of Minnesota Fishing Summit at CLAM headquarters in Rogers. The event brought together leading stakeholders, DNR and government officials to explore strategies for improving sport fishing throughout the state.

The event was attended by Gov. Tim Walz and DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, both of whom spoke during the event.

The event was praised for its successes.

MN-FISH will publicly release the 2023 State of Minnesota Fishing Summit objectives, date and location early this spring.

Give the Gift of Fishing Promotion Delivers Thousands of Fishing Rods/Reels to Area Youth

Thanks to hundreds of individual and corporate donors over the holiday season, MN-FISH was able to donate nearly 5,000 fishing rod/reel combos to area youth!

Toys For Tots 2022We partnered with Toys for Tots during this promotion. “It’s exciting to help area kids get an opportunity to fish this coming season,” said Ron Schara, MNFISH president. “We’d like to thank all who donated, and invite those who are still interested in doing so to go to MN-FISH.com and click on the donate tab. 

Thanks to the support of MN-FISH members and area businesses like Stillwater Motors, MN-FISH was able to donate nearly 5,000 rod/reel combos to area youth this holiday season.

Critical Minnow Shortages

Again in 2023, MN-FISH is taking a lead role in supporting bait dealers and anglers, to find solutions to the chronic minnow shortages of the past few years.

Live bait is a $500 MILLION annual business in Minnesota.

The issue is complicated by threats posed by harmful fish diseases and invasive species like carp, zebra mussels, spiny waterfleas and more, which limit where bait can safely be harvested.

The state prohibits the importation of golden shiners from Arkansas or anywhere else outside Minnesota, for example.
In-state bait harvest is also highly regulated to prevent the spread of invasive species. This has greatly impacted bait supplies, leading some state bait shops to go out of business and some anglers to quit fishing.

Brad Parsons Fisheries Cheif

Last fall, MN-FISH brought together the DNR, including Fisheries Chief Brad Parsons, and 17 bait dealers from across the state, to look for solutions to address the shortage.

Minnesota anglers have historically relied on live bait for success both summer and winter. Today’s minnow shortages are having a devastating effect on many live bait dealers. Several bait shops have closed in recent months, and many anglers simply don’t go fishing if they can’t buy minnows.